When my mother contacted me after not speaking to me for over a decade, I started a journey that changed my life. While I may have lost my art career, I gained perspective about life and faith. I’m glad I kept a journal during that time because a lot of those lessons could have been lost in the process of day to day caregiving.
That journal turned into a book and now the book is changing my life. A pastor from my youth contacted me, purchased several copies and let me know the impact the story had on him. He, his wife, and I got together for lunch and reconnected after all these years. He’s sending the book to others to help people understand the importance of forgiveness. Another biblical counselor contacted me to encourage me to get the book out to a wider audience and sent a letter of recommendation to a national ministry in hopes they might offer the book through their resources. She wants people to understand the importance of being honest with your feelings as you go through any sort of crisis journey. So often - especially in Christian circles - people are encouraged to just fake it until you make it. If you’re feeling frustrated … well, pretend it’s okay and then it will be. That doesn’t really work, but that doesn’t stop people from trying.
The possibility of the national ministry carrying the book in their resource catalog is remote, but I’m deeply touched that the story is affecting people so deeply.
This past week I had the opportunity to share my story of rejection from birth and the life messages that set me up with. The group that had invited me were people in recovery. I was honored and humbled by their response. And now I’m starting to be asked if I can speak to small groups about forgiveness, rejection, and/or caregiving. Never saw that coming, but I have to say I’m kind of excited about it.
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.