(Psalm 25:14-20 ESV) (14) The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. (15) My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. (16) Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. (17) The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. (18) Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. (19) Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. (20) Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
As many of you contact us, either on this blog or through SermonAudio, we hear your stories. One of the first things I like to do when a victim / survivor contacts us is to ask for their story. Sometimes victims just aren’t ready or able to tell it. I know exactly why. As we were writing our book, A Cry for Justice [Affiliate link], I know that both Anna and I (Jeff) felt it. In telling it, you relive it. You see the face, you hear the words, you feel the doubt and the false guilt….so I know. But as you send us your stories (feel free to do so via email. Just ask us for our addresses), as you send us your stories and we read them, we learn. The abuser doesn’t like it. He is exposed. We are on to him. These stories rock people’s world, especially in the church where so much denial and ignorance still reigns about abuse.
One of the themes that inevitably comes through in these stories is the incredible alone-ness of the victims. One recently told me how she felt after finally being able to leave her abuser, “I was grieving for my marriage, my home, my husband, and I was all alone in a new town.” Christians to the rescue? Hardly. Some of you are still alone. That is one reason we began this blog. We hope it is growing into a community of real Christians who “get it”. Don’t ever be afraid to contact us. We will believe you and do our best to affirm you and share some of the things we have learned. We will believe you. I wish we had a giant place and we could just tell victims, “come on down here. We have a place for you!” We should all pray that something like that might happen one day.
But there is this alone-ness. Victims have no one, so often. Abusers work to gain allies and rob their victim of family and friends and church. The nature of abuse is ugly and most people just don’t want to get their hands dirty or have their tidy little worlds upended. So they choose. They choose for the abuser. That is how it is. Victims are alone. I read your stories and I think, “Oh, man! I wish I would have known that two years ago this victim and that victim were totally isolated. There they were, while we were just bouncing along in relative comfort.” There are victims just like that all over the place right now. At this very moment, as I type – some Christian sister is in the pit with no one to come to her aid.
Well, there is Someone, isn’t there? And that is the point of this post. As you share your stories, time after time this theme jumps right out — The Lord Jesus Christ is the Friend of the lonely who fear Him. And you tell how He came to you. Story after story. He came and He stood and He led you. He flipped a little switch in your mind and you began to see what this thing called abuse is and what it was doing to you. Most of the time He came to you directly, through His Word by His Spirit, through something you read that He put in your hand. Or you just felt Him there. These are the stories you tell, and they are very similar.
The fact that any of you have survived the terrors of abuse and are still of sound mind, having grown in wisdom and confidence, is a miracle. Don’t take it for granted. People who have been terrorized for 10, 20, 30, 40 years “should” not be sane. But you are. Not only are you sane, but since I have been thrust into this ministry to abuse victims, I have met the best and strongest Christians I have ever known. They are you. And that is not empty flattery. The thing is inexplicable, except for the realization that Christ has done it. He came to you in the night, in that prison you were in, and He sustained you. For many of you He opened the prison door. Others still await that day. But for all of you, He has come and stood in the flames of the furnace with you.
If you would like to share your stories of how Jesus came to you and helped you endure the slavery of abuse, please do so in reply to this post. Of all people, of all Christians, abuse victims may well have met Christ more intimately than most any other believer, and part of what we have the opportunity to do here is to sound His praises for the wonderful things He has done.
(Psalm 25:1-5 ESV) (1) To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. (2) O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. (3) Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. (4) Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. (5) Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
[May 21, 2023: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to May 21, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to May 21, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to May 21, 2023 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (May 21, 2023), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
14 thoughts on “The Lord is the Friend of the Lonely Who Fear Him”
This may be the finest post you’ve ever written.
Thank you, Jeff.
[…] written a powerful article over at A Cry for Justice titled, The Lord is the Friend of the Lonely Who Fear Him. One of the themes that inevitably comes through in these stories is the incredible alone-ness of […]
When a woman tells her story, she begins her journey of freedom. This site is a safe place to do that. You can be anonymous or you can ask the Lord to give you a “new name” to use as you write, like our friend Ida Mae. Whatever you call yourself, you will be surrounded by sisters and brothers in experience, love and hope. Start the journey, dear one. Speak. We are listening.
Thank you for this place, for the validation and for the courage to stand WITH those of us who have suffered. I want to tell my story….I need to tell my story….and I will tell my story.
I think I’d like to email you if that’s ok?!
Your words and the others who are speaking and sharing have encouraged my very SOUL!
Thank you, Renee. I emailed you my email address and will look forward to hearing from you. As it is Sunday morning, I may not get back to you until this evening, but I will watch for your story.
I am a friend of an abuse survivor and I was very encouraged by finding this blog as well.
I would love to hear your story too, if you decide you want to put it out here.
I am still sorting out my story, but this is where I am at in the process….
Yep! Very nice. That is what Christ does. He is Light. Abuse survivors know better than anyone else about the deceitfulness of sin. When Scripture says that Satan is the father of lies, that he is the accuser of the brethren, THIS is the very kind of thing it is talking about. Once He enables us to realize we have been in this fog, then things begin to clear. It takes some time, but keep reading about abuse, keep in His Word, and you will see more and more clearly.
Almost 5 months ago, I left my abusive husband. After being married for 42 years and experiencing physical, emotional and verbal abuse during that time, the Lord gave me the clarity of mind and courage to leave my home. About 2 weeks later, I discovered Jeff’s sermons on abuse and commented on one of them. I was alone, in a hotel room and feeling down. Jeff sent me a message with support and validation, and encouraged me to tell my story. What a gift from God, to have someone who believed me, and offered his support in some of my darkest hours.
The best part of leaving my abusive husband has been that I am now the closest I’ve ever been with the Lord, even though I’ve been a Christian for over 40 years. Much of my family have turned away. I had no real friends. Some have chosen to be with my to be ex-husband, but the pain is not too great for the Lord to heal. The Lord looks after all my needs. He guides me every step of the way, and I know that He will continue to give me strength, wisdom and courage, and the peace that passes all understanding. Thanks be to God for His infinite wisdom and mercy. And thanks, Jeff, for being there.
Jeff — can you send me your address as well? Makes me scared to openly share my story with someone like you (no offense!!!) when I have had relatives very involved in their faith send me such scathing letters. I think I need to see that there are people out there that I can talk to, confide in and hopefully I may be able to remove some of the guilt I carry around with me….
Sure, email sent your way.
Jeff — right back at ya. 😉
One of these days, I need to post one of the scathing letters I received verbatim. The one I have in mind is six pages long, hand written and came from someone who never bothered to get my side of the story. Good times….
(ps — don’t tell anyone, but Jeff isn’t very scary. 🙂 )
I don’t know how I missed this post. It’s very touching. Thanks again, Jeff, for understanding.
(No, Jeff isn’t scary at all.)