Kathy Collard Miller Speaks Up!

KathyMiller

Everyone’s Story welcomes fellow Elk Lake Publishing author Kathy Collard Miller. Kathy writes on Christian living topics, women’s Bible studies, and Bible commentaries. A popular speaker as well, often speaking with her husband, she shares her story of how God interceded in her life to end her being a child abuser.  Do check out Kathy’s BookGiveaway. We’re both looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Whispers of My Heart

 

BookGiveaway:

Kathy is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 copy of the women’s Bible study of Whispers of the Heart. The winner will be announced here on Friday, May 19th between 6-7 PM EST.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

 

 

 

Book Excerpt of Out of Control, A Memoir by Kathy Collard Miller:

 

 Out of Control:

A Christian Parent’s Victorious Struggle with Child Abuse

A Memoir by Kathy Collard Miller

 

 

Chapter 1

Anger Controlled Me

 

Two-year-old, blonde-headed Darcy splashed in the bathtub amid suds and toys.

“Time to wash your hair,” I announced.

“No, no, Mommy. No wash hair. Please.”

“Oh yes. It’s all sticky. It’ll feel good to get it nice and clean,” I coaxed.

Sandy broke into tears as I rubbed the shampoo into her hair. Suddenly she yelled, “It’s in my eyes. It hurts! It hurts!”

“Oh, it is not.” Annoyance began a slow burn within me. Here she goes again! She does this every single time. I just hate it! “There’re no suds near your eyes. Besides, it’s baby shampoo—it doesn’t sting.”

She screamed louder. Without warning, I was engulfed with exhaustion. The pressures that had been mounting throughout the day overwhelmed me and I felt weak. The room seemed to close in on me. The dampness and heat made my clothes stick to my skin. Pushing limp hair away from my forehead and gritting my teeth, I hissed back, “Sandy, there’s no shampoo in your eyes! Now hold still or you’re in big trouble! Hold still, I said!”

Shrieking, she clawed at her eyes. I turned on the faucet and jerked her to it, pushing her whole head under the running water. Soap flowed down over her face into the tub. She sputtered and coughed, but I didn’t care. She was going to get clean whether she liked it or not.

I hurriedly turned off the water. Grabbing her arm, I yanked her out of the tub. Sandy stood shivering and crying. I screamed at her again and again. “The next time you’ll hold still when I tell you. We’ll do it the way I say and that’s that.”

I felt like an erupting volcano of hate. Anger and frustration boiled inside me like hot lava. At that moment I felt like I wanted to kill her.

Spanking her with my hand found an outlet for my tension and exhaustion. But spanking became uncontrolled beating, until Sandy’s hysterical shrieking brought me back to reason. I carried her into her room and dropped her onto the bed. Slamming the door behind me, I bolted down the hall sobbing.

“Oh, Lord Jesus,” I gasped. “I hurt Darcy again. I keep saying I won’t do it anymore, but I can’t control my anger. What’s wrong with me?”

I knelt beside my bed and cried for a long time. Sandy’s muffled cries reached me, suffocating me in a blanket of guilt.

My thoughts hurled through my mind like hailstones in a storm. I’ve been a Christian for ten years; how can I be so angry? I lead a Bible study and other people think I’m a strong Christian; how can I be acting like this?

I wanted to scream, “Help me! Help me!” but I was ashamed and frightened. What if they take my kids away from me? What if everyone knows I abuse my child?

“I’m not a child abuser!” I whispered. “Or am I? I’m still hurting her,” I cried out. “I’m abusing my own child. Oh, God, no!” The word abusing echoed through my mind like a boulder thudding down a canyon wall—strong and final. There was no hope. I had prayed; I had cried; I had begged for deliverance. If only Larry didn’t have to work at night, he could relieve some of the pressure. But I can’t tell him what’s going on. He’s a cop! He arrests people for what I’m doing. Will he arrest me?

How long can I continue like this without seriously injuring Darcy or baby Mark? Darcy’s frightened face flashed before me, wrenching my heart like a tree being uprooted by the wind. I don’t want to hurt them. I love them. I want to be the best mother in the world. But I’m so far from that.

“Oh, Father,” I whimpered. “Help me! You’ve got to. I can’t help myself.”

I turned my attention to Sandy and couldn’t hear her crying anymore. Walking quietly to her room, I opened the door and peeked in. Her naked body was huddled by the pillow. She saw me and started crying again. Pushing aside my shame, I pulled her pajamas out of her drawer and started to dress her. Her body grew tense at my touch.

“Don’t be afraid, Sandy,” I murmured, trying to push back tears that begged to cascade my cheeks from the back of my eyes. “I’m not mad at you anymore. Mommy was wrong to hurt you. I’m sorry. I wish I could promise you I’m never going to get angry with you again. but I can’t. Oh, how I wish I could.” My tears finally gushed out and then plopped onto the sheets beside her. I gently tucked her into bed and left the room.

As I put on my nightgown, I wondered, God, do you care? Have you deserted me?

Of course not, Kathy, I chided myself. You know better than that. God is always there.

Then where is the help I need? I wanted to shout. But I pushed the doubt out of my mind as I cried myself to sleep.

 

The Journey to My First Book by Kathy Collard Miller

I have no idea when I first sensed a desire to be a writer but in junior high I tried to write a novel called “That Boy Rik.” I most likely finished two chapters, if that. But the pot was still there simmering even though I didn’t know what a writer actually was.

Then in high school, I signed up for the journalism class and met Mr. Johnson, who was in charge of the newspaper and yearbook. He was gruff and “old,” and he had been a newspaper reporter in the “olden” days. He insisted on good writing. I became editor of the newspaper and wrote a weekly column. He critiqued me and I learned about deadlines and tight writing.

In college, I started out choosing an English major and switched to physical therapy. In my junior year, I married Larry and switched from part time to full time to put my new husband through college. Life went along and by the time we had been married seven years, we were parents of a toddler daughter and infant son, my life was falling apart. My Prince Charming Larry’s armor was filled with rusty holes even though he had led me to the Lord when we were dating. My expectations of getting him to the altar so that I could alter him were failing miserably and I was furious. I took out my anger on our daughter to the point I physically abused her. I almost took my life in my hopelessness.

In time, through much healing, God, my true Prince Charming, delivered me from my anger and also healed our marriage.

KathyMeme

One day, Larry saw in the newspaper that a writing course was being offered at the local community center. Although I journaled every day, thoughts of being a writer were something off in the stratosphere, completely unknown and unreachable. When he suggested I attend, I was surprised but agreed.

At the class, I learned about a strange thing called a query letter. I understood its purpose and wondered if God wanted me to share my story of His work in me and our family. I only subscribed to Moody Monthly Magazine and being unaware of other Christian magazines, I sent off a letter to the editor using the format I’d learned for a query letter. That was 1977 and when a return letter arrived, the editor said they had accepted an article talking about the facts of child abuse. Since I suggested telling my story, they were willing to review my article with the contingency of something called “on speculation.”

I wrote the article and for the byline, used “Anonymous.” I didn’t want anyone to know of my sinful and shameful behavior, but I did want to give God glory for His work. I hadn’t told anyone of what had happened. When I opened the letter, which arrived from the editor with an acceptance letter and a check for $100, I was shocked. Did this mean I was a wrier? Maybe so. Wouldn’t Mr. Johnson be surprised and thrilled?

Within a short time I learned of a Christian writers conference at a conference center only a few hours away. I attended and met a woman named Carolyn Philipps. She only lived twenty miles away and began mentoring me. I wrote articles, which were published but I really wanted to write a book. As I returned again and again to the same writers conference, I was frustrated that my idea for telling my story in a book wasn’t of interest. One time I walked the grounds of the conference center crying, begging God to open the door. Within another year, Word Publishing accepted my book and I was on my way. That book, Out of Control: A Christian Parent’s Victorious Struggle with Child Abuse was published in 1984.

Since then, the Lord has continued opening doors for over 50 books and about a thousand articles, blog posts, guest posts, and contributing to other author’s books. I’m absolutely amazed of what God has done. Truly, to Him belongs the glory for a plan I never could have imagined or created.

Kathy’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

@KathyCMiller Speaks Up on her journey to her first book and unexpected detours. (Tweet This)

@KathyCMiller asks herself: Could she be both a Christian and an abuser? (Tweet This)

Check out author @KathyCMiller’s #BookGiveaway of the Bible study Whispers of My Heart. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Kathy Collard Miller is a wife, mother of two, grandmother of two, author, speaker, and lay counselor. She and her husband of 46 years are also co-authors of several books and often speak together on marriage. Kathy has spoken in over 30 states and 8 foreign countries.

Places to connect with Kathy:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Kathy and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

I’ll be appearing on Kathleen Rouser’s Let’s Chat Blog

Monday, May 15th, Click Here

 

21 comments to Kathy Collard Miller Speaks Up!

  • Wow, Kathy, you have had quite a painful journey. I wonder if you had been abused, because I was and feared I would become like my mother. For someone to say I was (in any way) like my mother was offensive to the extreme. I’m blessed to read this bit of your story and to learn that God has pulled you out of that quicksand of emotional reaction and into His grace where you can help others.

    • elaineadmin

      Delores, nice to see you again, though I’m so sorry to learn about your own past. And I hear what you’re saying about others’ implications about whether you were or not like your mother. I’ve always wondered if others had typecast me as similar to my emotionally disturbed mother. And, as I face the 29th anniversary of her passing tomorrow, May 13th, I pray that she’s resting in His peace.

    • Hi Delores, thanks so much for commenting here and for receiving my story well since some could justifiably wonder why I would share my sin and condemn me. I’m amazed at how God has used it over these many years and how my daughter has allowed me to share. And that she calls me her best friend. As for my own childhood, my mother didn’t abuse me like I did my daughter, but she was an often angry person. I did grow up not wanting to be like her because she was so needy and controlling. A lot of healing occurred through God’s graciousness by the time she died almost 4 years ago. I’m sorry, Delores, to hear of your very difficult painful childhood. It does affect us for all our lives. Only God’s healing work helps us. Thanks for checking in here.

  • Sabrina Templin

    That’s a tough thing to admit and to overcome! WAY TO GO! 😀

  • Elaine, thanks so very much for hosting me on your blog. I’m excited about seeing who will win a copy of my women’s Bible study book, Whispers of My Heart. You are very generous to feature others. Thank you!

    • elaineadmin

      Kathy, it’s a pleasure to host you. I’ve been blogging since 2011 and every now and then I wonder what it would be like to give it up and kick back to do this or that, but then I have gotten to know so many amazing people, like yourself, who have opened my eyes to lessons I know God wants me to learn and to share these insights with others. Right before launching each new guest I pray that the blog feature may glorify Him, bless my new guest, and find its way to the viewer He wants to reach. So, again, I’m glad to host you this week 💗

  • How well I remember those feelings as a twenty-year-old mother of two in a miserable marriage. Thanks for sharing your story, Kathy.

    • elaineadmin

      We humans share so many common emotions and thoughts, don’t we, Pat. Thankful today for your visit.

    • Thank YOU, Patricia!!! That’s exactly the response I received when the Lord “made” me begin to share my story. I thought I’d have rejection and condemnation. Instead, young moms said, “Thank you. I thought I was the only one.” How I rejoice in God’s plan of using bad for good. Thank you, Patricia, for checking in with us.

  • Kathy, I admire your bravery and honesty. Would that more believers would be like that–
    that we could all share our burdens and not pretend to be perfect in the guise of
    being “good Christians.” I am striving for honesty in my spiritual journey, but I’m
    afraid too often I have bowed to pride. What a blessing that you have found
    forgiveness and grace in God and your family.

    • elaineadmin

      Kathy (Kathleen R., that is), I thank you for your honesty. And, of course, your visit. I think in our human-ness we Christians pressure ourselves when we believe we have to set a PERFECT example of a flawless life full of blessing after blessing because that is what we perceive is the goodness that God wants us to share with others. Sort of like “you too can have a PERFECT life if you are a good, obedient Christian.” Yet, it is totally His doing to bless us with His love, grace, and forgiveness. May He smile upon us all 😍

    • Thank you, Kathleen, so much for your encouraging words. Yes, it is hard to be honest and vulnerable and sadly, sometimes it’s hardest in the Christian world. I’m so grateful I never received any condemnation for my sharing. Of course, some haven’t understood how I could have acted that way and often they were abused themselves by their mothers. I totally understand. The wounding is great. I remember at the Friday night session of a women’s retreat sharing my story. Then on Sunday at the end of the retreat, a woman came up to me and said, “After you shared your story on Friday I hated you. But now I love you. And it has helped me heal towards my abusive mom.” God is amazing! So, thank you Kathleen, for sharing honestly and let’s all trust God enough to be vulnerable and know we’ll help others in their spiritual journey.

      • elaineadmin

        Kathy, I love the story of what happened at the women’s retreat and how you helped this person to begin healing. Beautiful. Yes, God is amazing. I love how He works in each of our lives.

  • Becky Eisemann

    Have known Kathy Collard Miller since our college days together and been blessed by her writings. Just last week I gave away a second copy of her book “Choices of the Heart” to a friend from another culture/religious background who is a new believer in Jesus, with the hopes we can do a long distance discipleship, discussing what she is reading and learning. Would love to read “Whispers of the Heart” too. Blessings, Becky

    • elaineadmin

      Oh, Becky, what a lovely thing to do by offering someone Kathy’s Bible study. So thoughtful!

      I’m thankful for your visit and hope to see you again!

    • Hey dear friend Becky! How sweet of you to stop by and I’m glad you put your name into the drawing. Thanks so very much for giving “Choices of the Heart” to your friend. How exciting to think of a long-distance study. I think we forget something like that is possible. So, thank you and I hope our paths cross soon! Love you! PS I’m glad you didn’t say how long ago our college days were. LOL

  • elaineadmin

    I love when my guests and viewers come together to uplift each other, and looking back over this past week I believe that is exactly what has happened. Special thanks to my lovely guest, Kathy Collard Miller, for sharing her heart and offering her shoulder for others. Kathy, it’s been a pleasure to host you and I hope you will come back for another visit. And thanks for your BookGiveaway.

    And the winner of Kathy’s Giveaway for the women’s Bible study, Whispers of the Heart, is…

    Kathleen R. Congratulaitons, Kathleeen. I hope Kathy’s study will bless you. Both Kathy and I will contact you shortly via direct email.

    Blessings to all,

    Elaine

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