I've written snippets of it, and you've seen them if you read my blog post about the scars on my wrists--now covered by "love"--and the one about being thrown out of the house naked when I was very pregnant. I remember how I cried and cried when I wrote those, and now, I don't cry so much. Of course, one of those stories still has the power to devastate me; it involves my son and demonstrates how my instincts, even as a mother, had been dulled numb. I don't think I even told that one on the blog! In any case, it's the hardest of my stories. But that isn't what I'm asking about. I think I'm ready to write this thing, whether or not it'll be published, whether or not Raphael likes it, and may I say, I'm willing to protect his identity as much as possible. I don't know why I have to write this story, but I've been asked to do it too many times to ignore it anymore. I think God wants this. I want to give it to him.
But I don't know where to begin. Maybe I should trust that if I just starting telling the story, the awesome editor who has taken such an interest in me will guide me. Or maybe once I get going, the beauty I want to tell it with will emerge. It'll certainly be a different voice than the Teresa book. I think. See! I'm not sure. Maybe the voice in the Teresa book is the one! Just you and me; we've got a cup of tea in front of us, and just having a chat. Oh, but I love a lovely, achingly told memoir. What to do!?
Here's the last thing. There's a villain, of course, but there's also a hero. I want you to see more of the hero in this memoir, because it's really a love story between a ragamuffin and her Beloved, and the extraordinary measures the Beloved took to rescue her. If it isn't about that, I'm not interested in doing it. Who needs another harrowing abuse story just because.
When I was in Breckenridge I got to tell some of my story. A lot of it! As I talked, I remembered years ago when I was with Raphael, sneaking off to the Seventh Day Adventist bookstore just touching the Bibles and books. All my dreams of being a Christian writer--I thought--had been shattered. I told myself one terrible, honest day, "I'll never get to write for Jesus now." My heart was broken.
Fast forward about 16 years. When I was expecting my first copy of Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man, I was on the phone with BFF Marilynn Griffith the night before. I told Mary about standing in that store, and I burst into tears. I'd come a loooong way, baby. A loooooong way. The next day, I was IMing with my friend Stacia, and the book came. Once again I burst into tears, remembering my grief in that store. I was immobilized. It was hard to process that a package had come, a Christian book, with my name on it. I had survived it all, and I wrote something for Jesus!
Stacia had to insist I stop weeping into my keyboard. Ken took me by the elbow and tenderly told me to open it, and I stood there weeping, utterly amazed, and all I could think of were the words to the Magnificat. I was sooo not Catholic. I don't think I was even Orthodox yet! But there it was, the first lines ringing in my soul:
- "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
- my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
- for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant."
Maybe I should simply tell what happened: unvarnished; the truth. Begin there. See what God does.
What do you think? I'm sooo nervous, and anxious to hear what you have to say.