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|Title: Not Forsaken|
By: Jennifer Michelle Greenberg
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: WestBow Press
Publication Date: 2019
|Dimensions: 8.46 X 5.31 X 0.71 (inches)|
Weight: 15 ounces
Stock No: WW984381
Jenn Greenberg was abused by her church-going father. Yet she is still a Christian. In this courageous, compelling book, she reflects on how God brought life and hope in the darkest of situations. Jenn shows how the gospel enables survivors to navigate issues of guilt, forgiveness, love, and value. And she challenges church leaders to protect the vulnerable among their congregations.
Her reflections offer Biblical truths and gospel hope that can help survivors of abuse as well as those who walk alongside them.
Author: Jennifer Greenberg
Located in: Houston, Texas
Submitted: September 06, 2019
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a wife and mother of three daughters, as well as an author and recording artist. I love to sing and play the piano, and of course, write! My husband is a guitarist and mechanical engineer and we are members of a small Presbyterian church in Houston, Texas. I'm also the survivor of over 20 years of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse, at the hands of my church-going father. By God's grace, I was saved at a very young age. In fact, I do not remember a time when I did not love Jesus. I consider it an act of God that I survived my teen years, which were plagued by suicidal depression. And it's a testament to God's faithfulness that he shepherded me my whole life and through the difficult recovery process following decades of trauma.
What was your motivation behind this project? Not Forsaken began as a series of letters to my husband, Jason. He's a wonderful, sympathetic, and godly man, but there were certain stories and emotions that I simply didn't know how to put into words verbally to his face. I decided writing things down would be a good way to explain myself, and curiously, the process helped me come to understand myself better. After I wrote two or three letters, I realized they were chapters. I showed my first drafts to a pastor friend and he loved them. He said that I should publish my story, and that it could change the way the church handles abuse cases. That blew me away, and I became determined to use my past to help others.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? My prayer is that it will help victims and survivors of abuse no matter how minor or severe their victimization may have been or seem to realize that they're not alone, that there's hope for recovery, and that Jesus understands what it means to be betrayed and to suffer. That pastors and counselors would be better equipped to identify, understand, and handle abusive situations and support survivors in their midst. And also, that the friends and loved ones of survivors would be empowered to help and sympathize. But ultimately, of course, my prayer is that God would be glorified through all this. We have a just and holy Father who passionately loves his children. If one soul is saved or one heart encouraged by my story and if one child is better protected because of it everything will have been worth it.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Writing Not Forsaken was a bit like going on an archeological dig in my brain. I excavated memories from my childhood, dusted them off, polished and studied them, and then mapped them out and analyzed them in light of God's Word. For one thing, it helped me realize that my abuse was much more severe than I'd realized. For another, it revealed God's hand throughout my life, guiding events, administering CPR on my soul when my faith faded out, and shepherding me through the valley of the shadow of death. Writing Not Forsaken broke me down, but then it built me back up stronger than I had been before. My biological father was a violent abuser and a sexual predator. My Heavenly Father is my true Father and will never leave me or forsake me.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? I think C.S. Lewis has to be one of my favorite authors and inspirations. I love how he can take complex and confusing topics and explain them clearly and even simply. That's a skill I greatly admire and desire to cultivate in my own writing. R.C. Sproul also had that gift. My biggest influence as I wrote Not Forsaken though has been the Apostle Paul. I love how he uses his suffering that thorn in the flesh to glorify God and draw others to look to Christ alone for salvation.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Keep praying. Keep reading God's Word. Keep singing and hoping and loving and believing. No matter how dark things get, the Light of the World is our Messiah. Whatever your thorn in the flesh may be, whether it's abuse, or sickness, or financial hardship, or some other trial, God is faithful, even when we and everyone around us is not. And of course, if you enjoy my book, or just want an artsy writer friend to talk to, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or email me through my website.