I think one of the great values of a book like SURRENDERING TO HOPE is to gain insight into the struggles of others. This can lead to greater compassion as well as an ability to understand, to some degree, the depth of pain that someone is going through.
In Lee Ann Foster’s chapter, Restored Identity, a painful path of abuse, trauma, and recovery is revealed. At the center of this story is the fact that Lee Ann was adopted at two weeks of age. When she was eight years old, her adoptive mother died. Her adoptive father remarried quickly. But she was already living in a cycle of abuse began that had a significant impact on the rest of her life. She writes, “...I endured physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of many different people from the time I was four years of age until my early teen years.” Living in this hostile world of abuse and distrust had a significant effect on Lee Ann’s life.
…I chose another identity. I would become the invisible one. I would live life under the radar. And it worked! Well, it worked some of the time. … I never felt safe.
After some turbulent experiences in college and graduate school, she met Jesus and her husband! “...I experienced several years of spiritual and emotional growth. I dove into the Scriptures and grew in my ability to enjoy human relationships. We had two children...”
This could be the end of the story, but we should know that surviving traumatic abuse isn’t solved in a few easy steps. As Lee Ann’s daughters grew older, she began to suffer from ‘invasive visions of violence and tragedy overtaking’ her girls. I can only imagine how her childhood experiences were repeating themselves mentally. Only someone who has been through it can truly understand.
Using the trauma of childhood abuse is one of the enemy’s most prized strategies for disempowering God’s kingdom on earth.
This is not a hopeless story at all, but in keeping with our theme of SURRENDERING TO HOPE, Lee Ann experienced some profound healing. I hope you will buy the book and read about how she found hope and healing through counselors, mentors, retreats … and an amazing blessing from God when she found her birth mother. That wasn’t the end of her struggles, but ultimately hope has found its way into Lee Ann’s heart.
I wish I could say I’m completely healed now, but I am not. There seem to be layers of healing that the Lord reveals as I journey through the seasons of life … What I have now that I did not have before I addressed my trauma is a deepening, conversational relationship with Jesus … What I have now is a better sense of my true identity.
In our next chapter, we meet a Korean-born son of a soldier who was stricken with polio, given up for adoption into an abusive family. Then one day he met a student from a Christian University.
Lee Ann Foster is co-owner of Neurosource. Lee Ann’s passion is to help people learn how to live the healthiest, happiest, most fulfilling lives possible. As a Master’s level psychologist, counselor, a Wellness & Epigenetics Coach, a Neurofeedback provider, a Stress Resilience expert, a Psych-K Facilitator, and a lover of God and people, Lee Ann gives her clients the type of care that is well rounded, holistic, and evidence based. Even more importantly, she helps people learn how to take care of themselves and become their own healers.
SURRENDERING TO HOPE: GUIDANCE FOR THE BROKEN is Edited by John Mark Hicks, Christine Fox Parker, and Bobby Valentine. It was published this year by Leafwood Publishers.