Faithful. Encourager. Joyful. Enthusiastic. Fun. These are other words to describe her, and I’ve never even met her.
Readers of Gomes’ book “You Are Loved” will notice these things about her and marvel. You see, Gomes has survived unspeakable acts of abuse and neglect in her life, acts she recounts in her book. The first few chapters are difficult reading. It’s hard to stomach the pain and hardship some people have gone through in life. But at the same time, I couldn’t put it down as I sought the rest of the story — how she overcame and how she lives with the past.
Gomes shares much of her journey to faith from a painful past, and her story has the potential to help others heal from similar circumstances. For that reason, I would recommend it.
Technically speaking, I was not impressed with the writing style or the organization of the book, but I applaud Gomes for courageously telling her story and for using her wounds to help others heal.
Read on for an interview with Gomes by Christian Speaker Services.
What inspired you to write You Are Loved? And was there a pivotal point that changed your life?
My life and its past had always been a burden to me. I tried to hide it, lie about it and pretend that I was just as “normal” as everyone else until I realized that my faithful life was being affected by not being myself! I made a decision to become a part of a class at my church called Wounded Hearts that was led by the most amazing woman! (You can read more about her in the dedication of my book.) After several hours of being a part of this group I was encouraged to write or journal and that led to asking for prayer and writing Monday Morning Prayer which I e-mailed to my friends. It was very well received, much to my surprise as I never thought of myself as a writer! Then one day I was thrust into a trial that I had no frame of reference to handle. I thought that my attending my class was confidential until I read an e-mail from a pastor’s husband that once again tried to pigeon hole me by suggesting that my crying foul and not tolerating abuse in my life was somehow “because of” my past! The exact words were “she must have some significant damage in her past to react this way.” It had been the story of my life to not speak out when I was hurt, to not demand respect and to take the abusive behavior from others as just another part of my life as if I deserved to be treated less then. The impression that was transmitted openly in a not so private e-mail was that this man felt that he knew who I was, because of a class that I was attending! God hit me at that moment like a Mac truck! I was keenly aware that this type of reaction and careless assumption was the reason I had hidden for years, taking me off of my path and “shaming” me back into hiding and away from the blessings God had intended. I saw it so clearly at that moment! I was working so hard to not be “pigeon holed” that I was not the authentic person that God was trying so desperately to use for His purpose.
I made the decision that day that I would use my life and all of its facets to speak out and not hide any longer. I would not allow anyone else to “tell” my story! I could no longer allow another broken person to define “who I was” and just cower in the shadows. I realized in that moment that women hide from their abuse because they believe they will not feel loved by anyone if they tell their story. The ignorance in one e-mail brought me to my knees before God, begging to be relieved from the pain of the secret that was snuffing out my life and the gifts that He had intended me to be blessed with!
You are loved, was the message that I had to accept and then I had to allow Him to use my story to reach out to others!
How can reading your book have an impact on the reader’s life?
My hope and prayer is that my life will encourage other women to be brave in his name! I exposed my life because I was living in a way that the world had designed and defined and not the life that God was working to use to restore others. I believe that His plan is to shed the light in the dark corners where we hide our deepest pain. My book reveals pain and fear that can control and lead a life into desperation and isolation, destroying His purpose! As you will read in the first page of You are Loved, Surviving is my History, Living is my Destiny, the impact will be that my readers will finally know and believe that they are loved and that they are worth it!
What are your plans for the future in the publishing world? Think you have any more books in you?
I am in the process of writing new book called EMBRACE. This book is a culmination of all the steps it took for me to be the woman God intended. Embracing your life and all of its facets is a process, this book will bring you full circle, through the pain of your life to the joy that the healing that God creates through that pain, teaching you to walk in His Embrace in order to lead others to His salvation!
What else does God have you doing these days Linda, and how can our readers connect with you?
Embrace Ministries is the passion of my life these days. I am still writing Monday Morning Prayer and the Daily Light Switch. You can find me atwww.embrace-ministries.net. I am also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Gomes/1260573178#!/pages/You-Are-Loved/281441512624. Both of these pages allow feedback and support.
How can our readers purchase your book?
You can purchase my book on www.embrace-ministries.net.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speaker Services (www.ChristianSpeakerServices.com).
Want to win a free copy of the book? Click here and leave a comment on the CSS blog.