Hope Today-Finding God in the Darkness

I am grateful for the opportunity to share moments when God showed up to give me hope in the darkest moments of my childhood as well as the importance of both counseling and faith in my healing process.

Today I had the privilege of being the guest on Cornerstone Television Network’s program, Hope Today. I must admit I was more nervous about the interview than normal because it was a live broadcast. However, the hosts immediately put me at ease. Their approach to the interview allowed me to share aspects of my journey that I’ve not shared on previous programs.

I am grateful for the opportunity to share moments when God showed up to give me hope in the darkest moments of my childhood as well as the importance of both counseling and faith in my healing process.

I wanted to share the interview on my website so others may better understand the dynamics of healing from childhood trauma.

A Letter to the Child Within

When I began the journey of writing my memoir in March 2019 I wrote and posted a letter to my 13-year old self. Now, two years later, I want to share another letter to the child within me that endured the process of retelling her story.

When I began the journey of writing my memoir in March 2019 I wrote and posted a letter to my 13-year old self. Now, two years later, I want to share another letter to the child within me that endured the process of retelling her story. I submitted the final proof of my memoir to my editor this morning. My book, What Kind of Love is This? Finding God in the Darkness, will be published by early summer and there is so much I want to tell my younger self. The letter below captures a small part of my thoughts and emotions as I reflect on the last two years of putting together a story that only she could tell.

Hello beautiful,

I don’t know where to begin because you still shudder at the thought of revealing your innermost thoughts. I want you to know you are safe with me. No one will hurt you in the way Dad and others did. No one will abandon you or tell you lies about who you are because the world will know the truth, not only about what they did to you, but more important what God did that allowed you to survive.

When we began this journey I had no idea there was so much more to tell, but you showed me more of Jesus’s presence during the worst times. You showed me how you ran to Him when all seemed lost. You showed me the hope you found in His arms. You shared parts of me I didn’t know existed and I thank you for doing so. You shared details that explained so much about my fears and doubts, but you also shared the things that kept you sane.

You are beautiful and you are brave. I hope your retelling will help others have the courage to tell their story. My eyes fill up with tears as I write these words because I want to hug you until your pain subsides. I want you to know I love you and am so grateful that you held on to hope all those years ago.

Love-Your much older and much more content self

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After two years, it’s official! My memoir, What Kind of Love is This? Finding God in the Darkness, is set for release in June 2021. I can hardly believe the day is finally so close. When I began this journey two years ago, I was skeptical that a publisher would pick it up. The journey was difficult and rewarding. I learned so much as I listened to the voice of my younger self re-tell our story to my granddaughter.

As the date approaches, I must admit I’m excited and terrified at the same time. Excited that perhaps my story will help others find hope in their healing journey from childhood trauma. Terrified of the negative responses that I know will come.

What Kind of Love is This? Finding God in the Darkness is a story of hope, a story of determination and redemption in the face of unspeakable abuse and despair. Survivors deserve to experience hope and contentment as they navigate the triggers, fears and doubts that fill our days.

Finding God in the Darkness

Finding God in the Darkness is not easy. He is there, but we don’t always recognize him. This poem expresses my search for hope, peace and redemption in the darkness of my childhood.

Over the past few days, I’ve reviewed several of my early posts because I felt stuck. I wanted to post new content but couldn’t think of anything meaningful to write. So, I searched through the list beginning with my first post in April 2018. I smiled, cried, and even got angry as I reviewed sonnets, blogs and essays, but remained uninspired. Through tears of frustration, I exited my site and wondered, “why is it so hard to write something new?”

In my distress, I reached out to a friend who listened and encouraged me. Her words reminded me that the new content was right in front of me. The journey through my childhood, young adult years and my redemption demonstrates God’s constant presence in my life. The subtitle of my memoir is “Finding God in the Darkness” because my life experience reflects time and time again that God is always near. While I sometimes do not recognize His presence, He is always there.

This poem reflects on my journey from a questioning child, to accepting Jesus’s unconditional love.

Jesus, do you love me?

Daddy says it’s not true.

Jesus, do you love me?

The song says you do.

Jesus, do you love me?

Why did you go away?

Jesus, do you love me?

How can I make you stay?

Jesus, do you love me?

You are the vine or so they say.

Jesus, do you love me?

Will you be there at the end of day?

Jesus, do you love me?

In the corner of our yard an arbor stands.

Jesus do you love me?

You shelter me from the pain of his demands.

Jesus, do you love me?

The cellar’s dark. I don’t want to stay.

Jesus, do you love me?

An angel comes to wipe my tears away.

Jesus, do you love me?

Why won’t you let me stay?

Jesus, do you love me?

I can hear the children play.

Jesus, do you love me?

I can’t bear for you to see what’s hidden here.

Jesus, do you love me?

A dove flies free as you draw near.

Jesus, do you love me?

It’s time to end this life.

Jesus, do you love me?

You send my pastor and his wife.

Jesus, do you love me?

Show me what I should do.

Jesus, do you love me?

How do I know this is you?

Jesus, do you love me?

The path is clear, but full of pain.

Jesus, do you love me?

Can I walk this path again?

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Your love pulled me from the darkest night.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Your love made all things right.

Be Still and Know

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 46:10


I love this verse for so many reasons. 

“Be still” is a powerful phrase. The words are gentle, but firm. They declare God’s sovereignty over everything, yet do not evoke fear. They convey God’s love for us through His assurance that He has our back. He calms our fears by reminding us He is Alpha and Omega. He chastises us to “be still and know” He is in control. It is in the stillness that we experience God most fully. When we shut out the world and draw apart we can hear His voice and “know.”

Last week when the power went out in Texas, I found myself in total darkness and silence surrounded me. The silence woke me from a deep sleep and I was startled by the darkness. I was not afraid, rather I was annoyed. I focused on staying warm and deciding if I should stay in the apartment or go to my daughters. By evening, a small degree of panic set in as my phone battery strength diminished and the temperature continued to drop. I was about to be alone in the darkness and the cold without a way to connect with my daughter. I closed my eyes and listened to the silence. While I didn’t hear an audible voice, I experienced a calmness that allowed me to sleep. I knew I was not alone, but safe in His arms.

God reveals Himself in the stillness if we are willing to listen for His whisper.

The Faces of Love-Eros

Lewis’s discussion of Eros is perhaps the most complex and yet most relevant of all the loves, in both The Four Loves and Till We Have Faces. Of all the loves, Eros ignites the most emotion for it is what Lewis describes as “being in love.”[1]

Part 3 of a four part series based on an essay I wrote a few years ago. In this segment, I discuss eros or romantic love.

Love is a universal subject for writers, artists, and musicians both past and present. However, current media often presents love as sex and sex as love.  Social media creates a new expression of love through the click of a button on a smartphone.  Commercials for sexual enhancement and performance products appear on prime time television.  Sex is no longer taboo to prime time television rather the more sex, the higher the ratings.  Relationships change daily on Social Media with a single entry.  Our attempts to define love devolve into meaningless memes on Social Media that reflect our attempt to oversimplify the complexity of love. While engaging the hurried, hurt confused and often angry skeptics of our current culture presents a significant challenge, adding Devine Love to the equation increases the difficulty. Somehow, we need to slow down, take a deep breath and turn off the smartphones long enough to experience and understand the complex subject of love. Fortunately, C.S. Lewis was a master of slowing down the hurried mind with profound, provocative and engaging writing. In keeping with his style, Lewis offers two books that address the subject of love in unique yet complementary ways, a propositional work, The Four Loves and Till We Have Faces, a rewriting of the Psyche and Cupid myth.  While in The Four Loves, Lewis adapts four Greek terms to present a propositional explanation of love, he brings the terms to life in Till We Have Faces by drawing the reader into the experience of the characters. While each book eloquently depicts love’s complexity, the rational approach to defining love found in The Four Loves and the imaginative approach of Till We Have Faces enhance each other to provide a complete understanding of the nature and complexity of love.

Lewis’s discussion of Eros is perhaps the most complex and yet most relevant of all the loves, in both The Four Loves and Till We Have Faces. Of all the loves, Eros ignites the most emotion for it is what Lewis describes as “being in love.”[1] He quickly distinguishes Eros from sexuality by saying that “Sexuality may operate without Eros or as part of Eros…My treatment rules out mere sexuality-sexuality without Eros-on the grounds that have nothing to do with morals; because it is irrelevant to our purpose.”[2] Throughout the discussion of Eros in The Four Loves, Lewis attempts to distinguish between Venus (sexuality) and Eros, “a delighted pre-occupation with the Beloved—a general, unspecified pre-occupation with her in her totality.”[3]  Similarly, Lewis describes Eros through Orual’s thoughts during her second trip to the Grey Mountain. Although she refuses to yield to the possibility, Orual considers that she “should leave[Psyche] alone”[4] because “She is ten times happier,” [5] when she makes her second trip to the Grey Mountain.  Orual wrongfully concludes that “there is a deeper love than theirs who seek only the happiness of their beloved.”[6] Orual dismisses the existence of Eros because, at the time, she cannot comprehend such love.  The reader feels Psyche’s sorrow that her sister doesn’t understand the love she has for her husband, much like 21st-century apologist attempting to explain love to a young person, who can barely look up from their phone.  While the propositional language of The Four Loves may not engage the young person, Psyche’s plight might interest them simply because it is a provocative story of love.


[1] Lewis, The Four Loves, 91.

[2] Ibid., 92.

[3] Ibid.,94.

[4] Lewis, Till We Have Faces, 138.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Lewis, The Four Loves, 121.

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