My love-ed step-mother got me and my sisters a copy of this book about 3 years ago. I think it was around the time James Andrew and I started dating. I read it and found a sense of peace, because at the time I felt like I was at the place that Liz comes to at the end of the novel. I went through a series of events much like hers about 4 years before, not spurned by my own divorce, but by my parent's.
My parent's divorce left me emotionally barren. My mother left all of us to have a new and better family (or so she thought). I was at the point that I was frequently locking myself in the bathroom to cry, at home and at work. I was drinking to put myself out my my wakeful misery. All this at 23.
Then I moved in with my Dad for a year. I became a Christian. My father met my stepmother, and I moved out before they got married. I moved to a small gated apartment complex in Conway. I joined a small house church. And my journey began.
I spent the next 2 years getting out very little other than to go to work or help care for my grandparents. I spent this year watching the Food Network and cooking for myself. And cooking and cooking and cooking for myself. I think I gained about 50 pounds that year, but I had so much fun doing it. I'd been a lifelong Weight Watchers member, always paying attention to the bottom line of my calories. I drove me nuts. I just quit watching the numbers and started enjoying mashed potatoes with sour cream, home-made pasta dishes, and many pot roasts among other dishes.
I also spent that year deep into learning about God and the Christain faith. I have about 20 journals from that time, filled with my thoughts and everyday prayer, trying to see the face of God. I'd never felt closer to God in my life. I loved my church. I remember a night when we prayed for hours. I felt the presence of God so Great around us that I couldn't breathe.
Then I met my future husband. I'd never believed in love at first sight until then. He was the second half of me.
So, reading this book felt like a victory! Yea! I'm there! 3 cheers for Kara!
Watching the movie this morning only too much reminded me how far I've slid back. After my father died, I lost all the things I had gained. I couldn't eat. Couldn't sleep. Couldn't pray because all I wanted to do was curse God. Couldn't grasp my relationship with my husband because all I wanted in my life was my father.
I've gotten some of these things back. I've started cooking again. I realized God can take my anger. And the hubs has stood by the deep lows I've had. My son is teaching me new levels of love. I may never quite regain the victory I felt a few years ago. It will be different when it comes back, maybe some bitterness in the sweet. But I think it will come back. At least, that's my daily prayer.