Anna’s Story Part 3
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Hello and welcome to the Safe to Hope podcast. My name is Ann Maree and I’m the Executive Director for HelpHer and the host of this podcast. On the Safe to Hope: Hope Renewed in Light of Eternity podcast, we help women tell their story with an eye for God’s redemptive purposes. All suffering is loss, but God leaves nothing unused in His plans. We want to help women see His redemptive thread throughout their circumstances, and then look for opportunities to join with God in His transformational work.

Warning: For adult audiences only. We advise listener and reader discretion.

Hello and welcome to the Safe to Hope podcast. My name is Ann Maree and I’m the Executive Director for Help[H]er and the host of this podcast. On the Safe to Hope: Hope Renewed in Light of Eternity podcast, we help women tell their story with an eye for God’s redemptive purposes. All suffering is loss, but God leaves nothing unused in His plans. We want to help women see His redemptive thread throughout their circumstances, and then look for opportunities to join with God in His transformational work.

Ann Maree
Last time on the Safe to Hope podcast I interviewed Beth Broom and we spoke about shame trauma, as it relates to our story for this season regarding purity culture, domestic abuse and sexual abuse in marriage. Anna, our season three storyteller is back today to share with us how God met her in that story… in her story. God’s redemptive thread flows throughout His story in Scripture, and it flows throughout our stories as well.

I’m anxious to hear how that looks for you, Anna, and welcome once again for the last time for our podcast.

Anna
Hi, Ann Maree. I’m really grateful to be here again.

Ann Maree
As always, we are always really grateful to have you back. And so it has really been wonderful to get to know you. So in some ways, this is a bittersweet last episode, not having plans to meet again. For those of you who listening, we use usually have several workshops together. And it’s always such a rich time for me just to be able to sit in the presence of someone who’s telling me their story, and just help them get words to better articulate and I hope that process was good for you too.

Anna
Yeah, good.

Ann Maree
Anyway, by way of reminder, on the Safe to Hope podcast names have been changed in order to protect those associated with these stories. The Help[H]er ministry exists to help people in crisis and to train people-helpers, so integrity is one of our concerns. To the best of our ability, we have sought to honor the privacy and dignity of those who share their precious stories with us. Before we begin, I’d like to share with our audience that there may be some things discussed that can be triggering. If you’re a victim or survivor, we want to just let you know Anna’s story might be hard to hear. Maybe find a trusted friend to sit with or someone you can talk to in process after you’ve heard her experience. Also, some of what we talked about in Anna’s story might be considered more appropriate for adult audiences. So we advise listener and reader discretion.

Anna, we touched on many of the details about your story, but we haven’t yet taken much time to talk about who God was to you during that time. So today, I just like to ask you several questions, and then get more feedback regarding your experience. The good, the bad, or just whatever you want to share it with us. We don’t expect it all to be wrapped up pretty with a bow. So let’s just start with some basic information. What do you wish you knew about abuse and trauma when you were growing up?

Anna
Yeah, when I when I think about my younger self, I can’t help but first and foremost wish that I could just honestly hold her and tell her that she is safe and worth knowing, worth hearing from and worth protecting. This is something that honestly I visualize often when I experienced a trauma response. And I want to reiterate again, that the intent of my parents and anyone else in authority in my young life was always to love and protect me and point me to Jesus. And in many, many ways this did occur. But the messages that I so often received and internalized was that emotions and sensitivity are like curses to get rid of. I wish that I had been told that for one God is emotional, and we bear His image, meaning that He made me that way intentionally. Emotions are gifts and they are helpful and they’re important. As important as any other part of me. As it pertains to my story, I wish I knew that the pit in my stomach unlike when I knew something was not right, when I interacted with abusive individuals in my life was something that I could have curiosity towards. And especially when I was so young, seek help for. I wish I knew that someone making me feel uncomfortable or unsafe was something that I don’t have to remain in for the sake of being nice. I wish that conversations regarding cultivating a healthy emotional life and setting boundaries with disruptive or abusive people. And conversations around trauma had been happening in Christian culture. I feel like that may have provided me with some language for what I was experiencing. And I have to admit that I feel like even today, in many circles, it feels as if there’s still a lot of resistance towards conversations like these. Another thing that I wish I knew is that I’m precious to God, period, full stop. What I mean by this is that what I learned and believed about myself is that my worth, especially as a female, was tied to what I could offer others, which I see now is inherently objectifying, and not what I see in the heart of God. I wish I knew that my identity is that I belong to Him. Psalm 18:19 says, “He brought me out into a spacious place. He rescued me because He delighted in me.” Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will rejoice over you with loud singing”. I wish I had seen Scriptures like these, and known that this is who I am. I wish I knew that I was made to be able to walk freely in a spacious place without being attacked; that I am a delight to God; that I was meant to have a quieted secure identity, because I am being rejoiced over; sung over by Him. And that doesn’t mean that hardships in life will not come, oh, they will. But I wish that that had been my security. Not so long ago, I would have been uncomfortable even to say these things, afraid that I would be minimizing my own sin or being too self focused. But now I see that living in the identity of my belonging to God does not take away conviction and repentance of sin. If anything, it makes me want to run to Him all the more. Because He is my hope, not only for my sanctification, but for the love and safety that I need. And my hope for a future where the anguish I walked through, and so many walk through will be no more.

Ann Maree
Thanks, that was really rich to hear. And I think very helpful. And you bring up a really good point in articulating the need for that specific language. In particular who you are, as an image bear, a daughter of God. I think one of the other types of language that might be helpful for victims and survivors are what Trevor Laurence calls the curses of God. In his book Cursing with God, he says, those of us in the church are typically put off when we hear something like that, but the ways we tend to pray, sing and worship, don’t touch the quote, dark places of the land full of the habitations of violence as Psalm 74:20 says, Trevor writes, quote, “catechized by liturgies of glory, triumph, positivity and prosperity, too many Christians find themselves bereft of meaningful biblical language to name the terrors that saturate the world. We need to learn how to bring the wounds of the world to the Lord”. Unquote. And Anna, you are so right knowing more about God about who God is makes us want to run to Him more and that He is a just God. On a more practical level, although spiritually speaking what would have helped you in choosing husband?

Anna
So great question. I think the best thing someone could have asked me while I was dating Alex, would have been, “How do you feel when you’re with him?” Or “what is his character like?” Or “do you feel safe with him?” Granted, I was very young and very disconnected from myself emotionally. So there’s no telling if this would have actually made an impact. But I like to think that it would have, especially if conversations like these had occurred, before I was even dating. I think that would have encouraged me and prepared me to ask myself those questions. I think it would have helped me tremendously to know, to look for a godly character. Rather than put my hope in being in Christian circles. I wish I had had a quality definition of what godly character even was. And I wish I had known that fits of rage or violence was not okay, and not a masculine quality. I wish that I knew that someone showing interest in me in a way that expressed that I would, that I would be their future wife did not mean I had to remain in that relationship. To some that might seem obvious. But for me at that age, and with the way I had believed that this is what I was made for, I was so vulnerable to this. I wish I knew that behavior like that was coercive control, and also very strange. While neither of us use the term courting to describe our relationship, that was absolutely the dynamic that was occurring and I wish I knew that was not healthy or safe, especially as a 15 year old. I’m remarried now and when my husband and I were dating, I got to experience the freedom of emotional honesty with God about the relationship. This is that agency we talked about in the first episode, I noticed the distinct contrast of how I felt when I was around him. And over time, that allowed me to experience a normal progression of love and trust with him without any control being in there. And my husband is very kind and patient and one of the ways he has built trust with me is his tenderness towards my healing journey, my trauma and the ways in which that appears in my responses at times. He’s also a really fun person. And that has brought out in me, the playful and joyful parts of me that had never been allowed to come out before. And I’m still learning how to do this. But what a gift after all the anguish filled yours. The ways that I get to be a partner and a friend to him, because I have the freedom to, rather than feeling like I’m forced or obligated to is something I cherish. I also don’t feel like I can emphasize enough how much the healing journey is ongoing still. And how my husband and I relate to one another is no exception to that. Some days are really hard. But the ways that God has shown me His faithfulness, and provision for my life through the love and companionship of my husband, is one of the sweetest graces I’ve known in my life so far.

Ann Maree
And I am happy for you. I knew that you had remarried, but our audience had not and it is so useful to hear that knowing the truth about what a relationship looks like loving, giving, you know all of the biblical words that we put to uh, you know, the first Corinthians passage on love is, that’s what shows what was wrong with the other marriage and you know, knowing truth is how we know fallacy, heresy, etc. So, yeah, thanks for sharing with our audience that there is a there is happiness in this story, and that there is still there’s an ongoing process as you said. So, speaking now to our pastors and church leaders. One of the things that Sheila Gregoire said when I interviewed her, I think it’s Episode Two in September, something she said that really stuck with me it was like a duh moment is when I brought up the problem of female emotions that we were going to talk about. And she countered that idea and brought up male anger. And then she wondered why we don’t see that emotion as a big problem. But just going forward, I want to know, what do you wish pastors and church leaders knew about abuse, trauma and the victims? I mean, I brought that up, because that’s one of the things that I just want to repeat, we have to remember that anger is in motion. But what do you want pastors to know?

Anna
Yeah, I wish pastors and church leaders knew that being resourced to hold the sacred stories of abuse victims in a way that provides dignity, hope and presence during and after the crisis. There’s something that I think God delights in as much as good theology and doctrine. In fact, I would argue that being a safe church that doesn’t tolerate or contribute to abuse is in line with the theology of God’s fatherly heart, and our identity as those who bear His image. Abuse is so prevalent in our world. And sadly, the numbers of victims are no less than the church. And I know there are many church leaders who are becoming resourced in this way. And I am so thankful for you. if you’re listening, and I pray that continues, and I pray that pastors and leadership take advantage of resources like this podcast, and everything that you offer through Help[H]er, Ann Maree. Um, in Proverbs 31, it says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves for the rights of all who are destitute, speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy”. This is my hope for the church, that this call is taken seriously. And that shepherds lead the way in doing this well. I think for many of us, there’s a measure of fatigue, in simply waiting for that to happen. There’s a confusion as to why it often doesn’t seem to matter to pastors or other church leaders. For those of us who have had to endure another layer of deep pain from a poor church response, after already experiencing abuse in our intimate relationships, I just want to say, that makes my heartbreak and I’m so sorry. And to church leaders, I would encourage you to please be a soft landing for somebody who has had to endure that. Give them space, if they need some time away from attending church regularly, and be gentle towards their triggers, be compassionate and open to listen to them. And be understanding that the healing from these things take so much time. And certain Scriptures, or spiritual phrases or songs may be really difficult for them to hear for a while. Believe me, it is a deep wound for us that we have a difficult time being in church. I think I can safely say that any survivor that follows Christ wants to be able to worship God at church.

Ann Maree
I agree on 100%. And I hear this so often I’ve experienced my own anxiety in driving toward a church. And that’s the last thing we want to fear church, right? There’s a reason the psalmist includes the words in Scripture, “I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord”. It’s supposed to be a happy, glad thing, or at least it’s supposed to be in and when it’s not that is devastating to us as well. Thanks for your vulnerability and putting that out there for the leaders to hear. Has God put people in your path that you can comfort with the comfort you’ve been given.

Anna
Yeah, I know what it is to wish for God to take my life so that I could be removed from abuse. I know what it is to be betrayed by the person that is supposed to love you the most. And I know what it is to have a death like loss where there is no funeral. I think though over time, God transforms our stories of abuse into hope, into compassion and into the ability to bear witness to the suffering of others. And I have seen this happen in my life, albeit imperfectly on my part. But every time this happens, I’m really stunned by, by God’s grace. One of my favorite passages of Scripture and Joel 2 especially where God promises, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts have eaten”. Those dark years that I talked about last episode, were stolen from me. But Jesus has gathered up my story, and was and is a co sufferer with me. I see Him doing that restoring work, even as I tell my story here too. And I’ve also been able to help with an abuse survivor support group. And it’s connections like these that feel like glimmers of hope and purpose.

Ann Maree
There’s another example of the perfect language for helping to describe the experience, the years of swarming locusts. And without a doubt, most people who have experienced those years want desperately to reach out and to turn around and to help others. One of the key ways to help and you’ve mentioned this already, is to bear witness to someone’s story, right? It’s what we do here. It is the methodology and counsel that has proven to be the most helpful for healing. And it’s what God did. He gave us stories. So sometimes just giving voice to a story is joining with Him in His redemptive work. It doesn’t have to be more than that. And I know you’d have more to say about that Anna, so what has it been like reflecting on your story?

Anna
Reflecting on my story has been really remarkable, and also challenging. Revisiting some of those dark moments, is not easy. But I have learned not to be afraid when a wave of grief comes, or even a trauma response. Learning to regulate my body and mind has taken me many years. And I’m still learning how to do this. But one of the things that often comes up for me, is a measure of embarrassment for moments that I responded to abuse sinfully with yelling or swearing. It’s something that I’m still working through, but I also know that there is grace and forgiveness for me for those moments. And it’s helped me to remember that my abuser is at fault. But I am responsible for moving forward in healing and coping with triggers. I think that helps me also with reclaiming choice and dignity too in being able to take accountability for my responses. I also know that God names those who are harmed, and includes their stories in Scripture. And He declares over and over again, how much He hates abuse in Scripture, I feel like if you actually look for it, you’ll see it everywhere. And he also talks about how much He longs to see people restored. And I believe when we tell our stories, we’re shining a light on to God’s true heart. He wants to rescue us ultimately from our sin. But He also wants us to live in the reality that were beloved. I think it’s nothing short of a miracle how God takes something so devastating, like abuse, and transforms it into the ability to bestow comfort to others. I’ve spent the majority of my life embodying the belief of distressing myself and my emotions. I look back and see that the spirit was trying to offer me insights through those red flag or gut feeling moments where something was just off and wrong. But I would press those feelings deep down inside me. And when I was in my early adulthood, it seemed that the focus in my faith community was that, quote, “the heart is deceitful and wicked”. “Suffering is a result of our own sin always”. And “emotions are liars”. And while I see some theological truth to some of these statements, I don’t believe that our understanding of our fallenness, sinfulness or need for repentance should eclipse the love, care and safety that God has and desires for us. I know for many women with similar stories, a huge piece of finding ourselves in an abusive relationship is that we didn’t know how to listen for that part of God’s heart for us. We were told, remaining small and submissive and that incorrupt definition of meek was what it was what it looked like to be a godly woman. Safety and spirit led discernment was not part of the conversation or teachings. And I’m still on the journey of learning to listen. I’m also living with the stress of abuse and trauma for years affected my physical body as well. And, and to this day, I struggle with chronic illness, which I believe was triggered by living in abuse for many years. And I’m still seeking answers for physical healing. Over the years, God has helped me to reframe the symptoms that I experience. Instead of kind of shoving them off and viewing them as an attack or an inconvenience, He has helped me to look at them as signals that He designed my body to have as a cry for care. This is just one of the ways that God has shown me His heart, and that He wants restoration for all of me. And while it may not come fully yet, I can still pursue it where I can, and I believe God delights in this. I also have an incredible biblical counselor who is such a source of grace in my life. And over the last several years, she has been instrumental in my healing journey. If I could offer hope to victims or survivors. What I said earlier, would be a really big one that God wants healing for all of you, because all of you is precious to Him. And I believe He wants wholeness for us. The Holy Spirit has also been a guide to me in knowing when it’s wise and safe to share about my story, and whether or not I was ready. There were times where I shared my story with individuals who didn’t hold my story with care. And there were times that freshly out of the abuse, I prematurely shared it and regretted it. And at the time, I didn’t have the resources to know how to hold my story with care. I would encourage any victim or survivor to take the healing journey slowly. Sometimes retraumatization occurs when we jump in to sharing or advocacy. So I would definitely encourage, if you’re able, to begin with seeking support from a trauma and abuse informed counselor or therapist, to support you and your healing. And also to lean on trusted, supportive and safe loved ones if possible. Though there was some heartache along the way, I’ve learned that trust and safety are vital in not only sharing our sacred stories, but also in learning to heal.

Ann Maree
I’m going to repeat a couple of things you said because I think they’re important to hear a couple times. One being agency goes both ways. Agency being able to speak and say what you think and you know what your feelings have been. And having permission to do that as a human being but it also goes the other way in that it also gives you permission to take responsibility in your life for you know how you respond to like you said, “No, the abuse was not your fault”. And and no, you know, your responses during the abuse like you know, the things that you’re still trying to process like fighting back or yelling or swearing, some times those are the right responses in the moment. But we do you know, live before God, and we want to be right with Him. So in those ways, if He’s convicting you, you have agency of being able to say, “Yeah, I want to look at those responses and see whether or not they were God honoring”. So thanks for you know, bringing that point up. It’s important. And then the other thing, just Yes, He wants to heal the whole person, because we are whole persons. But just don’t hear us wrong in that we expect full physical healing or perfectionism in this lifetime. But knowing that there is healing coming, how does that inform today? You know, there will be a healing, that you’re out, you know, we’ll talk about that a minute, in a minute, all things will be made new. So how does that help you live day to day. So again, thanks for such great wisdom you sharing there. For the audience, yes, for everything, there is a season it may or may not be your season to talk and for you, we want to encourage whatever path you’re on. You know, there’s no pressure to say what happened until you’re ready. And that mind body connection, what Scripture calls the inner outer man is so important in our healing. A note of what we were just talking about, but both the inner and outer man needed, the whole person suffered and the whole person is in need of repair. Dr. Valerie Hobbs writes of her own experience in her book, No Love in War, she says, “the modalities of our memory are these: migraines, rashes and other skin disorders, digestive disorders, dental cavities, depression, insomnia, anxiety, allergies, cancer. When our voices are silent, when we cannot find the words, our bodies cry out, communicate in their own language, that brutal history which our tongues have been forbidden from telling.” unquote. Again, God relates with whole persons, and to the degree that our emotions and spirit embody need to heal, He touches every part. And again, not always, sometimes He doesn’t do that in our lifetime. And sometimes we’re just too broken by what happened. But that doesn’t mean God’s not there. He’s still there. And and I’d just love to hear more thoughts about that. Because like I said, God tells us in Revelation 21:5, “He is making all things new”. How does your confidence and that promise help you find hope, here and now?

Anna
Yeah, I would be dishonest if I didn’t say that there were times in the last several years that I would ask God, “what was all that for?” Between my trauma responses, the health issues that rose up in me and processing, hurtful church responses in the fallout of the abuse, there have been moments in my healing that I felt pretty defeated. But now, as I reflect, I see God’s hand in every bit of it. God says in Isaiah 43:9, “I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”. And I see now that God really is making all things new. But it’s played out a lot differently than I anticipated. The truth is for me that the way that I needed to be made new after abuse required me to be pulled away from some of the, quote, wastelands in my life. In John 10, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy, I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”. And I see the way that God has given me new joys, and has also removed things and relationships that actually reinforced my lack of agency and voice. He drew me to Himself and has removed things from my life that kept me from abiding abundantly in Him. And I’ll be honest, that process is still ongoing. And God has been so patient and a comfort to me in that unraveling.

Ann Maree
There’s a lot still going on right? Not fixed and as I said, at the beginning of my daughter’s, while I said a different version of my daughter’s way of saying, “big bow theology”. We have not been able to tie this one up yet with a big bow. All right. But again, that day is coming. So Anna, in our workshops deal you told me about a podcast that you listen to over and over by Diane Langberg. And that it had helped you so much with the question that we just asked and answered above. I’m going to play a clip right now from Diane and then afterwards, I just like to hear your thoughts about that. Let me let me play this real quick.

Diane Langberg podcast excerpt
Where was God? Where is He now in the current ugly life destroying crises of today. Somewhere along the line of these 50 years, I told God one day that I was quitting. I’d had enough. I told Him I didn’t want to do it anymore. I told Him I didn’t understand Him and I couldn’t bear it. I was at the time, however, reading through the prophet Isaiah, and I came across these words in chapter 45 where God speaking, “I will go before you”. Now listen, before you means before you get there. “And I will make the rough places smooth, I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut down the iron bars, I will give you the treasure of darkness, and the hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, your God who calls you by your name”. And that day, He began to teach me. First note, He goes before you think about that in this context of your life and what’s happened, the worst places the terrifying places, the evil spaces and places that broke your heart and continue to do so. Wherever you have been. He says He went first. Have you been crucified, rejected, left deny, if not physically, then at least emotionally, spiritually and crushed by some someone in your life? He went before you. Have you been pushed aside and not believed? He has been there. He spoke, He told the truth, it was brushed aside and He was told to shut up. Sound familiar? Have you been treated like trash? Stripped of your dignity, He became trash. Or perhaps you have been humiliated, scorned, laughed at, He has gone before you the places where we think He is absent, because we cannot even see a tiny sign of Him. Those are the places to which He has gone before us. He’s there. He’s in the darkness that you have faced, the pain that you carry, the absence of hope, humiliation, and shame.

Ann Maree
So, Anna, what are your thoughts as someone like Diane just described coming from an evil space having lived in an evil space? Yeah, just as you listened to that segment, what are your thoughts?

Anna
Huh. Man, I think the the overall feeling that I get when I listen to that is just that this is hope for me. I think this is what we need to hear. It’s certainly what I’ve needed. That while I may never have the answer to my questions, to my question of why did this happen? Or what was that for? Like I said earlier. I have a Savior with scars still on His hands. And someday we’ll have new bodies. But He will always have those scars to show us that he’s been there before. And because of this, we are really and truly never ever alone. And that the anguish moments in my life, when I felt so alone, I was not really alone. And I I hope that that is the message that is I think the takeaway for anyone listening who resonates with my story or resonates with what Diane was saying, that Jesus knows, to the core of Him what you are walking through. And that is how he has shown you just how much He loves you.

Ann Maree
May God just bless you so richly for opening your heart to us opening your life to us, opening your story so that we can hear and listen, learn, grow, and just share with one another. I get to these last episodes and I get teary and because I feel like I’ve made a forever friend, and then this is over. So thank you.

Anna
Thank you again Ann Maree for allowing me to have this space and opportunity to share. It’s been tremendously helpful for me personally in my healing. So thank you.

Ann Maree
That’s good to hear too. Aside from all the other difficulties involved with this type of medium anyway, I want to also thank our audience for being with us on this episode and with any of the other episodes you’ve been listening to. This is the last story episode and on the next one on November 28, I’ll be talking to our Expert Contributor and that is Called to Peace Executive Director, Joy Forrest. Joy is what her name describes and the hope she shares for domestic abuse victims and survivors is just balm for the soul. So be sure to join us on November 28 as we talk more about where hope is found in those dark places.

If you want to know more about the dynamics of domestic abuse, you can go to Joy’s website Called to Peace.org.

Darby Strickland’s book again Is It Abuse? is excellent for both victims and church leaders for identifying the patterns of abuse.

And in addition, Dr. Jeremy Pierre and Dr. Greg Wilson’s book When Home Hurts is particularly helpful for church leaders.

And you’ll be able to find these and Trevor Laurence’s book Cursing with God and Diane Langberg’s talk included as links in our show notes. And we’re gonna leave you today with just some more of Diane’s wisdom as she speaks some of the words that Anna was most impacted by.

Diane Langberg podcast excerpt
None of us has experienced abuse, hatred, trashing and humility that He Himself has not known. He waits for us in those places. He has gone ahead of us. He wants us to know that what has been done to us will not triumph. And He will be eternally scarred and with that, so scarred hands He knocks on the door…your door… asking entrance, longing to use His wounded body to heal your broken hearts and minds. You see, He is the treasure in your darkness, not just the darkness.

Safe to Hope is a production of HelpHer. Our Executive Producer is Ann Maree Goudzwaard. Safe to Hope is written and mixed by Ann Maree and edited by Ann Maree and Helen Weigt. Music is Waterfall and is licensed by Pixabay. We hope you enjoyed this episode in the Safe To Hope podcast series.

Safe To Hope is one of the resources offered through the ministry of Help[H]er, a 501C3 that provides training, resources, and the people necessary in order for the church to shepherd women well. Your donations make it possible for Help[H]er to serve women and churches as they navigate crises. All donations are tax-deductible. If you’d be interested in partnering with this ministry, go to help her resources.com and click the donate link in the menu. If you’d like more information or would like to speak to someone about ministry goals, or advocacy needs, go to help her resources.com That’s help her resources.com

We value and respect conversations with all our guests. Opinions, viewpoints, and convictions may differ so we encourage our listeners to practice discernment. As well. guests do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of HelpHer. It is our hope that this podcast is a platform for hearing and learning rather than causing division or strife.

Please note, abuse situations have common patterns of behavior, responses, and environments. Any familiarity construed by the listener is of their own opinion and interpretation. Our podcast does not accuse individuals or organizations.

The podcast is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional care, diagnosis, or treatment.

Join us on November 28, Episode 6 with Expert Contributor, Joy Forrest, Executive Director of Called to Peace.

Darby Strickland’s book Is It Abuse? : A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims  is excellent for both victims and church leaders for identifying the patterns of abuse.

Dr. Jeremy Pierre and Dr. Greg Wilson’s book When Home Hurts is particularly helpful for church leaders.

Trevor Laurence’s book Cursing with God: The Imprecatory Psalms and the Ethics of Christian Prayer

Diane Langberg’s full talk of excerpts played in today’s episode.

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