Courage For Lambs: A Psychologist’s Memoir of Recovery from Abuse and Loss

courage for lambs book cover
Unaware of how a pathological, much older man can manipulate and gain control of a young 17 year old girl’s mind, JoAnn Nishimoto succumbed to the practiced indoctrination of the man that had been her church’s respected and beloved pastor/bible teacher for 3 years. She would remain tangled in his twisted web of abuse and secrets for 12 years. Finally, she found the courage to reach out to her brother and confess the situation to the one safe person she knew.  The man was confronted and removed from the scene and she was able to begin the long journey to regain her sanity, her life, and a more solid understanding of her relationship with God.
As she began to recover and grow in freedom she eventually grew to love another in recovery. They were joyfully married and three years later had a daughter, but depression, severe migraines, and prescribed pain medication sent him back into the downward spiral of drug addiction.  He ended up taking his own life when they had been married only six years.
This true life story shows how God walked Dr. JoAnn Nishimoto through great abuse and emotional trauma all the way to becoming a therapist using all she learned to help others who experience debilitating traumatic events. She is careful NOT to paint a picture that would cast suspicion over all ministers, but points out that people in all positions of power might be tempted to use that power in wrong ways.
God brought a wonderful man (Stuart) to be her husband and father to her daughter and they have been married for many years. Her daughter just graduated college and will be married in November of this year. Stuart was her biggest supporter to write and publish this book.
At the end of the book are 14 Essays written by Dr. Nishimoto that deal with specific issues and include scripture to be applied as well as many principles learned along her own journey. The last of the essays is “Bathsheba, the Lamb” and in it she retells the biblical story of David and Bathsheba from the perspective of the young woman. Given that the prophet Nathan portrayed her to King David as an innocent lamb, she points out that Bathsheba is portrayed as innocent in David’s sexual exploitation of her. JoAnn’s prayer is that her book will bring courage and freedom to all who are lambs.
Dr. JoAnn Nishimoto currently works in the Counseling Center of Wheaton College where she oversees the graduate students’ practical experiences and provides direct counseling to patients.