I always loved to write. And I think I always knew that someday I would have to write down all the pain and suffering, and the joy and healing, that has come my way. I knew that what I had to offer was a treasury of wisdom gained from years spent in the crucible of suffering, and a journey traveled beyond the misery of abuse. My trials had to stand for something, my pain had to have value, somehow, that would help someone else survive, and grow, and triumph.
And so, Redeeming Our Treasures/Finding Joy in the Shadows of an Abusive Past was birthed. I wrote the book three times over the years, and each time my writings showed me where I was on the slippery slope of recovery. As I say in my book, twenty-eight years in Hell is a long time. Twenty-eight years of captivity—held hostage by love for my siblings and my mother—held hostage by a man who had the power to destroy them. A violent man and cruel.
Once I escaped, the healing began. And it continues yet today. I often battle fear and anxiety, but not nearly so much as I used to. I also enjoy the peace that passes all understanding and joy unspeakable. How all these things can dwell in one human heart is beyond me—and yet I know that it is true.
Having been relationally deprived for most of my life, until I reached the age of thirty-three, I prize every relationship with an intensity that makes me want to give, to reach out, to share the love that abounds in my heart—a love born of gratitude to my Heavenly Father who rescued me from the pit and gave me a solid place to stand. The Father who led me to the man I love and bound our hearts together twenty-two years ago. The Father who enabled me to birth two beautiful daughters and taught me how to mother them. I have so much to be thankful for that I cannot keep it all to myself.
When I wrote, Redeeming Our Treasures, I had no idea that it would change my life in so many ways. I cannot write such a book and then hide it away in my drawer. I have to share it. I want to share it. And I will do it.
That means I must travel. I love traveling. I was stuck in a 5 room house with almost no freedom for the first thirty-three years of my life, so I can’t get enough of seeing the world. I have been to Niagara Falls, Bonaire, St. Marten, Grand Cayman Islands, and many of the United States. I love it! Now that my children are grown, and my husband often has business responsibilities that keep him tied to home, I sometimes must leave them behind when I travel. And that is the reason for the birth of the following poem.
All the treasures I hold dear are ever in my heart,
Even when the miles stretch long and we are far apart.
Sometimes, I must admit, it’s hard to travel far away,
It’s hard to go...to travel long, when my heart bids me, stay!
But it is not proximity that holds our love together,
When paths diverge and we must part from all our earthly treasures.
It’s memories shared and hours spent in joy, and sometimes, tears
It is the ups and downs of a life entwined that keeps our loved ones near.
And nothing that this world can offer, or any foe devise
Can rob our hearts of the love we hold—a love that has been refined.
Refined by fires of conflict, of forgiveness, and restored
Oft with tears and laughter, and sometimes with remorse.
So I can part with those I love and go to share my heart
With those who bear such heavy loads, yes, I can do my part,
T o ease the suffering of those who share my own particular pain
And know that when I bear their burdens—it is my Father’s gain,
And He will keep my treasures safe within His wounded Hands
Until my travels bring me home to be with them again.
There. I have shared another part of my heart with you today, my friends. I hope to see you someday in my travels.