By November 24, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Finding the awesome in the awful

There’s an awesome in every awful.  Beautiful and vivacious, 13-year old Rion Page is blind in one eye and has permanently damaged arms due to arthrogryposis multiplex congenita.  Sometimes she gets really frustrated when she can’t do something she thinks she should be able to do.  When she feels that frustration, she sings as a way to express her feelings.  Turns out she has quite a voice.  With her mother’s encouragement, Rion auditioned for  ”X Factor” where she blew away the judges and the audience.  

Rion’s story is included here because finding healthy ways to process your distress over your spouse’s sexual addiction will give you a way to express your feelings and you may even discover unexpected talent as I did.  

One cold winter day in 1991, I sat in my driveway struggling over what I was getting ready to do.  A few weeks earlier, I had discovered my husband’s secret sexual addiction.  I knew I needed to go for a full battery of tests for sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. I was terrified about what the tests might show.  I had been faithful in my marriage and my husband was the only man I’d ever been with.  ”I played by all your rules, God, how could this happen to me and what will happen to my children?” I said out loud as I sat in the driveway gripping my steering wheel.  I didn’t want to go for the tests, but I knew it was an important part of taking care of myself.

As I sat there frozen, feeling like there was no reason to go on, when the mailman drove up.  Thinking it would add a few moments of delay in leaving for the tests, I got out of the car and picked up the mail and then sat in the car and went through it.  In the stack of mail was a letter with the results from a writing assessment test I had taken several months earlier.  I had always wanted to be a writer and after seeing an ad in Writer’s Digest for a correspondence course designed to teach you how to write,  I sent for the assessment to see if I could get into the course.  The assessment tested applicants in five areas:  screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, news writing, and poetry.

I sat there reading the letter with the results of the test and could scarcely believe what it said.  ”You can write in all five areas.  That’s very rare.”  Here I was trying to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t have something I thought I had and I was discovering I had something I didn’t know I had.  At that moment, I heard God speak to me in a still, small voice, “You will use what you are going through now to write a book that will help many people.”  There was a reason to go on.  I put the letter in my purse and drove in for my tests.  When I felt afraid, I fingered the letter and told myself something good was going to come out of this.  

In order to pay for the course, I went down to the office of the local newspaper and asked for a job.  The editor looked at me and said, “Well, I can make a writer out of anybody.”  So, he hired me.  I wrote hundreds of news articles, every one so that I could get good enough to one day write my book.  Finally, I did.  An Affair of the Mind sold 120,000 copies and my mailbox was now filled with letters from people it helped.

Know, that there is an awesome inside you that will bring good out of your sadness.  Reach down and find that awesome and use it as a way to process your feelings about the awful.  Then, write me and let me know about all the good that came out of your courage to embrace it.

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