I just completed an awesome five days with My Book Therapy (MBT) at the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Annual Conference in Indianapolis. It was an amazing whirlwind of a time. I’m the Member Care Coach at MBT and spend the entire conference each year at the MBT booth.
I have the privilege of meeting hundreds of writers at different places on their writing journeys. I encourage, celebrate and pray with writers. I help them find their way. It’s such a rewarding time, I hate to see it come to an end.
This year was different in two regards. First, I had dozens of women approach me. They would wait until no one else was around and muster the courage to utter these words that I’ll never forget, “It happened to me.” One by one, they told their stories. They have survived insurmountable odds and were trying to move on with their lives. We shared, cried, hugged, prayed. I lost count but the last I can remember, over 40 women shared their stories with me. They are heroes, each and every one of them.
I know that Road to Freedom Tour has only begun. I also believe it must be done on a much larger scale than I ever imagined. My plan was to fly back to Florida where I’m connected and plan my next steps. On Saturday, I was approached by an agent who wanted to know about my bicycle trip. When they heard the adventures of “The Bicycle Lady”, they asked me to send them a proposal for the book I’m writing. On Sunday I was approached by an executive editor for a major publishing company who asked for a proposal as well.
For those of you who are not in or around the publishing industry, please let me assure you this rarely happens. This was confirmation to me that God wants Road to Freedom to have a broader scope so that hurting women all over the country can face their fear and find the freedom to abundantly live the life they have only been existing through since they were assaulted or abused.
I left the hotel and headed to the airport to fly back to Florida. I was wearing an ACFW shirt that a woman in line at Starbucks recognized. She discovered that I was the Bicycle Lady and insisted that I accompany her to her gate to meet her friends. We stood around as I recounted story after story of God’s power to heal wounded women.
We laughed and cried together. They prayed for me right there at the gate. I had to rush back to catch my own flight so I took off down the concourse at break neck speed. Suddenly, I felt a firm hand on my shoulder. I turned to find a female police officer stopping me. My first instinct was that I was speeding. Okay, I know there is no speed limit for pedestrians in the airport, but she caught me off guard. Then I wondered if it was illegal to pray in the airport in Indianapolis.
Then the words came… you know, those four immortal words that I’ve heard over and over on the Road to Freedom. She said, “I overheard your stories back there. I just felt I needed to tell you, ‘it happened to me.'”
I completely abandoned any attempts to catch my flight. We stepped over to the corner and I listened while she told me about enduring sexual abuse at the hands of a family member while growing up. As an adult she knew she had to become a cop to fight back for those who, like she’d once been, were unable to fight back.
Tears flowed down her cheeks as she told me how she fights for others now. Officer “She has a heart” is a champion for all those who the Road to Freedom serves. She is a hero!
In the days, weeks and months to come, Road to Freedom will be expanding to bring this liberating message to a much larger number of women at a time. I’ll be working with partners to bring encouragement, teaching, speaking, books, and other media to the masses. RtF has garnered so much media attention and the momentum is high.
We must get this message out to hurting women. Would you be willing to partner with me? Here’s how:
1) Help me get the word out about my blog. Invite others to follow it. Whether they are hurting or not (don’t assume they’re not hurting. These women suffer in silence), ask them to follow and to share my blog with others. They can sign up right on my website and have my blog delivered to their email address daily.
2) Consider purchasing my e-book, “Facing Fear and Finding Freedom” available on Amazon for $2.99. All the proceeds go to the advancement of the Road to Freedom Tour. Also, if you read it, I’d be honored if you’d give it a review on Amazon. That helps others who are deciding whether to buy it.
3) Pray about Road to Freedom. I’ll be hitting the road again before long (Although probably not on the bike… maybe in an RV?) to continue the message and helping others heal.
Now that ACFW is in the history books, the blogging adventures will resume on a daily basis again.
Thank you all for your support, love, prayers and encouragement. As I reach out to others, I am your arms extended!