Darlene Franklin is the author of Golden Dreams (now on preorder, releasing September 1st) and of more than 20 titles, including the three books in her current series, Maple Notch Dreams.
Darlene, welcome to Overcoming With God. We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers.
Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? (transparency appreciated!)
I have had a lifetime of difficult things, including growing up with a mother with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and then raising a daughter with the same diagnosis. And yes, I have wondered if I also suffer from it, but I’ve never been told so. Right now is another difficult time. I’ve had to move into a nursing home, which has meant giving up 90% of things I’ve accumulated throughout my life. I’m in daily (hourly?) pain. I have had to accept limitations.
But by far the hardest event I’ve had to overcome was my daughter’s suicide, five years ago. In fact, I have theorized that earlier difficulties made me strong enough to survive the worst parent’s fear.
So I guess that was the first step in overcoming: toughening up my faith muscles through career disappointment, an abusive stepfather, a broken marriage, my son’s troubled teen years, and so on. Everything served to give me a rock solid confidence that God loved me. Period. That He loved my daughter. Period. And everything else, all the grief and anger and numbness, couldn’t drag me under that foundation.
How appropriate that I am writing about overcoming today. Because just this evening, I wrote a devotional about overcoming, based on Romans 8:35-37. The New Living Translation saw we have overwhelming victory despite all the terrible things that happen. How does suicide equal to victory, let alone stomping on the enemy?
Well, of course, it doesn’t. If someone had dared to suggest that five years ago, I would have exploded.
Perhaps the victory comes in how we respond. How did I survive?
Nothing new, but only magnified coping strategies already in place. I struggled with sleep. I dreamed and awoke to the reality of the empty bunk above my own. I read, nonfiction now instead of my usual mysteries. books. Joni Woelfel’s book, Meditations for Survivors of Suicide, made a huge difference. I have since had a piece about my daughter published in the book Too Soon to Say Goodbye. People who had suffered a similar loss reached out to me. I’m a writer, so I wrote; my blog grew out of that experience. I let music flow through me and over me, singing with the choir when I could, even if it meant crying in front of the congregation.
Gradually I returned to a normal routine. I worked reduced hours, thanks to an understanding boss. My mother and I dined out, one by one returning to the places we had visited with Jolene. We buried her ashes. We learned to laugh again.
And to top it all off? God gave me an amazing, life-affirming gift: my granddaughter Jordan was conceived at the time my daughter died. She was and is life from life.
Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print? (Thank you – we offer this information to our readers with difficulty reading books in regular print format.)
Unfortunately, I don’t have any audio books. I do have one book in large print: Beacon of Life.
|Golden Dreams by Darlene Franklin|
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation
My hero in Golden Dreams won the U.S. National Figure Skating championships and was headed for the 1928 Olympics—until he had a career-ending injury. Physical disabilities often lead to emotional distress. Losing your dreams for the future is a horrible experience. Believe me, I am struggling with that right now, as I’ve lost a lot of independence. I put most of my characters through the wringer. They lose parents or children. (One of them was even lynched.) They lose their homes or a way of life. I have a number of heroes who fought in various wars, and returned home with internal and external scars. I find their internal struggles more motivating then external problems.
Two books deliberately take characters through a deep grieving process to an acceptance: Romanian Rhapsody, where the hero loses wife and child in childbirth; and A Ranger’s Trail, where the heroine’s husband was lynched, and the murderers never brought to account.
Thank you Darlene for agreeing to answer these questions. Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!