Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence Victims

Author Mina R. Raulston, provides in this her debut book her personal testimony of her experiences with domestic violence in a fourteen-year long abusive marriage, and her journey to healing, a deliverance she credits to God’s intervention upon her life. Included in the book is factual information about the realities of domestic violence, the help victims need to extricate and rehabilitate themselves, and ways to find that help. An appendix of available professional resources is incorporated in the book.
Mina tells me that countless authors will tell you they have been writing since they were children, ever since they could hold a pencil. They will tell you they have been telling stories, or putting out newspapers their whole lives, always seeking an audience to entertain. Not so for Mina Raulston. Mina says she has always been good with reading and could write a good term paper or book report in school, but she never considered herself creative. She didn’t begin writing until after she experienced a traumatic divorce caused by domestic violence. Here is Mina’s story in her own words:

Mina R. Raulston – Author

 “In 1989 I went against everything I believed in and divorced my husband of 14 years when his abuse escalated to throwing steak knives at me. I was about to start the old routine of keeping the children quiet and walking on eggshells around my then-husband and the father of my children until the stress and violence passed, again. While staying up late that night to try to unwind from the violent exchange, I was reading a magazine article about domestic violence. I thought to myself, “Do you have a video camera in my living room? Because that is what I am living.” Instead of repeating the cycle as I had many times, the next morning I took my children to caregivers and then went to Legal Aid where I filed for divorce.

After spending four years as a post-traumatic mess, I attended a ladies retreat with my church. During that retreat I received spiritual healing and deliverance from God. You see, I am a Pentecostal and we strongly believe that God still heals and delivers people physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our group of ladies gathered in a meeting room to hear a message from our speaker. After she finished we all prayed, using a small wrapped package we were provided with as a symbol of all the pain and hurt that we were then to give to God. In that prayer we also asked God to heal and deliver us from those things we gave to him. That small meeting room became our altar of prayer. I received my healing and deliverance that night. After the prayer I felt as if an anvil had been lifted from my heart and shoulders. 

I used to spend my long daily commute talking to God. Over the next few months I spent time asking God to show me the healing He did in me so I could help someone else. God gave me visions of the healing and deliverance he did in me. Now, whenever I read in the Bible where God gave someone a vision it wasn’t just a gift, it was an assignment. I share the basic details of those visions in my first book, Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence. I will go into more detail in my upcoming book, Roadmap to Healing.

The experience of being healed and delivered, then seeing spiritual visions, was an overwhelming and personal encounter with God. I began journaling to work out my thoughts and feelings. I also began studying the women of the Bible to learn what God expected of me as a Christian woman. You see, I wasn’t raised by Christian parents, and now as a divorced woman, I didn’t fit anyone’s concept of what a Christian woman should be. Divorce was still uncommon in the church at that time. 

As I was studying, the Holy Spirit prompted me to outline and organize what I was learning. “Why do that?” I prayed. “No one is going to read my journal. “Just do what I ask,” the Holy Spirit patiently prompted me. I obeyed and a Bible study formed which became a class I taught at my church. Later I wrote the church newsletter, worked as a volunteer reporter with a local Christian newspaper, and published a couple of articles in my denomination’s magazine, The Evangel.

In my daughter’s senior year in high school I found myself suddenly unemployed. I decided to try to pick up some freelance writing assignments while I was seeking a full time job. I sent out my resumé and published clips to several local newspapers. I received a call from one of them and was shocked when the editor asked me, “So, Ms. Raulston, you’re seeking a job as a full-time reporter?” It took me about a heartbeat to overcome the shock before I answered, “Yes sir, I am.” We met in his office the next day and I began my job as an Education Reporter. That was August 2001. I had been on the job for less than a month when 9/11 happened. I wrote many articles about people who experienced that tragedy firsthand, in addition to my education articles and general news articles. It was a great learning experience. Over the next few years I published articles in several newspapers, magazines, and web sites.

I also wrote many articles on the subject of domestic violence, completed volunteer training as well as college classes related to family violence. After my daughter went to college I decided to write a “pamphlet” about domestic violence. I planned to present it at my denomination’s women’s ministries to help people in the church understand the facts surrounding family abuse. Over a period of nearly five years, combining my volunteer training, my college classes, and my personal research, I realized I had much more than a pamphlet. I had a book. When I moved to a larger city for a job, I joined a Christian writer’s group and a Toastmaster’s club to hone my writing and speaking skills.

I hired a friend who is a professional writer/editor to edit my book. I hired another friend who was an artist to create my cover art. I learned how to buy my own ISBN number for my book. An editor friend referred me to his graphic designer to combine my cover art, back copy, author photo and ISBN/Bar Code into my book cover. Then, another friend offered to format the interior of my book at no charge. With so many people willing to help me at either no charge or reduced fees, I knew God was in this project. My last step was to find a book packager, a company that simply prints and binds books. They are not publishers. I had become a publisher.

I’ve become a Jack of All Trades over the years, writing for churches, newspapers, magazines, websites, publishing my book, and even writing speeches. Now I work full-time as a technical writer. My goal is to write and publish more books to glorify God as I use my newfound gifts. We hear so many stereotypes of abused women who repeat the cycle, or who may get free but never find wholeness, or whose children repeat the cycle of violence. But, God is good and he has blessed me and my children with a whole new life I could never have imagined without his help and guidance. To God be the glory!”

You can find out more about Mina on her web site at www.minaraulston.com, or on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and her blog at minaraulston@wordpress.com. 

Award-winning artist and author, blogger, editor, and interior designer Linda Lee Greene is on social media at the following:

Email: lindaleegreene.author.artist@gmail.com

Twitter: @LLGreeneAuthor

Also look for her at LinkedIn and Google+

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