I'm working on a non-fiction project called Bohemian Forgiveness: 5 Unconventional Paths to Forgiving What You'll Never Forget.
I have a literary agent. And submissions to publishing houses are underway. Meanwhile, a graphic designer is creating a collateral design that will feature 25 excerpts. This is a sample!
I'll keep you posted as we progress!
copyright 2018. Ame B. Design
"Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil (Ephesians 4: 26--27 NKJV). Other Bible translations caution: do not give the enemy a foothold.
It's easy enough to rattle off this Bible verse to young married couples pouting over dirty dishes and overflowing waste bins, but how does it shake down for the woman in crisis due to betrayal/abuse?
In 2013, in the thick of divorce proceedings after mulitple years of praying and staying, I found myself walking the treacherous trek of the five stages of grief. God willing, to be celebrated beneath a rainbow of joy overarching journey's end.
The 5 stages of grief, according to The Kubler-Ross model, are:
Here's an honest look at the anger I experienced in every stage:
- Denial: Anger expressed over trivial things due to my devastation over the minimiliaztion of the major hurts I could no longer deny.
- Anger: The outward expression (aka meltdowns) of inward pain caused by the blatant disrespect of a broken man, seemingly intent on breaking me.
- Bargaining: This was my "anger management" phase where like Esau (Genesis 27), I consoled myself with the thought of killing.
- Depression: In this stage I conceded to just how vulnerable a position I allowed myself to remain in for years, which included a parallel phase replete with rhetorical questions such as: Why did I eat, drink, smoke (nothing illegal), or text that? Followed with the tearful prayer: Jesus, please forgive me.
- Acceptance: In this stage I resolved to be angry, but I refused to allow the enemy's version of anger to define me. I took an intense feeling I could not redeem and placed it in the care and counsel of One who can. Turns out, Jesus was angry, too.
Anger was a staple emotion in every stage of grief for me.
In The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships, Patrick Carnes, PH. D., writes, "Healthy anger expresses limitations--i.e., what is acceptable and what is not. Blaming anger recycles the history of betrayal and all the intense feelings that are part of a trauma bond."
We were created in the image of a loving God. A God with the capacity for anger. By design, it cannot go unfulfilled. The takeaway for me in "don't let the sun go down on your anger" is simple: Be angry in the care of Light, where healthy anger is used to defend and perpetuate life. Don't be angry in the dark, where the enemy uses expressions of hate hopelessness to further destruction.
When I stopped trying to "pray away" my anger and allowed Light to hold me--angry, enraged me, I was empowered to believe that one day the sun would set on my personal anger (which often felt like a curse), and give way to a bright, shiny cause for victims of childhood sexual abuse.
To create faith-based resources that foster the spiritual and personal growth necessary for sustainable transformation.
In His light, we see light. Imagine what will rise in you.
We get better together,
Published on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 @ 2:16 PM CDT
I'm wading through the murky waters of divorce after mulitple years of "praying and staying" when a friend invites me to a conference for women. I accept (reluctantly).
On the last day we arrive to pink envelopes thoughtfully placed on our seats. Each envelop contains a Scripture . . . a "timely word from the Lord," if you will. I'm afraid to open my envelope. I'm afraid because these days I prefer swear words over ten-week Bible studies. I fear my "word" will be something along the lines of: Repent! Repent! Wicked and swearing sinner!
I take my ticking bomb to the ladies room, shut myself inside a stall, and pray: Lord, please don't hurt me. I'm fragile. I need a kind word even though I probably don't deserve one. Only You know how many times I've said the F-word since I read the phone bill and, well, You know. Amen.
I peel back my envelope hoping the fragments of my heart won't be blown into bits so tiny they are no longer visiable to the naked eye.
Renounce your sins by doing what is right,
and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed.
It may be that your prosperity will continue.
Daniel 4: 27 NIV
Me to God: Um. I was kind of hoping I wouldn't get a scripture like this one because I'm spiraling into despair--Holy Writ in hand.
God to me: If I was your earthly father, Wendy, I'd hold your sweet hands and ask: Why do you allow him to treat you this way? Why? Abuse is not my will.
Talk about a Daddy-daughter moment. He loves and sees and hears me in my circumstances. He wants me to repent; to renounce my tolerance of the abuse and betrayal I've tolerated for years in the very home I've tried so hard to make a haven. To extend some long over-due kindness to the oppressed, present company included!
Daniel 4: 27 brought to light my distorted view of the Father's heart toward His daughters. In less than five minutes--and from a bathroom stall, Love redeems a skewed and unloving perception of a Bible verse I could only see through the lens of guilt and shame. Wow.
I think of Matthew 18:12. If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills in the conference and go out and search for the one that is lost hiding in a bathroom stall?
Prayer: Jesus, You alone know what we need to see differently. May the lens with which we perceive your written word always be interpreted through Your mery and love.
You are not alone,
Published on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 @ 5:32 AM CDT