In the month of October, I’m having another guest blogger take over my site. I got to know A.J. Adwen through the blogging world. We soon began to develop a friendship as we discovered we have a love for writing fiction. We both love emotional honesty in writing. We both believe that the only reason to write fiction is to heal—ourselves and others. I love her heart, and I love her personal story, which is one of tragedy and redemption. Please read Part I here (it will be in two parts). WARNING: Although not graphic in nature, this article contains possible rape triggers.
Words of Courage & Healing:
How Writing Fiction Helped Me Learn to be Honest With God
by A.J. Adwen
You all know the saying—the one that says life can change in the blink of an eye.
One moment, you have it all together. Sure, things come up that you have to work your way through. Puzzles that need solving, speed bumps that need finesse to handle smoothly. Nobody sails through life without affliction, not a single one of us.
Yet I never thought it could happen to me. That one moment could shake everything I ever thought to be true and right.
I would like to tell you how I survived and how writing has been a means of healing.
The moment that changed my life happened in 2003.
I was living blissfully. I knew Journalism was what I wanted to do as a career and was actively working towards it. I was also closer in my walk with God than I’d ever been before. It was an intimate walk, one I felt sure that I would never stray from. In addition, I had finally begun writing the outline for a book that had been on my heart since I was 14. I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going with it, but I knew I had to write it.
One morning, I woke up to an insistent voice in my heart, telling me to pray for my protection as I went about my day. You have to understand—I was closer to God than I’d ever been, so even though that urge was a little unsettling, I trusted with all of my being that if I prayed for protection, He would grant it. I just knew it.
My life changed that day.
I won’t go into details, because the full scope of what happened isn’t important. What is important is that I lost my innocence that day. It was forced from me by a man who attacked me and left me reeling in pain.
I was introduced to evil. And I was introduced to betrayal by a God I believed would hold me in the palm of His hand.
I knew I couldn’t trust Him anymore.
You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard it said, “You know that God didn’t go back on His word. You’re alive today, aren’t you?”
Let me put it this way: If you were being attacked and your own father was standing not ten feet away, hearing your cries for help, wouldn’t you think that your father was either incapable or unwilling to help you the next time something came up?
I vowed that I would never trust God again. I would never trust myself again.
I was standing at a fork in the road, carrying my burdens on bruised and battered arms, choosing the path that I would forge on my own accord.
It’s hard to place hope in anyone when you can’t even trust yourself or God. But that is the lesson I had to learn—that the very one I was running from was the only one who could help me. For years, I lived in the arms of alcohol, meaningless relationships, unhealthy love, and self-destruction. I was the life of the party. The girl everyone wanted at their beer chugging, bong smoking gatherings.
What was once a joyous bond between my Father and I became the complete opposite. I ran. I ran so hard and so fast that my lungs might have burst if I hadn’t have stopped every other day to drown my sorrows in alcohol. I might have held a gun to my head had I not submitted to any man that was willing to take away the pain of what I went through. I felt happy again, trusting only in myself, only later finding out that my pseudo happiness was actually a dark and lonely void.
I used various things to fill the void. I even went so far as to marry a man I didn’t love, in hopes of somehow finding a new start.
It was 2007. Six months into marriage with the man I didn’t really love, I walked in on my new husband looking at pornography.
Not because it was funny, or because I didn’t care. I laughed at the irony of it, at how he had just proven how cheap I really was.
After he left for work, I sat down at the very same computer and scrolled through the history, just to get a full scope of what this man was into. I won’t repeat it. And after installing a password on the internet, more specifically the words, “doyourwifenotporn,” I began to pour out my soul in a Word document.
It was a release of fragmented sentences that I didn’t consider before writing. Maybe this is even why I tend to write in fragments to this day. It’s how I process. It’s how I sort. But I did a “search and find” at the end of those two hours, and one word popped up over 30 times.
I’d never felt so lost.
And after erasing that document, I began a new one. At the top of the page, it was titled The River.
Six years later (September 2013), that book is a published novel. The title eventually changed to Othrinia’s Rain. It’s a play on words—one you might not understand until you read it. This novel helped me heal. This novel, dark as it is, helped me discover God’s truth. God’s longing for me. And its sequel will begin to show that redemption. Its sequel, I hope, will continue the healing process in my heart.
To Be Continued in Part II
A.J. Adwen is an Oregon native, born and raised in the mountains. She now resides in Oklahoma with her husband and three cats, where she devotes the majority of her time to writing and photography. You can purchase Othrinia’s Rain at Amazon.