The Healing Power of Old Hymns

There were many times, particularly when I was a teenager and young adult, that I took great solace in hymns. Some seem to think that’s a bit odd. I suppose it is unusual for a teenager to gravitate so strongly toward “old-fashioned” music. However, the lyrics of hymns tend to be much more rich, thoughtful, and profound than your typical …

Jennifer Grassman

Mother’s Day: Searching For My Mom

I had hand-drawn cards from my kids, a bottle of wine and roses from my husband, but I felt I couldn’t fully appreciate them. Mother’s Day just wasn’t about me. There was an emptiness that could only be explained by the hole that was left by my mother.

Great (but Realistic) Expectations: What Does Happiness Look Like?

Lately in my conversations with readers, the topic of abuse recovery has come up. Some of us don’t expect to ever fully heal. Others are desperate to heal, and cling to the hope that we will someday feel happy and secure. While on the one hand we don’t want to stagnate in a state of perpetual pain and sorrow, it’s …

The Bleak Reality of Male Abuse Survivors

Over the past year, I’ve been writing a book called, Those Who Weep, which chronicles the spiritual recovery process of abuse survivors. As I continue to write and edit, I mostly draw upon my own personal experiences. However, I have also interviewed many fellow survivors in order to identify commonalities and key issues. To my surprise, of the nearly 60 …

What To Expect When You Come Out As An Abuse Survivor

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been very vocal lately about my past experiences with child abuse and domestic violence. However, I originally came out about my victimization long before #MeToo or #TimesUp ever swept the internet. In fact, I came out during my early marriage, in 2006, when I publicly denounced my dad as a violent …

See, What Kind of Love: How 1 John 3 Speaks to Child Abuse Survivors

This morning a pastor friend of mine, Reverend J. Michael Dixon of The Orchard Church in Chicago, sought to encourage me by tweeting me 1 John 3:1. I frequently speak on social media about a feeling of being orphaned, and this was such a perfect verse to address that feeling. After reading the entire chapter and realizing what riches it …

Elijah Wood, Child Abuse & The Huckleberry Finn Effect

When I was a child, one of my favorite movies was The Adventures of Huck Finn, starring Elijah Wood. I was only eight years old when the film came out, so I watched it before I’d ever read the book. I developed a kid-crush on the blue-eyed protagonist of the story, who was quick-witted and cocky despite being abused and …