Dear Hurting One

p1000164.jpgDear Hurting One, God hears and sees what you’re going through.

Brilliant sunshine or dark storm, the Lord is near. Springtime or winter, He’s within reach of your tiniest whisper or loudest prayer.

His love is deep and devoted. His kindness is beyond measure. His grace knows no end. His mercy is greater than the Grand Canyon’s steep walls that loom thousands of feet above those who hike its valley floors.

Can you see God’s mercy surrounding you like high canyon walls?

Please don’t give up. Uncertainty is often followed by clarity, sickness by health, depression by contentment, loss by new discoveries.

Don’t let despair enter your heart. It wants to swallow you like a tiny stone swallowed up by ocean waves. Call upon the Lord and praise Him for the good things in your life. Surrender what you cannot control to Him in prayer and receive a peace that defies logic (Phil. 4:7).

Dear Hurting One, God’s love for you is many times greater than the love of a mother for her precious child.

Can you think about a small child sitting in her loving mother’s lap? Such a child rests her head against her mother and is without fear or dread. Rest in the love of the Lord just like that child.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea–Psalm 46:1-2

Who Told You That You’re Insignificant?

I drove a young lady to her house, about twenty minutes from town, the other day. We were total strangers and for the first four minutes or so, as I tried to break the ice, she answered my casual statements in one and two syllable words. “Yeah,” “Uh-huh,” “Yeah.”

You can tell a lot about people by their eyes. My passenger kept hers riveted to her lap, the floor, somewhere down–her glance was down.

A wire dog crate rattled in the back of my SUV as we pulled onto Highway 140. “My husband and I took our puppy with us out of town yesterday. We got in late,” I said, explaining the cage and still looking for a connection to her heart.

What I really wanted to say was, “Who told you that you’re not significant? What’s going on at home? Have you been abused? Are you a trauma survivor? What’s life like for you?”

But I didn’t. Of course, I wouldn’t burst into the middle of someone’s life, not like that. So, I pried the door open with random comments about my “puppy,” my 70 pound Doberman puppy. Let’s just say that he outgrew his cuteness six months ago when he no longer could run under our Labrador mix, but technically he’s still a puppy.

Her brother lives at home with her and he has a dog, I learned. His dog is a puppy, too. One that messes in the house and destroys things. She hates this particular puppy, by the way. Her eyes barely left her lap, the floor, or whatever it was that she was looking at–her glance remained down.

I’ve seen this before in young women, this avoidance, shame, or social distress. Usually, it’s there because something awful happened to distort their identity. Usually, whatever happened isn’t pretty and it’s not the topic of polite conversation.

In the short twenty minutes that I had with her, I wanted to infuse my passenger’s heart with healing words to undo the pain and erase the lies. What I wish I could’ve said to her is what every girl needs to know: You are a genius. You have value and purpose. You are beautiful. Do you know how creative you are? You are God’s masterpiece. You are His princess.

On a road with more sagebrush and livestock than houses, I pulled into the gravel driveway of a small, plain modular home. Two dogs, their heads poking between curtain panels, watched us through a large window and barked. My passenger got out. She still averted my glance, even as I bid her a good day.

Albert Einstein said, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” I know that the opposite is just as true. If you tell someone who believes they’re stupid how smart they really are, they will live as though they believe it.

We have the privilege, the responsibility, to infuse the hearts of people with the truth of how amazing they really are. Encouragement is a gift that we can give anytime we choose. It only costs us a minute or three of our time, but the dividends more than make even the smallest of our efforts worth it.

“Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”–Proverbs 16:24

Pamela Koefoed, 2016

Defeating Fear to Help Others

My Journey of Defeating Fear to Help Others by Memoir Author Pamela Koefoed

Posted by Kathleen Pooler/@kathypooler with Pamela Koefoed/@JoyRideBook

 

Photo Credit--Free Google Images

Photo Credit–Free Google Images

Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway
- John Wayne
So often when we write a memoir, the story develops a life of its own and becomes a part of a larger cause. This is certainly the case for Pamela Koefoed who began advocating for abused children and teaching audiences how to overcome a painful past after publishing her memoir. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Pamela whose memoir Joyride: Life, Death and Forgiveness is a riveting story of hope and overcoming child abuse. Pamela will discuss how writing her memoir helped her to defeat fear and find her mission of helping child abuse survivors. My reviews can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari and LibraryThings.

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Book Synopsis:
Pamela Koefoed tells the story from the child’s point of view, recalling in vivid detail the events leading up to four house fires, her narrow escape from them, and the conviction of the arsonist. She depicts the heart touching tale of being left alone for weeks with her eleven year old sister and baby brother, and describes how they managed to deter notice from Child Welfare. Pamela and her sister surprise us all by their spunkiness, indomitable joy, and resiliency. Due to their circumstances, they draw on the love they have for each other and rise above the unthinkable to show us all the way to a richer and more meaningful life. If you enjoyed The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, you’ll loveJoyRide: Life, Death and Forgiveness (from Amazon author page).

Welcome, Pamela!

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Memoir Author and Advocate Pamela Koefoed

My Journey of Defeating Fear to Help Others

As a child and into young adulthood, I lived in a place of powerlessness known as “the conspiracy of silence” where painful, unexplainable experiences were never mentioned and where we went on with daily life as if we were a mini version of the idyllic family of the popular sitcom that ran in the late sixties and seventies, the Brady Bunch.

But there was a problem with this way of being—it wasn’t true. My mother wasn’t the Carol Brady, doting sort of parent. In her childrearing, there was little room for mothering and her general philosophy was more in line with the idea that life is a party, so pass another beer. A lifestyle like my mother’s doesn’t allow space for children. Consequently, my childhood was similar in many ways to the thousands of children who are neglected by parents or guardians each year in the United States.

In addition to being a victim to neglect, when I was eight-years-old my mother was arrested and charged as a felon for committing crimes, which put our entire household in grave danger. On four occasions, I fled for my life, twice barely escaping death. To top off all of this craziness, after my mother’s release from a California correctional facility, my nine-year-old sister and I were returned to her care.

Sixteen years ago, the conspiracy of silence that had held me powerless lost its grip and I began sharing snippets of my testimony publicly.

The first time I stood in front of a group to speak about my past is especially memorable. I stood nervously near a podium before a small congregation of fifty to sixty parishioners at the non-denominational church my husband and I attend. Adrenaline rushed through my system, causing my head to feel detached from my body and constricting my vocal chords. I opened my mouth to speak—my voice trembled and my speech was nothing more than thin, wispy breathes. I thought I would throw up, but somehow I managed to be heard and, obviously, I lived through the ordeal.

When we’re afraid and follow our convictions anyway, we’re victorious.

After my initiation into public speaking, there were many more opportunities to speak to groups; for years, I did so with my very being engulfed in anxiety. Eventually, those negative feelings vanished, but it took great perseverance, some faith, hard work and encouragement from family and friends.

In 2009, the executive director of my county’s CASA program, Court Appointed Special Advocates, asked me to run the program, giving me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children who have experiences similar in many ways to my own childhood. Initially, the uncertainties and the what if’s hounded me. The stories of maltreated children would confront me. Might I have nightmares? What if I broke into tears in the courtroom while presenting these children’s needs and wishes? How healed am I, really? Am I even qualified?

The greatest enemy, as someone once said, isn’t fear. From time-to-time, everyone feels afraid. It’s coming into agreement with fear and believing the nagging doubts instead of embracing the truth—you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

I accepted the position as the director for my county’s CASA program and embraced a new season. Stepping into this role proved to me that the very things I had feared were nothing more than shadows and that advocating for children is an ideal fit. Right next to death, on the list of things we humans are afraid of, comes public speaking, and I think next to this comes writing a survival memoir, which I’m grateful to have completed last year, and next to this would be hearing the stories of children who have had hellish childhoods. All of this sends shivers up our spines, causes labored breathing, our hands to sweat, our stomachs to churn—yikes!

When you’re faced with an opportunity to do good and help others, whether it’s through volunteer work, writing a memoir, or taking a new job, and if fear is hounding you, let me leave you with a little advice from our friend John Wayne, saddle up anyway. The world will be a better place because you cared.

***
Thank you Pamela for sharing your inspirational story of surviving childhood abuse and overcoming fear. You remind us of the power of memoir writing to heal and help us connect with a higher mission. I can’t help but feel your noble work of advocating for children who have been abused is a perfect fit for you!

Author Bio and Contact Information: Pamela Koefoed, originally from Sacramento, California is a child abuse survivor and a daughter of an ex-felon. In addition to writing numerous articles for websites and blogs, she has authored two books. Her latest book is JoyRide: Life, Death and Forgiveness, a Memoir. When not writing, Pamela directs a child advocacy agency program and is a frequent guest speaker on radio shows and at events around the nation. Pamela and her husband have been married for 25 years. They enjoy golden sunsets and coyote serenades from the back deck of their rural home in southern Oregon.

Website: http://pamelakeofoed.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Pamela.Koefoed.Author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoyRideBook
JoyRide: Life, Death and Forgiveness is available from the website, http://joyridebook.com, from Amazon, and by requesting it in bookstores.

How about you? Has writing your memoir led you to a higher mission? or helped you to overcome a fear?

Pamela has graciously offered to give away one copy of JoyRide: Life, Death and Forgiveness to a commenter whose name will be selected in a random drawing. To enter the drawing, go to Kathleen’s website by clicking this link http://bit.ly/1jlFxwJ

We’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below~

Announcement: Congratulations, Tracy Lee Karner! Your name was selected in a random drawing of commenters to receive Nina Amir’s book, The Author Training Manual.

Next week: ”What Goes Into a Successful Pubslush Crowdfunding Campaign?”

Day #28 and 97% funded! My Pubslush Crowdfunding Campaign for my memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse ends at midnight on June 11, in 2 more days
Thanks to your generous contributions I am within reach of a successful campaign!
In making a contribution you will help me spread the messages of hope, resilience and courage to those seeking freedom from abuse.
Here’s the link to the campaign:
http://pubslush.com/books/id/2076.
I’d love it if you would share this link with others.

Thank you for joining me in sharing the hope!

Originally published at, http://www.krpooler.com/2014/06/09/beyond-the-memoir-my-journey-of-defeating-fear-to-help-others-by-memoir-author-pamela-koefoed/ by Kathleen Pooler

A Reason to Live

What do dangerous chlorine gas, an exploding house, and a knife attack mean to you? Hopefully nothing. But for me, these were each experiences that I had growing up with my alcohol-addicted mother. Living with her was like trying to survive in a river of crocodiles. My life was often in danger and it’s a wonder that I wasn’t eaten alive.

I survived, obviously, but there’s something else–I overcame. I’m here to give hope and help to the hurting through my creative writing style which is much like story telling. Because I suffered and loved much, I am able to provide a fresh perspective on some of the most perplexing social issues facing our world.

Interaction with readers encourages me to keep writing these vignettes. I would love to hear from you. If you would like to respond in writing to something you’ve read, here are some things to consider: How did the article impact you? Have you had a similar experience? Do you have something positive to contribute to the discussion?

You are dearly loved,

Pamela Koefoed

write@pamelakoefoed.com

http://www.pamelakoefoed.com  http://www.joyridebook.com

Pamela Koefoed.