White Wolf and the Ash Princess was part of a blog tour this summer. One of the blog hosts asked me to write about the inspirations behind White Wolf. At the time, I felt the Lord was asking me to step further out of my comfort zone and share a little bit more. It’s terrifying to step out and share this again, but…when I feel fear over the past, I remind myself that I have a promise to keep. Thanks for visiting…and thanks for reading. You are appreciated!
“What was the inspiration behind White Wolf and the Ash Princess?”
I get asked this a lot—and I’m sure every author is asked the same question. I wonder if they struggle to find the right words as much as I do?
I debated long and hard on what to write for this blog post. So hard, in fact, my eyes have become blurry from my hour-long stare at the screen. My family and close friends know what the under-structure of White Wolf looks like—but no one else does. I really shouldn’t have wasted so much time squinting at the screen. I know what I need to share—I have a promise to keep.
I don’t know how old I was when I prayed the words. I just know that I wept them to Him in a ball on the floor “after”. I told Him that if he were to help me survive to be “old” (twenty)—and if He could please somehow cause some man love me—truly love me (the broken, icky, monstrous me)—I would find a way to help another one like me. No, not just one—as many I could. I knew there were lots of “me’s”. I heard the numbers in school. One in five. I counted off the kids in class the day my teacher brought up the topic of sexual abuse. My heart dropped when I saw how many that was. I didn’t know how I was going to do it—how I was going to reach them—talk to them. I was a shy girl with stomach aches. How would I ever fulfill my end of the deal if my husband should come? I didn’t worry about it much. I was young—and twenty was forever away.
The Lord kept His promise from that night. My abuse was to last eleven years. He helped me survive it. My family and I began to attend a new church the summer I turned 19. I met my husband there. We were married when I was twenty.
Underneath the flesh of a story is the skeletal structure of a book. That’s where you’ll find the writer. That’s where you’ll find the “little” me in White Wolf. In the story itself, the story of love, forgiveness and the journey to get there—that’s where you’ll find the “adult me”. It’s my journey of healing in story and it’s meant to be a letter. A letter that has helped me keep my end of the promise.
White Wolf is a love letter to my husband
Izzy says it best…
I had a dragon and I didn’t tell my husband. My dragon caused all kinds of havoc in our marriage until I finally let him go on our tenth anniversary. I was finally free—we—were finally free. I could at long last fully love my husband in the way he desired. My husband waited for me those first ten years of our marriage, and that will forever bind me to him. The Native American legend, The White Wolf and the Ash Princess, is the book’s pulse and it was written for him. This beautiful legend, meant to be told to the rhythm of a drums heartbeat, is our story.
White Wolf is a thank you letter to my “Papa”
I accepted Christ when I was five—near the time when the abuse began. Jesus and I forged a special relationship and I asked if I could call Him “Daddy”. I was no longer alone. I would crawl into His lap and talk to Him until my heart stopped aching and I found sleep.
To me, “Daddy” is a term of endearment that is used to show a close relationship. In the book, I use “Papa” instead. “Papa” is the ever-present, yet unseen character with a “plan”. The Lord was there for me, too, even when I couldn’t see Him. Why didn’t He stop the abuse? He could have—but He chose not to. The story of Joseph tells us why the Lord sometimes allows bad things to happen. Genesis 50:20 says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” The Lord could have stopped both of our injustices, but He chose to let them go forward. My “Daddy” had a plan. Joseph’s trials made him into a man of great power to help his people. My experience gave life to White Wolf and the Ash Princess. Without my past, there would be nothing to write. White Wolf is part of His plan to help me keep my promise to Him to reach my “one in five”.
White Wolf is an encouragement letter to my readers
I had no need to worry when I was little. Jesus found a way for me to reach others who have suffered just like me. My hope is that my story—as well as Izzy’s in White Wolf—will be of an encouragement to my readers. White Wolf and the Ash Princess is a testimony of survival and finding joy after the pain. I found it a privilege to go back and revisit the flames that burned me when I was a girl. The Lord is good—even in the bad—and my goal is for my readers to discover that, too.
The White Wolf challenge
Do you have a secret? Are you harboring a dragon of your own? It’s exhausting work carrying around a dragon. Seek rest from your burden and let it go to the One who wants to free you from it. Matthew 11:28 (ESV) “Come onto Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Don’t delay any longer. Crawl onto His lap and find rest today.