When I retired in 2015, I didn’t know what to do with my time. I worked full time for most of my adult life and the lack of a regular schedule did not set well with me. As the months passed, my love of learning prompted me to explore learning opportunities. I looked at a few online opportunities, but nothing fit what I wanted to explore. Then my daughter shared her experience with the Masters of Apologetics program at Houston Baptist University. She loved the program and encouraged me to apply. I did and was accepted into the program.

While the memoir focuses more on hope, redemption and faith rather than detailed descriptions of the abuse that I endured, it sometimes left me raw. I thought I had processed all the baggage from my childhood but writing my life as a story around a specific theme has peeled away more layers. I discovered that showing my readers what happened differed greatly from telling the story.

As I held my beautiful newborn daughter for the first time an unfamiliar feeling flowed over me. As tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought, “How can I ever give her the love she needs?  I don’t know what it feels like to be loved as I love her.”  

My relationship with God began at age four when I first heard the song “Jesus loves me” and grew stronger as I embraced His unconditional love. He gave me hope in my dark world of abuse and pain. Each morning I ran to Him and He made me feel safe. Sometimes the feeling only lasted a few moments until reality hit me in the face, but those moments sustained me. I somehow understood the truth of the passage listed above.

The book of Psalms is a favorite of mine because David and others bare their heart and soul to the Lord, but always end with praise and thanksgiving for God’s steadfast love. This week I turned to three passages to uplift, encourage and strengthen my soul. I hope they provide the same to you.

When I wrote this post, my journey of writing my memoir was still just a thought in the back of my mind. This website was the beginning of that journey. Now, nearly three years later, the message of this post rings true again. Over the past few days, multiple triggers have surfaced that remind me of the importance of putting on and maintaining the armor of God. I share the post today to remind others of the power in the armor.

Between my Sophomore and Junior year of college, my anxiety and depression grew more profound as did my compulsion to act out sexually. If I dated someone who was not interested in a sexual relationship, I broke up with them. I felt trapped and believed I must be evil.

This blog was originally posted three years ago. Today I reflected on the Sonnet and the circumstances that led me to write it. Putting the emotions surrounding my experience in the cellar was a catalyst for writing my memoir, What Kind of Love is This? Three years later, my story is published and I am sharing it with new audiences across the world. Revisiting the Sonnet seemed appropriate in advance of my Virtual Book Launch scheduled for August 7, 2021 at 2PM CDT. The sonnet expresses the theme of my story-finding God in the darkness. 

Faith empowers us to act even when the world tells us to stop. When we listen to world our shield of faith shrinks and cannot protect us. With a shrunken shield, we are less able to demonstrate our faith in our everyday actions.