Tuesday, April 2, 2013

God Sends Me A Reminder

One recent Sunday morning, I decided to check my email before going to Mass. Among my emails was a review of my book, The Third Floor Window, and I was excited to read it right away.
Unfortunately I was surprised to discover that it was my first negative review in the 5 years since publication and it upset me. It upset me a lot more than I care to admit.
I went to Mass feeling a bit down about it. When we got to church, I made a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in our chapel for a few minutes. I then went to sit in a pew, a little earlier than usual. It was quiet, not many people there yet.
I was not there long when a woman came over to me and said she needed to tell me something and she began to cry. She told me that she had read my book and it had helped her so much. She too had been sexually abused.
I almost cried, too. And I thanked her and told her she had certainly picked the right time to tell me.
Looking back, I realize that was all a God-incidence. Normally I spend more time in the chapel with the Blessed Sacrament and I have no time to talk to people before Mass. It was early enough that there was no one else around us so we had privacy. And then for this to happen the same day I got that bad review.
I think God wanted to remind me that I did not write that book to boost my own ego. I had a much different purpose. I had written it primarily to help other survivors and friends and families of survivors. And that was more important than any one review.
Amen to that.



Sue Elvis said...


Our stories are very personal and it takes courage to write them. It does hurt when someone criticises our books. I am sorry someone wasn't sensitive enough to realise that it is a privilege to share your story. But yes, God is so good restoring your confidence by giving you the opportunity to help a fellow victim. I was talking with someone just this afternoon about your book. We both agreed your story helped us enormously even though our experiences are not identical to yours.

God bless!

Vicky said...

As you know, Colleen, I read your book, last week, and found it very powerful and enlightening. Even though our experiences are different, my sister, Sue, and I had a very useful discussion of your book, today, in relation to our own history. I think it's an inspired book on so many different levels.

God bless:-)

Judy Dudich said...

I just LOVE when Our Lord reaches His Hand down, out of Heaven to comfort us through another person, like that. HAPPY EASTER my dear friend! There is NO question, for anyone who has read your book (ANY/ALL of your books, for that matter) that your writing is for God's Glory and the healing/encouragement/support of others. I was NOT sexually abused in my youth; yet, I learned SO MUCH about myself and about God and love and mercy and forgiveness and trust and more, when I read your book...for some reason...your story here...reminds me of how it's been written that "persecution spreads the Gospel and expands the Church"...when the Apostles and early church missionaries were persecuted after having taught Truth in one town...they'd move on (shaking the dust from their sandals) to the next; thus, expanding/growing the Church! So, too, perhaps, when we receive negative remarks on our writing...should we "shake off the dust" and move on with the message that we KNOW God wants us to share with others! He let YOU know that the same day you had received the persecution! To Him be the praise, honor, and glory, forever!

Colleen said...

Sue, thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate it very much and I am glad to hear that my story has a message that can help all who need the message of hope. Thanks for the boost! God bless!

Vicky, thank you, Your words warm my heart! I am glad to know this. God bless!

Judy, what a nice surprise to "see" you here! Hope you had a wonderful Easter.
I love what you are telling me here. And I do feel a kind of renewed desire to share my story.
Thank you for sharing this with me. God bless you and your family.

Jean Wise said...

God DOES know what we need when we need it the most, doesn't He?

Maria said...

WOW! I just love how those God-incidences work in our lives. To add to this post of yours...your book has "popped" into my mind several times lately (this post being one of those). I have an Amazon order I'll be placing soon & your book will be included!

Colleen said...

Jean, amen!

Colleen said...

Maria, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Add I also need to add that I got 2 good reviews just this past week. Another God-incidence as it has been a month since my last review - and now TWO of them!
God bless, Maria.

Kathleen Basi said...

What a beautiful story, Colleen. Writing is an automatic ego thing, and it's so important that we have our pride reined in periodically. I have nothing but empathy for you!

Colleen said...

Kathleen, you are right about the ego thing. Thank you so much for the comment AND the empathy!

Richard Maffeo said...

"I think God wanted to remind me that I did not write that book to boost my own ego."

I am sure this is true. It's never about us. It's always about Jesus.

Good lesson for all orf us to be frequently reminded of.

Colleen said...

Richard, I agree. A good reminder for me, for sure. God bless!

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Colleen, the loving God-incidence jumped right out at me - He is so loving. I used to teach communication skills in the business world and had a rule I always passed on:

I am 100% responsible for what I send; you are 100% responsible for what you receive. If I have sent thoughtfully and with a pure heart and someone doesn't like what I have to say, he or she is the one with the reason not to like it. Just what those reasons are I may not know, but I don't have to accept abuse from anyone. Also, nobody has to like what I write. The message might not be for them, but it would be good if readers would be honest enough to say so. My guess about the bad review is that something you wrote must have hit way too close to home.

Colleen said...

Barb, a lot of wisdom in that rule. Thanks for sharing it with me. I will remember it.
And I agree, I am thinking my book did hit close to home.
She has not posted the review at all. As far as I know.