Perspectives on Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral Issues: Host – Lowell Qualls

Posts tagged ‘Writing’

Part 1 – Trust and Disappointment

This is the first article in a series.  I hope my regular readers will stick with me on this one.  I believe the content will touch your heart, and open your understanding to the complexities of Trust – trusting God and others – and Disappointment – in God and in others.

I have made a new friend after I wrote the article on “Rape and Abuse.”  After I received Ellie’s comments on that article I tracked back to her blogsite and soon we began a personal dialogue.

After several weeks of sharing our thoughts, one with the other, I asked her permission to put out a series of  articles on what we shared, using portions of the correspondence-via-email we had sent each other.  I’ve included her email giving me permission to share our emails below.  Ellie is very generous, and is very open about the challenges she has faced and continues to face.  Check out her site and you’ll see what I mean.  (http://ridmeofmyself.wordpress.com/)

Hey Lowell…

No worries.   Actually at the time I wrote those, I had been trying to figure out a way in which to write you not in the form of a comment. so I am glad that you emailed me the other day… so we could communicate that way.

That said … feel free to use what you wrote to me as an article, and my question as a lead in.   I am sure that there are lots of people out there who would greatly benefit from your experience and insight on the subject of trust … and I would hate for them to miss out.

I am not concerned with people having read my comments … or even having attached my first name, or blogsite with them, or the personal issues I deal with. Hey, it is out there in no uncertain terms on my blog … and I feel comfortable with the level of anonymity the web affords.

So … publish away if you want to, and know that I am all for allowing our struggles to be a bridge for others to know god better. helps to know they are not in vain.

Ellie

Part One:  Ellie’s first comment, and my response:

After I wrote the “Rape and Abuse” article,  I received this comment from Ellie on April 14:

Hey … I stumbled across your post in tag surfer, and felt strongly, as an individual who has struggled daily with the aftermath of sexual abuse/rape, and who’s life has been profoundly touched by both the grace of God and the kindness and compassion of a pastor who walked along side me in that struggle that I needed to say thank you.

Thank you for caring enough to see and acknowledge the depth of pain and brokenness of those around you.  My pastor introduced me to Christ and began with me the slow, painful journey of healing that I still am taking to this day.  He made a huge difference in my life, as I am sure you have done for those in your care.  So thanx … you make a difference.

And yes, I agree with you “that self-imposed ‘responsibility’ for the crime” is often one of the major stumbling blocks to release from the bondage of sexual abuse/rape.  That is true of my own experience.  It is only now, years (and much therapy) later, that I am beginning to allow the truth (about God and myself) to sink in, and I believe this is the path to freedom.

Ellie

I was so fascinated with Ellie’s comment that I went looking for her site.  I found it and read the following article that she entitled “The Promise of Redemption;” she had written it way back on January 18 of this year.  Read it below.  (By the way, when Ellie writes she usually does not capitalize words and pronouns … so you’re reading what I read.)

the promise of redemption

     i spend most of my day in the numbness… functioning when i must and allowing myself to isolate and withdraw when i am not required to, living and breathing and even sometimes laughing. but in the waning hours of the evening and in the loneliness of the newly dawning day i feel. and it hurts.     

     and i wonder how the past and present can exist together in the same moment, and why my head refuses to allow my heart to heal… and how it is possible for my chest to ache so deeply from within because of an eight year old girl who remembers more than twenty years ago, when her heart was broken.     

     and i am utterly alone, caught somewhere been the sorrowful shame of my shadows and the fuzzy reality before my eyes and beneath my feet. this is the precise instant that the blade beckons, promising relief in the red river… redeeming just for tonight, her past transgressions.    

     the blade beckons, and yet the cross calls out to my soul in a soft yet familiar voice … both promising redemption, but only one delivering true, lasting cleansing. only one quenches the depth of my need. but in the midst of my pain, in my raging storm i so often reach, not for abiding truth, but for immediacy… trading living water for a lie that turns to sand upon my tongue.   

       i pray for the strength to turn from that which will never satiate, and to cling to the enduring one who gives life.                                  

On April 14, I responded this way to her comment on my blog article on “Rape and Abuse,” and then I told her how I felt about her blog article:

Oh, Ellie!

After you commented on my article today I searched for your site. (I’m sure that one of the prime motivators was your gracious compliment … I must admit.)

I’m so glad I found your site. You’re honest, and transparent. I even love the language you used to put an exclamation point on your observations.

I’m with you. I don’t think God gives a rip about chocolate, but He certainly hopes we’ll get over the guilt from failures, real and perceived, that tend to separate us from Him. He gives a rip about US! He loves us so much, and longs to hold us to Himself. He went to every extreme to demonstrate that love by sending His Son into the broken world. His goal wasn’t just our “eternal salvation,” but our temporal healing and health. He’s THE Healer for every broken heart.

I feel like a found a new friend when I found your site. I’ll be checking in often. (No pressure! Ha! Relax, and just be your wonderful self. He gifted you, and I believe God hopes you’ll find not only purpose for your writing, but JOY when you write. It’s more than therapy for you, if you even consider it therapy. Your thoughts are therapeutic for your readers … and now your fans.)

Blessings and Aloha!

Lowell

April 2008 Update – Dancing With The Healer

Vicki QuallsFor all those who have been following the progress of my writing “The Vicki Book,” I have some news.  I’m really close to finishing the “creative stage” of the process.  Soon I’ll be entering the dreaded “editing stage,” where everything I’ve written is on the block.

I’d like to ask my blog readers for some input.  Please comment on the process I’m going to outline below – one that I believe I’ll follow in order to bring the book-writing to its proper conclusion.

Before I share that process I want to thank Caroline Eitzen-Cocciardi AGAIN for her encouragement to “stay in your creative mind, Lowell,” and not give in to the temptation to constantly go back to what I had already written and edit it (which I had done, time and again until she gave me her wise counsel).

I shared last month that my goal was to have the manuscript done before I went on vacation to Maui.  I didn’t make it.  Plain and simple.  But the goal helped push me like never before.  Now, I’ve set another goal – one that I think I will make.  I’m working on the last 75 pages of Vicki’s journal.  I’ve been able to do about 10 a day (on a good day).  Given that, I’m inside two weeks of coming to the end of the creative stage.  Then, I’ll read the manuscript from start to finish, trying to find any grammar/spelling mistakes, typos, and breakdowns in the flow of the story.  That’s probably another week or two.  Then, the gutsy part.

My intention is to share the manuscript with several close friends who have a writer’s background.  Some are published authors.  Others are journalism majors and masters.  One or two of my pastor-buddies will be asked to look over the theological content, and a few readers will be people who lived through much of what Vicki wrote about – family and friends.  I’ll be asking all these folks if they would evaluate my style, the flow of the story/book, and its content.

Whew!

Like I said at the start, anyone out there in the internet world is welcome to comment on the process I’ve outlined above.

And for those who have been praying for me and the book … please continue to do so.  I’ve seen that when I’VE been in prayer and close communion with the Lord, the process of writing the book becomes mystical and supernatural, and in turn, I’m able to produce much more than normally possible.

I could use some encouragement right now.  I’m tired.  I feel emotionally spent at the end of every day.  Thank God for Becky!  She’s been such a supporter and helper.  I can’t think of a day when she hasn’t been there for me.  But most of the time she’s been a single (lone) voice.  Is there anyone out there who could join her?

Well, back to writing the book.

By the way, the blogging has rarely (I can’t say never) interrupted my writing the book.  Actually, blogging has served to break tension, relieve emotions, and strangely – rest my mind.  Blogging has been like having a conversation with a friend who’s only purpose has been to listen as I vent or wade through issues that distract me.

Love to all.