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Fighting Forward

STARTING BROKEN
When Brenda was little, she was sexually abused by her father. Instead of putting the blame on him, she internalized it and blamed herself. Years later, on her father’s deathbed, he asked her for forgiveness. She explains, “The voices and lies you give power to shape who you are and attempt to hijack your identity, twisting your perspective on God, family, career, church and other relationships.” As time went on, Brenda became very skilled at hiding her hurt. She found her identity  The 700 Club, n the modeling and entertainment industry.  Her talent for singing during Bible college landed her a spot on KFCB, a Christian television station in the Bay area. That is where she started learning television production and was introduced to a minister. Brenda shares, “I was naïve and unaware of the counterfeits that could exist in the world of public ministry... We can convince ourselves of anything when we really want something to be true, and my sophisticated denial system was stronger than my spiritual sense at that time.” Shortly after they were married, he began verbally and physically abusing her. At the height of the abuse, she found herself looking down the barrel of his handgun. A few days later their daughter asked, “Daddy, why did you put a gun on Mommy’s head?” Brenda explains, “My daughter was now in line to be either a victim of verbal and emotional abuse or groomed to accept it as normal. What a painful moment of truth that was for me.” Brenda realized it was time to leave.   

LEARNING TO HEAL
She and her daughter moved to Dallas, TX to live with her sister. During this season, Brenda shares, “I call it my Ruth journey because I gleaned at the corners and edges of the fields I had been placed in. In that season, God provided miracle after miracle to strengthen me, and I learned to trust Him completely as my husband and provider. He was the comforter of my soul.” Brenda grew so close to God during this time and true healing and spiritual strengthening from her past wounds began. As the Lord began to unravel the layers of hurt and pain, He showed her what needed mending. Brenda learned more about the relationship of abuse and victim and how intertwined the two become.  One day, she came across an article that helped her realize why she and other women stay with their abusers. “Love is the key dependency need of the child who will endure the abuse for even a scrap of love in return. Self-justification alters results in abusive and destructive relationships where the adult abuse survivor stays in abusive relationships, minimizing the abuse and fixating on a sense that they are really loved by the abuser. It’s reported as ‘battered partner syndrome.’” Brenda also shares that when she was sexually abused by her father that it was hard for her to separate the good parts of him and the bad. “Having been forced to bond traumatically to the parent who represents both ‘good parent’ and ‘bad parent’ often forces a split in the child’s own identity. As ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are internalized, an unconscious fear develops that if one were to let go of the ‘bad parent’ then one would lose the ‘good parent’ too. This information helped Brenda learn why she and other victims act the way that they do but she knew that God had more to offer—total freedom. She confesses, “It has taken me years to adopt healthier ways of thinking, but I did it with God’s help and wise counsel… That is why the time we spend in God’s Word, prayer, and praise is so valuable to reshaping the construct of our inner selves. Subsequently, the time and energy spent intentionally changing our external habits and patterns are key to fully establishing identity in Christ.”  

In her book, Brenda emphasizes forgiveness as the key ingredient in healing from abuse. She shares key steps in transforming from victim to overcomer: Recognize abuse and codependency; See the truth and align with it; Forgive those who spitefully use you; Identify healthier boundaries; Put faith into action and step out of the boat; and arm yourself with praise. Brenda says her dangerous transparency in the book is, “To offer a place of safety and compassion for the reader who might be struggling with similar issues.”

NEW BEGINNINGS
Brenda first met Paul Crouch, Jr. in 2009 and they became friends. Their friendship grew into love and in 2014 they married. Today, they work on projects together and separately with the same purpose: sharing the life transforming power of Jesus Christ.

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Guest Info

Credits

Author: Fight Forward (BroadStreet Publishing Group, LLC, 2019)

Speaker

Singer-songwriter

TV host, Brenda Crouch Ministries

Married to Paul Crouch, Jr., son of Paul and Jan Crouch, founders of TBN

Four adult children from their previous marriages

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