Sep 2, 2013

When a Woman Finds Her Voice





We women all have stories to share. These tales are based on epic heartache and breath-taking redemption. Through the trials of abuse, abandonment, death, mental illness, and divorce (along with many others) we tend to think our stories don't matter because they are not what people want to hear. We begin to believe the person who hurt us when he or she says, "No one will listen to you. They don't care."

In our own shame and rejection we swallow the misunderstanding that the life experiences we gain through sorrow have no value. It's easy to fade into the background when others are leading the lives they always dreamed. The thought of throwing our hands up, letting go of expectations, and not wanting to live anymore becomes more real with each passing day as our hearts burn stronger with tormenting pain.

Can I share a hard truth with you? A truth that causes my hands to tremble as I type it out?

A year ago this coming October I had the overwhelming desire to leave my life.

Three years before this my three small children and I had been abandoned by my first husband. He allowed his own darkened past to take over and left us for drugs and a life in and out of prison. J never let me in to really help, he carried it all inside and finally the dysfunctional cycle became too much for him.

I never thought I would get divorced. The shame of his behavior carried over into my heart and I was so embarrassed of his failures. His choices became my identity and I wrestled with how to move on and live again knowing that my heart was bruised and battered by a man I had given it to freely.

I worked on my Master's degree and completed my schooling in December 2011. When my ex-husband left our children were ages 4, 18 months, and 11 weeks. As I pushed through school I raised them the best way I knew how along with the help of my mother.





We would not have made it without her. She housed us, fed us, and loved us like no one else did. She deserves a medal of honor or whatever we give women who put their children and grandchildren before themselves over and over.

I met Bryan in the Fall of 2011 and he changed my life. We married in June 2012 and at the end of July he lost his job. To say we were devastated would be an understatement. I began teaching that Fall and fell into a deep depression.

October brought my 32nd birthday and the realization that I was hurting deeply and looking for a way out. I shared this with my newlywed husband and just saying those words changed my world. God took my admission of not being able to hold it all together on my own as an invitation to work in my heart. And boy did he ever.

The next eight months became filled with hope, light, strength and a lot of work. God gave Bryan a new job, moved us to a new town and developed some amazing friendships for me online and in real life. He also brought me to this place, this blog, to share my story, to begin healing and more importantly to begin helping others.

Late this summer I found an email in my inbox from Jo Ann Fore. I had signed up for email updates from her blog Write Where it Hurts.

It was an application to be part of a book launch team for her first published work When a Woman Finds Her Voice. I read the words several times thinking,

"How in the world can I do this? Yes I've started a blog but to support someone else's writing when I've just begun to work on my own? Will I even be accepted? Can I make a difference?"

My heart was telling me to go for it so I filled out the application and told no one. I didn't want to share the rejection if I wasn't chosen.

But I was. I joined a team of 85 women who are just as broken as I am. We all have stories to share, hearts to be mended and others to encourage.

As a I read through Jo Ann's book I kept thinking of myself and how God has taken my unbelievable pain and weaved into a beautiful masterpiece of recovery and thankfulness.

Jo Ann speaks so eloquently about the shame of an abusive marriage, her cancer scare, and how she overcame the negative thoughts burned into her mind for so many years. Her words have been a refreshing spring of life to my sometimes saddened soul which still believes my story won't help anyone else.




As we walk those lonely paths of distrust we forget about the One who created us to be so much more. We do not see His hand in our lives so we try to control our destiny. Jo Ann provides the steps to gain strength in our stories, to find the raw places still untouched and bring them to the 
surface exposed in the light. 

She gives us women with knots in our stomachs and lumps in our throats the encouragement to trust the God who can take any story and make it a work of art. She also shares the deep, resonating effect we can have on others if we bravely take the necessary steps to break the cycle of silence and become the one who shreds the darkness.

Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Proverbs 31:8
I hope you will join me over the coming weeks as I write more about Jo Ann's book and how she takes her readers on a journey of healing and self discovery. It is truly a resource for any woman seeking to find her voice and learn how to embrace the amazing role of "story-teller"that God has called us to be through scripture.

You can find details about the book coming in October 2013 HERE.

I'm linking up with the members of Jo Ann's amazing book launch team to share our stories of how we are each finding our voices. Please hop on over and visit!
Jo Ann Fore



46 comments:

  1. Wow your story is beautiful. I relate to the needle part of your husbands addiction , someone close to me who also hurt me was a needle user. I am so blessed to be on this team with you.

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  2. Thankyou for sharing your story , you are very brave!

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  3. I love your redemption diary. It is precious to God and to me. Keep writing- His plan is perfect!!

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  4. As always Sarah your words pierce the darkness and give voice to things that perhaps we didn't even know were hidden in our hearts. Love to you sweet friend. You are precious.

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  5. Thank you Amanda! I am praying for you as we walk this journey together.

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  6. Rachel,


    I believe God has blessed both of us with this friendship and I'm so very grateful He brought us together. Thank you for accepting my family and supporting me. I am blessed!!

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  7. Thank you Kimberly. Whenever I see your beautiful face I say a prayer for you and believe God has things under control. Thank you for reading!!

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  8. Love, love, love that you're sharing Sarah...shouting of God's great redeeming power and how He can heal and make all things new. So many hearts are waiting to hear that they can have hope and know they are not alone!! xo

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  9. Beautiful written Sarah..thank you for sharing so bravely and honestly as you find your voice. I love the name of your blog - redemption - because I believe is says so eloquently speaks to what Christ has done in our hearts and lives. Redeemed from our past, from the hurts and wounds.

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  10. Thank you Victoria! I have felt a bit anxious all day but I know it's all in His hands. So glad you stopped by today!

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  11. Thank you Jaque, my heart is bursting open!

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  12. future.flying.saucersSeptember 3, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Thank you for sharing!! We will always find that in our weakness, the Lord is mighty and strong. Keep on pressing on. :)

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  13. I'm so proud of you Sarah!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  14. Thanks so much Dad. :)

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  15. Thank you for reading!!

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  16. WOW. We have WAY more in common than I realized. I wish I had just half the courage to write the way you do. (you know that Casting Crowns song...Voice of Truth? Hearing it in my head right now). I'm just starting this journey...and not just my blog. I do hope someday we can sit and share a cup of coffee. I am so blessed that God made our paths cross. Good job...and congrats! ~JuliAnne

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  17. Oh JuliAnne, the courage is right there waiting for you to take hold. Believe in yourself and in the One who made you. He has a plan and a purpose for you. So glad we met through this virtual place of community and hope. Love you!!

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  18. I am so proud of you for sharing your story! Your bravery is a beautiful example of following the Holy Spirit's leading. You speak truth to women who are in dark places. You encourage me to keep sharing my story and to tell others there is Light in those dark places. I love you!

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  19. Andi, you are an encouragement to me and your story helps me be stronger as a woman and mother. I cannot wait to see what God does with our ideas and hearts. Love you!

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  20. Beautiful words from a beautiful heart! Keep writing and sharing the way God is walking you through this journey! You're courage will bless so many women!
    blessings,
    Gay Idle @CaptiveHeart

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  21. Thank you Gay! I am blessed to be here offering hope.

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  22. I have been so touched by how you share your story and your heart. Your words will help bring courage to many others to do the same. This is truly beautiful, Sarah.

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  23. It is so hard to be real and share from the depths of your heart. Knowing that there will be some who disagree with how you've handled things and might even judge you without knowing all the details. Thank you so much for sharing your heart so beautifully. I am so thankful to know this side of the pain, that God truly takes ashes and turns them into beauty! <3 and hugs sis!

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  24. Thank you so much for reading! Sharing is always scary but also very freeing.

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  25. Thank you for reading Beth. I pray that same things all the time, that I can bring courage to others.

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  26. For as long as I've been following your blog, you have been a blessing. Thank you for allowing God to use your pain to help others. So glad you shared this today!

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  27. Barbie, thank you for that beautiful compliment. Ever since I was little bitty I wanted to help people. God took that desire and refined it through many trials to get me here. I feel honored and scared at the same time. Than you for reading!

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  28. What a wonderful story! I love how God uses all of it...the beautiful and dirty, the joyous and heartbreaking. He uses it all for His glory - when we invite Him to do so. Thank you for openly sharing your journey and for so brightly lighting up the world for Christ! Well done sister, well done!

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  29. Thanks so much Lisha! It's amazing how many times I questioned the trial and now I am seeing the result. It's very humbling and freeing. Thank you for reading!!

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  30. Yes it is! Isn't it amazing how that works?! Blessings sis!

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  31. Thank you for sharing your story - we each learn a little more about who we are through others. ;)

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  32. You are welcome Holly, thank you for reading!

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  33. Bless you for sharing, and finding your voice. What a voice! So honoured to know you my sister in courage and faith.

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  34. Thank you for reading Shanyn, this is definitely an amazing journey!

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  35. Sarah, this is beautiful. Thank you for having the courage (I'm still trying to let go of my control and gain that courage to leap) to listen to God's voice, to let him help you on your healing journey. I am so blessed to be on this journey with you, to get to know you better. God knew what he was doing putting us all together on this team. <3

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  36. Sarah - linking arm-in-arm with you and our fellow sisters in finding our voice in Christ Jesus.

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  37. Wonderful my friend!!

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  38. Thank you so much Tina. The courage comes with a quaky voice but I am here and glad you have joined me!

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  39. Sarah, truly beautiful. You have done a marvelous job of portraying how God has woven truth into lies and hopeless situations. Thank you for sharing.

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  40. Thank you so much Michelle. There is so much power in sharing the hard truth. Glad you came to read tonight!

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  41. Your blog is a blessing of truth. Thank you for your honesty and the gracious way in which you say it. (I also love it that your dad validated you and your writing. Way to go, Dad!) Beauty from ashes! Blessings ...

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  42. Thank you Norma. These hard places are where we shine the most. So glad you came to read!

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  43. You; have a beautiful voice, Sarah!

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  44. Thank you so much Cheryl!

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  45. Isn't it amazing how far we can come, even when we are so bruised, broken and defeated? I am in awe at the lessons you likely taught your children by making the decisions you did. Hard. Difficult. Successful!


    http://dontlicktheferrets.com

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  46. Thank you CJ, we are still learning the lessons from this time. Thank you for reading!!

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