Jennifer Michelle Greenberg – Not Forsaken: A story of life after abuse – How faith brought one woman from victim to survivor
The Good Book Company 232 pages Price £11.99 ISBN 978 1 78498 438 - 0
This is a moving story, well told. It must have cost something to put this down on paper, but it will bring perspective, help and hope to other sufferers of abuse.
The book reveals how abuse can come in a variety of forms, psychological, spiritual, emotional and physical – but it always leaves its mark.
It reminded me of Alistair MacFayden’s book Bound to Sin, which convincingly argues that abuse victims often have their attitudes and actions shaped by their abusers, that can lead some to self-inflicted abuse or the abuse of others. This book traces unhealthy responses to abuse back to their roots and provides wise advice on how when identified such learned behaviours can be changed, reshaped and redirected.
It seems that many victims of abuse within religious settings feel that they need to abandon the faith claimed by the abuser. Jennifer Greenberg manages to filter out those who hypocritically profess faith from the reality of true faith in God. She also sees her experiences not as a reason to create a barrier between her and God, but as a bridge to know him more deeply.
What I appreciated in this very honest account is the willingness to call out our wrong behaviour. For the author, moving forward is not a matter of airbrushing the past but dealing with it decisively and moving forward by taking one practical step at a time.
John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex