The good news about secrets.

secrets

 

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In my new novel, How Sweet the Sound, the Harlan family knows a lot about secrets. They learn some pretty tough lessons, too, about what happens when sin is allowed to fester and weave its way unchecked through the generations.

Just like in II Samuel 13:20, when folks are told to keep pain to themselves, the innocent and the broken have no choice but to live out their days in the desolation of silence and shame.

Find out how the Harlan family learns to live different, and how the grace of light and the mercy of forgiveness are available for all who seek.

*****

“He shines a spotlight into caves of darkness,
    hauls deepest darkness into the noonday sun.”

Job 12:22 (TMV)

*****

How Sweet the Sound is available wherever fine books are sold, in print and e-readers formats. The best place to buy it is always at your local, independent bookstore. But here’s a few more places you can buy it too:

How Sweet the Sound at Amazon

How Sweet the Sound at LifeWay

How Sweet the Sound at Barnes and Noble

How Sweet the Sound at Books a Million 

How Sweet the Sound at Christian Book Distributors (CBD)

How Sweet the Sound at David C. Cook (Publisher)

How Sweet the Sound at Family Christian Stores

 

 

It’s time to talk about it: Sexual Assault Awareness Month Balloon Release Kick-Off

April 1 marked the kick-off for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), sponsored by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Here in Indiana, the incredible folks at INCASA organized an important balloon release for the Day of Action on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse. Along with another survivor, Jenny Wendt, who is making incredible strides in reducing and possibly even eliminating the statute of limitations for perpetrators with the Indiana General Assembly, I was honored to be asked to say a few words from the viewpoint of a survivor.

As I said to one reporter, “What happened [to the survivor] is valid, what happened is real, and a court of law can’t stop that from being the truth…”

In my speech, I wanted to give survivors hope, and give advocates a renewed sense of empowerment. Here are a few excerpts:

“Not only is it time to talk about it, it’s time to see our faces. I am one of every three women who’s suffered abuse and assault. It’s not easy for me to be here or to talk about it, but I’m here for every person who’s looked me in the eye after a speech, for every survivor who’s sent me private messages and emails, for every silent one, to let them know we do not have to live in fear and shame…

…We can be a society that rebuilds and restores instead of shaming victims so they’re too afraid to come forward. We can be a society that embraces the wounded and binds up there wounds instead of letting perpetrators and enablers tear them wide open again. We can give survivors safety instead of fear, and an outpouring of support that blots out their shame…

…Abuse and incest and molestation and rape are crimes which cause a lifetime of devastation. But I want victims to know they can break free from generational cycles. We can find hope and healing. Beauty can and does rise from the ashes of our pain…”

***

You can learn more about what was shared through these links below:

Radio coverage from WIBC: http://www.wibc.com/news/story.aspx?ID=2148033

Video coverage from the local CBS affiliate, WISH: http://wishtv.com/2014/04/01/rape-survivor-rallies-for-change-at-statehouse/

Video coverage from the Indianapolis Star: http://www.indystar.com/videos/news/2014/04/01/7178671/

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What will YOU do to increase awareness, talk about it, and bring survivors hope this month and throughout the year?

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The amazing Anita Carpenter, CEO of INCASA

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Join me in supporting survivors by wearing teal this month, too, would you?

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Let it go!

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Dogs like this special nugget, celebrating the day by sporting teal dyed fur, are being specially trained to be able to sit with children who are victims during intake and questioning sessions.

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right here. a poem.

right here. 

He said holding

a finger up beside His eye

the same place where

a lonely tear fell from lashes

water rising  past ankles

then knees

wobbly, buckling, straining to remember

how to move in harmony

Him

standing

reaching

toward flailing arms

certain clouds glowering low

sea birds circling raucous

squawking out their throaty glee

she knew not what she meant

when she exclaimed

Here am i

she was only glad to go

until the whole business of walking on water came up

and then the deep tried to pull her back under

dark waves cresting over truth

gusts of shame prevailing

until the Voice

the command

the ultimatum

Here am I

right here.

*****

feet