A Chilliwack woman is sharing her journey of grief, abuse and healing in a newly released book.
Sandy Phillipps’s memoir The Voice of Love: Hope Breaking out of Shattered Places was released in December.
She writes about how her missionary parents kicked her out of her home at the age of 15, and how her life spiralled out of control following the loss of her daughter soon after she was born. As she was grieving the loss of her newborn baby, she unexpectedly became pregnant again.
“As my new baby grew in my womb, something looming bigger, even sinister, grew inside of me that paralleled the new pregnancy in me,” Phillipps said.
She was admitted to hospital where she had memories of “satanic ritual abuse,” and ended up turning to alcohol and self harm as she tried to mother her children.
“It was extremely hard for me to find help,” she recalled. “Much of my book is detailing the beauty of the fruits of successful counselling. It took 12 years before I could make sense of all that happened to me.”
Phillipps credits two prayer counsellors and years of volunteering for helping her get to where she is today. A big part of her healing process came from 10 years of volunteer work with the homeless in the Whalley area of Surrey.
This excerpt from her book touches on that part of her life:
Since we lived in the worst part of the city, everyday when I walked to work, I walked past the heartache, suffering, and plight of the drug-addicted and homeless. It was on one of those walks that I was stopped dead in my tracks. I noticed a vibrant yellow dandelion, blooming ever-so-brightly, that had pushed its way up and through hard asphalt. I marvelled at the sharp colour, the strength and tenacity of life itself that was not held back by its situation, by its circumstances. As I paused to appreciate the beauty of a weed, I also admired its inherent desire for life. In a few more steps I’d be at work with dear broken, hurting bodies and souls that were eating out of garbage cans, living on the street. Castaways of our culture; those we don’t want to touch or be near; parts of ourselves we don’t want to look at. And my eyes would see the beauty, the vibrancy of life in their eyes. Just as I could love the beauty and tenacity in that dandelion, I could see and love that in hurting people.
I am a Dandelion I, too, have pushed through that hard, hot asphalt that looked impossible. I, too, have been loved when I seemed unlovable. I am a dandelion, a weed with little perceived value finding the tenacity, the strength and determination to grow through impossible places. My miracle is not only me learning to love myself, but the greater miracle of allowing God’s love to redeem me, allowing others to love me. Taking what felt unattainable to me, making healing my reality. I burst out through the hard asphalt of my struggle into a bubbling spring of refreshing, life-giving joy. Because I have heard The Voice of Love.
“My willingness to accept help is what has saved my life. Whether counselling, medication, (or) allowing myself to ask for help and having enough humility to receive the help, that makes me very strong and made the impossibility of writing a book possible.”
The Voice of Love: Hope Breaking out of Shattered Places is available at House of James Christian book store in Abbotsford ($19.95), Goodreads and Amazon ($16.99). It’s also available on Kindle for $3.80.
About the Author:
Sandy Phillipps radiates hope and joy from a life of intimate pursuit and passion to know and be known by God. Through her leadership, ministry roles, and living out her God-given purpose, she has proven that trauma does not have to define anyone for the rest of their life. As she has experienced the joy of having God hold her heart, she cherishes each and every heart that comes into her life, and loves to help people in their own healing journeys. Sandy treasures her husband of 40 years, her cats, and her many walks through the farming community in Rosedale, British Columbia. She is a mother to three adult children and is eagerly awaiting her first grandchild.