For those who want to do something significant with your lives . . .
For those who want to do hard things, not just for the sake of doing something hard, but for the sake of doing something that will last and will have meaning beyond yourself . . .
I invite you
I invite you to join some of us on a journey into the darkness, where there are many wounded souls.
I invite you to come where many Christians, including many who say they live to glorify God, do not want to go — to those who have been cast out and crushed by those very churches.
I invite you to join us in showing compassion to the one that everyone else has scoffed at because Things That Bad Just Don’t Happen.
To say to her, “Yes, you do have worth and significance. No, you are not a mistake or an insect. Yes, you do deserve to exist.”
To say to him, “The real Jesus is Not. Like. That.”
But the speaking is the easy part. It’s the listening that’s the hard part.
I invite you to listen to stories that will flatten you with horror, that couldn’t possibly be true, except that they are.
I invite you to listen to the ones whose stories are so impossibly hard that they themselves might not believe, except that they lived it.
Will you listen to their stories? Will you hear them and be willing, by the grace of God, to absorb their deep sorrow and help carry their heavy burden? Will you be willing to get to know your Savior Jesus Christ in a far deeper way than you ever have, because you are learning about evil you never knew existed?
I invite you to listen and to love and to not turn away.
There are churches for the ones whose lives are put together. There are churches for ones whose lives are broken in this way or that way.
I invite you to join me in caring for the ones whose lives the churches have deemed too broken to help, too broken to hear. Too “strange” or “difficult” or “crazy” or “obviously lying” to care for.
You can stop by the wayside instead of pulling your garment to yourself and passing on by.
Listen well to the one by the wayside. Listen not to rebuke or correct or “admonish.” O dear God, no. Listen to love. Listen to care. Listen to better understand the horrors and the effects of the horrors.
And when the one by the wayside says, “Why did God let this happen to me?” it’s not weakness to weep. It’s not lack of faith to say, “I don’t know.”
But you can learn in the depths of your being to say, “But I know He hates the evil and wants to bring you healing.”
I invite you to join us in prayer that the demonic darkness that has descended like a dark cloud over churches and other Christian institutions will be split, and the Light will shine through.
I invite you to join us in prayer that the wicked who have set their hearts against God and chosen to use the innocent—use them in the most heinous ways devised by the mind of man, all while masterfully wearing the cloak of good family man and upstanding citizen or pastor who preaches the glory of God with fervency or church volunteer who is always there to help—that they will be destroyed and the kingdom that they work for would be brought to naught.
I invite you to join us in prayer that the pastors and other Christian leaders who are among the johns who have chosen to use these precious women and children (who are sometimes being trafficked right out of Christian institutions), thinking it’s no big deal or the children are resilient or the woman liked it—that they will fall under deep conviction for their heinous sin.
I invite you to join us in prayer that those wounded—left by these robbers-disguised-as-Christians alongside the road—will find full and complete healing and wholeness in Jesus Christ, who is the Rescuer and Healer.
Oh friends, if we give thousands of our dollars to a beautiful church or mission organization but it turns out to be a cover for a sex trafficking operation, what good will our giving ultimately do? Let us pray together that the evil will be exposed and the wounded helped by those who truly love God without duplicity.
To go into the darkness
I invite you to hold on, in a way you may never have done before, to the truth that our Jesus is Big Enough for this. He is Big Enough. You can go into the darkness, the Mammoth Darkness, as long as He goes with you.
He will sustain you. He will fill you with His Living Water, and his Living Water will then pour out of you for thirsty souls.
There are those who are looking, looking. They say with their mouths, “If that’s Christianity, then I hope I never see another Christian.”
But with their hearts, many of them are still longing, longing. They long to know that there really is a good God and there really are followers of His who Actually. Do. Care.
This is a hard life I’m inviting you to, a life of doing hard things. But it is one way to Not Waste Your Life. One really huge way.
You who truly love our Lord Jesus Christ and want to live by His Word and show compassion to others in His Name—I know you’re out there. We need an army for this good work.
Will you join us?
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!
Yes. This is not a fancy, popular ministry and there are no Bible schools to teach courses for this field.. (even those counceling courses can be the opposite of helpful) …
There are no big awards or stages or recognition. But the field is full of those wounded by churches.
It is the largest growing field of ministry, I believe. Something that will not be openly advertized, but seen by the Father. He gives out the rewards for this ministry.
So true. Thank you, NGal.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,”
PHILIPPIANS 1:3 NASB
You, Rebecca, are living your life as a wonderful example of what you call us to here. Thank you feels inadequate. Those of us who have experienced this kind of care coming from your compassionate heart are eternally grateful. I pray that God will continue to expand the scope and reach of message of hope you bring to the wounded and because of this His Church will truly be woken and repent.
If this is a genuine challenge to do something specific, I would appreciate more details. As I became aware of things I would have preferred to not know exist, my christian bubble exploded. I would like to help those who have been harmed, and help them see that God is not like the ugly and false abusers they have known.
There was a time when I said, “Lord, I don’t know any of these people.” He spoke in my heart, “You will know them.” And before long they started coming to me.
If you ask the Lord to bring them to you, they’ll come. If you listen and hear and don’t turn away, you’ll be doing better than about 80% or more of the Christian world, I’m guessing. (Especially when it’s Big Names who are being named as among the abusers.) They are longing for someone to hear and care.
Thank you for your answer, I was thinking of asking for clarification on the ‘how’ details too.
“I invite you to listen to stories that will flatten you with horror, that couldn’t possibly be true, except that they are.”
And there is a real danger there — vicarious trauma — which is why many turn away and plug their ears. They don’t want their lives to be impacted and worsened. The danger of traumatization is real but the need is great and to refuse to know or hear, is to help the abusers, predators, and wolves. There is no neutral ground. If you opt-out, you’ve sided with the perps. The victim is alone. This is why each person’s gift of listening and believing is so crucial. The victim is alone. The perp benefits from the victim being alone and remaining alone. It’s how it works. And it’s why there is so much backlash and retaliation waged if anyone dares to support the victim.
“I invite you to listen to the ones whose stories are so impossibly hard that they themselves might not believe, except that they lived it.”
And this is crucial, too. Because there are amnesic walls, due to traumatization, horror, shock and awe, that will momentarily protect the victim in helping her get through that moment in time, but overall become very much stumbling blocks. And the perps tell victims over and over again that nobody will believe them, others will see how crazy the victim is, and other messaging designed to prevent the victim from telling anyone or expecting anyone to come to her aid/be on her side/help her.
When my abuser would attack me, and he’d be beating me, and I’d be in shock, and I’d be living it and still, my mind’s message was that of ‘this can’t be happening’ and my abuser would constantly tell me how it never happened, I was crazy, I did it to myself, and when he’d acknowledge — on extreme rare occasion he did beat me (among so many more terrible things like rape, for instance) — he’d tell me how I caused it, how I made him do it, and that I was at fault and responsible. So, it was two-fold, that if denial (lying, endless lying) didn’t work, he’d go with the whole ‘you made me do it’ ‘you’re to blame’ ‘you caused it’ ‘you made me into a monster’ which is extremely effective on an overly conscientious, way-too-tenderhearted person.
This is an excellent post. And I hope people really dig down deep in themselves and avail themselves to be flattened with horror by the realities of those most vulnerable in the world. And those who are victimized are that much more likely to be revictimized, and the downward spiral of additional victimization continues until those most traumatized and victimized either end up dying or they succumb to suicide, to escape the pain and the horror of their lives. And predators look for pre-traumatized victims, those least likely to fight back, those most likely to freeze, those who will be silent, those whose difficult life histories make them less likely to be believed or taken seriously or to matter in others’ eyes. So, I’m glad that Rebecca Davis exists and she has this tremendous blog and her posts are so smart, right on, and encouraging and validating.
It’s tremendously healing to not be alone in it all. There is healing in just being believed. Being listened to, being told countering messages — such as, ‘no, you didn’t make him into a monster’ ‘no, you didn’t deserve it’ ‘no, you didn’t cause it’ ‘no, you couldn’t have stopped it’ ‘yes, you are precious’ ‘yes, you are worthy’ ‘you deserve to live, to take up space, to eat, to breathe the air, to exist’ ‘you matter’.
Excellent additional thoughts, anonymous. Thank you so much.
A fabulous article. I couldnt agree more as a retired Christian Psychologist, working now as a Clinical Counsellor I have had the priviiledge of walking with such people through their journey of healing. It has changed my life for the better, though the challenge has been considerable to become aware of the dark horrors, and the level of it, that occurs within the Church.
Good invitation, Rebecca.
You mentioned sex trafficking: “pastors and other Christian leaders … are among the johns who have chosen to use these precious women and children (who are sometimes being trafficked right out of Christian institutions).”
You described these men as “robbers-disguised-as-Christians.”
I concur. There are too many accounts from survivors to dismiss the idea. Sex trafficking has been happening , and some of the perpetrators are pastors and respected Christian leaders, even high profile ones.
Yes, I’ve heard it from too many different people who don’t even know each other and would have no reason to make up something so outlandish when all they’re doing is confiding it to me confidentially. I’m convinced it’s true.
“Will you be willing to get to know your Savior Jesus Christ in a far deeper way than you ever have, because you are learning about evil you never knew existed?” So true. “The heart of man is desperately wicked” and yet Jesus wants to rescue us. How incredible! Excellent article for helpers AND for victims. Thank you.
I read this post immediately after reading about how to train a dog to guard sheep. Then prayed according to what you wrote and prayed that the Lord would raise up many watch dogs who will sound the alarm when predators prey on the weak. Abusive-sounding men such as Phil Johnson, John MacArthur’s right hand man, speak of “watchdog blogs” with derision. Wolves must hate watchdogs.
Very good point. I actually wrote something about that too. Here it is: https://heresthejoy.com/2016/11/the-picture-on-my-grandmothers-wall/
Yes! Thank you <3