It's a rare day that I don't hear the voices from my childhood telling me I'm stupid and don't know what I'm doing. My stepdad told me I was good for nothing every day, and every bad thing that happened in the world was my fault. It took decades to realize and accept that I am special. Made in the image of God means I'm creative, with special gifts, talents, and passions to share and add value to the world, not the cause of its brokenness. I know this is true of others, and now I know it's true of me as well.
As I introduce myself to the world, it's important to mention the abusive life I once had as a child because I know I'm not alone. For this reason, I'm passionate about bringing hope and building faith to encourage others. Today I'm an author and artist. I hope that my words will have more power than the words I once believed were true as a child. Bruises and bones repair, but the power of hurtful words can linger over one's lifetime. So I hope my path in life continues to inspire others to seek their unique blend of God's DNA so they, too, can be a light in this very dark and troubling world and not remain a prisoner of someone's destructive words.
Finally, after 65 years of life on this planet, I've decided to build this passion into a business/ministry. It's taken many years to accept what I sensed I was capable of doing for years. It's taken years to gain the confidence I need to move forward, yet, those old voices do their best to drown my confidence at every opportune moment. I'm learning to shut them out, though they do occasionally open the door to remind me they're still hanging around.
So you might wonder if the voices ever go away. I can't answer that, but I can tell you that they certainly can be silenced for longer periods. And you might also wonder how I overcame the power of the words intended to tear me down, words I once believed were true. That's easy for me to answer: It took getting to know the abundant love of my Heavenly Father, the one who is my Maker. Did you know He created the world by His spoken word? That's the power of words! We do not need to underestimate that power.
Words are so powerful. Perhaps people love my writing because I'm most alert to the words I choose as I write. They matter. They impact. They can invite people to experience love, joy, peace, hope, faith, and purpose. But, words can also dismiss, separate, destroy, and permanently crush a soul.
If you experienced verbal and or physical abuse as a child, I assure you you aren't alone. But, I also want to ensure you that you aren't the bad, stupid, good-for-nothing person you once believed you were either. I have found that when I choose to be a light in the dark, a breath of fresh air in the foggy world around me, I add value. It's a place to start. It's satisfying and fulfils my purpose. And the cool thing is that we are each made with unique ways to do just that in life.
Today I'm pursuing a new career as an author and artist. I have always loved writing. I discovered that I could draw and paint about eight years ago, and I have been writing my whole life. Looking back, I see how much writing healed so many broken seasons of my life. First, writing poetry and letters to pen pals helped me process the trouble and depression in my childhood. Later, writing helped me in the grieving process after losing both husbands--one to cancer in 2008 and one to COVID-19 in December 2020, two days after Christmas.
I wrote a book after my first husband died, but my second husband's death led me to pursue writing, along with my art, in a new business. Earlier this year, after settling funeral and estate matters, I sold our home along with our large property. Then I moved my 86 year old mother and myself to a town home. I love having less responsibility for the house and property.
Though it's taken quite a while to settle in, I have finally jumped in to start my Christian books and many projects I foresee creating soon, including a 12-book/12-month book series making a debut on January 1, 2022 called the Borrow My Joshua Stones series.
I began praying immediately after Mike unexpectedly passed away last year, asking God what direction my life should take now that I'm widowed again. Thus my new business is emerging with unique materials and workshops (coming later this year) that bring hope and build faith.
My life story is all about the transformation when God brings hope and strengthens our faith and confidence in Him. It's my great joy to share how God has done that in my heart, soul, and life by renewing my mind and quieting those old creepy lies of my past.
Gail Ruth Peterson is an author, artist, speaker, a Certified Christian Life Coach, and a therapeutic art therapy technique instructor. She is passionate about telling stories of God’s love and goodness through her writing and art.
Gail resides in North Carolina, USA with her elderly mother and near her two daughters and six grandchildren. Her location gives her easy access to the ocean and the mountains, both are key places for reflection and rest, meditation and special time with the Lord, and inspiration for writing and art.
The ways God has moved in her life through many seasons of trials, losses, grief, and hardship fuel her passion to share stories with others that bring hope and build faith.