One thing that I cherish more than anything since I joined Facebook and started my blog is meeting some incredibly wonderful people – both online and, more importantly, in person. One of the lovely ladies I have met is Sheryl Griffin, author of ‘A Scarlet Cord of Hope: My Journey through Guilt, Shame and Fear to Hope.’ I was introduced to her when my husband, Fred, and I were in Nashville TN at the end of April/first of May this year for the Nashville Marathon. We were scheduled to have breakfast with the equally lovely Charlotte Hunt (author of several books, including her latest, ‘Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, and Trust Completely: What You Wanted to Be When You Grew Up;’ looking forward to being encouraged once again when I read it!) and sweet and lovely Patty Mason, whose latest book is ‘Finally Free: Breaking the Bonds of Depression Without Drugs.’ Charlotte and Patty brought their friend, Sheryl, along with them – and I am so glad they did! She shared her autobiography with me, and it is one powerful story!
Here is the synopsis of this book:
Guilt Shame Fear Panic Anxiety
Do these words identify you? Are you living under their influence? Is the weight of the past robbing you of your future?
A Scarlet Cord of Hope is the true life testimony of Sheryl Griffin. As God has healed her on her journey, she wants to share her healing with you. From alcoholic parents, to an abusive first marriage, to being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, chances are many of her trials have also been yours.
Sheryl has a past that hung on her neck like a scarlet cord. She now knows that what she thought was a noose was actually a God-given lifeline to His grace. Discover what Sheryl found on her journey…Love, mercy, forgiveness, and hope.
Here is the biography of this author:
Wife, mother, teacher – Sheryl Griffin resides in Franklin, TN with her husband Doug. They have two children and are actively involved in their church. Sheryl enjoys encouraging other through writing, speaking, and blogging. You can visit her website at www.SherylGriffin.com.
Here is Part One of a four-part TV interview with Sheryl; it provides some great insight into the heart of this lady who is beautiful inside and out:
In this autobiography, Sheryl shares her life story with her readers, in hope that her struggles will help impact others. After reading it, I can certainly imagine that it has and it will. She is extremely transparent about the trials she’s gone through, as well as sharing the highlights (her children, her Godly marriage, etc….). It was a pleasure to read this book and learn more about this lovely lady.
In the Introduction, Sheryl shares what she hopes for this book – ‘hope’ being the operative word:
I have felt like my life experiences have been like a series of puzzle pieces. I did not know what the final puzzle would look like, but I knew that I needed to put the pieces together to bring order to my life. The goal of this book is to honestly examine each piece as an individual and with God’s help, put them together.
This is not a book complaining about my childhood or being a victim. This book is not meant to tell every aspect of my life. The events, situations, and experiences I tell about are what I feel propelled me into PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder], panic, and anxiety. It was not one event for me; it was a lifetime of events, circumstances, and people. As I look back I can see each of these situations as threads in my life, threads that are not necessarily strong on their own but woven together they create a cord that hung firmly from my neck. The threads, scarlet in color, signify the guilt and shame I felt over certain situations and events in my life. (pp. xii-xiii)
I loved the fact that each chapter ends with a section entitled ‘What I Know Now.’ One point in particular that she makes is very important for everyone to know:
There are many red flags or warning signs of abusive relationships. Here are eight that are important not to ignore:
· One person pushes for a quick and exclusive relationship
· Is jealous/possessive
· Blames others for problems or mistakes
· Makes others feel responsible for their feelings or choices
· Has unrealistic expectations
· Angers easily…leaving you feeling like you are walking on egg shells
· Has a history of abusing others or animals
· Uses words, facial expressions, or physical violence to intimidate you (p. 45)
I also loved this other ‘What I Know Now:’
As my pastor, Chris Williamson, once said, “If you want to be covered by the will of God, you must choose to come under the covering and stay there.” (p. 85)
God healed her brokenness over the years. She shares how it happened for her, and for her husband, Doug; the setting for her here was a Mom’s Bible Study:
With each book we read and discussed, it seemed our “masks” were coming off. It was the first time in my life that I had openly shared my testimony. I was in awe at the other women’s response towards me. For once in my life I was seeing my sins not as a scarlet cord around my neck but as a testimony of grace and forgiveness. The scarlet cord represents the blood of Jesus washing over all of my sins, cleansing me of my sin – NOT reminding me of my guilt and shame. This was a huge spiritual turning point for me. During this time Doug created a similar group for the men. They had Bible study and prayer time. He was also sharing openly about his past. We both recognized the power of taking off our masks and walking in truth. (p. 101)
Sheryl closes out her book this way:
As I look back through all of my life I can see God’s footprints in the sand carrying me along the way. It truly is one day at a time, one situation at a time. My life today is about surrounding myself with good people who will encourage my walk with God, including family, church, and friends, keeping my spiritual armor on, being open and honest, letting my faith grow and not being afraid to stretch and grow. I also need to remember that while growing pains do hurt, in the end it is for the betterment of the body, mind, and heart. Each day is a choice to live the life God has given me to the fullest, and remembering that ultimately, I can only be responsible for my own choices and happiness. (p. 159)
I admit I had to read this book in one sitting! I started reading it before bed. When it came time to go to sleep, I couldn’t; I had to know ‘the rest of the story’!
This book is so encouraging! I would heartily recommend it to anyone who has struggled through the trials of life, or who needs to come through to the other side after a tragedy. I thank Sheryl for exposing her heart, and showing us how Jesus has restored it and continues to refine her day after day.
Here is a picture of the five of us after our breakfast meeting in Franklin, Tennessee. From left to right are Fred, me (with an unfortunately placed fanny pack under my shirt….), Charlotte, Patty, and Sheryl. That was a fun time – and I hope we can do it again!
You can order this book here.
This book was published by Westview, Inc. and generously provided by the author for review purposes.
Sheryl has generously offered to provide a personally autographed copy of this powerful book to one blessed person!
There are several ways to gain entry:
1) Leave a comment here on the blog, telling me why you’re interested in reading this book. Please make sure to leave your email address in this format – sample[at]gmail[dot]com.
2) Follow Sheryl on Twitter. Please leave a separate comment stating that you are now following her, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
3) ‘Like’ Sheryl’s page on Facebook. Please leave a separate comment to that effect.
4) Follow me on Twitter. If you are already a Twitter follower, that counts, too! Please leave a new comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
5) Tweet the following tweet once per day:
Want hope? Win ‘A Scarlet Cord of Hope’ by @SherylGriffin from @andrealschultz. http://bit.ly/oeQlNV #giveaway Please RT!
Please leave a comment for each tweet, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
6) Visit Sheryl’s website and leave a comment telling me your favorite thing on it, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
7) Post my blog button on your blog. You can grab the HTML code on the right side of my blog. Please leave a comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
8) Follow me as a Google Friend on this blog; if you are already a Friend, that counts, too! Please leave a new comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
9) Become my Facebook friend. Please leave a new comment to that effect.
10) Follow this blog as a NetWorked Blog Follower after you’ve become my Facebook friend. Please leave a new comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
So there are LOTS of chances to enter! Please limit one entry per option except for the Twitter tweet option (which can be done once per day), along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
This give away is for U.S. residents only. The deadline for entry is Friday, September 2, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST. A winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on Saturday, September 3, 2011 and will be contacted via email. The best to all of you!