A few months ago my first book released into the world. It has been quite a journey ever since, going far beyond what I had hoped for.
Some people say it takes a special kind of courage to share your story, with all it’s messy parts and pieces. To face past wounds that still hurt, and settle the unsettled emotions involved. It is SO true…and for me courage seems to ebb and flow.
Right now, I can safely say I’m in the “flow.” Knock on wood (or a keypad, in my case).
I’ve heard so many stories these past few years, while writing and launching this book. Stories of women healing from past wounds of sexual abuse, abandonment, and neglect. Stories that have absolutely broken my heart, to those that have inspired me to hope.
When I wrote Journey to Heal, I had no idea what to expect. In my mind no one was really going read my book, and if they did it might just be a person or two. I was completely ok with that. In fact, that was a prayer of mine for a long while, “Dear God, even if this only helps one woman it will be so worth it!”
Since publication in late April, Journey to Heal has made its way into the hands of several men and women alike. It has been purchased and used by counselors, pastors and ministry leaders. Women from all over the place, as far as Scotland and Ireland, have purchased it and even gone so far as to take my online study. It’s been an amazing few months, and my heart is full.
But, let’s be honest…who WANTS to write about painful circumstances of past abuse? No one!
It’s painful. It’s messy. It’s uncomfortable on so many levels. But God uses our vulnerability, and our mess. He uses our painful stories…especially when they point the way to hope in Jesus Christ. Honestly, those are stories truly worth mustering the courage to write about.
These past few months during the launch of the book, I’ve had the honor of being interviewed on different radio programs and talk shows to share about my messy story, the book, and the wonderful things God has done in and through it. Most recently I was interviewed by Dr. Freda Crews for two segments on her internationally syndicated show, “Time for Hope”.
I have to share that this precious woman is truly an amazing lady. She has been all over the place, and has done so much for the kingdom of God. She is close friends with many popular Christian leaders and authors that I deeply respect, and during my visit to her studio she treated me like I was one of them.
This being my first (and possibly only ever) TV interview, needless to say I was a nervous wreck. Hanging out in the green room, waiting to go on, I prayed God would calm my nerves and help me just share what he would have me to share.
Of course, I couldn’t help but notice some of the folks she has interviewed before…like Cecil Murphy, Shauna Niequist, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Dan Allandar, and Rev. Franklin Graham….to name a few ;). This didn’t help my nerves, at all!
The interview itself went well, and I learned a lot through the experience. Afterword, Dr. Crews very kindly asked if I would like to go to lunch with her. Well, of course! So off we went to a little place not far from her studio. While we sat and chatted about our families, our ministry, and different things, I asked her what kept her motivated in her ministry, most.
She didn’t even hesitate, and said, “It’s the people. Seeing God use this ministry to do a transforming work in someone’s life is worth it all. That is what motivates me to keep going week after week.”
In that moment I sat there feeling more connected to this woman I just met, and may never see again.
The same is true for me. I share my story of abuse, and the healing God has done in my life, to point others to hope in Jesus Christ – the One who transforms us from the inside out. I’m so thankful God and to Dr. Freda Crews, and her wonderful staff at Time for Hope.
If you would like to tune in, the show airs on the Daystar TV Network over the next two Wednesday evenings (8/24 & 8/31), at 5pm EST. If you don’t get the Daystar channel, it is airing on most national networks, as well, at different times for different areas. For a complete listing of stations and air times by zip code, click here.
I’m so thankful that God uses our messy stories for something good. I love the fact that he has the power and desire to “work all things together for those who love him and who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). He is no respecter of persons. What he has done for me, he can and will do for you also – as you place your hope in him.
I don’t know where today finds you, friend. Perhaps you feel like you are at the end of your rope, or maybe you are experiencing a mountaintop season in your life. Wherever you are in your journey of faith, there is hope found in Jesus Christ. There is peace found in knowing him, and loving him well.
If you are a survivor of CSA, or love someone who is, I hope you’ll take some time over the next two weeks to watch Time for Hope and learn more about Journey to Heal where you can encouraged and inspired in your journey of faith.
Other recent articles and interviews with Crystal…