Profile of an Abuser

What I write next is a confession of my heart as an abuser.  Many are being abused and know the other side of this, and I do not want to afflict anyone who is being abused with guilt.  I don’t want anyone who is being abused to take from this that the abuse you are going through  must be my own fault, and if I would just change there wouldn’t be a problem.  I hope this will help you see that your abuser is most likely justifying what they are doing and can’t see through their own issues. It is never right for another person to treat you in such away that distorts the image of God, a tall order that we don’t live up to.

If you are an abuser I hope you will start to see what you are doing and take steps to get things right in your relationships. You will find a lot more peace in your life .  It is very obvious to others when a person is not at peace in their life. They cause so much hurt in other’s lives, often without realizing it.

When the topic of not accepting responsibility for what an abuser has done comes up, I marvel.  I know my stubborn heart and I can hardly believe I actually saw my own faults and failures.  I too could look at someone else and their issues as the reason I was doing what I was doing.  I felt very justified in my thoughts and feelings at the time.  And yet somehow God performed a miracle in my life and helped me understand what I was doing to hurt others.  I started to understand the feelings in my heart of rebellion and defensiveness.  I had a huge wall that came crumbling down, and it is  one of the best things that ever happened to me. One of the things that was such a help to me was realizing I needed to work on myself and leave the rest to God.  My guess would be that the abusers who are the worst are not reading this. It is mostly likely the one who has been wounded. I pray for each of you who read this that you will be able to see what God would want you to see.  This is where going through the Mending the Soul Book and Workbook can help you get a clearer picture of what is going on in your life.

I understand the person who is so frustrated in their attempts to change another person to what you are certain is best for them and for yourself. You feel you have a clear view of the picture and therefore know how to guide this ship (relationship) you are on.  After all you are the one who has lived a normal life ,and it is the other person who doesn’t understand how life really ought to be.  Hmm, I wonder if I didn’t know about esteeming others better than myself.  I wonder if I knew how important humility was. I wonder if I forgot God allowed this relationship to  teach me things, not just for me to be the teacher.  Oh I had so much to learn and didn’t even realize it.

The core issue in all of our lives is not being able to accept the fact that we are wrong, or what the bible would call sin.  We need to have a standard to measure ourselves by so we can see right and wrong in our lives. The Bible is that standard and God has given it to us out of His love.  It is where we find freedom from the bondage of the things that hold us in unhealthy patterns of life. So even though I would never be arrested for my abuse, what I see is the seed of what is in the heart of all abusers is also in my heart. Those who commit what we would measure as great sins of abuse and those who would commit the sins that by most people would just be overlooked,both need to uncover these sins and cleanse them from our lives, or they may become more serious.

My mind goes to the story in 2 Samuel  chapters 11 -12. Kind David, who had committed a grievous sin of adultery and then murder, was in denial until Nathan the prophet came to him .Nathan told him a story that angered David until David saw himself in that story and realized he was the guilty one.   David repented  and says in 2 Samuel chapters 12 and 13, “I have sinned against the Lord.” If you don’t have a bible you can read it here:

This is what the Lord would desire from each one of us, a heart that can admit wrong.  Another verse is Proverbs  28:13 ;He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.


The following is a bit of what Steve Tracy  Author of Mending the Soul says about this topic:

What is exceptional about abusers is their commonness. Abusers come from all strata of society. For instance, several years ago the U.S. Customs Office undertook a large child pornography sting operation. They arrested dozens of men and in the process documented approximately sixty different professions represented among the defendants. The list read like a vocational cross section of American society: attorney (2), actuary, butcher, college music teacher, janitor, owner of a funeral home, salesman (3), police officer (3), farmer, graphic artist (2), defense contractor, school bus driver, house painter, and structural engineer. (2) Abusers cannot be predicted by race, occupation, demeanor, education level, or facial features. Thus, one of the most chilling aspects of physical and sexual abusers is their invisibility. This presents a disturbing situation for all of us who want to protect ourselves and our children from abuse. If the family dentist, our child’s Sunday school teacher, the retired engineer next door, or our auto mechanic could be a dangerous abuser, then what do we look for? If abusers cannot be visually identified, then what common characteristics do they possess? Let’s look first at four general characteristics of abusers.

Tracy, Steven R. (2009-05-26). Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse (Kindle Locations 681-690). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

1.Pervasive Denial of Responsibility  – In the twelve years my wife, Celestia, and I have worked with abusers and abuse victims, the single most consistent characteristic we’ve seen in abusers is their utter unwillingness to accept full responsibility for their behavior. I have rarely seen abusers confess to abuse unless there was crystal-clear, overwhelming evidence of their behavior—and even then they’d typically minimize what they had done and shift the blame.

Tracy, Steven R. (2009-05-26). Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse (Kindle Locations 691-695). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

2.Bold Deceitfulness Closely connected with the abuser’s unwillingness to own his or her destructive behavior is bold deceitfulness—a “skill” abusers need in order to maintain their innocence, avoid the discomfort of changing long-established patterns of behavior, escape the painful consequences of their actions, and assuage their own nagging consciences. Families, congregations, and secular leaders often find the audacity and persuasiveness of abusers’ deceitfulness to be overwhelming. Abusers can be masterful at manipulating words and actions to confuse, confound, and put others on the defensive.10

Tracy, Steven R. (2009-05-26). Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse (Kindle Locations 764-769). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

3. Harsh Judgmentalism In spite of (and even because of) their own destructive behavior, abusers are often very judgmental and harsh toward others. This allows them to maintain the “high moral ground” and deflect attention from themselves onto others. To do so is often an effective way of maintaining their moral facade; thus, it perpetuates their denial of responsibility. This harsh judgmentalism is also a godless method for unrepentant abusers to deal with their own shame. Instead of facing their shame, much of which is a gracious, God-given, internal witness to their sin, they displace it onto others. Abusers often become quite sophisticated at this technique, for it is generally developed over long periods of time.

Tracy, Steven R. (2009-05-26). Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse (Kindle Locations 798-804). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

4. Calculated Intimidation Because abusers’ lives are built around twisting reality, avoiding consequences, and engaging in behavior that brings temporary relief to their inner torment, they typically cannot face the reality of their destructive actions. Most abusers are desperate to keep their victims from revealing the truth. Thus, they often strategize to intimidate their victims into silence and submission, which allows them to continue to abuse with impunity. This also creates further damage to the victims, for it adds to their emotional trauma and can intensify feelings of powerlessness and vulnerability.

Tracy, Steven R. (2009-05-26). Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse (Kindle Locations 851-856). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

A hymn that comes from Psalm 139:23 plays in my heart right now.

1. Search me, O God, and know my heart today,

Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;

See if there be some wicked way in me;

Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.

2. I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;

Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;

Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;

Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.

3. Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;

Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;

Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;

I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.

4. O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;

Send a revival, start the work in me;

Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;

For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.

Author J. Edwin Orr

Words that Wound

Since writing this blog, I have had a number of people share stories of personal pain.  There is different abuse for different people and different circumstances around their story, but one common thread is the power of words.  The old children’s ditty says “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me”.  I would think most of us have learned that this is far from the truth.  A broken bone can heal in 6 weeks, a misspoken word can last a life time.

Remembering that our responsibility is to be an image bearer of God to each other, verbal abuse can be as destructive as sexual or physical abuse.  I would like to quote from the Mending the Soul book here:

Abuse is invariably about the abuse of power over another individual—an abuse that perverts the divinely ordained image of God.

Tracy, Steven R. (2009-05-26). Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse (Kindle Locations 458-462). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Verbal Abuse — Verbal abuse is a form of emotional maltreatment in which words are systematically used to belittle, undermine, scapegoat, or maliciously manipulate another person. Verbal abuse can be every bit as damaging as physical or sexual abuse, and in some cases it’s even more damaging. Those who haven’t experienced abuse often can’t understand this. The somewhat subjective nature of verbal abuse can make it more insidious and difficult to confront (which can also make it more damaging). Verbal abuse perverts the beautiful truth of divine creation. Nine times in Genesis 1 Moses tells us, “Then God said,” and six times follows it up with, “and it was so.” Thus God’s very words are efficacious; they have the power to create the universe and all life that exists in it. Humans as “image of God” creatures are also called to create life (“be fruitful and multiply” [Genesis 1:28]). While humans obviously do this through sexual relations, we also metaphorically give life through our words. The Bible tells us “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Pleasant words are “sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (16:24). Good words have the power to awaken and heal a troubled heart (12:25). Given the power of words to encourage and to give life, Satan will surely prompt people to use their God-given verbal power not to bless but to curse, not to give life but to take life. The perversion of life-giving words helps explain why almost half of the seven sins identified as the ones God particularly hates are expressly verbal (a lying tongue; a false witness; one who spreads strife among brothers—Proverbs 6:16–19).

Kindle Edition.

Tracy, Steven R. (2009-05-26). Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse (Kindle Locations 597-609). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Some of the saddest stories I have heard are words that have been spoken that break hearts and wound souls.  Often they are spoken at times of frustration and stress.They are even spoken by those who we would look up to,  and we would never imagine such things coming from them.  I would guess all of us can say we have said things we wish we could retract.  The big difference comes with repeated over and over again attacks.  It breaks my heart when I hear of a Daddy of a kindergartener  bringing him down with scolding and punishment because he can’t meet his Daddy’s perfectionist standards;   Mommies who tell their children they

wish they had never been born, not just once but repeatedly. They give relentless criticism without any words of encouragement, fearing the encouragement would harm the child.

There are some parents who would favor one child over the others, or put down one child while treating the other children in an obviously better manner.

This is not to make parents feel guilty for those times when they have done some of these things; remember ,it is doing it day after day and year after year, till the mind and heart have been well etched with the hurt.  Often others looking on can see what is going on and all to often the offender doesn’t see his/her issues.

Those who seek to help the broken hearts and homes realize, looking back into the history of the abuser of any kind , that they will see abuse in the lives of the abuser.  The abuser who can at least recognize “I am doing things that are hurting and I am struggling to stop this”, needs to seek help.  Once you deal with your past, there is a higher probability of being able to move on and break the cycle of abuse.  Children can often be very forgiving and want relationships to be right so a  genuine apology is necessary.

This is not limited to parent children relationships. Spouses have the ability to hurt each other deeply.  A verbally abusive spouse can make a home a place where a lot of bruises are found, and not one of them will turn black and blue.In any relationship where one person is able to dominate another, there is potential for abuse.

The Bible shows us in the book of James how fierce a tongue can be:

And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3: 2 -12.

At the time I was doing this study, I was also listening to a program on the Revive Our Hearts Pod Cast by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth on the study of Song of Solomon.  Mixed with the pain I recalled came a message of love that I allowed to sink into my soul; “I am my beloveds and He is mine.” This young everyday common girl of no reputation had won the heart of the King.  He provides for her the best, he lovers her above all others. “He brought me into his banqueting house and his banner over me is love.” Song of Solomon 2:4. This is the one who gives us hope when things seem so hopeless. He is there for us. Draw near to him and he will run to meet us.

A few scriptures I have enjoyed this week in regard to this discussion are ,“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. Proverbs 15: 1 & 2.An  example is our Lord, Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 1 Peter 2:22.

I know this can only be done with the help of God, left to myself my test grade would be an F.

The Ugly Truth about Abuse

This blog post is not a pleasant thing to read, but is important that we open our eyes to what is going on around us in the dark corners we don’t want to look into.  It is in those corners we can find those hurting and in need of healing. It is also in those corners we find those who need to be held accountable for the harm they are doing.

Abuse is something that has been with us from the beginning.  It comes in different forms but it is found in every walk of life.  It starts in the heart, moves to the homes and out into the streets of every city in the world. Abuse can be physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual and neglect of essential needs. Statistics are staggering for the number of people who have been affected and that would only be what is reported.  Not very many years ago abuse was not acknowledged so there was no reporting of incidents.

Abusers come with different looks, some are very evil people who are intentional in the abuse they give.  Some are very troubled minds who have been abused themselves and continue the abuse as they were abused.  Some are mentally disturbed minds who do not recognize their own issues. Some are very respected people who many would find it hard to believe would do such a thing. Some are marriage partners, some are parents or grandparents or other relatives. They are often people in authority.  Surprising as it seems it isn’t often the total stranger .  We hear much more about those kind of abusers, but diligence in protecting our children must also include those close to our families.

The following is a quote from the Mending the Soul book.  When I first read this it left me a bit discouraged.  It brings us down to the ugly facts so we can climb the hill of healing.  If you find yourself also discouraged there is great news ahead in future blogs so don’t give up.

1.Lest we attempt to limit abuse to the ranks of evil degenerates and religious hypocrites, we should tease out the biblical data a bit more. In the biblical record, orthodox religious leaders and even mature believers are repeatedly indicted for abuse and collaborating with abuse: Abraham, the greatest Jewish patriarch and hero of faith (Genesis 22; Hebrews 11:8–9, 17–19), twice deceitfully tried to protect himself by exposing his wife to sexual exploitation by a foreign monarch (Genesis 12:10–15; 20:2, 11).  Sarah, the heroine of faith, almost fatally abused her own handmaid and child (Hebrews 11:11; Genesis 21:9–21). David, the man whose heart was wholly devoted to God and the greatest human monarch in Jewish history (1 Kings 11:4, 36–38), was guilty of murder and adultery (2 Samuel 11). He also failed to protect his own daughter from incestuous rape and engaged in a conspiracy of silence with her rapist (2 Samuel 13:7, 20–39). Lot, who in some respects was “righteous” (2 Peter 2:7–8), offered his own daughters to be gang-raped by the men of Sodom (Genesis 19:8). Judah, the father of one of the greatest tribes of Israel, tried to have his own daughter-in-law burned to death after he impregnated her (Genesis 38). Monotheistic Israelite priests used their religious power to sexually prey on women serving in the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:22). Priests and other religious leaders used their power to physically exploit the vulnerable, especially widows and orphans (Micah 2:8–9; Malachi 3:5). Christians in the Corinthian church engaged in a form of incest that was more perverted than that practiced by their pagan neighbors (1 Corinthians 5:1). We must not sanitize the biblical record to avoid the implications for our own families, churches, and communities. Humans are no less sinfully depraved now than they were in the past.  Abuse is rampant today, as it has been throughout human history—a point we must emphasize because few Christians, even Christian leaders, truly believe abuse is rampant through all segments of society and is even committed by Christian leaders. Over and over, parents, congregations, and religious leaders deny abuse reports, regardless of the weight of the evidence. We must never assume the child who reports that dear uncle Bob has been touching the child’s private parts must be lying. Unspeakable damage can occur when we deny the possibility that a pastor who powerfully communicates God’s word on Sunday could beat his wife or molest his daughter on Monday.

1Tracy, Steven R. (2009-05-26). Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse (Kindle Locations 249-274). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

There are many who ask the question “Where was God when my abuse happened?”  The scriptures tell us of a loving God who cares very deeply about your abuse.  One place that gives us a clear picture of his care and desire to help is found in Psalm 34:4 :I sought the Lord, and he heard me,and delivered me from all my fears. A little later in v 18 – 22 we find these words of comfort: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”


Plans for future and hope

One thing I would like to make clear to my readers, before I get too deep into this,  I am not trying to make victims of myself or anyone reading this blog.  My greatest prayer will be for victory in dealing with the issues and your life being freed of the reoccurring issues that hold us in bondage.  It is the bumps in life that we grow on.

For the most part when people think of abuse they think of sexual abuse.  In the Mending the Soul book they cover 5 kinds of abuse. The following are from the Mending the Soul work book:

“Verbal/Emotional Abuse, this would be where a person is insulted, degraded, humiliated, threatened, isolated, deceived or controlled.

Physical Abuse or Domestic Violence is when someone causes or attempts to cause bodily injury to a family member or to someone who lives in his or her household.

Neglect is the failure of a parent or guardian to provide a minor with adequate food, clothing, medical care, protection, supervision and emotional support.

Spiritual or Religious Abuse is an inappropriate use of spiritual authority such as the Bible or church tradition in order to “force a person to do that which is unhealthy.” Spiritual abuse typically involves a forceful or manipulative denial of that person’s feelings and convictions for the self-advancement of the abusive spiritual leader. The Pharisees in the bible are an example.

Sexual Abuse abuse is defined as “the exploitation of a minor for the sexual gratification of another person through sexual contact or sexual interaction.”

As the blog develops we will be discussing these further but I thought it best to have a clear understanding of the different types of abuse.  Understanding this will help you see it in your life or in others lives who need healing.

A quote from Steven Tracy from Mending the Soul “It is only when we see abuse from the vantage point of our unique creation as divine image bearers that we can understand the soul damage created by abuse.”

The thought of what my purpose in life is, makes me realize there would be far less hurt in this world, if we just followed this one principle:  In everything I say or do I should be reflecting the image of God to you. When you think of the list of abuse named above it is easy to see how self centered our action can be.  If I just would remember before I speak or do anything I am influencing someone for good or for evil.

One example is the very important refection of God that should be expressed through our fathers. When he misrepresents that role, particularly if it repeated often, the scars  get deep and the ability to get beyond that hurt is challenging .  When this reflection is damaged the anger turns towards God.  The closer the relationship (child/parent husband/wife) the easier the damage can happen. But, all of us are responsible to represent God to each other, thus having the potential for harm or blessing in each others lives.

When we look at what happens repeatedly to the abused person we understand to some measure how hurtful these events become in the life of the abused as explained in the following quote from

“Brain research shows that every conscious thought we have is recorded on our internal hard drive, known as the cerebral cortex. Each thought scratches the surface much like an Etch-A-Sketch. When we have the same thought again, the line of the original thought is deepened, causing what’s called a memory trace. With each repetition the trace goes deeper and deeper, forming and embedding a pattern of thought. When an emotion is tied to this thought pattern, the memory trace grows exponentially stronger.” Even one very traumatic event can leave a very deep scare.

Note: Hope for Wounded Hearts/ is a page I have created to share articles and anything related to abuse, that I might not share in the blog.

Next Blog: The extent and power of abuse

Abused becomes Abuser

My Story of Abuse

My story of abuse goes back to some time before I was 12.  There is much I don’t remember, and when it started, I don’t know.  Unknown to almost everyone, my abuser found opportunity to get us alone.  This abuser would not have been suspected by anyone that knew him, therefore the abuse went undetected.  One person did find out about it and told my parents. My parents were taken by surprise.

Let me insert here how different things are today.  The abuser was never reported.  I don’t believe back at that time that anyone ever considered bringing  the law into  situations like this. There were no radio programs, books or teachers talking about this subject.  Today they would be put in jail and marked for everyone to know the danger they could cause to others.

It was not until many years later that I found out that anyone knew anything about what was going on.  I do know about that time we made a move that help put some distance from my abuser.  Since I did not know anyone knew about what happened, I continued to live in fear of being near him.  There were still times we were together and I remember one such incident when I did all I could to get away from him.  I was stuck in a situation where in order to go inside I had to go through a door where he was.  I decided to scale a brick wall, skinning my knees in the attempt to escape.  This was a start of my attempts to take care of myself in ways that would protect me from the fear and pain.

Thinking back on it many years later, I do not know why I didn’t go and talk to my parents about what was such a vexing problem to me, but it never crossed by mind to do this.  The only explanation I can give for this today is the inability for me to process what was going on and then to put it into words.

So from this point in my life I went many years stifling my feelings and finding my own way of comfort to deal with the ugliness that was now part of my life. One of those ways was controlling things in what ever way I could to give me a sense of safety from hurts and scary situations.  This carried over into my marriage.  I married a quiet gentle giant who for the most part went along with my behavior.

At a certain point in our marriage I was finding it hard to have good connection in our relationship.  I sought help so I could figure out what was wrong with my husband.  To this day I am so thankful for the wisdom God gave my counselor. I don’t remember whether it was the first or second visit he asked me the question “What happened to you that makes you so controlling”?  My first response was that it was just my personality or maybe I had learned it from my mother.  No more was said about that but a few days later I believe the Lord opened my mind to remember what had happened to me 30 years prior.  I remembered the ugliness that had been hidden deep in my soul. This was the first time my abuse had been discussed with anyone.

Now instead of these sessions being about how I could fix my husband, they were about my brokenness and my controlling ways that were causing a barrier in our marriage. I slowly began to see how I was behaving and I began to see how this was affecting his role as the leader of our home, this was affecting his confidence. I saw I had taken a position never intended for me. I look back at that time as a time when I shed a lot of tears.  I came to realize that what I was doing was deflating my gentle giant.

This has been an on going lesson in my life, I still find myself going backward.  I still fight it but at least now I can see it easier for what it is. I have forfeited a lot of peace in my life by trying to control rather than let go and letting God take care of things.

I am not sure exactly when, but I found out it was my sister who knew what had happened to me and had told my parents.

So my desire for writing this blog is to help everyday people who might be hurting or broken like I am, see that there is hope and help.  Maybe you know someone who has had hurts like this in their past and you haven’t understood their pain, this might give you a glimpse into their life and brokenness.  There is hope for the healing heart.  This is a great sense of relief when you see you don’t have to carry these burdens alone and it is ok to admit “I am broken and hurting”.  I think I can say with confidence you can’t find relief in your pain until you see your brokenness and where its roots lie.

The quote used at the beginning of this post reminds us that these problems pass from one generation to the next.  It is important that we get to the root of our issues so this hurting harmful patterns doesn’t pass down to our loved ones.  They are vulnerable to our influence and need to be protected from our painful scars.  This pain can stop with the generation that will admit the problem and seek help.

Abuse Hope and Healing



To write about such a big topic it would seem someone should be well educated and have plenty of training behind them, but that isn’t where I am coming from as I write this blog. I am coming from personal experience and a life time of learning. Maybe it could be said it is the school of Hard Knocks and I still haven’t graduated. Or maybe it could be said I come in my brokenness.

Without hope, writing this would be pointless. I am thankful there is more to an abused person’s story than ugly details. I write because there is hope when the “Light Shines in the Darkness”. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:4.  Those who read this and dislike any discussion that brings God into the picture, stay with me, you will find this is really where the answers to life difficult questions are found.

Let’s back up a few years to start.  We had a visiting preacher come to speak to our young people.  Not being in that category, I sat in the back and listened. He spoke of an example of a young girl being abused, from a passage in the bible.  It touched my heart deeply as I saw myself as a young girl many years ago being abused and realized how deeply sad this was. I visited with his wife afterward and was very broken as I shared with her a bit of my own story.  Fast forward a year and I wanted more information on what she had shared with me that day.  In a message she shared with me, she recommended a book which she had used at one time to help someone in her life who had  been abused. I ordered the book and started reading and researching and that started a chain of events that takes me to where I am today.

The book was “Mending The Soul” by Steven R. Tracy.  As I read through the book I became captivated by the information and the wisdom in the writings.  I went to their website ( and ordered their dvd on how to use this material to help others.  Once I had received the DVDs and had watched them I realized that this whole program was going on in my home town of Phoenix, AZ. Since I had ordered the DVD they contacted me to see why I was interested in the training.  From there I learned that they were holding a training session in January right in Phoenix.  When you live in Iowa it is really easy to become interested in going to Phoenix in January.

This program was put together since there were so many hurting and broken people who needed help and there wern’t the resources needed for all to receive the necessary assistance.  This program helps hurting people help one another, yet always keeping in mind that some people do need professional help walking this road.

Another highly respected psychologist ,Dr. Larry Crabb, has written about his belief in people helping people rather than all burdened hearts seeking professional care. “Increasing care through lay counselors or lay caregivers is  a biblically based ministry as well as one that has received much research support. Research shows that lay counselors are effective in helping people with their problems in living.”

The Mending the Soul model is not counseling, but rather the facilitator walks with the group participant as they read the book and do the work book, their stories and their hearts connecting in healing.

I went through the training and then completed my own experience of going through the book and the work book. The more I read the more I loved the wisdom of how the 10 chapters were laid out as well as the searching questions that got into the dark places of my mind, heart and soul.

Just a sneak peak to the  second to last chapter:  I happened to be doing it on my 64th birthday, and it was such a day of rejoicing as I was made to understand what it really means to enjoy intimacy with God. I understood how much he loves everyone of us no matter how far down we have gone.  Just a quip from my thoughts that day: “ I have seen how the sinful fall of man has damaged our relationships with each other, thus distorting God, but God sent his son to die on the cross and bear our sins that our relationship with God might be restored and we can walk with God and learn more of Him in this new relationship

Nest Blog post will be my story of abuse.