Preparing a Safe Place for the Abused

Preparing a Safe Place for the Abused

Still the nightmares come. She knows the Word better than most. She’s committed to Christ—wants to live as a faithful woman of God—but her heart is weary and doubts assail her as the onslaught of horrific memories and pain continues . . . for years. For decades. And I want to be more than just a praying friend. I want to “fix it,” but I don’t have that power. Only One does.

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LeRoy’s Update: Four Steps Forward . . .

Four steps forward, then three back. That’s what it feels like our path is right now. I haven’t given an update on LeRoy since last November, when I told you that the main concern now is the nerve damage that the lesions on his spinal cord caused—not so much the actual neurological disease. And then, a few weeks after I posted that, LeRoy’s neurologist let us know that the lesions could return within the year, that there is no way of knowing how this disease will react to the treatment.

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Lifting the Cover on Sexual Abuse

“Will I need to stand in front of the church and confess that I was hospitalized in a mental health facility?” At first I thought she was joking. She was not joking. She was dead serious. And when she asked that—I knew our church had failed. We had failed her terribly. The church adds to the trauma of sexual abuse when men and women are afraid to come forward, afraid to share their story, and afraid to confess that they no longer want to live. That’s when it is obvious that we, as a church, have failed the broken and hurting.

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Is There Any Hope for the Weary Woman?

As I’ve been teaching the book of James to a small group of women on Sunday afternoons, they’ve asked some good questions, and I thought you might like to “get in on” the discussion. I’m so grateful for the women who are digging into the Word with me. These questions surfaced from our focus on James 1:1–12 if you want to read that first for some context.

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He is No Domesticated Deity

A few weeks ago, I ran into a man that I haven’t seen in several years. He claims to be a believer, but he also claims to be mad at God. He loves LeRoy, and several times he expressed to me how it just doesn’t make sense what has happened to him. Then he moved on to talk about the horrific tragedies of life: children being killed by drunk drivers, children dying of cancer . . . all those kinds of things that make no sense to us. “Why would God do that?” he was asking.

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Moving Into 2019 With Living Hope

Back in 2015, shortly after Moody Publishers asked us to write Men Who Love Fierce Women, my husband, LeRoy, began having some odd physical issues. We spent two years on the medical merry-go-round of doctors, clinics, and tests, but we had no answers. Finally, in the summer of 2017, doctors diagnosed him with a rare neurological disease that destroyed portions of his spinal cord and left him partially paralyzed.

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Finding Joy in Desperate Days

My eyes were still closed, but in this morning’s pre-dawn hours, as wakefulness was nudging me, I started lifting thanks. I’m thankful that God is giving me the grace to want to get out of bed, with the strength and desire to face the battle again. So many days last year, I didn’t want to open my eyes in the morning. I didn’t want to believe the new reality. I didn’t want to face another painful day of our journey.

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Why I’m Not Making Resolutions This Year

Normally, you’ll find me filling up my journal with a list, making a hopeful set of resolutions for the New Year. Let me say at the outset—I like resolutions. I think they’re a good thing. Getting a goal in place, and resolving to complete that goal, can pave a clear road to growth and successful accomplishment. Resolving to “do better” can be a great motivator, even when it requires taking time to learn something new or apply myself to another form of self-discipline.

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2018 Reflections and Lessons

The year of our Lord, twenty-eighteen, began on a Monday. And that made the new year seem right on schedule. A new week, new month, new year, and a fresh start should always begin on a Monday, don’t you think? So, 2019 feels a little off to me. In fact, I’m a little behind on all of it (which explains why you didn’t receive this post earlier).

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A Bittersweet Christmas Gift

A Bittersweet Christmas Gift

Sitting in the recreation room of The Caring Center, I scanned the faces of the residents who were waiting for the kindergarten caroling event to begin— until I caught sight of a familiar set of eyes. “Miss Geneva” looked much older than the last time we visited. She was already an old saint when I first met her, and I was a young pastor’s wife.

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Join Me on a Ride to Malvern

It was a top-secret mission. Even though I didn’t have a clue what it was all about, I jumped at any chance to go somewhere with just my dad and me. Since my little brother was still in his crib, I must have been only five. Mom was starting dinner while having a whispered discussion with my dad. Then, he threw out an invitation to me: “I've got to make a little trip to Malvern, Gertrude, want to come with me?”

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It’s the Damage Done, Not the Disease

The rare neurological disease that destroyed a good portion of my husband’s spinal cord, leaving him with significant paralysis, seems to have abated . . . as far as we can tell. He hasn’t had another recurrence, thankfully it hasn’t moved to his brain or other vital organs, and the lesions on his spine have almost completely disappeared. So, my prayer now is that the damage it has left behind will begin to heal. It’s the damage causing the pain, not the disease. You all have been a faithful band of prayer warriors. Many of you have sent links to websites and recommended various forms of natural treatment and given your medical advice. We’ve been blown away by how many of you have given to us financially, as this has been an extremely difficult and unexpected financial strain and has left him unable to work. We appreciate all of your loving contributions—especially your prayers.

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Not Abandoned: The Fourth Grace

When my friend was just a baby, her mother walked out of their apartment to begin a “new life” without her. Left totally vulnerable and abandoned by the one who should care for her more than any other, she was alone for hours in a crib, crying out for help with no one there. Thankfully, the apartment manager eventually heard her cries and broke in to rescue her. It leaves me cold and aching to think of her crying out for a mother who no longer cared for her. How could a mother walk away like that? But moms do. Husbands do. Friends do. No matter how people have let you down, no matter how much you’ve suffered from rejection, even abandonment, if you belong to Christ, you have this secure promise from Him: “I will not abandon you.”

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Digging Through the Promise Box: The Third Grace

It was just a cheap little plastic box, maybe you’ve seen one like it or have one, filled with business-card-sized Scripture cards. Each card held a “promise” from Scripture. I vividly remember, as a young girl, climbing up on my mom’s bed and taking the box from her bedside table into my lap so that I could pull out one card at a time and read those promises. The difference between Scripture’s promises and any other “promise” is the source of the promise. The unfailing God delivers what He promises.

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Why I Love Living in Providence: The Second Grace

“Can you pray . . . ?” Almost daily, that question flows between my dear friend and me. God providentially knit our hearts together through a series of circumstances that He obviously arranged. I’m in a different season of life, quite a few years ahead of her, but we have more important things in common than age: our love for Christ, our commitment to His Word, and our care for our husbands who both suffer with debilitating nerve pain.

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