Any Readers Out There?

Seeking for readers who would buy this book, if it were available. Trying to build a platform to attract the attention of an agent or publisher willing to take a risk on a new author.

Many of us have skeletons in the closet. Things that we are ashamed of and that bring pain to our hearts. Those things in the past that have threatened to destroy us and that we have conveniently swept under the rug to forget. But God can take those very brittle and hard things that have shaped our lives and breathe life into the dry, dead bones. He can restore us and use those very bones to be like an army that stands strong to deliver us and others.

Broken Hearts Healed is the retelling of a sexual abuse victim with all the consequent silence, shame, confusion, low self-esteem and false guilt. In the 1960’s no one talked about child sexual abuse. The “therapy” of that time was silence, in hopes that the child would forget. I was first molested in a private daycare at five years old. My father, torn between speaking up for his daughter’s lost innocence or losing his job chose to stay silent. As a pastor, he had his own anguish to deal with and he thought by removing physical affection from me, I would forget what had happened. None of this was explained to me.

As a child who wanted to be a missionary when I grew up, I went from adoring my father and loving church, to despising him and being very confused about my feelings towards God. It was a silent, painful hell that no one knew I lived in until I was sixteen. By that point, I had totally rejected my parents, morality and God. School was filled with daily insults about how ugly I was and I felt less than human, like a dog or chopped liver. This shame escalated when boys met me in the woods or parked cars for sexual encounters. At sixteen I thought I was pregnant and I told my parents rather than committing suicide.

But this book is far more than an abuse story. It is the total transformation and redemption to a radical love for God, for missions and the amazing ways in which God healed my heart, emotions and mind. Furthermore, it captures the beauty of a romantic love story with all the humor, surprise and suspense. Think of a marriage between Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy and you have an idea of what you will find in Broken Hearts Healed—A Rare Love Story, a spiritual memoir.

Would love to hear if there is interest?

Udderly Mistaken

It started with a trip to a dairy farm. We were all herded single file through the rooms with grey cinder block walls and floors and the Mexican workers sitting beside the cows. The udders hung full and swayed heavily as the cows slowly headed single file through the metal shoots. Into the milking room and the smells of hay and animal filled my nostrils. All the cows were milked. We saw the whole process as kindergarten kids but I don’t remember any milk that we drank. It was just a field trip. The closest I got to cows.

Years later, in my complete naiveté, I stood beside a life-size statue of an animal. I called to my Dad from several yards away, “Hey Dad, watch me milk it.”

His shocked face and squinted eyes stared at me. He quickly pleaded, “June, please go get your daughter.”

I did not actually touch the statue and I was ignorant of my mistake since the hanging bulge looked like an udder to me and I had never seen anything except “cows.”

So, when it was explained, “Ruth Mary, that is a bull.” I was mystified and embarrassed.

You would think at age 19 I should have known better. Ah, the dangers of early childhood impressions. I was indeed, “udderly mistaken.”

Social Settings

I hated social settings because they made me fearful and nervous. I was in 6th grade and had just started wearing pantyhose. Since we were always on a tight budget, my mother would generally buy the cheapest items, regardless of quality. I was at a wedding reception in a dress, pantyhose and heels.

The hotel banquet hall was lavish in its décor of reds and gold with tantalizing foods spread in abundance. Two glorious silver fountains beckoned thirsty guests to come and be refreshed. My mother discreetly informed me that one fountain offered champagne and the other was merely punch. She cautioned me because one time in their early years of ministry, my father ignorantly proceeded to drink champagne, much to my mother’s chagrin. Since she often reminded me that I had hardly any common sense, she was making sure that I wouldn’t repeat my father’s faux pau.

Obediently, I steered clear of the champagne fountain. I was sipping my drink while holding a plate with cake, nuts and mints on it, wondering where I could sit and eat without having both hands occupied. My eyes were scanning the walls for an empty chair when a waitress came to me.

She was short in her black dress, fishnet stockings, crisp white apron and cap. “Honey, you dropped your bottom.” She promptly skirted away to continue her tasks for the evening.

I was thoroughly mystified and mortified. My mind reeled. “Are my pantyhose hanging bunched around my ankles, again? Or has the entire waistband dropped and the pantyhose are lying on the floor around my shoes? Is my slip hanging? What in the world did she mean, “I dropped my bottom!”

I found my mother and through gritted teeth told her what the strange lady said. “Mo-ther, what did she mean? I dropped my bottom?” My mother looked at me with twinkling merriment as recognition dawned on her.

“Oh, honey, she means the bottom of your cup.” She walked to the non-forbidden fountain to demonstrate that these cups came in two parts to be assembled. By the time she finished explaining verbally and visually, all I longed for was that the reception would finish and I could go home, far away from social gatherings, baggy pantyhose and dropped bottoms!

Senior Citizen

So it happened again today. Not quite as I expected.

We walked into the grocery store and I thought, “Wow, why are all these elderly people here?” Twenty folks in wheelchairs crowded into the front just beyond the sliding doors. Then, I saw a woman with a notepad and she was making sure that the elderly folks all had someone assigned to them to help them shop. I thought, “Well, that’s really sweet.”’

I didn’t think anything more about it until Ross and I were in the checkout. I heard the twenty-something cashier say awkwardly, “I presume that at least one of you is a senior citizen?”

I replied, “Excuse me?”

She fumbled and repeated it, pointing at a badge that I couldn’t really see.

I asked, “How old?” I wanted to know the criteria for being a “senior.”

She answered, “Fifty-five and up.”

I firmly stated, “I am fifty-one.”

Whether she meant it exactly how it came out, I don’t know.

“Well, you look close enough to be one… Merry Christmas.”

Perhaps that’s not a big deal….except that thanks to my silver hair, people have mistaken me for Ross’s mother for over a decade.

Yes, I colored it once…..but that’s a story for another day.

Dig Deeper to Why?

I wanted to learn to use a spinning wheel. At historical sites, I watched women dressed in traditional fashions of colonial times. They seemed to effortlessly spin yarn, dip candles, embroider and demonstrate skillful crafts to the admiration of all who watched.

I wanted to learn to massage people. Tommy was paralyzed from the neck down because of polio. He was seventeen and I was seven. As he sat in his wheelchair I massaged his neck, shoulders and back. He was so thankful that I took time to talk to him and massage him. It made me so happy to know that I could make him feel special.

I wanted to play the guitar. My oldest brother played for the Youth Sunday in church. He led the congregation to worship God with new songs. I loved singing hymns and I also enjoyed these more vibrant, peppy songs.

What was behind these desires and interests? Something much deeper wove through the fleeting attempts of pursuit.

I wanted to influence people, to touch their hearts, to see their lives change and ultimately to be used to draw them closer to God. I wanted to make them feel special, loved and cared for as individuals. I wanted them to feel valued and significant—not apart from God but with Him.

But, Why Writing?

Words. God chose words to write a book for all time. He used words to create all that we see in Creation. He could have used anything but He chose the power and beauty of language.

On a much smaller scale, I want to use words to draw people to Him.

Bloomin’ Cactus

My Christmas cactus is abundant with vibrant, pinkish-red blossoms. They cascade in all directions draping on the dining room table. By contrast, it only bloomed a little during the years that I lived further north in Alaska.

I contemplate….is it a picture? Regardless of some challenging circumstances the cactus never died. It took all its’ energy to produce a few blossoms in a severe climate. Two or three flowers adorned the green foliage every year.

I am in a different season—a time of rest and reflection. Through difficult situations, I persevered, relying on God’s grace. I stayed faithful and committed through His nurturing love and care. In this new place, my soul is being restored. Like the cactus, my life is blossoming with astounding beauty and joy.

Looking Back

I died inside 35 years ago today. I thought my life had ended. Every dream, hope, desire and plan for my future was over. Suicide looked very tempting but I had some miniscule hope that maybe God could still save me. Maybe there could be light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe there was a way out of all my pain, depression, delusion and brokenness.

Oh, how thankful I am that God reached me with His love!

I—so undeserving and so rebellious. But He was merciful and He had so many more dreams for my life than I had ever imagined. It is amazing to realize that the very places that once held me in bondage are the very circumstances that God has redeemed and healed to comfort others.

So today, if you somehow feel that your life can never get better and the enemy of your soul keeps bombarding you with despair, self-hatred and regret, please know that God still has good plans for you and that He can heal your broken heart.