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The Holes in Our Bedroom Walls {and a Giveaway}

Time Warp Wife

Congratulations to the following 5 winners! Emily will be contacting you shortly for your mailing address.

Eva Marie – Emevey@*******
Sara – Sunshinythoughts@******
Amy Hunt – Amy.rockwell.hunt@******
Dorcas – Dokasajose@******
Maranatha – Marcouponclip@******

Guest Contributor, Emily T. Wierenga

There was no honeymoon phase.

None, except the three weeks we spent in bed and breakfasts, on trains and hitch-hiking across Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

But we started fighting the night before we flew home, and continued the plane ride back to our basement suite because I wanted out. I didn’t know how to make a home. I didn’t know how to be a wife. And I didn’t want to be a mom.

All I knew was I loved this farm boy I’d met in Bible School, who drove a long blue car called The Beast, volunteered at Kids’ Club and went home to the farm on weekends to go bowling with his Grandma.

But I didn’t know how to let him in.

We flew home to me relapsing into anorexia and yelling at my husband and him breaking through the plaster because he didn’t know how to fix his wife. How to make her want to eat, to have kids, to be happy just being married.

We flew home to holes in the walls.

I wanted more.

I’d always wanted more, because I’d always sensed there was more. More to life than just the American Dream, more to life than just being a pastor’s kid who plays the part, more to life than just eating one meal after the next after the next.

And those holes in the walls, they let in the light.

I was driving home. It had been three years of drinking 12 cups of a coffee a day and only eating supper; three years of ministry and insomnia and an addiction to sleeping pills. Three years of fighting, and we were at it once again when I turned the car into oncoming traffic. And Trent, he reached out and took the wheel and guided us to safety.

And I realized there on the side of the road that he wasn’t going anywhere. In spite of everything, my husband still loved me.

When I was 13 and sixty pounds, hypothermic with my braces showing through my cheeks, nurses had said I should have died then too.

And there on the side of the road, that day, I saw Him. Jesus. He’d been there for me the whole time, and He wasn’t going anywhere.

And I began to let him in.

Broken like those walls, I began to let love’s light in, to eat again and to lean into Jesus. Into my husband. Into my life.

I’d always wanted more—

More of Him.

 

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My memoir, ATLAS GIRL, is releasing this month, and I am excited to give away FIVE copies today. Just leave a comment below by Wednesday July 3rd, 2014. We’ll randomly choose 5, and announce the winners here on this post, Thursday.

From the back cover:

“Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents’ rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else–anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time–in the place she least expected it.

“Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds.”

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Click HERE for a free excerpt.

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I’m also giving away a FREE e-book to anyone who orders Atlas Girl. Just order HERE, and send a receipt to: atlasgirlbookreceipt@gmail.com, and you’ll receive A House That God Built: 7 Essentials to Writing Inspirational Memoir an absolutely FREE e-book co-authored by myself and editor/memoir teacher Mick Silva.

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ALL proceeds from Atlas Girl will go towards my non-profit, The Lulu Tree. The Lulu Tree is dedicated to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers. It is a grassroots organization bringing healing and hope to women and children in the slums of Uganda through the arts, community, and the gospel.
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Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including the memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

100 Comments

  • Jenn

    I’m looking forward to reading your book, Emily! This story is beautiful – I remember you sharing it on your blog. Thanks for being so vulnerable.

  • Mary

    I love this post; thank you, Emily, for your candid portrayal of this season in your life. More of us need to have this kind of honesty. When it is exemplified, we can more easily emulate people like you, and be transparent.

    • Emily Wierenga

      Thank you Mary. Sometimes I gasp, reading what I’ve written, shocked by how honest I’ve been–but really, I feel for me personally it’s the only way to live. Bless you sister. e.

  • Vanessa

    How Awesome!! I read your post and it wasn’t until I got to the bottom that I seen that you were associated with The Lulu Tree. I’ve been following it and I’m so excited for it’s opening this fall!! Praying for you guys <3

  • Mona Smith

    Just reading your blog gave me chills so I can just imagine what your book is going to do. I would love to get a copy, either win it or buy it. Thank you for sharing your life, even though it may not be a pretty picture at times, those times can actually help a person blossom into what God’s purpose is for us!!

  • Barbara Rivera

    God uses all of our experiences to mold us into the person he wants us to become. God will never waste our pain. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Carrie Douthit

    Oh my, I will be reading this memoir as what you wrote brought tears to my eyes…tears because I remember when I realized that *this* husband (my 2nd) wasn’t going anywhere and was sticking it out with me…and that he prayed for me just as I prayed for him. I look forward to reading about your journey. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

    • Emily Wierenga

      oh Carrie, YES…. I understand how easy it is to doubt that we are loved, and yet–we are. So grateful God has given you such a faithful man. Bless you sister! e.

  • Lori Alexander

    This was absolutely beautiful and powerful, Emily!!! I got teary-eyed reading it and the power of the Gospel. It is ALL about Jesus and only Him! Thankfully, we know He will never leave us nor forsake us. I love your writing. It is raw and real. Thank you for blessing us with your message.

  • Tiffany R

    That was very touching. I have problems letting love in too. We are all a work in progress. God Bless.

  • Jenn

    Well, the excerpt got me hooked and thinking…totally my life right now. Look forward to reading more!!

  • amie

    I am looking forward to reading the book. I am still young in my relationship with Jesus and trying to learn and find inspiration to be a better mother and wife. I struggle every day with myself and your book sounds like it will be very helpful in my situation.

    • Emily Wierenga

      oh Amie, I SO understand what it is to struggle against yourself… you are NOT alone friend. One day at a time. Keep leaning on Jesus. Bless you sister. e.

  • caron february

    Sitting here reading this post and tears are streaming down my face and I can’t stop and I don’t want to stop because what you are saying is what I need to hear right now. I am afraid to let Jesus in, so busy being the dutiful perfect pastor I don’t want to crumple to the ground because I am afraid I won’t get up again. Thank you, a million thank yous for breaking through my facade today. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. This just rocked my world.

  • Lisa Anderson

    At the time, I thought I was the only miserable newlywed! I couldn’t imagine why everyone else seemed to adjust to marriage just fine, and I was desperately dying inside. Thanks for sharing your story – I was too scared to talk about mine. Looking forward to reading this! 🙂

    • Emily Wierenga

      Lisa, I totally understand this. I felt alone too. We all need to be more honest because being in relationship with someone is hard work, and I don’t know how anyone does it without Jesus… Grateful to you, for your transparency. XO

  • Leah

    Another great testimony here Emily. We never quite get that we marry not a person but the whole shaping history of that person. I feel bad sometimes because my husband in Mr. Steady-Eddy and I am up and down and crying one day, happy the next. Not that he is perfect, but he is easier to live with I know.
    Always so good to catch up with you. I’ve been away from bloglandia for awhile now.
    Cheers,
    Leah

  • Ashley

    Why is not wanting kids being put in the same category as being anorexic? “…to make her want to eat to have kids…”? You can’t and shouldn’t try to make someone have kids. That’s absurd!

  • Emily

    My daughter is dealing with anorexia and was recently married. When I read in your post , “But I didn’t know how to let him in.”, I immediately thought of the words of encouragement I wrote to my daughter the night before she was married. I told her that I hoped she could let her husband into her life 100%, because she could trust him. I’m praying she will “let him in.” I

  • Katrina

    Wow – this looks like one of those heartbreaking, full of struggle books… that has a wonderful message of love and life and redemption.

  • TeaJae

    What a powerful lesson. Everyone has some type or honestly multiple issues going on and…I’ve wanted out too. I prayed harder than I ever have to take me out of this world I didn’t want to be here any longer. Sometimes in the deep belly of your own issues you don’t realize all the time what you need is right there. I was in the bowels of the beast dark, cold, lonely ready to give in all in and that is when the clearing happens, the light shines so brightly and you can almost feel the Hands Of God wrapped around you. Thank you so so very much for sharing this. I love reading how others make it through these times like this. (((((hugs)))))♥♥♥

  • Stephanie Wright

    Your book sounds very interesting and poignant!!! I can’t wait to read it and plan to add it to my reading list!!

  • Cecilia Daniels

    Sounds like an amazing journey, God bless you for sharing it, many can relate, even myself.

  • Asheritah

    Thank you for sharing so honestly with us. Many of our husbands are unsung heroes for not just putting up with us and our insecurities but loving us harder, fuller, more like Jesus.

  • Kendra

    I’m new to you, your website, and your blog. I will be getting the summer reading book – and want to read your story. Thanks for leading the way!

  • Sarah

    I will definitely be reading the rest when it comes out! We each have a story, whether long or short, and I love to hear about those moments when Jesus really took over someone’s life. It’s the beginning of life itself. Can’t wait to read more!

  • Loretta Soto

    Hi Sweet Em,

    We never knew who are parents would be when we were in our mothers womb..
    Until we popped our small crowns out into this big wide world, When we first heard her voice
    for very first time in this big wide world. Yes! We would listen to her soft voice within her womb for
    those many months of being carried around in her amazing belly.

    You were brought up in a loving home, with Godly parents who had loved you for you.
    But! Then in our own minds in our own skins, we didn’t really know any thing about who we were
    or how we felt just by looking at our selves in the mirror.
    All we seen was this skinny little person all confused with life.

    Knowing there is a God who really loved us, But not knowing how to love back.
    How could we love back when we didn’t even love our own heart.
    We get older and wanting to run away from it all, even tho it took you away across the
    other side of the country.

    The days still felt like darkness! The sun would shine but it didn’t even matter.
    Then we finely find the one who loves you for you, no-matter how we look or even at times
    bursting out into tears.
    Or just feeling nothing in our hearts in our souls, and even in our own body.

    Then your love one is telling us I am not going any where, I will be there for the rest of
    your life.
    Then you get married and holding a home together, things get tough at times.
    But your love one tells you look sweetie we are going to make it.

    Then you have to work so hard to learn how to eat one bite at a time.
    Before you know it you are sitting down with your family enjoying the full
    course meal.
    Laughing and feeling happy inside of your in-being as you never had before.

    Then the years go by and look Sweet Em, You still have your Beautiful Husband
    who is holding your hand and not letting it go. And He still love’s you today,
    but even stronger.
    God Blessed you both with awesome children, and even all those sweet children
    that you placed into your heart.

    God was always there in your life even when you were in your mothers sweet womb.

    God Bless! Love You Always, {{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}} ( Loretta )

  • Stuart Reece

    Hi. How true. I am sure you are so right about the cause of so many women’s craziness. If only wives could understand this material so many marriages might have been saved from destruction, and so many children from the fallout. Sometimes we worship falsehood and innumerable idols without even understanding that that is what we are doing – and of course, why all of life does not work. It is the great lesson our culture needs to learn. Being more prosperous than any other civilization in history our toys and our idols are so easy to fall into that mostly we do not even know that we are doing it. Only to learning the hard way as you have done. I hope your message can get to many people and save many families. God bless you and yours always.

  • Jen B.

    Thank you for being transparent. I find some people in church do not sense a need to be that way. And, we all walk around like shiny, happy people. We need authenticity with one another. We need to show where/how Christ has made clean that which was dirty in our lives so that we can spread the gospel. In His Grip.

  • Dorcas

    I can’t wait to read this book. I can sense already that I’ll be blessed. I struggle to this day with the church I attend…been attending since childhood…I believe answers await me
    God bless

  • Diane N

    Isn’t it wonderful that God can reach us even in our darkest places? I appreciate you sharing this with us.

  • Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    Wow. You had me captivated with just that little teaser. I can’t imagine how beautiful your book must be! Congratulations and thank you for being so willing to share your story that others will be blessed and Jesus glorified.

  • Erica

    Thankyou so much for your God-enabled sharing! Though I have not been through the places you have I so identify with how God leads you in unexpected ways. I think the Lord’s love became more understandable to me through my husbands love too…

  • Elizabeth M.

    I can relate to your story in many ways, Emily. Thanks for sharing and for the opportunity to win a copy of your book!

  • Amy Hunt

    Emily and I are kindred (you already know that, E) . . . my story is different, though I have one of my own. I’m so grateful for how God has shown me His love for me (as I am) through the staying-put of my groom.

    “Staying” even though I’m not all the way how I want to be or how I think I should be . . . how my groom stayed . . . my sacrifice of all the ideals I have about myself . . . and how God tore the old me to pieces and taught me to rest . . . this is my own story to tell.

  • Maranatha

    I would love to gift this book to a friend who longs to belong, deals w anorexia and needs to experience God’s acceptance. God Bless You for putting your story in beautiful black & white! I know He will touch many!

  • Eva Marie

    Emily, I am drawn to your story this morning as I just happened to find a link to this post….or perhaps, God was guiding me there. I am drawn to your story and would love to win a copy of “Atlas Girl” to learn more about your journey.

  • Debbie

    I am so glad I found you’re link. After 13 years of struggling in a remarriage, I look forward to reading your book. Thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing your heart with others.

  • Kate Lantry

    I’ve been with my husband for 14 years, and for most of those years, I felt like a failure because I didn’t know how to be a wife or make a home or cook a meal. I didn’t want to be a mom. Now we have two beautiful daughters who I pray over constantly and beg God for help because I don’t want to mess them up. I still feel guilty over the two babies we lost early in pregnancy. I pray daily over my marriage because I still feel like a failure as a wife some days. I’ve been saved for six years and I’m still learning to lean on Jesus.
    So, for many reasons that I can’t find the words for, thank you, Emily. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being an example to so many. Thank you for showing how God is still with us through the dark times.God must have something from you that I really need to learn because everywhere I look, there you are.
    Blessings to you and yours 🙂

  • Gabrielle

    Thank you for your willingness to share your story. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of it.

  • Madison McCarty

    Loved the excerpt and can’t wait to read more. Thank you for the chance to win a copy!

  • Anna

    Thank you for your willingness to be so open and honest. Sometimes I feel like a huge failure because I just can’t seem to it together. I even question if I’m worthy to be loved. I thank God that even in my mess He loves me. Can’t wait to read your book!

  • Emma

    Love your honesty Emily. So glad you found the courage to put words down and release them into the world. Can’t wait to read it.