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My husband, Steve, and I met when we were both seniors in high school. It was not love at first sight. He ran with the cool crowd, and as you might imagine, I did not. In fact, one of the first times he spoke to me, it was to make fun of my friends. Just goes to show you that God has a sense of humor!
Somehow, we overcame our differences and started dating. On our first date, we went to out to eat and saw a movie--Fatal Attraction. Probably not the best choice for a first date, but we overcame our poor choice in movies and stayed together through college. We married in 1994.
Steve is active in Kentucky politics, making me a politician's wife which is a very strange thing for an introvert like me. Again, God has a sense of humor!
We have six children--one biological son, and five special needs children adopted from China. Having a family this large with multiple medical needs was not something we planned. When Steve and I discussed having children we thought we would have two, maybe three biological kids. Obviously God had other (and better) plans.
After six years of infertility, I finally got pregnant. The pregnancy was difficult. My son was born ten weeks early, I suffered life-threatening complications, and was ultimately diagnosed with a chronic illness. Click here to read my pregnancy story.
After such a difficult pregnancy, we turned to adoption when we wanted to enlarge our family. Thanks to my diagnosis, we were now pros at dealing with doctors and medical procedures. We decided to adopt a (as in one) special needs child.
According to her paperwork, our daughter, Grace, had a small heart condition that had already been surgically corrected and developmental delays she was expected to overcome.
Boy was that wrong! We got much more than we expected (and more than we thought we could handle) when we adopted Grace. But adopting Grace opened our eyes and hearts to the plight of orphaned children with special needs. Click below to read our adoption story.
In my day job, I write fiction. My novel, The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin, was published by Algonquin Books in August of 2016. I've always loved reading. As a child, I carried a novel with me everywhere I went. Reading was my escape from a difficult childhood. I've never lost that love. That was where I realized that words have power. They had the power to transport me out of painful circumstances and into worlds where troubles like mine didn't exist. For awhile, I could forget that I didn't have enough food or that I was always cold. I could forget the way men used my body.
Until now, I've concentrated on writing fiction. But for the past year-and-a-half, I've been feeling a steady prompting from the Holy Spirit. I'd be sitting in church, singing worship songs or listening to the sermon and God would whisper to me: Write about this.
But I write fiction, I'd say. Novel length fiction. The pieces I felt led to write about were short. Definitely not book length.
Even worse, I began to feel like He wanted me to share my entire testimony--abuse and all. That. Was. Terrifying. Only a few very trusted people knew everything I've been through. Just thinking about telling my entire story brought up all those ugly feelings of shame and worthlessness I'd spent years trying to bury.
So I procrastinated. I wrote more fiction. I played with my kids. I tried to push aside that still small voice.
But God didn't stop whispering, and eventually, I couldn't ignore Him any more.
I felt like God was pushing me to be radically transparent. So I took a deep breath and wrote. Everything. In doing so, I realized that it was only by sharing all of my story that the depth of God's love for me was revealed.
I created this website, hoping that it will be a place for women (and men if you feel like dropping in!) to uplift each other as we walk through this life. I hope that we can be radically transparent with each other. No Facebook or Pinterest perfect lives here. Let's share life in all of its messiness, because that's when God can use us. That's when He speaks to us. We don't have to be wise or perfect. After all, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 And: "God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." 1 Corinthians 1:27
The light of God's love shines brightest in our broken places.
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