Monday, October 12, 2009

Stepping Out

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

     This past week I've been worried. My book is in the hands of the editor. November 6th is the potential day for it to be printed. 
     I've been wondering - what am I doing putting this stuff out there for everyone to know. I think people will look at me differently when they find out where I've been - when they find out how awful and crazy I was. 

     Reading what I wrote - I feel sick - Overwhelmed. It's not like there was one thing. There's too much - too much crazy stuff......kidnapped, raped, drugs, eating disorder, cutting, the streets,.....
     I' ve been trying to share bits of what happened with some friends - trying to prepare them - to warn them - that I'm not what they see. I'm trying to take a step - to test the waters. 
    I try to convince myself it wasn't so bad. Then I look at what I wrote.....yeah it was crazy - really bad. I go back and forth like a ping pong ball wondering what the heck I"m doing writing this stuff and putting it out there.
     I watched this tv show - about a brother and sister. They looked like everyone else - normal. But they endured years of abuse - now they struggle to cope. No one could tell that everyday they fight overwhelming feelings of shame, fear and worthlessness. Looking at person you can't tell......

     The other day I noticed someone - really thin - way to thin - face gaunt - body frame skinny - emaciated. I glanced in her eyes - I saw that familiar emptiness and the shame. I wanted to grab her and tell her she has a right to live....a right to be safe....a right to be cared for. I wanted to point her to the One who can help her. But I just let her pass by. I went home and emailed my editor some cover samples for the book.  

     If what I wrote can help just one person find peace, find their way out of the darkness, away from that horrible emptiness.....then I'll risk people in my world thinking less of me.

     And I need to bridge what happened with who I am today. I don't want to live in shame anymore - hiding a secret - hiding huge parts of myself. I want to be free - totally free. I spend too much time hiding - worried what people would think if they knew the truth of where I came from. I don't want to do that anymore.

     I want to be free inside - I don't want to carry the shame anymore. And I want others to be free....
     Last night I did what I've been afraid to do. I told a group of women my story. I voiced it. I spoke. I said the words. The words that I've not been able to say outloud to anyone except a trusted friend. I couldn't stand up so they let me sit at a table and they closed the lights - I talked in the dark. But I did it. 
     People came to me after - told me pieces of their stories - told me what I shared touched them - told me they were amazed I survived....
     I think freedom is learning how to dance in spite of the fear. I'm going to keep taking risks - even though I'm afraid. Something pulls me to do it. A hunger to be free. A hunger for others to be free. I think it's happening.




Just Be Real said...

Sarah (and yes we must be related), I am so very PROUD of you!!!!

What you did speaking out to these women is such a brave and courageous step! You are a wonder and you are being used by God, you have no idea!

The determination in your words to not WANT to feel shame anymore excites me and gives me that extra push towards my goal. I thank you for your desire to want to heal so badly!

What you call 'crazy stuff' in your book, is not! It is your life. It is your testimony. It is what is you and it is what is going to reach other hurting women and men out there!

God is in control.

Blessings and hugs to a very sweet person....

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Sarah, congrats on your book! And congrats on taking such a giant step of faith.

One things readers want more than anything else is honesty. They want the author to tell the truth, whether that's in fiction or in nonfiction. You're doing that and I know it will reach a lot of people!

RCUBEs said...

I love the picture you posted...No more sad shadows...Time to get out and be free! Yes! You are an awesome inspiration to many who don't even know what step to take. With your courage, you would be a great example to others who are still trapped deep inside...I pray your book will fall into those who can really learn so much from what God did to save you...all because you took that step of faith...Blessings to you sister. I'm happy for you.

Andrea said...


I am so very proud of you for standing strong...doing what GOD has called you to do.

If anyone treats you differently b/c they find out the truth about your past...they were not a real friend.

Real friends and "real" Christians will love and support you.

You are going to make such a difference in this already have!

Love and prayers, andrea

Susan said...

Girl, the ones who have "been there"... those of us who have been around the block a time or two... we/they are the ones who will believe, accept, appreciate, and be touched by your words.
You are doing an incredibly brave thing by speaking out. You deserve to have your voice. You deserve to tell your Truth.
There might be some who don't "get it", but I believe they will be the minority. And they will probably be the ones who have lived sheltered lives, and can't imagine a different reality.
I don't know you personally (though I'd love to) but I'm proud of you. Please believe me when I say: "You're Amazing". I don't tell too many people that. You've got something special. Please don't forget it.
God is with you.

Denise said...

Your heart inspires me, bless you.

Jane said...

Your book WILL bless others, Sarah.

Janice said...

its good to get it all out. the good the bad and ugly
I know

Epiphany said...

People WILL look at you differently.


AND, most importantly, they will see the power of God. In you. Shining through you.

Sarah you are a mirror for His image.


Tracy said...

Yes it is happening.

I'm grateful to watch a bit of it happening. God is good and He's using you to help others.

speck of dust said...

Wow what an amazing thing for you to be able to do that! Our thoughts deceive us. Your thoughts are telling you you might be rejected because that's what you've experienced before. But thoughts aren't real. No one can predict the future. It is also impossible to really know what is going on with another person unless they tell you or you're psychic (the gaunt woman in the street). Her story could be anything.
With your book coming out you will be fully embracing your self more in your life and peace WILL come with that. So what if some people DO judge you because of your life. They're probably not worth knowing. And are probably projecting their own denied parts and insecurities onto you. EVERYONE has something in their lives that they are shameful about. It would be impossible to go through life without shame.

I had a book published that was very personal work about abuse but fictional. I nearly had a total panic attack waiting for it to be published. After a while, after it was out the anxiety subsided.

Wishing you all the best!

Paula said...

You are so very proud. Crazy stuff? Maybe for outsiders. For those who never expereinced shame and pain on such a level. You did all to survive, preserved yourself till you could walk and atlk free. You are alive and that is an ccomplishment beyond. Love, Paula xxx

Margie said...

Dear Sarah
You are such an inspiration!

Bless you, dear one!


Tabitha@ichoosebliss said...

Hi There! Thank you for visiting me to celebrate my SITS Day! U are deeply appreciated!

Deborah Ann said...

There are many, many women with stories just like yours, and I'm one of them. But if I could go back and change one single thing, I wouldn't. See, now that I have Jesus, He's repaying what the enemy stole from me x 100. Honestly, I don't know if I would cling to Him so much if my life was closer to perfection.

You have a great gift. The next time you recognize that pain in another person when you look into their eyes, give them a hug. That is your gift to give.

God bless,

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hey, Sarah!

Want to know something funny? I'd pre-written a post for Friday about "the Shack"! How's that for great minds thinking alike? That made me laugh!!!

Hope you are having a great week. Keep walking in faith!

Finally Free said...

I don't know how I missed this post. I'm so excited for you! I know how hard it is to open yourself up and tell your story. WOW! You did it. I am so happy for you. I believe if you keep seeking freedom it will happen. I don't know when it happened to me. I just kept working my recovery and one day I was free! No more shame. No more hiding. I can't wait til your book gets published. It will be a good tool for me to give to clients to encourage them in their journey.
One last thing......I love the verse that says we have overcome "by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony"!
Your testimony is very powerful. I think you are amazingly brave.

Nana Jul said...

God does his work in us and thru us, in ways we can't conceive. He does it step by step. And our testimonies help set in concrete those things we know God did for us! You did it! You will be helping many with your truth!! I am thankful your past has led you to God's Path!! And that alone is shouting ground!! Only God can take such darkness and turn it into light. Ps. 30:11,12. Keep looking at Jesus!! Keep Praising Him!

Lisa Marie said...

Speaking aloud has got to be the hardest thing to do. I am so proud of you!

As for reading your own book, I can see why that would be so overwhelming. When looking at ALL the atrocities of your life, you are reliving them in part over again in a very small amount of time. Life is spread out for a reason, because if we were asked to handle everything at once, I doubt we could.

VICKI IN AZ said...

Keep on fighting to let the light in and let it flow from you. We all see it. Can you hear us? You are so brave. I am proud of you and I wish I had been there.
Congratulations. You know that God wants you to share the light He has given you.

Jennifer said...

How absolutely amazing it is to accomplish a BOOK, to have derived consistent goodness in yourself, toward yourself to be able to tell what I know is an AMAZING journey. I have read these 3 posts and plan to read much more.

Just in the small time I have been blogging telling the story has been a struggle within, to trust it, to trust myself, to trust GOD. PEOPLE, WOMEN need real live people to tell their TRIUMPHS over suffering and their new found strength in places of struggle. I appreciate what you are doing here and I'm looking forward to reading more and seeing your work between the pages. I am honored you would read my work as well.

flying eagle woman said...

isn't it an awe-inspiring experience? you'll never be the same person you were yesterday...HUGS AND MORE HUGS TO YOU MY SISTER!!!!