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If you’re familiar with my background, you might think this is the website of a lawyer.  But I was a writer long before I ever became a lawyer.

Before that, I was for years a victim of child molestation.  That fact doesn’t define me.  It’s just the springboard I’ve used to propel myself forward.

And that really is my point.  We are, all of us, more than our labels, more than our circumstances, more than the pain we may have endured.

This website is a way for me to make that point, to comment on abuse-related issues, and to share my faith.

I hope you’ll join me…and find your own voice.

ANNA WALDHERR

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT:  http://www.alawyersprayers.com

99 responses to “Home

  1. Anna, I ordered your book, “The Rose Garden” from Amazon and it came…today. I am really looking forward to reading it…Thanks for being my friend and for your comments and “Likes” on my blog, dear sister.

    Michael

    • You’ve been a real blessing to me, Michael. I have found your blog A Wilderness Voice awildernessvoice.wordpress.com very meaningful. Abuse victims have endured great suffering. Christianity can speak to that, offering genuine hope. Unfortunately, too many Christians spout Scriptural references without any thought to their application. You are most definitely the exception. Thank you for all your support.

      • Thank you for your encouraging words about my writings on the blog. I do try to only write when I feel His inspiration to do so. I tire of reading peoples blogs that pump out something ever day with little thought to the inspiration of the Lord when they write and I know you do your best to listen to the Spirit as you write. I thank the Lord for everything you share from your heart.

        God bless and keep you in His loving arms, dear sister.

  2. crittergetter483

    Hi Anna,

    Michael referred your book, The Rose Garden to me, I purchased it a few days ago… [and] started reading it as soon as I received it.

    Fortunately, my father wasn’t my abuser. But, many others were for many years…

    • I am sorry to hear that you suffered so severely. Thank you for purchasing the book. I hope it is of some small help to you.

      Blessings,

      A.

      • crittergetter483

        Anna, the deeper I get into your book [The Rose Garden], the more I find that we are one on so many levels. Your words are giving areas of my life words of explanation that I didn’t have. I maybe 62, but so much of me has been shut away in the darkness of past memories, that there has been no way to describe them.

        But, slowly words are coming and with them an understanding that has failed me most of my life. This has helped me see, that, the Lord is indeed working below the scenes; I have not be able to recognize His working until now.

        Not being able to grasp the understanding of just how deeply effected the abuse had on me has been overwhelming. My mind has been plagued with confusion, frustration, exasperation, depression and despair. I have pursued healing relentlessly all to no avail, why, because I was looking in all of the wrong places! Pursuing all of the wrong sources. today, I am broken and I do not know what is next! My faith has been shattered on so many levels that I do not know if it can or will ever be restored. I just do not know!

        Like you I too battle…many health issues…My Dr.’s have said to me on many occasion, that the abuse that I faced has effected me in such a way, that it is as if I lived through a war! A former pastor that I had told me that it is a miracle that I am not insane! I can and do thank my God, for protecting me from that level of destruction!

        I shall continue reading your book, it is speaking to me!

      • Your life seems to mirror mine…

      • Your words continue to trouble me, Q. Please, know that you have value and purpose. Your life is worth saving, no matter what was done to you (or what you may have done, in an effort to deaden the pain). Do not give up!

  3. crittergetter483

    And yours mine.

  4. My dear sisters, your pain is heartwrenching. Why we walk this long and deep valley, I do not know. But I can say with certainty that Christ, the Suffering Servant, walks with us. Edmond Sanganyado put it this way, “God’s Favor is not the things we receive, but experiencing Christ.” We encounter Christ through our tears, our hopelessness, and ultimately our surrender. Only He can heal our wounds. I pray that He will restore you both.

  5. Q's Corner

    Anna, i have finished reading your book, I am touched by your story, your pain and the story of your families lives.

    I long for the day when my own painful memories will cease to trouble me; if only I could be free now!
    Thank you for this book, and for sharing your story.

    • If only I had a way to make your pain vanish. There are no simple answers. None that I know of, anyway. I can say this much. You are in extraordinary company. Men and women who as children endured the unendurable, yet survived. Men and women who were harmed in the most fundamental way, yet have chosen not to harm others. For most of us, recovery is a long, slow — often arduous — process. Professional counseling is, in my view, essential. Even with that, innocence cannot be recaptured. But we all lose our innocence eventually to this imperfect world. Integrity remains. Christ said, “‘…Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man‘”(Matt. 15:11). The past cannot be changed. We can only move forward. You still have a hope and a future in Christ. May He heal your broken heart.

  6. I froze when I read, “It’s just the springboard I’ve used to propel myself forward.” I always share a watered down version of my story. I have convinced myself for many years that I don’t want people to feel sorry for what I went through. Thank you for opening my eyes on how selfish I have been the past 13 years. I pray God will give me the strength to share my story without taking any credit, but honoring Him for His faithfulness. Thank you, once again.

    • I do share my story, and would encourage you to share yours, VaSanganyado. It is a testimony to the power of God to bring us through impossible circumstances (2 Tim. 1: 8). So that we are clear: What I meant by using the abuse as a springboard was that – with God’s help – I was able to turn my anger into a source of energy and determination, rather than a destructive force.

      The abuse (or rather God through it) has given me a heart for the suffering of others and, I hope, an increased sensitivity to their needs. I might have had those without abuse. Who can say? The abuse has certainly given me a vocabulary for pain. My struggle with the scars of abuse has deepened my understanding not only of abuse, but of God’s love.

      You are a promising writer. God has given you that talent for a purpose. Have no doubt that He will fulfill that purpose. “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Is. 55:11). I look forward to seeing Him work in your life.

      Blessings,

      A.

    • I’m sure God will give you the strength you need. I would love to hear your whole story and I’m sure a great many will be blessed by it. Thanks for opening your heart here.

  7. I am so glad you are blogging. Look at the lives you have connected with and inspired.

    Love,
    Diana

  8. Wow, you and this blog are so inspiring. I love how you said that we are not our circumstances. That is so very true.

  9. I’m so glad you found me so that I could connect to a person like you. it’ll be a great pleasure for me to follow you. 🙂

  10. Hi Anna, I don’t get to pop in here near often enough, for so many reasons, health being one of them. But just recently I was nominated for the ‘Once a Victim, Now a Survivor’ award, and am now nominating you. You came immediately to mind, as you have so consistently supported me, checked in with me, and so very importantly, been a beacon of light. Your intelligent and compassionate voice has been a mainstay during my healing process. If you’d like to accept the award…you can find details here….http://killingmesoftly.co/2015/07/17/once-a-victim-now-a-survivor-award/ Most importantly…please know I think of you often and have a huge respect for what you do. Melinda

    • I am deeply touched, Melinda. I have met extraordinary men and women, in this struggle. You are certainly one. May God aid you in your continued recovery.

      Always,

      Anna ❤

  11. My Dear Anna, with the problems with computers and the internet, it seems this is the first time I have been able to respond at Your site, though I have long been an admirer of Your views and writings. Keep up Your good work. Love and Blessings. 🙂

  12. Thank you for coming by my blog so that I could find yours. I look forward to reading your posts. Just seeing the titles of the 4 on Christian marriage, I can relate to them all.
    Thank God for the way He allows us to share in one another’s healing.

  13. For now, just wanted to stop by and thank you for your visit to my blog.

  14. Dear Anna, we are so much more than our labels but it’s great to see you kicking that label called shame to the curb. Love your writing.

  15. Hi Anna ,im looking forward to purchasing your book…thank you for the comment on my about page.
    lisa

  16. Thank you Anna for your Love and concern for others, I have known Child Abuse and as an Adult I have also been very Abused, see link below but I found the way to freedom, yes I remember what has happened to me but without the pain now.

    Freedom – http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/rescued-from-the-graveyard/

    Blessings – Anne.

    • I am so glad you’ve been restored through Christ, Anne. Ours is am amazing God, isn’t He? He sustains us, even if our pain is not removed. Wishing you joy in your recovery, A. ❤

      • Thankfully Anna I have fully recovered from my Abuse and do now have Inner Joy, no I’m not Happy Clappy about what happened to me but I have forgiven those who abused me, so I do have God’s Peace even though I remember the abuse. I have prayed for those who abused me to see their sin and to have heart repentance so they will not be punished but yes it’s their choice God won’t make them.

        I’m not Perfected in Love yet but I’m seeking to be as God asks us to do which is confirmed in the Scriptures below, I thought I would share them with you as many have not been taught this very important Truth, although you may have been, if so that’s wonderful…

        1 John 4:17-19 Herein is our Love made Perfect that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love but Perfect Love casteth out fear because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made Perfect in Love. We Love Him because He first Loved us.

        Of course Anna it’s not about Worldly perfection which changes, this we can never achieve but we will have God’s Perfection in Love if we put to death our Carnal flesh through The Holy Spirit, as we choose to walk in His Fruit as He empowers us to do so…

        Christian Love Always – Anne.

      • Thank you for sharing the details of your recovery, Anne. It is always a blessing to hear that God has helped another victim toward healing. Thank you, also, for the Scripture verses you included in your comment. Although it was not possible to set those out in full here, I have used many of them in the post on perfection your comment inspired. Many abuse victims — Christian and non-Christian — suffer from crippling perfectionism. As you rightly point out, however, worldly or carnal perfection and spiritual perfection differ from one another. We are made holy by God’s perfect love. ❤

  17. I’m following both your blogs now, as I’m so moved/impressed by the grace in which you write about issues that evoke a passionate response. You are a strongheart, a strong voice for so many wounded–“nothing but the blood of Jesus” can save and heal, but He’s called some of us to stand up and speak the words He’s gifted us with, and to do whatever He’s put in our hands to do. I’ve caught a glimmer of revelation just recently–about the wealth of Freedom He offers us–so I’m hoping I’ll gain more boldness each day to “speak” through poetry. I’m so grateful we’ve connected (I change names/blogs too often–but as I gain security in my identity “In Him”, that will likely cease 🙂 ). I’ll be reading you 🙂 God bless you Abundantly.

    • You bring tears to my eyes. That is one of the most beautiful things anyone has ever said to me. I find abuse survivors to be extraordinary men and women. I am privileged to be in such company. May God heal and restore you, as only He can. ❤

      • Yes–I don’t think I give myself enough credit for still being alive and functioning. Throughout history God has often chosen the “least” to become, and do, His extraordinary best–so that’s something to hope for 🙂 I must say that I wish you were in the Seattle area–seems there’s a shortage of advocates here…or maybe I’ve just given up. God bless you 🙂

      • You may find yourself stepping into the role. It would not surprise me. 🙂

      • Bless you for your encouraging words 🙂

  18. Thanks for the likes…. Lovely to connect with you.

  19. Forward to reading your blog. I too was a victim that abuse. Rather then but it define me, I chose to use it, spending several years as a CASA. However, it does not define me, it doesn’t linger.

  20. Hi Anna, I’m looking forward to reading your blog. I’m sure it will touch me deeply. Blessings xxx

  21. We are all more than labels. Thoughts and prayers.

  22. Hello, Anna! Thank you very much …for your likes and comments. I have seen that you are a lawyer and I love your advocacies written here. I wish you happiness and good luck. I hope I can be of any help with your good advocacies.

  23. Good posts, beautiful blog.
    Congratulations.
    Welcome to see my creations:
    http://paintdigi.wordpress.com

  24. Hi there! I’ve nominated you for the Lovely Blog Award. I appreciate your reminders of human compassion! 🙂
    https://leadership2mommyship.com/2016/12/06/one-lovely-blog-award-thank-you/

  25. Wow, this is a helpful websites.

  26. gadolelohai

    ya…see i found that in world all the people some how or the other way are molested and persecuted. Even Jesus was persecuted. But both Jesus and you have won over that molestation….Thanks
    And a true Christians will always be persecuted according to scriptures. I believe that you have extra energy to face this sort of molestation with forgiveness which is really great and inspiring.

  27. Hi, Anna,
    I was perusing your site, and found, when I returned “home” that you had been perusing mine. I am encouraged by what you have written: there is a large blank place in my childhood, and some of what you have here hints at the reason. My healing began years ago, with Psa 27:10  “When my father and my mother forsake me, Then Jehovah will take me up.” I suspect, from the timing of my visiting your site and a few other signs, that God’s time is filling in which I will understand more and be healed from it, also. 
    Blessings, and a most wonderful Christmas to you.

    • I am sorry to learn you may have been the victim of abuse, but immensely glad that you are reaching out. The Lord is our greatest support in times of trouble and grief. I hope and pray that He will heal you. Have a blessed Christmas, Louise! ❤

  28. It’s wonderful that you use your talents to advocate for abuse survivors as well as shared your story in a book. I’ll have to check it out. The more that survivors speak out, the more healed we become as a society. Thank you!

  29. Like a lot of people, I had an interest in the law that ultimately did not work out in a law career. Not without trying first! And my best friend in college went on to achieve it.

    I always knew I was a minister first. I tried to blend it with the law. I took an internship with the Seattle-King County Public Defender as an investigator. It was a brief experience that encouraged me to spend off hours in court. I watched a rape case involving two homeless people from the original skid row! I was so moved by what I saw, it affects me to this day many years later.

    I also went to prison in chaplaincy. There I became intimately involved in confessions. I heard confessions I never wanted to hear and wish I hadn’t even now. I bear some of the burden just by knowing what I know about the ugly things some men have done to their children and friends.

    In recent years, I worked in a psych ward. That was my favorite work. I think I was really well suited for it. I could go on and on about it, but of course, that risks confidence, so I don’t. But this field is like a hinge between law, law enforcement, confinement, and health care.

    More recently, I tried my hand as a corrections officer in the county jail. I was not well suited for that position, but very glad to get the tour, the in DEPTH tour, of that part of our legal system. I really wish we had a whole different dimension of imagination and pastoral involvement in these places. There is a church-shaped hole in these fields all related to law that isn’t even considered by anyone I know.

    Anyway, this is why I am interested in your blog. I am glad I found you. A blessing.

    X

    • I think God can find a way to use us wherever we are. I’m sure you made a difference to the men and women you served. Labels are not as important as that. I’m glad you found the blog, as well.

      Blessings,

      A.

  30. Hi Anna!
    I’ve read some comments from you on Michael and Susanne’s blogs but I think this is the first time I have visited yours.
    I am also an abuse survivor, as you may have read from my comments there, but it was not sexual in my case (at least, not in my childhood and teen years). Still, growing up was very painful since I had too much energy and my dad was always furious with me. I suffered bullying in school as well, so though my experiences were quite different from yours, I can in a sense relate to your story.
    I am really glad when I find people who have survived and learned to thrive against all odds. So much better when the source of hope is Christ. My story is a miracle story. I was saved from almost certain suicide by this flicker of hope that God would somehow see me through. And here I am.
    I look forward to connecting to you and will add your blog to my reading list so we can share encouragement and experiences. 🙂

    • Good to meet you, Carina. I look forward to reading your blog. Pain can come in an enormous variety of forms. Neglect, physical and emotional abuse are no less “serious” or damaging than sexual abuse. I agree that God will see us through, if we turn to Him. Actually, He rescued me despite the fact I’d turned my back. May He watch over you. ❤

  31. Thank you to sharing your pain in order to help others get through theirs. It means everything to us to know we’re not alone.

  32. Hi! Just wanted to stop by to tell you that I nominated you for an award! Please check out the link to participate: https://miamicuisine.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/mystery-blogger-award/

  33. Wow! Thanks for sharing yourself so bravely with the world. Keep shining and sharing yourself with us. Blessings.

  34. From the age of 3 to 10 I was molested by a step uncle. Like you, I don’t let that define me. Yes it has caused scars but by God’s grace I have full healing. I can still talk about it from time to time only in hope that God will use it to reach someone that needs that voice.Much love Anna

  35. For a long time, I remained shut about the topic. Kids don’t understand “what happened’ and “how it happened” until they don’t grow old enough. The problem is, when you become old enough to understand it, years have passed by you. Calendar and lives, both have turned.

    Now, I have to go back to the kid inside me, tell the kid that now nothing can be changed and listen to the kid.

    I have practically screwed up almost all my relationships because of this! The lack of trust, the checklist that I keep people on to measure their acts… everything!

    Most importantly, when I told my mother about it, she told me that her son could never do this.

    The problem is, I understand all this, the kid inside me does not!

    • How distressing! You bring up several important issues, Ambika. As you say, kids don’t understand much of what is happening to them, though abuse does them enormous harm. Often, they assume responsibility for their abuse which rightly belongs to the predator.

      I take from your comment that your brother was the abuser. That is heartbreaking but not uncommon, as is the fact your mother did not believe you. I, too, am an incest survivor. Disclosure in the family setting can be especially difficult. There are almost always conflicting loyalties. Culture can, also, play a role. Denial may be a first response, even when a loved one later accepts the truth. Tragically, victims experience such denial as a profound rejection.

      That you know the truth is what really matters. You were under no obligation to take the abuse secret to the grave. That abuse causes pain to others — directly and indirectly — is the fault of the abuser, not the victim.

      Your life is far from over. While past relationships impacted by abuse are likely beyond repair, you are not. Victims are not condemned to repeat problem behaviors endlessly. The more we learn about abuse, the greater our understanding of ourselves. The greater that understanding, the greater our capacity for change.

      I urge you to seek professional counseling. Victims need (and deserve) support and guidance. I do not know your beliefs. But I urge you, also — when you feel able — to take your pain and anger to the Almighty. He offers us comfort and healing.

      You are in my thoughts and prayers. ❤

  36. I am so glad that I found this. You are such a blessing! Thank you for your honesty, your boldness, your actions of love. I am so glad to follow you!

  37. This is beautiful. Your mission statement comes across loud and clear, and yet your words speak so gently. This blog must be a solace for many who spent their childhoods helpless, at the hands of abusers.

    Bravo!

    I agree; our histories should not define us. Every day we have opportunities to grow, as a flower grows out of the dirt.

  38. I found your blog by chance through many others and have been looking around. I found your work rewarding.

  39. Anna, I have worked as a child advocate at a battered women’s shelter and as a teacher at both middle school aged children down to preschool Special Ed. I have many overlapping stories and experiences but am currently trying to write uplifting humorous and positive posts on my blog.

    Thank you for liking one of my recent posts!

    Smiles, Robin

    • What a wonderful resume! I’m sure you’ve touched many lives for good. That you can still see the beauty in the world and encourage others is a real achievement. ❤

      • Anna, it is like many people who moved with family, had to scramble and use a bachelor’s to get a job. Thanks for thinking it sounds wonderful! 🙂

        It has been a happy life, due to a solid “good core” in my childhood years. I just try my best and like blogging much more than I expected. Thank you! ❤

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