Reader Mail that Rattles Me

by
Charles Martin

A few days ago, I was feeling sorry for myself that my books weren’t climbing the bestseller’s lists.  Then I received this note from a reader and my perspective changed.  Along with my attitude.  (I"m shaking my head.)  This one humbled me.  My focus was in the wrong place.  I won’t bore you with backstory: the exchange of notes between us tells it pretty well.  The first note is the note from a reader (who’s name I’ve removed). The second is my note asking her permission to post her note and use it here.  The third is her response.

Warning: Her note is deeply personal, portions are painful and it takes courage—the deep-down kind—to write it.

Her Note to Me:

Dear Charles,

I just finished Thunder and Rain last night. It was wonderful. At first, it took me a while to read it. I kept having to put it down and waited for days before picking it back up. You see, I was raped by five different people from the time I was 2 until I was 6. Two were family members. When I read that Hope was raped, I was upset. I didn’t want to read about a little girl getting raped. Too close for comfort. I have worked very hard to forgive, to survive and to hand over the hurt to God so I can walk above and over the pain. But I know your stories are amazing, so I kept reading. I ended up loving the book. How could you not love Cowboy and his son!  It was the best ending of a book, I have read in a really long time. AWESOME! Reading this book, I had to remember things I didn’t want to think about and be okay to hear someone else’s story and be proud of who I’ve become and feel that proudness in my chest that I survived. I’m not okay, you never are truly okay, but with God, with forgiveness and someone who shows you real, true kindness, real love and someone actually standing in front of you and saying, I will protect you, you are almost okay. It never goes away, but God gets me through, takes the bad thoughts, feelings and images away. Sometimes it takes more than one prayer when it sneaks up on me, but He always takes care of me and tells me He’s with me and the memories fade back away. It’s an everyday battle but I’m winning. :)
I had to write and thank you. Thank you for writing such great stories. Thank you for listening when God gives you words. Thanks for being a vessel of healing for those you don’t even know. What you do, makes a difference. It has to me. Keep writing! May God continue to bless you and your family.

My Response to Her:

Dear—-

Ive kept your note up on my desktop for days. It moved me deeply and I thank you for sharing it with me.  Seriously.  I wanted to ask your permission to share it with my readers.  Would you allow me, if I remove your name, to post the text of your note to me in my blog or on my Facebook page.  I think it would mean alot to people who have suffered in similar ways.  If you’d prefer that I not, no worries.  And no pressure.  It’s a deeply moving note and I just wondered if others might be moved, and healed, by it as well.

Let me know.  Blessings on you

Her Final Note To me:

Charles,

Sometimes we never know or understand the reasons why we go through something so horrible. But just maybe it is to help someone else who is going through the same thing. If you strive to get past it, and forgive so you are not controlled by it, then you learn a lot. You gain things you wouldn’t have otherwise. If something I said in my note to you could help someone else to reach for God, then how can I say no. God is my life. If I could do something for Him and if I could spread the word that He is there for you when no one else is, then please let me. You are welcome to use my note in whatever way you feel it’s needed. I am blessed and honored to be asked. I am not ashamed of what happened to me. I wish it didn’t, but it did, so I am proud I am still standing. I still laugh. I still love. And I’m a Mom. And that is all because of one reason and one reason only…..GOD! I am nothing without Him. If there is something in what I said that could encourage someone else and help them in any way, I am so honored and humbled by that opportunity. Thank you. ...May God always bless you and the work of your hands,

Final Thoughts:
Mail like this affects on me.  It breaks loose the hard places.  Reminds me why I do what I do.  Kindles my hope.  When someone shares something so deeply personal there ought to be a huge hundred-mile long trumped that descends from the skies, parts the clouds, blows for ten minutes, and then God says, “Hey Everybody, hold up a second, somebody is about to say something that all of you need to hear.”  I think that’ll happen one day but probably not this side of heaven.  I’ll save that for another blog entry.

To the reader who shared this with me: Thank you, from the bottom of me.  I pray God’s richest blessings on your life, your marriage, your daughter, and the hurt places in your heart.  A day is soon coming when it’ll hurt no more.

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