Finding My Voice

11 Feb

One question that always comes up is why did I put such a personal story out there? Deep breath here for me, this is a big question and one that deserves an answer.

While in the E.R. with Bryant, I heard a voice in my head, or an angel whispering in my ear, whatever you want to name it say, “This is the story you have been waiting to write.” I shook it off, I kept hearing the voice over and over throughout our time in the E.R. “This is the story you have been waiting to write.” I thought to myself, “if you want me to write this story, it better have a happy ending.” Then I heard the same “voice” say, “I gave you the gift to write, pay attention because this is the story you have been waiting to write.”

When I was a child I wrote all of the time, stories flew out of me, I made them up in my head, I fell asleep every night writing stories in my mind, but I turned into a teenager, started dating and put the writing away, along with my other childhood things. I married had children and a life, and my husband and children had no idea I could write.

I knew I had a unique gift, a gift to remember conversations, the way a room looked, smelled, all of those little details. I may not remember your name, but I would remember with clarity what you said, and how you made me feel. I had always watched and listened as a child so that I could use these snippets of information in my writing. As an adult I continued to store this information away, but no longer using my gift. I had lost my voice somewhere between teenage girl and woman.

God gave me my “happy ending” and I knew I had to write what he asked, someday… The years passed and I was unable to let go and move forward because I was holding this story inside of me. The rest of the family moved on with their lives, but I was stuck. I tried several different times to find a job, I was blocked at every turn. I tried volunteering and was told consistently that all of the “jobs” were taken. I built gardens, finished my house, helped out at the family business, and tried to talk to my family about our journey. No one wanted to talk about it, they were all putting it behind. I couldn’t progress, this story was still balled up inside me.

I ate my way through my frustration, and became unhealthy. My blood pressure soared, my sugar level blew up, my knees were shot, and suddenly I was having trouble breathing. I went to the E.R. twice only to be told that my oxygen level was fine and that whatever was wrong, was wrong in my head and not in my lungs. I knew that it was not my head, it was in my throat. I had a story to tell and it was blocking my throat!

I went to my pastor and he told me that I could not tell Bryant’s and James’s story, not without their permission and they certainly weren’t ready to give that to me. He told me to tell him my story, to tell him how my marriage had survived. I was frustrated and scared about my health and knew that if I passed away from this life the story would pass away with me. I had been told to write the story and I had “tried” several times. It was difficult to go back to those dark days, so I busied myself with my life and didn’t write.

My husband Steve, was offered an additional temporary job in Maine, it would require him to live there every other week and the commute was long. We decided that I would go with him once a month, separating us only one week a month. I knew that if we were heading to Maine, that God must have a plan and that Steve would make a difference in someones life there. So off we went on this new adventure.

Steve worked long hours and I was alone in a small apartment with nothing to do and nowhere to go. I did not know anyone and most days Steve needed the car. I walked the beautiful coastline, drank tea at the local coffee houses, until finally I sat down to write the story God asked me to write. I wrote it for my grandchildren. I felt the story come through me and not from me. It poured out of me like lava from a volcano. I wrote what I wanted to write and put myself at the center. I told the story of my marriage, the story of a mother, sister, daughter, and wife facing a tragedy, facing life. The story of a woman finally rediscovering her voice and her value. It was the re-writes that brought about my healing. With each re-write my voice became stronger and stronger. Suddenly the book was finished, my family blessed it and pushed me to publish it. People came forth to help me, and the same week the book was ready to go to print, the job in Maine ended for Steve.

Now I am discovering that to write a true story and to promote your book, you must speak. Ha ha, I am now speaking at events and using my voice more than I ever imagined. My family and I continue to heal in ways we never thought possible, because I finally did what I was asked to do, which was to use my gift and tell the story.

Catie

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