A Cry For Justice

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

What to do When the Going Gets Reaaallly Hard

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.

***

Matthew 7:7-11, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (9) Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? (10) Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? (11) If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

Ok, I’m preaching more to myself here than anyone else, but thought I would put it right out here so you can benefit as well.  Many of the readers of this blog are in hard, hard, hard spots.  And you go through times that look hopeless.  Nothing changes day after day, except maybe for the worse as your Pharaoh tells you to get out there and gather up your own straw, but your production level better not suffer for it.  You really can identify with Moses here –

Exodus 5:22-23, “Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? (23) For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”

You talk about a crisis of faith!  “Lord, I serve you, I trust you, I read my Bible and I pray and I ask for help and deliverance, and it hasn’t come.  Why did I ever get started?  I took that step and then another step and I thought it would help.  I was sure you wanted me to do it – but you have not delivered your people at all.”  Right.

Well, what is the answer?  It is to trust in the character and attributes of God.  Is God good or not?  Is God a God who delights in His people, who delights in giving His children good gifts?  Is God more willing to give us good gifts than our own earthly fathers?  Scriptures says that He is, and He does.

Therefore, ask, seek, and knock.  And keep doing it.  Ask, seek, knock.  And here is what I suggest.  Don’t dive right in and ask for the whole thing right now.  Ask simply for some tangible, observable, source of encouragement to come to you.  Ask Him.  Ask Him to give it to you, like, right away.  If you need bread, He says He delights in giving it, and that means He isn’t going to sit back and wait another week while you are hungry.   Ask.  “Lord, please give me some encouragement, and soon.  And do it in a way that even I can recognize it as your hand.”

He does it.  “I want out of Egypt right now!”  Well, maybe it is more appropriate to ask, “Lord, Pharaoh has really turned up the abuse.  Now we have to get our own straw.  I need your help.  I need your encouragement.  Can you send it, please?”

Then watch.  I bet you He does it.  Bet ‘ya!

15 Comments

  1. Marianne Lordi

    This was a great message, Jeff. In a struggle, especially a marriage one, we need encouragement to help us understand that we are not alone.

    Sheryl, I will be praying for you, my sister!

  2. Sheryl

    Oh my, Jeff! This one is a love note from my Lord, slipped under the door of my life just for a time such as this. May the Lord bless you for your obedient service to the Him in writing this. Foreclosure sale 4-11 and not sure exactly when I’ll have to be out (thank Heavens for my family and the family of Christ). No spousal support this month. EHTB has gotten so very mean and vengeful, I hardly know him. I will have a place to live, again thanks to family, but the finances have me frettin’ somethin’ fierce. I am determined to rest in the strength and promises of the Lord, but man’o’man is it a ‘Lord, take my thoughts captive’, moment by moment by moment adventure. Thankfully, I am surrounded by a very supportive family of Christ, both in my church body and in the Christian Motorcyclist’s Association that I minister with. So helpful.
    Thank you and have a blessed time of celebration of the death AND RESURRECTION of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Sheryl

    • Jeff Crippen

      Dear Sheryl – you are welcome, I am glad it was an encouragement to you. Yes, I know that moment by moment thing, oh we of little faith, right? That’s why I have to keep asking for encouragement right after one package of it comes.

      Well, if you hang out with a motorcycle club, then you MUST be alright! We have a Yamaha 1100 V-star that we ride when we can. I have developed a new counseling therapy through it that I call the bluetooth method. I learned that if a husband and wife put on motorcycle helmets equipped with bluetooth communication system, get on a motorcycle and cruise – the chatter begins. I haven’t tried telling a couple to put them on in the house yet, but I may just be on to something here. Remember, you heard if from me first:)

      NOTE: Even in jesting, I don’t want anyone to think that couple’s counseling is ever to be prescribed in abuse cases. Communication problems aren’t the problem. The abuser is the problem. And I doubt that there is any kind of helmet he could be fitted with that would change him. Well, maybe the helmet of salvation – but the Lord will have to fit him with that. And my advice to abuse victims in regard to the abuser’s salvation is – function and make your decisions based upon the assumption that abusers never change. Never. Should the Lord decide to surprise you one day, that’s great. But don’t try to determine what you should do based upon the “maybe he will get saved” dream.

      I am going to post your comment in its own article as a prayer request so everyone will see it. Thanks, Sheryl and blessings on you in Christ.

      • joepote01

        Blue-tooth therapy, huh? You may be on to something, there, Jeff! 😉

    • joepote01

      Sheryl, I just love those “Love Letters from God!” Those little encouragements He sends our way in the midst of a trial. Sometimes as simple as a parking spot by the front door on a rainy day, or a phone call from a friend we haven’t heard from in years.

      I see it is God saying, “Joe, I know you’re having a tough time, right now, and I know you’re wondering why I haven’t lifted this burden, yet. Well, I want you to know I’ve heard your prayers, I care deeply about the details of your life and how you’re feeling. Just hang in there, and keep following my voice. I’m here with you as you walk through this Valley, and I’m going to stay with you, throughout the journey. I love you!”

  3. joepote01

    Such a wonderful post, Jeff, and so very true!

    I have found God to be so faithful in sending encouragement in times of difficulty. I’ve started referring to them as God’s Love Letters. Just little reminders of His very personal love and care.

    You might enjoy this post where I shared one such encouraging Love Letter that God sent me during a difficult time, a couple of years ago: God’s Love Letters [Internet Archive link]

    Blessings to all of you, this Passover Day and Easter Eve!

  4. anonymous

    Love this-just what I am needing right now. thank you Jeff!

    • Jeff Crippen

      🙂

  5. Finding Answers

    (Re-reading…writing through that dreadful fog…airbrushing as I go)

    Some days I struggle to not see God as Pharaoh. While I have been free of the anti-x for over a decade, I have not been free of abuse.

    Whenever I read those verses in Matthew, I think: I’ve been asking. Seeking. Knocking. Since long, long before the divorce. And on many, many fronts.

    I research. God gives me a crumb to follow. I research. God gives me a crumb to follow. I research. God gives me a crumb to follow. I feel like Hansel and Gretel…

    (Hmmm. A bunny-trail thought, but don’t want to look it up in case I get lost in the briar patch. Has anyone done an allegory / parable using Hansel and Gretel? I know there is one for Jemima Puddleduck…I looked it up once because someone’s comment reminded me of Vivien Leigh narrating Jemima Puddleduck and the fox singing, “I’ll have you for dinner, just you and me for tea…”)

    And given the kinds of gifts received from my family of origin (and everyone else in my life), well, that makes for a dubious comparison.

    I know the God-as-abuser is false. Truly I do. He patiently listens to my rants, tells me I need to rant at Him, to hear what I was never able to speak.

    So I rant. Then I fear repercussions / consequences, hearing Scripture preached on “the overflow of the heart…” Know the fear stems from the original Pharaoh(s).

    I feel desolate. I am walking this path with God and the Pharaoh(s).

    Reminds of another post on the ACFJ website about impotent gods. Pastor Jeff’s, I think. On the impotent god preached in the ‘c’hurch versus God Himself.

    From Pastor Jeff’s original post: “Ask simply for some tangible, observable, source of encouragement to come to you. Ask Him. Ask Him to give it to you, like, right away. If you need bread, He says He delights in giving it, and that means He isn’t going to sit back and wait another week while you are hungry. Ask. “Lord, please give me some encouragement, and soon. And do it in a way that even I can recognize it as your hand.””

    I have asked. Repeatedly. I need more than words…

    • ((((hugs)))) if you want them

      • Finding Answers

        (As always, trying to airbrush as I write…)

        Hugs are definitely welcome, Barb. Thank you.

        I feel the need to apologize, fearful my saying “I need more than words…” might cause you – or anyone else – hurt or pain. I am grateful when someone takes the time, chooses to reply. I have difficulty registering and taking in words of kindness and support that are not part of a grooming or abusive process.

        I am still trying to make the connection between head and heart. Sometimes I wonder if expressing who I am will progress from head or to heart to head and heart.

        I read today’s guest post. I read other survivor’s / editors stories, both here and other websites. I have read the parts of your story written on ACFJ. (I, too, had a New Age bunny-trail in my life. Maybe not long, but enough to make the burden of healing even more onerous.)

        I do not know what to write in reply to the anguish I read. Words – I used to be much more adept with them. I love words. Spend huge chunks of time choosing the words or phrases closest to what I am trying to communicate.

        Now, it may take me the same amount of time, but the heart, soul, and skill are missing. I see my writing ebb and flow, varying in facility with whatever is processing. (I also experience this when doing the crosswords I enjoy…there, too, my ability at answering the clues varies with what I am processing.) I can see the same patterns with other bloggers / commenters.

        Others may reply to what I write. I do not know what to write in return. Or if a reply is even necessary. There are times I am not capable of making one. Or fearful of replying from a sense of obligation…this was made so much part of my life.

        My thoughts return to today’s guest post. I want to reply. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and suffering! And to be honest, I shy away from making mental images…the two times I took Emergency First Aid – as a job requirement – I had to lean my head on my hands on the desk to keep from passing out. (And this from someone who thoroughly enjoyed Anatomy and Physiology in university…the human body is so intricate.)

        Anything I would attempt to express would be too much of an “I” response. I do not know how to hold someone with my words. I do not know how to find words of comfort in such egregious situations. (It is, after all, not the same as a Thank You note or Condolence card. Not the same as face-to-face.)

        And when I do give someone a card, I use cards that are blank inside, preferring my own words to mass produced. I look for an image on the front of the card to connect me to the card to the recipient.

        Here, I cannot reach out with a gentle touch. I communicate with with my hands, whether by gesture or by touch. And I have become paranoid my “touch” communication will be misunderstood, will trigger someone. I am, in essence, self-censoring. My hands have always made up in expression – and expressing – what my face and voice lack. My facial expression and voice have been trained out of me by a lifetime of abuse. (In reading this paragraph, I wonder if I am mimicikng my abusers…)

        My plea for needing “more than words” was to God. I have reached a place where I need tangible proof. Something I can hold in my hands. Can touch. Can see. Can register as evidence I am not invisible to an invisible God. Can reassure me He keeps promises, unlike the all the Pharaohs in my life.

      • Finding Answers

        (Extreme airbrushing….)

        I am led back by the Holy Spirit to add on to my two comments.

        I have been walked – very slowly – through memories too vile for anyone’s ears but my Papa God. Only this time, I could feel.

        I have given my memories to Christ for healing, but I am still needing validation from my Papa God. And I pray for the voiceless, the unheard, the weary who wait for their own validation…..whether from man or Man.

        I am a child, led by her loving Papa. I am a child, needing her Papa for support and guidance. I am a child, needing her Papa for something tangible to hope for.

      • I cannot imagine how hard it would have been to re-walk through those memories with the ability to feel.
        But your words touched me deeply. I especially relate to what you said about needing validation from Papa God. I am praying for you and for the weary who wait for validation.

    • I checked. Up till now we have had no analogy about Hansel and Gretel.

      But I’ll ask TW to put yours into our page which lists analogies in comments

      • twbtc

        Will do!

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