Carol Connelly: Ok, we all have these terrible stories to get over, and you . . . --
Melvin Udall: It isn't true. Some of us have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one is this car. But, a lot of people, that's their story. Good times, noodle salad.
--As Good As It Gets (1999)
Meet Hannah Banana
A faithful Bible study companion,
this Bohemian Blondie
knows how to stay and pray.
In her spare time she loves
to score belly rubs from neighborhood kids
and bask in the sun.
Wendy Redroad is a free-spirited survivor of abuse and betrayal. She lives in the light at the end of the tunnel, knows what it takes to get there, and delights in helping others get there, too. Cherokee on her mother's side, she brings a nurturing and down-to-earth voice of wisdom to her "tribe." Her moxie and cheeky sense of humor color the bleakest of circumstances with hope, unexpected laughter, and tangible steps toward healing and forgiveness.
Like many women, the sexual abuse she endured as a child forged a destructive template for adulthood. Homelessness, a teen pregnancy with a former high school teacher, infidelity, divorce, single motherhood, codependency, and post traumatic stress disorder were the rhythmic constraints in her life. There's not a lot she hasn't been through. Hurt in church (yes--that, too), at age fourteen she bid Christianity adieu, vowing never to speak the name Jesus again.
Twenty one years later, Wendy was too weary to hate and too weak to point a finger when she broke her vow of silence and spoke the "J" word. Midway through a year-long commitment to group therapy for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, she purchased her first women's Bible study and completed it in the privacy of her own home. This marked the beginning of countless ten-week studies that often stretched into twenty weeks as she jotted down tough questions, additional Scripture, and witticisms along the sides of every page. A decade later, when her marriage came to an abrupt and brutal end, she couldn't help but wonder, Where's the Bible study for THIS? Little did she know the Father of creation would forge a definitive path for Bible-study-girls lost in emotion.
Her message is simple: "God does not minimize the circumstances that break our hearts. We do, when we deny Him access to the pain." Her mission is substantial: "We cannot overcome what we deny."
A licensed clinical massage therapist for twenty-two years, she has accumulated over 17,000 hours caring for individuals as they describe their pain. She is empathetic and trustworthy. For ten years as an aerobics instructor, she taught beginning, advanced, senior, pre-natal, and Fit for Life weight loss programs. She's a great motivator when desired change requires focus, sweat, and a lot of grace! Combine this with seven years of experience in a twelve-step program and you have a woman with an uncanny ability to relate to people from all walks of life.
Her commitment to ministry leadership training and volunteer service work spans over two decades. Distraught women with tough questions gravitate to her for validation--a key component in the journey to healing and forgiveness. The tough questions Wendy posed to God amid her own struggle to forgive birthed a message that mysteriously transcends demographics. She speaks into the lives of the abused, abandoned, addicted, exploited, incarcerated, and betrayed. Her personal stories garner heart-felt credibility with women both inside and outside church walls, influence that bears witness to the heart of God.
Every generation rises up new leaders to speak to current issues. Wendy Redroad speaks fluent bohemian, which means a little sassy, slightly unconventional, and incredibly practical. Add the tenacity to rival Leigh Anne Touhy in The Blind Side, and you have the best candidate to teach women how to forgive what they will never forget. Her bohemian message is the first of its kind, so practical the word on the street will be: even those yet to believe are curious about what she has to say.