Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Broken to Beautiful: From Abuse to Overcoming

Where does a wound come from, that can turn a child of promise into a young woman susceptible to the poison kind of love? And what will it take to bring about the kind of healing that can save her life and put an end to a global epidemic of brokenness?

In Broken to Beautiful, author Sheila Summers takes readers on a journey of discovery during a Thanksgiving week visit to the restored country cottage of a wise woman know to most as Shy. There she will share a story of a lifetime about a little girl from her native Scotland named Kieran, who would learn the hard way that "Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me'… is a Great Big Lie!

From the magnificent capital city of Edinburgh, to the breathtaking Highlands of Scotland, leading eventually to an immigrant's journey to America, author Sheila Summers has created a story within a story that begins with a most disturbing dream.

Broken to Beautiful Prologue

Fall came to the northeast corner of Pennsylvania with a vengeance this year as unusually wet weather caught the small town of Yardley by surprise and in the wee, small hours of a mid-November night a violent storm raged throughout the area. Thunder rumbled and silver shafts of lightening pierced the pitch black night sky. Threatening shadows danced across the illuminated bedroom walls of an ivy covered cottage on the outskirts of town.

Obviously troubled, an old woman named Shy tossed and turned feverishly under the warmth of a blanket. She'd had this nightmare before but the background setting of nature's fierce elements only added to its terror this night. As the storm raged outside deep furrows of anguish appeared across Shy's brow.

She murmured softly under her breath as a tiny whisper could be heard just barely audible from her lips:

"Please don't I beg you, no, no..."

Cold beads of sweat tracked down her face as the drama of the terrible dream played out in her troubled mind.

"A-a-g-h! Oh No God p-l-e-a-s-e stop him!" an unknown, yet familiar woman screamed as her pleas for help filled the darkened apartment.

Thrown down onto the hardwood floor the woman gasped for breath nearly suffocating under the tremendous weight of the man who straddled her. Her swollen belly pressed down hard against the cold wood.

"The b-a-b-y, you're hurting the baby!" she cried with exhaustion, but the pounding of his clenched fists on her head was relentless. All she could do was give in to the protective instinct of a mother shielding her young and curl up into a tight ball to wait for his anger to subside.…..

Shy tossed to and fro trying to escape the tragic scene muttering through a broken voice

"No, please stop!" A sudden crash of thunder pierced her subconscious and she awoke with a start. Sitting bolt upright, her heart pounded; her eyes went wide with fear.

She breathed heavily and gripped her stomach to ease the churning inside as a deep sob broke the storm-chased silence of her room.

With face in hands Shy began to rock back and forth like a child trying to erase the graphic images from her mind.

Gradually, the gentle rhythm settled her and her breathing softened as she slowly opened her eyes. It took only a few moments for Shy to realize where she was, and then the safety of her sanctuary gradually merged from a blur of ominous shadows to the gentle peace of her room.

"O.K. now!" she uttered between ever-softening breaths, wiping her brow with the back of her hand. "That was just a bad dream; it was just a dream. I'm fine now. Thank you, Lord".

Shy sighed deeply as she slipped back down between the flannel sheets and snuggled under the cozy warmth of duck down.

Her faithful little Maltese, Kylie, had jumped up onto the bed during the storm. As Shy caressed the soft curls of her coat a gentle smile broke out across her life-lined face.

"Erin and Lyric will be here tomorrow sweetie pie," she whispered softly to the little dog. Kylie cuddled into her side listening eagerly to her mistress's gentle voice.

"Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, don't you think so too Kylie?"

Shy imagined the delicious aromas that would soon be permeating the beautiful old house. She let her mind drift to thoughts of great conversations with her girls and long walks down the country lanes. And of course the stories she promised to share with her precious Lyric.

"Ah! The stories…" she thought, as a sudden sparkle returned to her bright green eyes.

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