Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Paula Rose Michelson's Second in The Crucible of Becoming Series, They Must See Me! With Book Sound Track (?!)

The second story in Michelson's Crucible Series ( a severe trial, out of which something new will come) is more contemporary--perhaps because it is much more in the news since the MeToo! movement has emboldened women and young girls to be more willing to speak out about abuse. But for the individual young girl who might have lost her virginity through rape, it is a much more traumatic experience with potential long-term feeling of no longer being the same girl, the same woman who wanted to go to her future husband as a young virgin, with love for only her fiancee...

“Need some help?” Eldora asked. Tears streamed down Myra’s face. “There, there. It can’t be that bad, can it?” 
Gulping back a sob, Myra asked, “Are you kidding? Between being raped, having a mom who always bought me what she wore, a dad who continues to call me Rosebud, as if I were still pure enough to be his substitute wife, and a sis who won’t look at me—and it’s almost time to go to back school!” She flung herself on her bed and wailed.
“I know, I know.” Eldora sat down and pulled Myra into her loving embrace. “NO, you don’t know! You have no idea! No idea at all! Even looking at the yellow and blue pinstripe wallpaper mom helped Mindy and I pick out for our bedroom makes me feel like I’ll never be me!” 
“Well, let’s see—” 
“No Gran, El, or Eldora, whichever you want me to call you! You can’t make up for all the years we didn’t know you existed.”
“That’s true and I’m sad about that. However, that wasn’t my choice! I was forced!” 
How can you use that word to describe what happened to you when you know the horror I had to endure?” 
Grandma Eldora’s blue eyes filled with tears. Aware that crying over what happened to Myra wouldn’t help her, she quickly dashed them away. 
“What’s up?” Myra’s sister Mindy flopped on the other twin bed. It’s bad enough that I have to dress like mom. Why oh, why did my twin sis and I have to have names that people mix up! Eldora’s penetrating gaze seemed to assess Myra. 
Finally, she insisted, “We’re going shopping!”
“Thanks, Gran. I’ll be ready in a minute!” Mindy exclaimed. 
“Mindy, I meant to say that I’m taking Myra shopping.” 
“Since she always wants to dress like mom, why take her?”
 I never wanted to dress like mom, but no one asked me what I wanted. No one ever has. “Well, let’s call it a coming-out-of-her-cocoon moment.” 
“Mom, I was walking by and heard one of your metaphors, so what gives?” Shirley asked. 
“It’s Gran time with Myra. Nothing special—but, I do think it’s time this gal picks out her own duds.”
“I don’t know if Dave would like that. He’s always called Myra his ‘Rosebud’ because,” she blushed, “he says that I’m his rose.” 
“And you are. But I seem to remember a wise counselor who said each person needed to self-actualize.” 
Eldora grabbed Myra’s hand.   “Trapped by my own words. Okay, Grandma, how much will you need?” Shirley asked as she hurried to her purse. Pulling Myra out of bed, Eldora said, “You’re almost an adult, so you tell your mom what you’ll need.” 
“I, I, I can’t,” she whispered. Eyes filled with tears, she insisted, “Besides, I don’t need anything!”
“All right. Then tell her what you want.” 
What I want: I want to be pure the way I was before that man raped me. I want to feel loved and accepted for being me, not a mom copy. I want to be able to go to school without everyone looking at me. I want the fear that someone might find out what happened to me—and think I liked it or that I’d want to do it again—go away. 
“Well, Myra,” her mom asked, “what do you want?” 
“I want to be me, but I don’t know who that is!” Shirley ran to Myra and held her close.
 “Is this because of the rape?”
“Then why?” 
“I don’t think I can say,” Myra sobbed. 
“Do you know why?” 
“But you won’t tell me?” Myra nodded. “Is it something I’ve done?” 
A look of terror crossed Myra’s face. “This is about the rape, isn’t it!”
Sobbing, Myra nodded.
 “Tell me.” 
While Myra ran from her and Mindy’s room, she hollered, “I can’t!”
 “Hey, what’s this all about?” Dave asked as his elder daughter almost collided with him. “Dad, I can’t do this anymore!” 
“Can’t do what? 
“You know, Dad.” 
“I know that whatever you set your mind to do, you’ve done.”
“That was then. This is now!” 
“Rosebud, I believe in you.”
 “No, Dad, you don’t, because you—none of you know me! And DON’T call me ROSEBUD!”

I am so happy that Paula Rose Michelson has taken on a challenge of dealing with the issues of today's world, using her own background, experience, and Biblical study. A teenager has it hard enough...as in this family, what was okay in the past, to dress a child as her mother, was a fun thing to do. But Myra had gotten older and realized that dressing like her mother was totally inappropriate at her age. But how to tell her parents...

But what happened to her then, being raped by a stranger, had left her totally defenseless, not knowing where to turn--she didn't feel her family even knew her--and feeling so ashamed and lost. Now she would never be the same girl. And she knew if others found out at school, they would really start with the catty remarks appropriate to the action... What to Do?!

While they waited for Randy to bring their pizza, Tom asked, “Ever heard the song “Another Brick in the Wall”?
 “Yah. That’s one of Pink Floyd’s greatest hits.”
“Do you like the song?” Randy asked as Tom handed Myra a soda. 
Playing with a straw, Myra asked, “Why do you ask?” 
“Well, the way we hear it, you’re bricking yourself in by your behavior.”

Myra was not the first, nor the last, individual who felt they were all alone. And a normal reaction, is to build ourselves a wall around us, to protect us, to ignore what pain we are experiencing with each wrong look, each sarcastic word... 

Eldora, who is a main character in the first book, has been acknowledged, and welcomed into the family as grandmother. And, fortunately, as this devastating time arose, Eldora had brought God into the house... Eldora is a wonderful character. You can feel both her own hurt from the past as she remembers, but you can also see and feel the joy of finding His love in her life, knowing that she was safe in His precious arms... How she wanted it for her family... And somehow, through experience or His Holy Spirit, she always seemed to know what to do...

First, she took Myra shopping and got clothes that she had picked out herself. That in itself took out a brick or two from her wall, don't you think?

But there was something about the man who raped her that she had never shared, except when she began counseling. But it was clear that he thought what was said was a lie by the man, to control Myra...

Eldora hugged her. “Did I ever tell you that I never married?”
 “Well, no, but that would mean that you’re not a—” 
“That’s right. I’m not a virgin. We’re sorta like two peas in a pod, you and me.” “But I heard that you loved Rodger, so—” 
“Myra, how I felt has nothing to do with what happened and what I had to deal with. You may have to face some of those things, as well. So we, you and I, need to rely upon each other.”

Myra had chosen to go goth and began to act and speak differently at school, until the day that her parents were told they couldn't have her act as she was doing. Fortunately, her parents supported Myra and they took her out of that school...but more turmoil was still ahead... and danger...

“I know where and I’ll be there.” 
“Be sure to get some booze down you before we pick you up. 
It’ll make the first time more—.”

“Promise you’re not going to tell anyone, and I’ll—”
 “Oh, dear God, how wonderful are your ways!”
 “If you think what I’m about to tell you is wonderful, you’re delusional!”

“Mom, we know you credit Jesus for who you became and that works for you but—”
 “Glad to hear that you’re afraid so I can share that God knew you’d be feeling this way.” 
“Why do you say that?” 
“Because in Proverbs 9:10, He told us, ‘The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.’” 
“Since God says we’re wise, I don’t see any reason to do this.”
 “Then you’re going to keep silent and let that man get away with what he’s done, knowing he’ll do it again?” Eldora eyed each of them. “I think I know what’ll help.” 
With a sigh of relief, Myra asked, “Gram, what’ve you got in mind?”

“English author Hannah Hurnard wrote “Hinds Feet on High Places” in 1955, Eldora said. “The heroine of her allegory is a young woman named Much Afraid, who, just like the two of you, must choose what she’ll do before she can have the courage she needs to do what she wants.”

Look, Shirl, it’s 4:30 in the morning so as long as you’re all happy, to paraphrase a popular song, ‘It Don’t Matter to Me.’” 
“But it very much will, so while I make a pot of coffee, get your butt down here.” 
“Oh, all right! But this better be good.” 
Hearing their banter, Eldora raised her eyes to heaven. 
Thank you, Lord, for all you’ve done...

“But—” When Eldora shook her head, Dave added. “Whatever you need to tell me, us, know that I love and trust you, Shirl.”
 “Your words mean the world to me. My fear of losing your love kept me silent for too long.”

El hugged them. “Lord, you’ve blessed me exceedingly. Now, let me go where fear kept me away, since the only thing I need to fear is displeasing You, Jesus!”

I think the most enthralling thing for me about this and the first story was that within the family drama, the characters were so life-like that it seemed like you were listening on your neighbors' conversations through thin walls... On the other hand, what was most fascinating was that the author was able to select contemporary songs that readers will immediately identify, and allow the words of the music to add to the setting, the "life" of the book as we read. I loved it, as you may have guessed by now. LOL And I'm certainly looking forward to the next story. With the high level of sexuality blatant in today's world, it was a blessing to have an author take these segments which are usually hidden or ignored--or worse, tucked down deep into our minds where only our nightmares may bring them to the fore again. May God's rich blessings continue to be on this Child of God, Paula Rose Michelson.

Get the books and share them with your family and friends! Highly recommended.


Thank you Paula Rose Michelson

Writing great Inspirational Christian Romances, Children's Chapter Faith Stories, Thrillers, Nonfiction, Memoir, Self-help and works to encourage are author Paula Rose Michelson's passion. Her desire to inspire others comes from being a late reader, who discovered books were her best friends! A lover of inspiring fictions where the heroine was one for her families' or the Jesus' sake, she writes about amazing women and girls who have unique faith challenges. When asked about her idea for The Naomi Chronicles, Paula said, "Naomi and I penned these fictions together." 

When not involved in writing, speaking or helping other writers, Paula pursues other passions while supporting her husband Ron who is a Lutheran Pastor and Chosen People Ministries field missionary. At one point, both of them worked for the mission. However, when the Lord called Paula to write full-time, she gladly left to devote herself to this work. 

This happy mother of two married daughters and grandmother of seven, has friends who often tell her that she weaves such wonderful tails they lose track of the time. Since both family and her ever-increasing reader family matter to Paula, she hopes to impart a blessing to those who read her books. 

Some who first knew Paula as the founder, head, and facilitator of LAMB Ministries, have mentioned that a few of those biblical teachings are found within her books. Paula knows this to be true for her desire to faithfully depict Gods love, compassion, and forgiveness while showing her readers The Jewish Messiah of Israel and the world parallel her wish to see those who feel 'less than' restored to wholeness. Therefore, within each of her books, she includes a few of the teachings God gifted her so readers can overcome and feel good about themselves.

Email Paula at: Paula.Wordsmith@yahoo.com

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