Table 26

Today I really feel like a writer.

I normally work from home, but today I needed a change of scenery and I am sitting in a coffee shop. I’m hiding in the corner, in running pants and a headband hoping that I don’t see anyone I know. I have my earbuds in, typing the beginning of my 2nd book (did I just say that out loud?)

I’ve been here for almost three hours and am sweating slightly due to being over caffeinated. I wonder if this is considered loitering…..I need to go home and switch the laundry and workout, but now it’s almost lunchtime and I’m getting hungry.

If I order a salad they can’t ask me to leave, right?

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A Journey to Heal

I am so excited to introduce you to Crystal Sutherland and her newly released book, A Journey to Heal. Crystal and I met as a result of our similar journeys and her book is a wonderful resource for anyone who has been affected by sexual abuse. Journey to Heal is a path of hope and healing for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

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In this book, a woman who was sexually abused as a child is confronted with many internal questions: Am I worthless? Will I get past the pain? Do I matter to God? These and similar questions can carve a deep hole in an already wounded soul. Too often, the lies of worthlessness are believed, the pain becomes too much to handle, and survivors find themselvesmaking choices that lead to more heartbreak. With over 42 million survivors (both male and female) in the United States alone, the need for a clear path to healing is great.

11143532_10208014282210795_3670148504723465899_oCrystal Sutherland-herself a survivor of CSA -knows that while the recovery process iscomplex, healing is possible with God’s help. For women who want to progress from simply coping to living abundantly, this book guides readers through seven essential steps to recovery found in Scripture.Candid and open about her personal journey of healing, Crystal comes alongside her reader as a friend who understands. Infused with biblical truths, stories of hope from other survivors, and practical wisdom, this book leads women to discover the life of wholeness God has for them.

#winner!

I am so excited and humbled this morning. I just found out that my book, “Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light” has won the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award for Non-Fiction!

When I first published this book, I was full of fear, but trusted God in every step of the journey. I share my story to provide hope and healing to others and have had the opportunity to meet many incredible people and hear other women’s stories of abuse. Thank you to everyone who has supported my journey.

God is so good!

 

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Bloom In the Dark

Today I am super excited to have my friend Paula Mosher Wallace on Grace. She and I have the same passion to help other women who have been victims of sexual abuse. She has published an amazing book, “Bloom In the Dark” that is helping many. I had the opportunity recently to ask her some questions about her book and the vision for her ministry.

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Q: What was your motivation for writing Bloom in the Dark?

A: God made me write it. He cornered me and told me He wouldn’t open any other doors for me until I obeyed on this one. I know that sounds dramatic, but that was my reality. I’d had the nagging feeling in the back of my head for over a year, but had fifty excuses for why I couldn’t write a book—especially not one as painful as this one. Besides, who would ever let me tell her most painful experiences? Like the intro, “Naked on Stage”, I already knew how difficult it was to go public with your shameful brokenness. But God. The same God Who inspired me to share some of my story in the book, inspired all the other women to share their stories. I feel humbled that they entrusted me with their darkest pain.

Q: Who should read your book?

A: Everyone. Of course. LOL. It is written specifically to the woman who’s still in denial, still feeling isolated and alone, still thinking she’s stuck and has no hope. Women who’ve been healed, should read it to inspire them to share their testimonies so they can help and inspire others. Women who are in abusive situations should read it to give them courage to get out. Women who haven’t been abused should read it to develop more compassion for broken women and to be grateful for the life they’ve had without abuse. Women leaving home at eighteen should read it as a preventative tool to help them understand how to avoid dangerous situations. Women in counseling or ministry positions should read it to understand how the women they minister to think and feel. Men should read it to better understand women and darkness.

Q: What was the hardest part of putting the stories together?

A: Coordinating with all the women who had lived the stories. They are from all around the country. They come from different generations, different socioeconomic backgrounds, different ethnic groups. I already knew some of them, but some of them God brought my way just for this book.

Q: What are your goals for your book?

A: My goal is to get this book into the hands of every woman in prison, every woman in battered women shelters, every woman in prostitution or sex-trafficking, every woman on the street, every woman in church, every woman in college, every woman in business, every woman in counseling, every woman in ministry, etc. In 2016, my goal is to get 10,000 books into the hands of hurting women.

Q: What does the future hold for Bloom in the Dark?

A: Right now, my team of ex-victims is helping me form a 501c3 charity called Bloom in the Dark. Our goal is to raise funds to give away books to charities helping hurting women, to raise awareness about abuse and brokenness of all types, and to create a hub for resources around the country available to help hurting women. I want to join all ex-victims in amplifying our voice to give awareness and hope to others so that we can drive away the darkness and BLOOM to our full potential.

Wallace_June 07Born in the jungles of Peru to missionary parents, Paula’s beginning in life was anything but typical.

Raped at the age of 5, Paula was caught in a cycle of damage and abuse which lasted into her thirties. From sexual abuse to later mental, emotional and even spiritual abuse, Paula developed a victim mentality, which fueled decades of continued abuse. The trauma she experienced caused her to develop a variety of psychosomatic illnesses which, at times, left her bed-ridden.

Broken beyond endurance and suicidal, Paula cried out to God for help. He miraculously intervened, faithfully walking with her through a dramatic healing process. Along the way, Paula learned to stand up to her abusers and stop attracting predators. She now knows, from personal experience, the healing, deliverance, and hope that only God can bring.

As an ex-victim, Paula’s passion to help others resulted in her writing Bloom in the Dark, a compilation of true stories shared by women who have walked through personal darkness and abuse. Each story tells how God met, healed, and restored an ex-victim. Readers discover that they are not alone and that there is lasting hope and healing! To learn more about Paula and her book, visit her website www.bloominthedark.com.