I have just finished Karen Rabbitt's memoir entitled Trading Fathers — Forgiving Dad, Embracing God(Winepress Publishing, 2009). It's a clear, frank account of how Karen was molested by her own father as a young girl and how, in the end, she came to forgive her dad and came to call Father God … Papa.
The story is redemptive and powerful. Karen lays out the details and the emotions …especially depression, shame and fear … that plagued her for 20 years. Not only did Karen experience traumatic sexual abuse at the hand of her father, she was hit with all the horrible rippling effects on her childhood, adolescence and adulthood as well. In fact, as an adult Karen learned that she was conceived through the trauma of marital rape.
You will read all the details of her growing up years, a few of them sweet and tender, but many of them very sad. While it is a gripping and well-written story, it is not easy to read. I felt lots of painful emotions as I read Karen's story.
But then you'll meet Jerry, Karen's husband, and you'll feel lots of wonderful positive emotions, too. His tender, persistent role in her life, and ultimately her healing, is really amazing. As are many people of faith who came her came alongside Karen and in big and small ways were part of her journey toward healing.
Karen has become a true friend, and the lasting freedom from the bondage of abuse that Karen experiences now is wonderful to see.