A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Prayer Requests

We at A Cry For Justice desire to come along side those of you who have been wounded by abuse. We strive to do this through our teachings and through praying for the victims that we are aware of. If you wish to remain anonymous, please feel free to do so.  Leave prayer requests in the comments section below.  If you would like to read previous years’ requests and comments click on one of the three links below.

Prayer Requests 2014 

Prayer Requests 2013

Prayer Requests 2012

Some of ACFJ survivors have told us how God lead them to freedom from their abusive marriages.  We have compiled those testimonies here.  May you be encouraged!

Testimonies

129 Comments

  1. Cat

    I am so thankful that God made a way for my daughter and I to leave my husband, but at the same time, I want him to get well and God willing, stay married. It has been over 5 months now, and I am still not seeing signs of repentance in my husband towards me. He talks about all the help he has received, and how much better he feels, but his actions and attitude toward me have not changed. He has withheld all support to us as he feels that supporting us would mean he was enabling us, “like giving drugs to a drug addict”. God has provided for all of our needs. My prayer request is that God would continue to give me discernment and strength when dealing with my husband and all his deceit and manipulative tactics and also that my husband would be healed, that all the lies and darkness would be exposed to the light and he would experience freedom. I ask these things regardless of whether I am with him or not, I want him to be free. I know that God has a great plan for my life and I am trusting in Him.
    Thank you.

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    • Jeff Crippen

      Stay with us cat and read and learn. May the Lord hear you and bless you and guide you into freedom.

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    • Cat I shall pray as you requested. And thanks for contributing to the blog :)

      blessings to you

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    • Cat

      Update: Since my previous post, my husband has made some decisions and changed his behavior towards me in a positive way. I believe God can do whatever he pleases and turned everything around. However, I am keeping strong boundaries on what is acceptable and what is not and know that he will have to prove he has changed by being consistent with Godly behavior towards me over a long period of time. Baby steps, but to see how God switches things up and turns things around to bless me, fills my heart with so much gratitude. I am in awe of how much God loves me and HIs kindness towards me. Thank you for your continued prayer as I wait upon the Lord expectantly for whatever He is going to do.

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  2. Jamie

    I don’t understand how I can leave. All these articles and Bancrofts book, why does he do that? have finally awakened me from the nightmare I have lived for 15 years. I just don’t understand how to leave. I’ve been to a dom center but they wanted physical or sexual abuse, I’ve tried to file for divorce, he wont sign (ow I am terrified to try that again), the lawyer was not helpful, the sheriffs can’t help me with the inlaws. I have 5 children, my wicked in-laws live in my house, and I’m an uneducated stay at home mom. I feel like that makes it 5 times worse. I feel so stuck and can’t make a plan that won’t drown me with their bullying or terrifying my children! i just don’t understand what to do or how to do it. Please pray for me. I have a great counselor who teaching me to be a powerful person, my church is supportive to me and the kids, God Himself has always been with me and we have been through some ca-raazy stuff. But I’m still confused and scared too. I cant find a next step….

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    • Jeff Crippen

      Jamie – I have passed your prayer request on to the people of our small church and we will be praying for you. Only the Lord can untangle these seemingly impossible webs – but we know He can do it. We are very, very glad that you have awakened and are seeing the abuse for what it is. May the Lord guide and teach and send you into freedom.

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    • Jamie, if you haven’t yet done so, I suggest you look at our Hotlines page and our Safety Planning page. There may well be things there that will help you, give you ideas of how to proceed.

      Sometimes the justice system and the domestic violence support services cannot or do not give victims all the help they need. There are many reasons for that- some are to do with lack of funding, some are to do with bias and prejudice and lack of understanding in the justice system for the realities of domestic abuse.

      One thing I have found helpful: if I don’t get the help I need at first ask, keep asking, keeep being the polite pest, the squeaky wheel, till someone tells you something or offers something that is truly going to help you get to safety. Keep calling people, keep asking for help if they don’t reply the first time. (I know that’s hard when one is already strung out near the end of one’s tether; so I’m only offering it as a tip from my experience.)

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    • Still Scared but you can call me Cindy

      Jamie, Praying! It is so hard to make that step, the step out of the boat into an unknown storm. I know. It has been really hard but after 17 years of being a stay at home, homeschooling mom I am now , 4 and 1/2 years later, working at a great job, homeschooling my last two kids and see a future. It is still very hard at times , and exhausting but we are FREE.

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    • A Bruised Reed

      Hi Jamie. I know your situation feels impossible to your right now but I am living proof that the Lord can provide a way where there does not seem to be a way. Since you have the support of your pastor, I would begin there. Tell him you and the children must leave and ask him for help. Perhaps there is someone in the church who has a vacant home that you could stay in? You never know until you ask. Dear Lord, I pray for my sister Jamie. She is in need of provision and guidance that only you can give. Please provide a way of escape for her and her children. Shut the mouths of the lions in her life that want to control and abuse her until she can get free. Help her to know that you are with her every step of the way and that You will help her to provide for her children once she leaves. Give her strength, courage, determination, and wisdom to navigate her trecherous situation. You can do all things, Lord. We pray that you will uphold Jamie with your righteous right hand and lead her to safety. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

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  3. Anon

    Dear One,
    In my opinion, if you are in fear, you need to leave (I think that might be written in Pastor Jeff’s book somewhere)… and take the kids with you. You are so blessed that the church is supporting you… now go to your pastor and the leaders and ask for physical help… they need to physically escort you out of the house… help packing and moving you and the kids out, help housing you if that’s the need. If they are afraid, they need to call the cops and you all need to meet at your house so that you can get out… for the time being. If you and your husband are buying the home, my guess is that, over time, the judicial system will rule that the children need to return to their home with their mom and that your husband needs to make the house payment.
    As far as you being an “uneducated, stay at home mom,” this could work to your advantage. Husband makes the bulk of the income, yes? It shouldn’t be hard for a lawyer to prove that he’s been your provider and still needs to be: ie… alimony and child support while you get some training in a career that will support you and your children. Get your pastor/the church involved in finding a good lawyer.
    I will be praying for your clarity and boldness to really open up to this church that you say is loving and supportive of you. It’s a head game that your husband/his sick family has you trapped in… and I’m guessing you know it.

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  4. I am submitting a prayer request for one of our readers who needs to remain anonymous. Please prayer for her. She will be making some very difficult decisions soon regarding her abusive situation and the fog seems so thick. She would like prayer for God’s direction, and the strength and discernment to make wise decisions.

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  5. Anon

    Cat,
    While your news that he is showing signs of change initially sound (and must feel) encouraging, my gut reaction is WAIT IT OUT. 5 months isn’t very long. I was separated from my husband that long once too and I did see change… but not long after we got back together, his odd, anti-social behaviors crept back in (he’s a psychological abuser through skilled manipulation and head games.) It’s been another 10 years of me losing myself in his strange world. I’m very physically ill and, I have not doubt, its onset and severity is from the stress I’ve lived in.
    I’ve come here, to this blog, after being gifted with Pastor Jeff’s book from a precious friend who, too, was abused in marriage. Right now, my husband and I are living as cordial, celibate roommates. I have no way of providing for myself financially and don’t qualify for disability income. For now, after I talked myself down off the ceiling from panic, I have decided that, if he can BE a roommate and not demand physical contact, I should go that route. Why give up my home and lifestyle that meets many of my physical needs just because I FEEL like fleeing?
    It’s VERY STRANGE to live like this but it’s pleasant! He actually makes a very good roommate and he says that he’d rather live like this together than be apart. I think we’ve been doing this about a month now. Sometimes, I have to nip his controlling, callous inferences in the bud immediately (no arguing at all… I just say, “That is not acceptable behavior.” He stops immediately. HE HAS NO HOLD ON ME ANY MORE. I’m free and I know it!)
    Now, if I can find ME again, that will be marvelous!

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    • When the target of the abuse has serious health issues, it can make it much much harder to leave. I’m glad that arrangement is working for you, and really pleased to hear that you are setting such firm boundaries against him. Well done!

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    • Cat

      Hi Anon,
      Thank for you words of wisdom and encouragement. You are right, 5 months isn’t very long and really it’s only been about the past couple of weeks that he has made positive changes towards me. Thankfully, over these past 5 months I have learned a lot about an abusers tactics, so I feel like my radar is pretty good (Holy Spirit). My plan is to spend small amounts of time with him, coffee maybe 1x a week for a few months at least, to make sure that he does not start manipulating, shift blaming, being deceptive, etc. before even considering going to joint counseling. He is going to have to prove to me by his words and actions that he is truly repentant. As far as reconciling is concerned, we will just have to wait and see if that is even possible. I am no way going back to that way of living again. God has set me free.
      Thanks for your continued prayer :)

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      • Cat, remember that an abuser can behave nicely for an hour or so, easily. Look not only for whether he is NOT doing and saying abusive things, but for whether he is off his own bat confessing and making reparation for the abusive things he has done and said in the past.

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  6. Cat

    Thanks Barbara, I have your checklist for repentance and plan to refer to it regularly, along side with the word of God :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cat

      Barbara,
      I want to acknowledge what you have said and I am in total agreement. He is going to have to own up completely for what he has done. Everything has to come into the light and he needs to do whatever it takes to make things right. There is no quick fix here. I am fully aware of that and also the fact that it may be more than he is willing to do. Time will tell.
      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. anon

    Cat,
    Have you read Pastor Jeff’s book, A Cry for Justice? Read it again… and again… and again until it really sinks in. I have to take it bit by bit. After all, the church has fed me lies for decades!
    You mentioned that joint counseling might be something happening in the future. I pray it is a far way down the road… it could be deadly for you. Honestly, if I were ever going to consider “joint counseling” again, I’d require it be with a secular counselor and then check it against the Word, using the good stuff and tossing the garbage. I think back now on all the “Godly counsel” we got through the years (there’s never been one “happy” year of marriage… some fun moments but that’s about it. I’ve always been uncomfortable in this marriage of 20 years but I just couldn’t put my finger on “it” totally… until I read Pastor’s book.) We sought out counsel from expensive professionals claiming to serve the LORD as well as our own pastors and “sisters/brothers in Christ.” IT WAS ALL CRAP. It was all about what I needed to do to change, never mind how the children were suffering. OH MY GOSH… it was such a horrible trap. (I PRAISE GOD EVERY DAY THAT I DIDN’T COMPLETELY LOSE MY MIND AND END UP PSYCHOTIC… it was truly frightening. The abuse has been mental/psychological and VERY STEALTH.) The “church” (fundamental, non-denominational, evangelical) was more of a cult than anything… and that’s speaking to at least 3 different, unaffiliated “fellowships” in 3 different towns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk about brain washing!
    Anyway, I’m so glad you are here on this site. I see much wisdom here.

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  8. Cat

    Anon,

    I have not read the book yet, but I will order a copy now. I am comfortable, happy and have peace and laughter living with my daughter. The Lord has provided all of our needs, so I am not anxious or overly excited about reconciling. I am not going to do something foolish or regrettable just because a Pastor, Counselor or my husband tell me to.

    My obedience is to the Lord and I am not in fear. I am attending a new church that teaches God’s word, and the people are caring, kind and supportive of me. I am aware of the Devils schemes and trust in God’s wisdom, protection and strength. I trust Him with my life whatever the plan is. I am not being fool hearty and have 0 trust for my husband at this point. There is much work to be done on his part in order for any trust to be rebuilt or reconciliation to be considered.

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    • Jeff Crippen

      Cat – the book is also available normally at Cumberland Valley Book and Bible.

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  9. Anon

    Father God, I praise Your Holy Name, YHVH. I am so very thankful beyond words that You take us broken pots and rebuild us into YOUR workmanship, YOUR vessels for YOUR Purposes. That You so much for giving Pastor Jeff the boldness, the guts, the spine to stand against his “peers” in SPEAKING OUT YOUR TRUTH, no matter the consequences. He has saved many many lives because He submits to You. Oh my LORD, thank You for the beautiful FREEDOM I see in Cat by Your Hand. Her words are sweet music to my soul. Guide her every step, her every thought, and pull her closer and closer to You. Accept her joyful songs in her heart as praise and worship to You, the One True God. Grow her daughter up in FREEDOM IN YOU, Father God. Let this child be delivered of all the evil that took place in her birth home and now, LORD God Almighty, let her enjoy the absolute beauty and lightness that flows from her momma. Praise You. Amen.

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  10. anon

    Not sure if this is the right place to put this prayer request. Admin, please feel free to move it to its best spot.
    I am asking for prayer for a friend, a sweet man, who has a beautiful family, what he’s longed for his whole life (he was abused as a child.) He just found out that his “godly” wife has been committing adultery. He was so distraught he actually put a gun in his mouth for “practice.”
    My guts feel torn open… I ache for him but for his babies… Oh LORD the babies!
    Please petition the LORD to shine on TRUTH and to give this man God’s wisdom.
    Praise God that (supposedly) my husband confessed to him that we, too, are in big trouble. How he “described” and “labeled” that trouble could be super deceptive as it has always been… but God works miracles all the day long and He can totally turn all of this ugliness into beauty.
    King David of the Scriptures wrote to us today: Ps 27:14=
    “Wait on YHVH: be of good courage and He shall strengthen thy heart. Wait, I say, on YHVH.” As we all face our dragons, sometimes needing to take direct, immediate action, move with calm to a safe place. YHVH’s got this. Let us all keep our faces on Him, our hearts in His Hands. He is perfect in Goodness. Praise Him!

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  11. Still Reforming

    If you would remember me in prayer at some point, I would appreciate it. Having spent the entire day talking with my attorneys – at a very expensive law firm – I get the impression I’m up against a wall. It doesn’t matter what the anti-husband has said or done. I’ve documented everything diligently since late summer 2014, but it doesn’t seem to matter . Everything instead seems to be all about potentially pleasing a judge (who is all about father’s rights, being a single father of five). So if anti-husband’s attorney hasn’t answered my concerns about abandoning us financially, cleaning out our safe, removing things from the property, scaring child by leaving strange notes and popping up in the dark outside windows and doors, but his attorney suddenly calls frantic because he might lose the anti-h’s (and more importantly, anti-h’s employer’s) business, we at the snap of a finger need to “look good” to potentially look good before a judge (or risk sharing custody 50-50 and overnights) and/or to keep our case from getting before the judge (by settlement meeting in February), that’s what child and I need to do. So I need to get child together with the anti-h tomorrow. Please pray. I’m despairing of any justice in this world. That anti-h can leave us months ago, drop us financially, scare the child and me by crazy behavior over the past half year, but….none of that seems to matter. Tonight I am despairing. I wish there were justice this side of Glory. It’s hard to be encouraged right now, when I’ve got to dance to the anti-h’s tune – no matter what he does. Child has nightmares about the anti-h holding a gun to her head, and yet my attorneys do not want her to have her own attorney ad litum to get the child’s fears voiced in court; I’m told by my attorneys that would be seen as adversarial. We do nothing but be standing targets, yet are told we risk being seen as the adversarial party. I can’t get child’s concerns recognized in court because only the judge’s opinion will matter. And every time I cry out to the Lord, it only seems to get worse. I wish He would intervene in some miraculous way, but…. There doesn’t seem to be much point to making one’s best efforts to document, fight to protect, whatever. It all seems to be for naught. Thank you for being there to pray and to at the very least, read the concerns and “get it.” I feel like I’m being run over by a bully, then he backs up and does it over and over and over – and I can only stand and watch it happen. My voice doesn’t seem to matter. A judge doesn’t have time for the details. Only the appearances.

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    • Jeff Crippen

      Still Reforming – Your story and despair here is something that we hear over and over and over again from abuse victims locked up in these court proceedings. We need to keep telling this story as loudly as we can. “Family” courts just don’t seem to give real justice – at least we sure don’t hear of it happening. Why? It doesn’t take a real genius to figure out that an abuser could care less about his children and that he is only fighting in court for custody and visitation to punish the victim further and to WIN. I know of cases where the guy has hardly ever even been home, yet all of a sudden he demands custody of the children. Victims have little money in most cases, yet they have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on attorneys, and on top of that those court proceedings just drag on and on and on. What is energizing this? Is it money? I think someone wrote on the blog at one point that the family court system, along with all the psychologists and case managers and attorneys and everyone else who gets involved – is an industry. I have to think there must be some truth to this.

      With all of that said, don’t give in to despair. Christ is your champion. Let’s ask Him to see you through it.

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      • “Family” courts just don’t seem to give real justice – at least we sure don’t hear of it happening

        We need to factor in that the cases we usually hear about are the cases where justice wasn’t given. There are cases where the courts get it right, or get it fairly right. And we need to bear in mind that judges are limited in what they can do by the legislation that governs them. Sometimes the are hampered from deliving better justice to vicims of abuse by the requirements of leglisation and government policies.

        I myself had a pretty good outcome in the Family Court of Australia, in that custody of my daughter was granted to me, and her father was only granted fortnightly weekend access (visitation). It could have been better (his access could have been even less) but it could have been a lot worse.

        Readers, if you are in the throes of a court case, do not despair on the basis of all the sad stories we hear on this blog. Naturally, people who have had disastrous experiences in court tend to lament more, and our blog is a place where it is safe to lament. :)

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    • SR I shall pray. In fact, I’ve been praying already about this, even before you put the prayer request up.

      I am puzzled and sliglhty amazed that your lawyer does not want a GAL for your daughter because it would be seen as ‘adversarial’. That’s something I’ve not heard of before. Maybe your lawyers know the way this jugde operates, from past experience, and that is why they are advising you to not have a GAL. (?)

      Yes, some Family Courts don’t give much if any time or interest to the allegations and documentations of abuse. They don’t see their role as being to judge that. I know. Go Figure!

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  12. anon

    “I’m despairing of any justice in this world….”

    Oh God, we cry out to You to force truth to come out of this father’s mouth and open the eyes of this judge. If dumping this lawyer and getting another is what is best, shine light directly on the path to take. Father God, I plead with You to protect this child and to give this mother wisdom and direction. Show her, too, LORD, that even in the darkest of dungeons, YOU are there. Take her to Scriptures to remind her of that. Make Your Presence penetrate this woman’s desperate heart.

    King David gave us a powerful thing to remember in Psalm 27:14: “Wait on YHVH: be of good courage and He shall strengthen thy heart: Wait, I say, on YHVH.” King David knew about danger and fear and injustice. He also knew sin and knew how to repent.
    My prayers will cover you in these coming days, Dear One.

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  13. Still Reforming

    Barbara, Since the anti-h left us (physically and financially), I procured an attorney at a firm I thought would fight for our child and found a pediatric counselor to help our daughter sort through this. I met with a local former policeman who now counsels victims (and perpetrators) of domestic violence. He’s read Lundy’s books. Because the anti-h never “crossed the line” into hitting and actual molestation, the counselor said he can’t appear as a witness in court to testify about DV, but he recommended a psych eval (specifically for social-sexual issues and parenting) for the anti-h with a certain psychiatrist in mind. My attorneys said no. The head of the law firm said it would be viewed as antagonistic and that the judge has told this attorney privately that he doesn’t respect counselors or psychiatrists.

    When my anti-h left us, there was a different judge on the bench (one more child-centric), but she stepped down for medical issues and this judge (male with five kids, raising them on his own, and sympathetic to the industry in which my anti-h works) is now presiding. Since our child raised concerns w/respect to her dad’s anger and fears she’ll be harmed by her dad, I requested an attorney ad litum for her, but that was when the former judge was on the bench.

    The head of the law firm representing me (at $400/hour) has now spent several hours trying to get me to “extend the olive branch” to get the anti-h and child together, this in spite of his behavior and her fears. I did write a letter to this end and ran the idea past our child’s counselor, as my attorney recommended. In the middle of revising this letter to email to my attorney, I got the calls yesterday about how we have to all of a sudden get them together today because anti-h’s attorney called frantic (fearful of losing anti-h’s employer’s business), so against child’s counselor’s advice to do this in a public place and/or at the counselor’s office, it will be today outside our home (a remote farm) with no one but us present (so he can be abusive and I as the only witness won’t count being one of the parties divorcing and child’s testimony won’t be admitted).

    It’s astounding to me because when I was our child’s age, this would have been a no-brainer to the courts. The mother would get custody and the dad would be seen as deadbeat, having left his family and not contributing financially or seeing the child. Nowadays it seems that the bullies can be bullies and when they scream, attorneys hop. Judges have the final say without knowing the full details, and I’m told when we get to court, we won’t have much time there, so if I don’t get anti-h and child together at my own initiative, I will be seen as having a “parental alienation syndrome” and stand to lose a lot.

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    • SR, I just read this now. And am praying.

      yes, the PAS accusation did not exist when we were kids. It’s been invented and used by abusers. And the tragic thing is, real parental alienation does go on: but it’s abusers who do it, worming their way into their children’s minds and lacing them with falsehoods and half truths about the protective parent, so that the children start to not trust the protective parent and get alienated from the parent who actually loves and cares for them.

      We have a tag about Parental Alienation Syndrome.

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      • Still Reforming (previously newlyanonymous)

        Barbara,

        Thank you. I’m printing that link for my attorney. Indeed this is exactly what I see happening, as I have documented the words my anti-h has used to alienate our child from me, before and after his own desertion of us.

        Still, I will fight this with truth. May the Lord have mercy on us, His children, in court (Feb. 12).

        Thank you again – so very much.

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    • SR, from what you said here, it sounds like the attorneys you have are in fact giving you probably the most appropriate advice: they know how this judge has behaved in previous cases, so they can predict how he will approach yours. As well as praying for you and your child’s safety, I am going to pray that on your day or days in court, you will have aplomb and dignity and your posture and tone of voice will elicit respect from the judge. Even if he does not usually expect to respect women, I”m praying that he will be surprised at how much he respects you. :)

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      • Still Reforming (previously newlyanonymous)

        Barbara,

        Yes indeed. And that is exactly what they have told me – that they know this judge and this is why they are counseling me this way. It really rubs against my grain – knowing the truth and having to feel like I’m playing to a judge, but…. it is what it is. And so, to that end, I am truly deeply grateful for your words here and your prayers.

        May God continue to bless your ministry here.

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      • SR. . . it may even be a blessing that your attorneys are adivising you to play it this way. Why? because if a GAL were appointed, the abuser and his attorney may well ‘counter-attack’ and try to muddy the waters by asking the court to order a psych evaluation for you. Once psych evalations come into it, it makes things much more complicated. And if the GAL were to request and/or the court were to order a psych eval for your husband, it is very like one would be ordered for you too. And as we know, many psychologists are not well equipped to detect the abuser mindset. . .

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      • God can still work goodness and justice for you and your daughter even though the legal system and the individuals within it are so flawed. God knows this judge. He knows every motive of his heart and every hair on his head. Maybe I’ll pray that God will shut the prejudices of this judge down just for you, like He so often blinded the eyes of Soviet border officials when Christians were smuggling Bibles into the USSR.

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  14. Still Reforming

    Thank you, anon and Barbara, for your prayers. They mean a whole lot. Even more than I am aware of, to be sure.

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  15. anon

    Evil abounds, my friend. Know this though: YHVH, the One True God, cares for His Own. Cry out to Him, seek His Word (not man’s mistranslation and abuse of His Word), pant after His touch and His strength and believe that He is in the midst of doing most amazing things because He loves His Own. Seek counsel from people who TRULY live according to His Ways. (This is a great place to do that, I am learning.) Seek out quiet. Listen for His Voice.

    From my own personal experience of living as a single parent for years (this mentally/emotionally neglectful/abusive marriage I’m in now is my 2nd marriage… I supposedly met the Godly man I needed. I know that God asked me to marry him, a stranger to me. What my husband did with the gift God gave him is another story! God’s not done, yet, tho! Praise Him!), [from my personal experience of living as a single parent] may I just say, “Watch for miracles in the most unexpected places/conditions.”

    God will do things that you can’t even dream would happen… if you let Him. Your prayers might not be answered in the way you think best… Praise Him for that! Oh how many times we would have really messed up our lives had He given us what we wanted!!!
    Praise YHVH! My prayers continue for you, your child, her father, the legal system, etc. The LORD hears the cries of His Own.

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  16. Still Reforming

    Thank you. :-)

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  17. Still Reforming (previously newlyanonymous)

    Barbara, as it so happens, two motions have already been filed against me. One for a psych eval, although the details list it’s “for the family,” but one of the reasons he cited for the eval is because I “put up curtains” (this after three months of sudden appearances at our windows in the dark, one of which I caught on digital recording). The legal assistant to the judge told my attorney that to hear these motions should take all of 15 minutes. The judge has seen them, and my attorney thinks that the judge doesn’t look kindly on these things. So perhaps the GAL or AAL would be seen as an aggressive move. (I still shake my head at that one, though.) I guess I’m just dismayed at knowing the truth of it all and feeling like my daughter does not have an outlet to get her voice heard before the judge. She is afraid and not by my doing. The link to PAS you gave earlier was spot on. I appreciate your words and thoughts here very much. I had hoped that his filing the motion may in fact lead to the psych eval which I thought could lead to exposing what I’m dealing with, but I expect that you are correct when you write ” as we know, many psychologists are not well equipped to detect the abuser mindset. . .” I know that I have seen many swayed by his facade, including “professionals” and people in the church I left (two of whom showed up at my door with him this past week when I had to orchestrate the first reunion of him with child; They showed up in defense and anger, telling me he needed to have witnesses). Anyway, thank you. Your words are helping me to digest the very unpalatable details of this time and sort through the unexpected. Strange how there are similarities to living with the abuser – things seem to be one way only to find out that they’re not. I expected the church to respond a certain way only to find out some have turned against me or try to remain neutral or don’t want to know. I expected taking notes and keeping details to help; Maybe they will, but I’m getting a sense that they won’t. I expected a judge to certainly see desertion and abandonment in favor of the one who stayed, but I’m learning that it may not be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Still Reforming

      Barbara, forgive me, as I wrote the above comment in haste. I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that it’s better to stay than to leave. I fully support those who leave abusive relationships. These just happen to be the details of my situation. I presume you knew my heart in what I was saying, but didn’t want to ever suggest or leave the impression that it’s better to stay than to leave – not at all. Just wanted to clarify that.

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      • No worries, SR, nothing to forgive, on my part. :)

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    • I know that I have seen many swayed by his facade, including “professionals” and people in the church I left (two of whom showed up at my door with him this past week when I had to orchestrate the first reunion of him with child; They showed up in defense and anger, telling me he needed to have witnesses).

      SR, just a tip. He may be hoping or planning to bring those two witnesses to testify for him in the court case. If they are convinced that he (poor scared man) needed them to be there to be a witness if you mistreated him, then they are likey to be willing to testify accordingly in court. Just be prepared in case it happens.

      But don’t worry too much, because even if those two witnesses do testify, I don’t think it would mean much to the judge. Abusers usually/always think the case they are presenting to the judge is so superlative that the judge MUST be convinced by it. They don’t have a good grasp of reality, in that respect. And their attorneys are not necessarily interested in dragging them back to reality, because the more inflated and complexified the abuser’s case is in court, the larger the attorney’s bill tends to be. . . . and attorneys are pretty good at working out who has deep pockets, and can run (milk) their clients accordingly.

      However, not all attorneys are unscrupulous like that. I am just in a cynical mood this morning.

      Like

  18. anon

    “many psychologists are not well equipped to detect the abuser mindset” Is this sad or what???

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    • Still Reforming

      Anon, I haven’t had a lot of experience with psychologists (yet), but based on my experiences with marital counselors alongside testimonies of personal friends with (now ex-) husbands, counselors seem to be easily swayed by the personalities of narcissists. I expressed this concern to a domestic abuse counselor with whom I met recently when he recommended that a psychologist evaluate my (soon-to-be-ex-)husband, and he told me to not underestimate the experience of the professional psychologists. Be that as it may, I have more respect for those of us here on this site who have lived in the school of the real world where – even though I’ve read that I can’t use the term narcissist in any documentation because I’m no psychologist – I *know* what my husband is from having lived it for more than two decades. No textbook or degree could teach me more than my own experience or the wisdom that I’ve gleaned from this website and the souls who have also lived it and graciously help us break the chains of bondage by shining light into the darkness.

      Like

  19. anon

    I know what my husband is from having lived it for more than two decades. No textbook or degree could teach me more than my own experience or the wisdom that I’ve gleaned from this website and the souls who have also lived it and graciously help us break the chains of bondage by shining light into the darkness.

    AMEN!!! I think this testimony needs to be copied/pasted in the “testimonies” page of this site. I hear ya on the counselor garbage; neither professionals nor pastors nor lay counselors helped me at all… ever, except for one psychologist who affirmed me and confirmed my self-diagnoses and my plans to remediate. Two years into living in Psychoville with my husband and his seriously wounded kids (from his nutcase of a former wife and then their divorce) and the constant intrusion of his family and ex, my dh (“dear husband”) finally agreed to go to “family” counseling (after I had found “my” “christian” psychologist who confirmed to me that my body was literally shutting down from horrendous stress, severe depression and PTSD (his diagnoses which were right on. I used quotes around “christian” because I never once saw him pray with or for us or pull out the Word… unless I insisted.)

    DH refused to “work with him”… I think it’s because the Dr. also confirmed that my move out of the home and to an apartment would be the best thing for me at that time. He tried to get DH to realize that I would not heal if I stayed in the house under the present circumstances. DH just thought I needed to submit to him and “stay home where she belongs.” In fact, now that I think about it, I’ve heard those words from his mouth twice before because I left the home twice before during the time that “we” (he was always emotionally checked out) were raising “kids” (I raise baby animals now and they are MUCH more fun and obedient!!!)

    DH did agree to go a different “family counselor” and whatchaknow!!! This guy, who counseled us as a couple… (uh, hello!!! In Pastor Jeff’s book, he makes it super clear that an abuser being counseled with the spouse is a no-no) would not even consider talking to DH about our current war zone and the fact that my body was actually dying (I lost my ovaries to stress!!!)… instead, he, being a recovering alcoholic himself, wanted to drone on and on and on into my early childhood and the alcohol rage there. Basically, I told him that I had spent years upon years addressing all of that and had a good handle on it. I left, telling him that he couldn’t help me because he wasn’t listening to the current problems… that he was obsessed with alcoholism and ACOA (adult children of alcoholics)… I went back to my psychologist for just a couple more intense sessions (super expensive) until I could get my feet under me (I had moved my kids and me to a very comfortable, tiny apartment in the same neighborhood as my home so that they could go back and forth to THEIR HOME whenever they wanted.) I would not allow my crazed stepkids to know where we lived because I needed a sanctuary away from them. They couldn’t have cared less… they got what they wanted= ole dad back so that they could do whatever they wanted.

    All of our kids are adults now and all have never gotten any help for the emotional trauma they all lived in. They have a great solution: it’s all my fault!!! Some hate me with a passion, some tolerate me, one wants me to love him unconditionally but that, of course, is not a 2-way street and our “adopted” daughter, who went through a ton of garbage in her own childhood and within the “church” is a miracle blessing to me. Sadly, she hates god (she doesn’t know YHVH, the One True God, the Real Deal) because of all the agony she faced as a kid.
    Sorry I got so long winded here.

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  20. Still Reforming

    Thank you, Barbara. I do appreciate the tip. Just when I think nothing more could surprise me, something does – so I’m trying to hope for the best while being prepared for the worst. I read your words as those of a realist more than a cynic.

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  21. anon

    A great little story about victory in the courtroom just to cheer you a bit:
    Our daughter lived with an absolutely arrogant, self-worshiping jerk for 5 years. He decided to break up rather than move with her (he agreed that they, as a family, would benefit from the move and he would back her up and support her and her daughter [not his child] the whole way) to another state where she was starting a new career. On top of that, once she did end up at her new location/job, all alone in a strange town almost a thousand miles from us, her served her with a law suit claiming she stole “all his stuff.”
    The judge listened to his pity story and then told him he didn’t buy one word of it. He then turned to my daughter and asked her what she wanted… we weren’t prepared for that so all we could think of was that she wanted to be free of the car payment. She gave the car to him… too bad. She should have had him pay it off and let her keep it (she didn’t want that nice new car with a car payment that he forced her to put in her own name.)
    The judge was way cool. My daughter was set free and was a happy lady when we walked out of that courthouse. I walked passed the abuser and said, “Wow. Really?”
    We’ll all be praying for you.

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  22. Still Reforming

    Thank you, Barbara. I like that prayer. I’ve been praying similarly, knowing that if any justice comes our way in court, it will be only from the Lord’s hand and none other – because all the cards appear to be stacked against me – wrongly so. So whatever comes that is just can only be from God and to Him be all the glory. My struggle too is that if justice does not come and things do not go the way that would make our child most secure and comfortable (likewise me) then I still must trust the Lord and know His ways are best. That is hard, but necessary and also true. I’m trying to prepare my heart for both. Your prayers are of great worth and treasured by me. Thank you so very much.

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  23. Wishing

    Hi Barbara, I have no idea what to do. My husband say he loves me but he has been abusive on and off, we have a young son, and my son also swears at me a lot and gets abusive at times, my son is yet a wonderful child. I left my husband several times and he promised to change and now I left him a few weeks ago and he sometimes he emails me and SMSs me how he wants me back and can’t lose me, he like wants me to come home but when I refuse until I see a real change in him I can’t go back, and then he gets back to swearing me and telling me dirty things, I’m so fed up, I want my marriage to work and I wish for him to change completely cause he does have some good in him.

    But I am scared of going back to an abusive marriage, I can’t be myself, I can’t dress up the way I want to, I can’t progress in my business cause he is always so jealous and hates me seeing male clients cause he thinks I might do something wrong, he is so insecure but he keeps telling me everyday to please come home and that he can’t live without me … but I can’t go back now until I see change, I went to see a divorce lawyer yesterday and she charged me quite a lot of money just for a consult and letter to me, and its costly on top of it.

    I pray everyday, I know I used to pray everyday that I leave my husband but now it’s like I wish he would change cos I also think about the good times and I’m hurting so much

    Why cant God transform him like how he transforms so many other men, but am I making myself a stupid again by wanting this, and a lot of people who know what I go thru are advising me not to, my husband and I have come a long way but he is always broke and I try to do as much as I can with my business which is not doing so well at the moment

    I don’t know what to do, please pray for and I pray maybe God at least answers your prayers for me.

    Like

    • Dear Wishing
      I have given you a new screen name for your safety. Welcome to the blog. I will pray for you.
      I encourage you to read our New Users Info page as it will give you tips about how to guard your safety while commenting on this blog. If you don’t like the screen name I’ve given you, email TWBTC twbtc.acfj@gmail.com and ask her to change it for you.

      I understand your wish that your husband would change. I think all of us survivors at this blog have had that kind of wish at some stage. Sadly, our observation is that abusers do not change in the vast majority of instances. They change their tactics of abuse, their disguises, their outward demeanour somewhat, but they don’t usually change at their core belief in their own entitlement and their right to put themselves first at the expense of their spouses. So, I can’t tell you what to do, all I can suggest is that you open you mind to the possibility that your abuser may not change and you may have to start wishing for new things: e.g., for the strength to stay away from him for the sake of your wellbeing and for the sake of your child — to give your child a better chance of growing up healthy (not being under the atmosphere of abuse all the time).

      Since your child is already showing some signs of copying your husband’s abusive ways, this is really important to keep in mind and to help you keep motivated when you feel like caving in to your husband’s pleas. If you go back to an unreformed abuser, you child is likely to be even more deeply influenced by the abuser’s bad modelling. And your child will come to think that it’s normal and right for a husband to mistreat his wife, and it’s normal and right for a wife to suck it up and suffer in the face of continuing mistreatment. . . I’m pretty sure you don’t want you child to think like that.

      So I encourage you to stay separated from your husband, and to continue, as time and money and the empowering of the Spirit allows enables, to continue keeping strong boundaries against your husabnd and his various manipulative tactics, and to continue doing what may need to be done to build a new — safer — life for youself and your child.

      I want to applaud you for how far you have already come, and for the fact that you are seeing how your husband is not really showing evidence of true repentance. You are right to see that he is not changing. Sending you those pitiful text messages that all have a sting in the tail (a sting that guilts you, that hints that you are to blame for his misery) — that is clear evidence that he is not changing. All he’d doing is trying to switch tactics till he finds the tactic that manipulates you to come back to him… so he can reinstate his power over you.

      I hope you keep commenting on the blog and reading here. You will find much support among our readers. I aslo encourage you to read the stuff we recommend on our Resources pages, esp Lundy Bancroft’s book (Why Does He DO That?)

      Do take care when you are writing comments to not say things that would be too identifying of you and your child. Our New Users Info page gives you tips on that. :)

      Bless you and hugs, and thanks for joining our little blog community. :)

      Like

  24. Pressed but not crushed

    Prayer request: I have just come to the realization that I am my family of origin’s scapegoat. Your posts on the topic described my life PERFECTLY! My family of origin groomed me to accept abuse from the world which I have been the target of my whole adult life. My family of origin overplayed their hand last August, and it woke me up to what they’re doing — what they’ve always been doing to me. Before then, I simply thought we suffered from chronic misunderstandings, because I have endured under chronic false accusations from them. My life has been a nightmare. The blessing in it is that it has brought me to the Lord!

    But since waking up in August and realizing that we don’t have a misunderstanding, I have calmly and respectfully attempted to draw and defend boundaries with them. As you might imagine, it has not gone well. The abuse has escalated, and now they’re attempting to turn my children against me. Please pray that I am able to give this battle to the Lord! Please pray for His supernatural wisdom and protection over myself and my children! Thank you, and GOD BLESS YOUR MINISTRY!!

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    • Hi Pressed but not crushed, I’ll pray for you.

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      • Thank you, Barbara! I KNOW this is a spiritual battle and that prayer is the answer!

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    • Denise

      Dear Pressed But Not Crushed,

      My mind is blown. I thought I wrote this letter and completely forgotten about it until I got to the end. Almost the exact same thing happened to me this August. The only thing that is different is my family of origin has always been indifferent to my children. I suppose that’s a blessing.

      I’m also setting boundaries for my own sanity. I’m so sorry that the abuse of your family has gotten worse. I will pray for you dear sister.

      God bless you!

      Denise

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      • healingInHim

        Denise, Thank you for bringing attention to Pressed But Not Crushed … I can totally relate to her life as my husband knew I was my family’s scapegoat. He, his family and now my children have done the same. Doctors and counselors are amazed at the dynamics.
        Praying for everyone posting prayer requests.

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      • Pressed but not crushed

        Thank you, Denise! :) My family has always been indifferent to my children, as well … but once they realized their usual ways of hurting me won’t work anymore, they’re trying to think of a new way to hurt me — through my kids. It is a spiritual battle, and I am so grateful that I found Jesus! It was actually the pain and dysfunction of my family of origin that brought me to the Lord! I pray to stay mindful that I am wrestling not against flesh and blood. I will pray for you as well! “Father God, help us put on the whole armor of God! Help us remember Your promise in Psalm 27:10 — that when our father and mother forsake us, You will take us up!”

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  25. Still Reforming

    Please do pray about my upcoming court before the judge, the very one who has the power to remove me from the marital home that day, leaving my child alone with her father. I have documented everything over previous years and the past months since he abandoned us, but in spite of my documentation I am concerned how the judge will rule.

    (Eds. note: comment has been edited to protect the commenter’s identity)

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    • thepersistentwidow

      Still Reforming, I will definitely be praying that you will find favor in the court. God is in control and we will pray that God will soften the court towards you and give you justice.
      Praying that you will find safety and peace from the continuing emotional abuse. God is faithful. He brings us to these hard places so that he can deliver us. And he will deliver you in the way he things best. God bless.

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  26. Still Reforming

    Thank you, TPW. I waver between disbelief that I’m living all of this and bracing myself for the storm. Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. I can’t even think too much about it lest I despair. If I start thinking about all of the truth of the details I tear up and can’t stop crying. So I stick to the intellectual level of it all – what’s a disaster plan (so to speak) for us, what if this or that, where will I go, what facts do I present that are most relevant to the court and in our child’s best interests, etc etc etc. I hope when I get to some other side of this I can articulate with some sense of clarity what I have lived through to the glory of God and to the aid and good of the rest of His children living through the same – and sometimes worse – nightmare. “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” – Psalm 126:5

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  27. Still Reforming

    Court date today. Hearing on two motions before the judge. Please pray for God to be glorified and that His children (child and I) are protected and delivered from the present evil threatening them. That we are left to continue to worship Him in peace as we are without significant changes unless to His glory and our good – and that whatever is decided both I and child have peace with the Lord’s provision and care. Thank you….

    Like

    • Jeff Crippen

      StillReforming – “Lord, here is another court hearing for SR. Please grant her and her children safety and justice. Oversee the rulings, even if the judge is an unrighteous person.”

      Like

  28. Still Reforming

    Thank you, JeffC. We were granted safety though not necessarily justice. But i praise the Lord that child and I are still in the marital home. That’s huge. Very thankful to God for that – and ongoing deliverance. Child is highly anxious now – as dad is demanding time with her. Not in ways to quell her fears, but ways to meet his demands. That starts by court order this weekend, working up to possible 50-50 depending on how things go in the next two months with their time together. I’m focused now more intensely on her transition and fears (particularly re: overnights with him starting in two weeks – wherein she is most likely to not sleep due to fear). But God hasn’t abandoned her nor me. And He will see us through to ultimate deliverance, however that looks. Thank you for your prayers – and your ministry here, without which we would probably not be at this stage in our deliverance. The Lord has used you in this, and for that I thank God for you, Barbara, twbtc, persistent widow, and the entire team at ACfJ, as well as your church, Jeff. Please thank them for me. I know they’ve been praying too. If they would remember a child with two diagnosed disabilities as she goes through these next two months, I would be grateful. Thank you all so very, very much. Words cannot adequately express the depth of my gratitude.

    Like

    • SR, I’m so glad you are still in the house with your daughter.

      I shall now pray that the scheduled visitations work to the abuser’s detriment, and that in some way or other the Lord brings diminution rather than increase to the amount of visitation he gets. Diminution to zero, hopefully.

      Be assured, however, that even if the visiting times increase and she stays overnight, she will be looking to you for her lightning rod of de-compression after each event, and you can use each and every such occasion to take her to the Lord for His Comfort and Healing and Soul Repair.

      Many was the night I prayed with my daughter at her bedside, after an access weekend. She still remembers those times, and she cannot erase from her mind the knowledge that Jesus helped her explicity and personally during those times of prayer.

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  29. Still Reforming (previously newlyanonymous)

    Thank you, Barbara. I needed to hear that and be given that direction. I shall remember that. It is all the more incumbent upon me now to speak to Jesus with her in prayer after these “time-shares.” The Lord has a plan in this, and I’m grateful for your pointing me to Him as part of this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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  30. Princess

    Please be in prayer for me. I left my controlling & emotionally abusive husband the end of October. We tried counseling but had a bad experience with it. I left the church I loved because I got the “submit more” message from the pastor. I now have an apartment and we have agreed to split our time with the kids equally. He claims to have done much changing, that the Lord has truly shown him the man he needs to be for me & for the children. I don’t trust him. I see it, but I don’t believe it. And, I honestly just feel “done”. I don’t like feeling this way. I am afraid that I am just giving up & that God won’t be happy with me. Don’t I have a responsibility to my marriage to try to make it work, if he is truly repentant? I just want to be done with this whole mess & move on with life. I have been learning many things & am getting stronger all the time. I am rediscovering who I am, for she has been gone so long… And, in the midst of all of this, my oldest son (10) is behaving just like his dad. And my daughter (almost 15) behaves just like I have all these years, making excuses for the behavior. I’m the “bad guy” all around. I know it really hasn’t been all that long, and that these things take time, but I am so tired of limbo. Anyway, please pray that I would hear the Lord clearer than any other voice and that I have peace in what He says to do. Thank you for this site. It has helped me so much. God bless…

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  31. Ann

    I’ve been fighting a skin condition for a long time. It has invaded my left ear. I tried diluted tree tee oil, but it irritated it and bringing on cellulitus. It looks like I may have to go to doctor. It may require an antibiotic which will worsen my gut situation that affects my skin! I need a miracle healing.

    Like

    • Ann, you might like to ask the doctor if a topical treatment of silver would help. It would be preferable to an antibiotic if the antibiotic is to be taken orally (which would affect your gut). There is also antibiotic ointment which the doctor might presribe. But orthodox medicine now recognises the antibiotic properties of silver, and they often use it in infected wounds and in dressings for infected wounds. So you won’t be suggesting anything weird to the doctor. :) I was at the podiatrist today and even saw silver socks! They must have silver in the thread from which the socks are knitted. My dad has silver in the lining of his slippers, which helps keep foot infections at bay.

      Like

  32. Ann

    Hi Barbara,
    Thank you for these suggestions; I never thought of an antibiotic cream.

    [Eds: details edited to disidentify, but Ann, I hear you and sympathize. – Barb ]

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  33. Ann

    Hi Barbara,
    My ear is 80% better today! The doctor did not give an antibiotic! Praise to the Great Physician! She is giving me some other meds. to address the gut situation, starting with one. I pray I only need the one as the others are very strong with many potential serious side effects. If the first one works, it will elevate one huge health situation that is presently stopping me from pursuing job opportunities and financial freedom.

    Thank you for praying!!!
    Ann

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    • Still Scared but you can call me Cindy

      Praise God!! That is wonderful!! Will continue to pray.

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    • wonderful news!

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  34. Angie

    It’s been a long time since I’ve been on your site. Forgot how encouraging it is.
    Would you please pray for my family? My abuser and I did mediation in October and we are still “playing games.” I don’t feel like it will ever end. My biggest heartache and concern at this point is for my children. It is taking it’s toll on them as they are being lied to and manipulated into believing things about me that are not true. My middle son lives with his dad and he is being involved in the process too much. All the children are very confused and hurting. Please pray that God will supernaturally intervene and stop this. I pray that truth will be exposed so that the patterns of deceit, manipulation, greed, abuse will not be passed down any further in this family. I am seeing it is a long time bondage in my soon to be ex-husbands family.

    My children are being misled and it hurts so badly to have them doubt what God knows you have been all these years. Aside from God, my children are really all I care about. Thank you!

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  35. Anonymous

    This isn’t a prayer request I just didn’t know where to post this. On your blogroll you have a website “The Profligate Truth.” I checked it out for the first time today and noticed the second or third article was about about how the author wants to start reading tarrot cards and just wanted to alert you to this.

    Like

    • Thanks Anonymous for that heads-up. We’ll check it out and if what you say is correct we will be removing that blog from our blog roll.

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  36. Anonymous

    I am at my wits’ end with a situation spanning years in a church that enables abuse and manipulation (all with the best and most honorable intentions– I truly mean this non-sarcastically.) In trying to address it I have been ostracized by my best friends, kicked out of my small group, and stonewalled by leaders. I am considering issuing an open letter to the whole church and the denomination to “out” my story, and am terrified of the consequences to everyone involved if I do. (Of course they think I’m the only one who sees things this way, and don’t realize the level of outrage others might feel if they knew the truth.) Prayers for wisdom and protection are very appreciated. I pretty much feel totally abandoned and alone in this.

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  37. REDEEMED!

    So weary from the battle, and fearful for my little ones. Legal fees are mounting, and he is refusing to pay full support. Thankfully the custody eval said I was to retain physical custody-but it was riddled with errors and fell short of really protecting the children as I had hoped and prayed for. Visitations are so very hard. Working on next steps to take-just so worn down, and feeling like this is never ending.

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    • Still Scared but you can call me Cindy

      I just ache for you! Praying for you Redeemed. Praying for favor and safety and that God would regrow what the locusts have eaten.

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  38. Anon

    Please pray for me & my kids. I am in the middle of a nasty divorce from an abusive sex addict. I am seeking primary custody and want to move. He is fighting on everything. Comes across to everyone that he is great husband and father and that I am a terrible mother and crazy wife. At am at the end of my rope this evening. I am devastated and feel like I am losing my kids. Pray for the strength to continue this fight and so I can know peace and joy and surrender.

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  39. KitaBunch

    Please pray for me. I have finally – a few of years after filing for legal separation and a protection order, and then returning to my abuser because he seemed to have changed – feel total PEACE about separating again. I just cannot rebuild this house using broken plastic pick-up sticks when I know there is strong good lumber out there. I am so much stronger now than I was before and I cannot tolerate using such shoddy materials for my house.

    Despite his purported contrition and seemingly long-lasting changes, there are still things he says that make me think the change is not deep in his heart. I told him a week ago, I would be executing our financial division and expected he would convert our separation to a divorce as he said he would always do. Now he says ‘no’, … and that I was free to convert it myself and if I do it will prove my hypocrisy. I just no longer want to be married to this man. But, I feel so much fear that I will be judged by others and what about God if I am the one who converts the papers. This is such a hard road.

    Please pray I could just take this final step myself. I am SO READY.

    [Eds: comment edited for disidentification/safety]

    Like

    • KitaBunch, would you like a copy of my book as a gift? If so, email me and let me know a safe shipping address to send the book to. My book will help dispell your anxiety and false guilt about being the one who files for divorce. The Bible condones divorce for abuse: it gives full liberty to a victim of spousal abuse to divorce the abusive spouse.

      A church, in its willful siding with the abuser, or through unintentional blindness, may condemn you for divorcing your abuser, but God will not condemn you — not at all. :)

      You may also find this post of mine helpful:
      The Bible virtually commands divorce for domestic abuse

      Like

      • Thank you! I received the book and have read through much of it. I am working on the last details of separating our assets and then will be all done- neat three years after the first legalities. It is hard because he is acting so much better but I trust that if he has truly changed, he will continue to act this well even after we divorce. I am scared but know that we are ‘done’. Twenty plus years of hell lived through….

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  40. A Brusied Reed

    Hello my brothers and sisters. I would like to ask for prayer about what I think the Lord may be leading me to do. I feel like I should bring my former church up against charges that they are turning a blind eye to the abuse of my 16 year old daughter who has chosen to live with her covert narcissistic father after I fled the marital home to escape his abuse. If the court system does not care that the church mishandled my abuse, maybe they will care if it is found that the church mishandled my case and caused the child to be in a dangerous abusive home after I left. I do believe my attorney who is helping with my divorce will be able to help me with this. I have asked him to give me advice on it today via email. There could be major fall out, not the least of which is my daughter could be forced to live with me (which she DOES NOT WANT TO DO DUE TO HIS ABUSE and his painting me as a mental patient) in my one bedroom condo that she hates. She will really think I am crazy because she thinks her father is a saint. But if the Lord guides and provides, I am willing to do this. Oh, and I should mention, my former church is pastored by a celebrity pastor, who really had nothing to do with my case, but he is the head of this reformed, independent, patriarchal, homeschooling, head covering, misogynistic congregation. My complaint is against his associate pastors. He’s no walk in the park either but I don’t think he had any direct bearing on my particular case. Thank you for your prayers.

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  41. Anotheranon

    Sisters (and brothers) in Christ, I would like you to pray for me to have strength. I need to be “Abigail” again and undo my husband’s horrible financial decisions that have put us deeply in debt. My son is supporting me and I am talking to an attorney and the banker to enlist their help as well. Also, I do have a strong support system of friends, family, neighbors and church members who have known me all my life.
    My husband always goes behind my back doing these things so pray for God’s protection for me. (I am not in physical danger) I am ready to leave if needed but do not have a job outside the family business so please pray I could find a job and a place to live if I am pushed too far.
    I believe God can do exceeding, abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. Thank you all.

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    • I will pray

      Like

      • Anotheranon

        Things are getting ugly these past few days. Lots of yelling. And today I heard it—I am abusing him! After all the horrible things he has done. I understand now that I have never been anything to him except his possession. Now that I have stood up for myself more forcefully than ever before, he is laying it on pretty thick—I should feel sorry for him! Please keep praying for strength for me! This is difficult after so many years of giving in to keep the peace. (My son is on my side helping me, thankfully.)

        Like

      • Jeff Crippen

        Disregard any of his false accusations of abuse on your part. They are lies and they are the common evil language of these abusers

        Like

  42. Carol

    So grateful for finding this blog! Please. please pray for me to be finally and legally free! It took me two years to get the courage to escape the abuse I suffered and my children. I have filed for divorce, after nine years of separation. The attorney has received full payment, yet there is very slow movement. I choose not to be victimized by him. Please pray for this attorney to DO what he has been paid to do. I have been waiting since July. Thank you.

    Like

    • Jeff Crippen

      Will do, Carol. Boy, your story is so common, unfortunately. The “legal justice” system is such a painful process and we hear these kinds of reports about attorneys very frequently. Glad you found us. Please keep in touch and let us now how things proceed. Blessings in Christ.

      Like

    • Hi Carol, welcome to the blog and so glad you are finding it helpful.
      I shall pray as you asked.

      Waiting since July sounds fishy to me. . . I’m wondering whether that attorney is stalling in the hope or expectation that your abuser and/or the abuser’s attorney will throw some new red herrings into the mess so that your attorney can extract even more money from you to deal with those red herrings. . .

      Is there a way you can report the situation to some legal board? I suspect this attorney needs to be reprimanded for professional negligence or something like that.

      Like

  43. Mary

    I have been married for nearly 30 years. I have several children who are young adults or nearly young adults. My husband is a narcissist and an emotional, psychological and financial abuser. A few years ago he began to refuse all intimacy both emotional and physically. I went to the church and they tried to help but this ended up making things worse because my husband convinced them that he was the victim of my abuse. At one point I tried to communicate that my husband was viewing pornography and they accused me of gossip and slander.

    I ended up calling the women’s crisis hotline. They put me in touch with a Christian domestic violence support group. I went to these classes for two years and came out of the fog of the guilt and shame of never being able to get it right.

    The abuse has continued and I recently filed for separation. We own a small business which is struggling due to my husband’s bad choices together, so it will be a difficult and expensive legal process.

    Over the years I have had the suspicion that my husband views pornography. In the past few months I have documented proof using the internet router that he is viewing pornographic web sights that include the terms; girls, teens, youth and boys.

    I have gotten the church involved now and they are in the process of church discipline. After some of my kids went to meet with the pastors to explain the emotional and psychological abuse they finally believe me.

    The kids don’t know about the pornography, just that their father is in a very dark place. I am struggling with the idea of him being the children. I don’t know if I can legally get him to move out or how expensive it will be. There will also be financial consequences to support another household. The separation/divorce will probably take another a while yet to be final.

    Should I be fighting to get him out? Am I compromising spiritually by letting him stay because of the finically consequences? Are there any words of wisdom that you can give me? I know this is my decision and I am praying for wisdom. I just need support to think clearly.

    I remember being on my hands and knees in tears begging God to help me be a good wife and to get it right. God didn’t answer that prayer and I didn’t understand that the problem wasn’t me. I felt like God wasn’t there for me. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even know what to pray for. I am praying that I will trust in God and have more faith. I sometimes wonder if other peoples prayers are more powerful than mine.

    Thank you for all the help from your web sight. It is a safe place and shelter from the storm of abuse.

    Mary (not my real name)

    (editors note: details edited to protect the commenter’s identity)

    Like

    • Jeff Crippen

      Mary – May the Lord bless and keep you through all of this, as He has been doing. Those are difficult questions that most likely require the input of a domestic violence/pedophile wise counselor and/or attorney. I don’t think you are “letting him stay,” but that in fact if you could your real desire is to have him out of the house away from the family now. So don’t burden yourself with guilt on this. Getting him out immediately is probably no easy thing. You are taking good, sound, wise and courageous action now to get all of you away from him. Thankfully your children are the ages they are and not little children.

      Like

    • Hi Mary,
      Welcome to the blog! Very glad you found our little community.

      I too had been married nearly 30 years, had young adult children, and we owned a small business when I made the decision to file for divorce. I understand the confusion you are feeling and understand the difficult decisions you will be making. But you are showing great strength and courage in the steps you have already taken. And God will continue to direct and lead you out of bondage. I am praying for you as you move forward.

      Also, Mary, if you haven’t already you may want to visit our New User’s page. It has information on how to stay safe when commenting on the blog. I see you are already not using your real name. Very wise, and there are some other things to be mindful of that the New User’s page will explain.

      Again, welcome!

      Like

  44. Came alongside

    Jeff, you probably know the answer to this, but if Mary is in the US, and she has probable cause via the website information she has obtained on her husband’s internet viewing, couldn’t she take this documentation to the police and have them get involved since it appears that he is probably involved with child porn? If they confirmed it wouldn’t getting him out of the house non-negotiable because they’d be taking him to jail?

    Like

    • Jeff Crippen

      If it is child porn then absolutely! Good point.

      Like

      • Mary

        I took it to the police and they went out to investigate him. I’m sitting in a public place waiting for my lawyer to call me back. I’m afraid to go home because I don’t know what his reaction will be. Thanks for the continued prayers.

        (editor’s note: some details changed for the commenter’s safety)

        Like

  45. Denise

    I prayed and will continue to pray for your and your children’s safety.

    Like

  46. Came alongside

    I would suspect that the police should be able to tell you what the outcome was and if he was at the house because they would know that your safety was in question. I didn’t see this for several hours I hope it’s all worked out by now.

    Like

  47. Mary

    Thank you for the prayers. The investigators took his phone to the station. A man from church came out and defused the anger. Husband said an apology to me (I think) Then the investigator brought back the phone and told him to be more careful in the future.

    Like

  48. Still Reforming

    Mary,
    I’ve been following this and praying for you. What I read just now made me want to throw up. “…the investigator brought back the phone and told him to be more careful in the future.”?? More careful? Why? I’m presuming they found untoward images and he’s claimed they came up accidentally, not by his intention? Are you still at home? Are you safe? I’m praying for your clarity, wisdom, and safety.

    Like

  49. Mary

    Husband came home tonight to apologize for the last year of internet sins. I asked him to leave and he got his stuff and went to a hotel. My teenage son was in tears when I told him. Please pray for my son who doesn’t know the details of his fathers sin, but is hurting.

    Like

    • Jeff Crippen

      Mary – Looking for actual fruit of repentance is very wise. Apologizing is easily counterfeited, as you know. May the Lord bless and keep you and be a real comfort to your son. One of the reasons sin is so ugly is because of what it does to the children.

      Like

    • Mary, you have been brave and strong to ask him to leave! Well done!
      I am praying for you and your children.

      Don’t be surprised if your husband tries to come back with his tail between his legs and tries to coerce you into letting him return. That is very typical behavior for abusers after they have put on a show of ‘apology’ and have followed — for a short while — the victim’s request that he respect a boundary she wishes to impose. Expecting chips for ‘good behavior’ is typical abuser conduct, and sadly many churches endorse this expectation. (I hope your church does not soften in the disclipine procedures they are taking against your husband.)

      I encourage you to give yourself the liberty to continue to say NO to your husband if that is what you want to do. If you don’t want him to come home, continue to maintain that position. If you don’t feel safe with him being round you or your kids, you are at liberty to continue to keep that boundary up.

      If you are making contact with a domestic abuse support service (which I encourage you to do) you could ask the workers if they know of any good counselors and any good attorneys who really understand domestic abuse and how it can often co-occur or overlap with the sexualised abuse of children.

      ((hugs))

      Like

      • Mary

        Husband has been gone for two nights and he is looking for a place to rent. I feel sad even though I have wanted him gone for years. I know I shouldn’t, but I feel sorry for him out there on his own. But maybe I just feel sorry for the husband that I wished he was, the husband that never existed. This mornings post about the car is exactly what my marriage has been like. I feel very confused even though I’ve been through the abuse classes. God has opened the door for me to leave, but in a strange way, I’m afraid to go out. Afraid and sad that I am leaving my “imaginary husband” and not the abusive controlling person he really is. I am free to go because of the adultery and abuse, but my emotions are all over the place. Please pray for me to be strong and for my finances during the separation/divorce. I have an appointment with my therapist, who understands abuse, to talk through the issues of how this is affecting my kids.

        Like

  50. Dear Mary, again today I’m v busy so this is only a brief reply to your comment (I may have time for a longer reply later).

    I read Ex 14 this morning and am planning to write a post about it. You might like to read it yourself and see if there any any things in it you relate to . . . like the way the Israelites felt afraid, and for a little while felt that being back in Egypt as slaves to Pharaoh would be preferable to running the gauntlet of separation.

    Your feelings of sadness are not unusual. Many of us have felt similar things when we separated from our abusers. I just want to reassure you that it’s okay to grieve.
    hugs from Barb

    Like

  51. Heather

    Hi,

    I am in the process of leaving a 22 year long abusive marriage. About 22 years ago, after a sting of bad relationships, I whole heartedly gave over finding a future spouse to God. I let go of “trying to find the one” and prayed continually for God to bring the right one when it was His timing. I put my trust wholly in God to bring my future spouse. A few months later, along came the man I married, charming and wonderful. I believed God told me he was “the one.” Since I had been waiting and trusting God, it seemed like God had “brought us together.” Although I recognized a few red flags just before the wedding happened, since I believed God had “brought us together,” I thought they were no big deal and could be worked through. 22 years later, I am finally realizing that those things will never be “worked through.” (I so appreciate your blog and several others that have been truly eye opening for me.)

    However, now that I am getting free, I feel confused and betrayed by God. I trusted Him to bring me a godly husband and instead I got 22 years of abuse. Literally half of my life has been spent dealing with this abusive situation all the while trusting God and trusting His plan. I have been a stay-at-home mom homeschooling my children for several years. My youngest is quite young and I have no way of supporting myself and them. I find myself afraid and feeling like I am not sure I can trust God to take care of us. After all, I trusted Him to bring me a godly husband and look what happened. How can I trust Him now? What am I missing? What am I not understanding? I feel sacrilegious for even asking these questions. Who am I to question God?

    Thank you,
    Heather

    (eds. note: Comment edited for safety and identity reasons)

    Like

    • Judi

      Heather, I too, have struggled with the same issues. I am also a homeschooling mom. I trusted God in all of the trials and such and thought that He would reward my “sacrifices”. You are not alone in this. That is the biggest thing I have learned in this journey. I understand your confusion and pain in trusting God. I also learned (am learning) how Scripture has been twisted by others and even in my own mind, and has brought me bondage, not freedom. I am just 6 months into my separation and while I am much stronger than I was then, I know I have a long way to go. I will be praying for you as you find freedom. You are NOT alone. And, God is STILL good, even in this.

      FreedomGirl

      Like

      • healingInHIm

        Heather and Judi – I’ve been there: homeschooling mom, faithful … can’t say much more except that I will pray for you and others because I truly understand.

        I recently read this quote and felt I should share it with you: “As we are strengthened by the Lord, part of God’s purpose is that we help others to find that same strength. We should be like Jonathan: during a difficult time he went to David, and helped him to find strength in God (I Sam.23: 16). When brothers or sisters in Christ, or others we love are passing through a difficult time, they need someone who can help them find strength from the Lord. We are to pray for one another, and bear one another’s burdens. Then God will use us as His instruments, to bring His strength to those who need it.”

        Like

  52. K

    pls pray for my ex that God will convict his heart with the fruits of the spirit and that he confess, repent and submit his abusive behavior to God. amen

    Like

  53. Still Reforming

    Court (again) today. Please pray for the judge to be given supernatural wisdom in our case. And if it pleases the Lord, for stbx to be caught in his lies. Also for deliverance from the oppression of the legal system – to end this at least in the courts and through ongoing legal motions and lawyers. It takes a lot of energy, time, and losing sleep to stand up to abuse delivered via high-paid attorneys, mediators, judges, and associated costs. I’m praying for justice here on earth. Thank you.

    Like

    • Jeff Crippen

      Will do, Still Reforming. “Lord, bless and watch over SR today. Give the judge wisdom and direction (even if he is an evil, unjust judge) so that he will be directed in his decision by You. Bring the hidden evils to light and we ask You to bring this all to a conclusion and a return to peace. Amen.”

      Like

  54. Still Reforming

    Thank you for your prayers on our behalf. Update: To avoid further hearings, I gave up everything to husband that he wanted (except for one minor concession on his part). The judge sided with him on the few points raised in the 25 minutes we were given. Otherwise, the judge wanted to push issues to a later date. If I wanted to contest anything, it would demand a separate hearing later down the road, so I declined. Child support was shelved (in spite of his non-payment), along with child’s safety issues. Husband filed the motions so he was heard, judge read the mediation agreement, and then made his decision re: division of marital assets in a snap. Basically dissolution of marriage was achieved and anything else would have to demand a separate court hearing months down the road. I just can’t afford it anymore and am not litigious. The drama is still going on this morning, with husband jerking child and me around, but…. the Lord has kept us – and the court drama (for now) seems to be at an end. So thank you!!! I am grateful for all the Lord grants by His hand. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; Blessed be the Name of the Lord. He has provided amply for child and me and has never ever forsaken us. He gives all we need. We are defined by our life in Him and nothing less. Thank you for being His faithful servant and coming alongside us in our time of need. I thank the Lord for you.

    Like

  55. heat

    It is a blessing to find your site. I have always been the nice Christian girl. Always loved the Lord following Him and serving Him. Graduated Bible school and served on the mission field always hoping and dreaming of the husband God would bring me. Then I met him. I was in an emotionally vulnerable place and he swept me off my feet. The biggest decision of my life became the worst decision of my life. We married quickly and then it started quickly.

    One of the hardest things was the “joking.” It started on our honeymoon. I was a virgin and he thought it was great fun to tell me I was a “lousy lay.” As the months went by it all played with my head so much. It truly was “crazy making.” I kept thinking “why do I feel this miserable? He is not hitting me?” Eventually after talking with a close friend she helped me see this truly was emotional abuse. I started looking up emotional abuse online and there were so many signs. Because of my childhood I really worked hard for the self worth I had and knew it still needed work. So the biggest sign of abuse for me was how utterly worthless he made me feel. I always heard growing up that communication was key in marriage, and so I tried to express how the things he did made me feel. Instead of taking responsibility he just told me he could never please me. My close friends and family encouraged me to leave. But I had to get my mom moved out of state and settled. I was out of state with my mom when my husband told me he wanted a divorce. I thank Jesus because I do not know that I would have had the courage to leave him. We were only married 10 1/2 months.

    Thankfully we have no children and I pray I am not pregnant since I only left a couple weeks ago. I just need prayer as I cope and go through this. For one reconciling my heart and my head. My head knows this is best, but my heart hurts. I have moved out of state to my moms. I need to find a job. And I will need to find a church. But I am so sick nervous about it.

    Saying the word divorce makes me feel like a fallen woman when I have been nothing but a good Christian girl my who life. Christians are so harsh and judge so much. I am so thankful for the things have read about divorce and remarriage on this site. Please pray as I continue to weigh these things in my heart and in my head. And pray that I can come back into right relationship with Jesus, I have felt so distant from him and I know he is my only hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anotheranon

      Dear Heat, God is gracious and merciful. He understands that your husband abandoned you (at least that is what it sounds like to me). Let Jesus be your comfort in this time. He will never leave you or forsake you. I worry too about what others will think, but in time they will understand.

      Like

    • Dear Heat
      welcome to the blog :) I’m glad you’ve found us.

      I shall pray for you. It is such a shock when life turns upside down and inside out, isn’t it?
      You are indeed luckly to have had less than a year married to that man. It makes no difference whether or not he used physical abuse as part of his tactics of control: from what you’ve described he most certainly was an abuser. Belittling you with jokes is a common tactic of abusers; and when you object they say “Can’t you take a joke?” It’s a wicked behaviour, and it shows how much he didn’t care for you feelings but just wanted power and control over you.

      You may find it helpful to read Patricia Evans’ book The Verbally Abusive Relationship for its analysis of the different types of verbal abuse. And even more helpful is Lundy Bancroft’s book Why Does He DO That? See our Resources tab in the top menu for all our recommended books.

      Your abuser would quite likely have hit you in the end, if the marriage had gone on long enough. Abuse generally gets worse over time. Not that physical violence is any ‘worse’ than emotional abuse! In fact, most survivors say that the emotional abuse was much harder to recover from than any physical violence they might have suffered at the hands of their partner.

      I hope you keep reading our blog and dig into the old posts as well as reading new posts as they come out. Here are a couple to get you started :)

      Let’s Put This “But he hasn’t physically abused you” Nonsense to Rest Once and For All

      Is emotional abuse classed as “Domestic Violence”?

      Like

    • Also Heat, I encourage you to read our New Users Information page.

      Like

  56. Please pray for my son’s safety. I just found out that I will be going to court to fight for my husband to not have him alone… again… this will be the third time in the past year and a half. I am so scared, as the judge ruled in my husband’s favor last time… a long story that will be somewhat identifying, but I was able to keep him from actually seeing him alone. However, I think there’s a good chance that I will not be able to this time. Please pray that my lawyer will fight well for me. Pray that the conciliator will believe me that my son’s safety is at risk. Pray that I will calm myself enough to think clearly and be able to function at work/ as a mother in spite of my fear. Ultimately, please pray that God works some kind of miracle to get this man out of our lives.

    Like

    • Jeff Crippen

      xmeriwetherx – The court scene has to be one of the chief miseries of abuse survivors like yourself, particularly because of custody/visitation issues just like the one you are facing. Deceivers can be soooo smooth in court. Praying.

      Like

  57. Psalm 37

    Court again this morning. I don’t know why God won’t stop this torment. It’s going on 7 years, 3 or 4 appearances every year so far. This is a case management conference in front of the same wicked judge I’ve had for those 7 years. God is still ignoring my suffering, and I just wish he would help me and give me justice.

    Like

  58. Jersey Girl

    Psalm 37- I lift you up in prayer today. I am SO SORRY you are having to go through this for so long with a wicked judge to boot. I can tell you that God is NOT ignoring your suffering. You may not, as many of us may not, see justice this side of heaven. God will one day make everything right. And that day is coming. A day no man can escape. A day of reckoning. The Bible calls it the great and terrible day of the Lord. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low. Isaiah 2:12

    And 2Thessolonians 1:5-10- 5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

    God is the only true, righteous Judge. The people who are causing your suffering will be repaid by God. And He will grant you relief. God loves you and so do all of us here on this blog. Be encouraged. Hang in there. May the Lord grant you peace.

    Like

  59. collums74

    Please pray for my sweet 4 little girls. The guardian ad litem and counselor are trying to force my 4 and 8 year old daughters to visit their father without their 14 and 16 year old sisters. My ex has abused the older 2 so the courts solution is to send the younger ones without anyone to protect them. Their father left a loaded gun on our porch and rang the doorbell and the kids found the gun. The courts solution is to make the kids go to visitation without me. It is a horrible situation with no one to help. I feel as if the people at the cry for justice website are the only ones who will understand the horror of sending your kids to an abuser because of court ordered visitation. Please pray for these children. Thank you

    Like

    • Jeff Crippen

      Colls74- may the Lord protect you and the children, bring any evil plotted by your oppressor to nothing, and grant you justice.

      Like

    • Anotheranon

      Heavenly Father, I pray for a wall of protection to surround these girls, and that you would give them wisdom and courage. I pray that the court system will realize their error and reverse the decision they made, and that those familiar with this case will rise up and help this family to keep them safe.

      Like

  60. collums74

    Thank you! May God bless you for all you do for abuse victims. It has brought me such encouragement and hope. I read your posts every single day.

    Like

  61. Cat

    At the end of March, I went completely NC from my husband. (blocking his email/phone number/social media). He immediately closed out all of our joint accounts and within days came to my apartment and swapped vehicles, taking one of our newer cars from me (in his name only) and leaving me our oldest vehicle with a letter taped to the steering wheel and his wedding ring inside..

    He has been by my apartment a couple times, 1x in May and 1x in June leaving cards under my door when I was not home (Card – when my father passed away, & My birthday). He states his love for me in the card, how he doesn’t want a divorce but will respect whatever I want to do, apologizes for everything he’s done and wishes he could make things right…blah, blah, blah.

    I know as I type this out, that he is a liar and a manipulator. I guess I am just feeling a bit unsettled because in a few weeks it will be 1 year since my daughter and I moved out.
    I hate the idea of being divorced. I really wanted this marriage to work, as I have been married previously for over 20 years. I’ve listened to some pastors online who seem to teach that divorce is only acceptable for infidelity and I am struggling. I want to obey God above everything else and please Him. I know that He led me out of the bondage of living with that man, but just would really appreciate prayer and encouragement to stay strong.

    Thank you so much.

    Like

    • Jeff Crippen

      Cat – Persevere! If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit resides in you and is leading you. If your “marriage” was bondage and though you didn’t want a divorce you simply could not survive continuing in that relationship, then follow the Spirit’s leading. Apologies are easy and generally meaningless unless accompanied by longstanding hard work at repentance and change. For example, did he bring the newer car back? And even that would not be enough.

      Like

  62. Cat

    Thank you Jeff, I appreciate the encouraging words. When I left last year, I was in so much fear and never imagined that I would be taken care of so well. God is good to me and I just need to stay focused on Him.
    And, no, my husband did not bring the car back. I know he is just making small gestures (cards, empty promises and meaningless words) in an attempt to draw me back in order to gain control again. I’ve given him way too many chances in the past, and I know the cycle. I believe that God will make it obvious to me if there are any true changes occurring. And I will continue to keep moving forward, eyes on Him, trusting the Lord for my future.

    Like

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