Nettles and Roses
A Story of Resilience and Redemption
In 1914 my mother was conceived out of wedlock, and because of her "bastard" birth in 1915, her abusers regarded her as sexually tainted and doomed to burn in hell. Tragically, this belief justified their maltreatment. In her vulnerable and innocent soul, young Ruthie believed she was to blame for their actions, and for thirty years, she carried her violation as a shameful burden. Brené Brown distinguishes between guilt and shame by explaining: Guilt is feeling you made a mistake while shame is feeling you are a mistake. Ruth felt that, because of her illegitimate birth, she was a mistake. Then, at the age of thirty-four, a transformation took place. NETTLES AND ROSES: A Story of Resilience and Redemption is not a self-help book intended to serve as a guide to healing emotional wounds; it's simply a story about putting one foot ahead of the other and not giving up. My mother's story demonstrates that, in spite of childhood trauma and seemingly insurmountable life challenges, when spiritually guided, it is possible for one to heal, to discover real purpose, and to rise to a level of grace that serves and blesses others.