A night of trauma ruined my life. At least that was the lie I believed.
I invite you to come along with me on a journey from ruin to recovery — through fear and fury and faith. I’m passionate about spreading a message: We are all more than what happens to us.
The publisher, Tyndale, says this about my memoir: Told with candor and unflinching honesty, RUINED is an extraordinary emotional and spiritual journey that begins with an unspeakable act of violence but ends with tremendous healing and profound spiritual insights about faith, forgiveness, and the will of God.
Who do you know who needs to read this book — you? your sister? a friend?
I’ve done some radio and podcast interviews, and you’ll find those audio links below, as well as links to articles I’ve written on the topic of recovering from sexual violence and some early reviews of the book. My speaking engagements are listed in the sidebar — I want to be easy to find because I want you to introduce yourself to me! I love meeting my readers.
I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads. I am trying to master Instagram. I am a Pinterest failure.
If you’re in a book club or small group, I hope you’ll suggest my memoir as a group read. There’s a free online discussion guide to get the conversation started, and I’ll be happy to Skype or FaceTime into your meeting if my schedule permits.
You can order RUINED from Amazon or another retailer, visit a local bookstore, or request it from your local library. Just get your hands on a copy, and let me know what you think!
“Faith Conversations, a podcast with Anita Lustrea”
by Anita Lustrea
“The Arc Podcast, from Tyndale”
by Joy Fabry & Adam Sabados
Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.
Rising from the Ruins: review by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew
I especially cherish this review from Bearings, the magazine of Collegeville Institute. I wrote so many of the the most difficult pages of this memoir while at weeklong workshops during the summers of 2012 and 2013. I’m grateful to be part of that writing community.
when you feel kind of ruined — this one question can change everything
Today I have a guest blogpost over at Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience. I hope you’ll click over to read and share. There are lots of pretty pictures too!
“Live Interview: Today’s Issues at American Family Radio”
by American Family Radio, Tim Wildmon, Ed Vitagliano
If you’d like to win a free copy of my book, sign up at the Goodreads Giveaway before September 16! Signing up won’t cost a dime.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra copy to give to a friend who’s a survivor? Books make great gifts.
3 Ways to Help a Friend Who Has Been Sexually Assaulted
Today I have a blogpost over at Margaret Feinberg’s blog. I hope you’ll click over there: 3 Ways to Help a Friend Who Has Been Sexually Assaulted.
“Live Interview: God Can Handle Our Anger”
by Susie Larson
What You Say to a Hurting Person Matters
I wrote this article for the Tyndale Ministry blog. It’s geared for clergy leaders, who are charged with providing pastoral care. But the truth is that we all come across people who are hurting terribly, and often hurting in secret. How can we respond? What you say to a hurting person matters.
Dad’s medications were already organized by the time I arrived at the house, dispensed into two identical trays which had been labeled with a Sharpie: Week 1 and Week 2.
I noticed the organizers on the dining room table, and for a moment wondered which of my sisters had filled the plastic compartments — my older sister Mary Lynn, who’s a nurse — or my youngest sister, Susan, who’s a hospice chaplain? I didn’t ask because it didn’t matter. And there was so much else to know.
How to help Dad in and out of his hospital bed, for starters. Mom had asked us to move Dad into his chair, now that he’d woken up from a nap. The hospice people had shown Susan how to move Dad safely. We used a wide webbed belt that clipped around Dad’s chest and had large cloth loops attached. The loops would give us something to grab onto. So Dad sat up and Susan clipped the belt around him. Then we got positioned, one of us on either side of our father.
“Slide your whole forearm under his armpit, like this, and use your other hand to grab the loop, like this, and 1-2-3-UP!”
Hold. Pivot. Re-position. And gently release him into the chair. Get him comfortable with pillows.
“Do we leave the belt on?” I asked. “Or should I slip it off?”
“Leave it,” said Dad. “For next time.”
“Does it remind you of that passage in the gospel of John?” I asked Dad. “About getting old and having a belt put on you?”
Dad didn’t respond at first, and I thought I’d been obtuse.