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For The Love Of A Book

Today as I came out of the dressing room from trying on clothes I heard someone call my name. They had a distinct voice that I knew instantly from childhood. It was the now grown version of a little girl who was a family friend and whom I had sometimes babysat while her single parent mom worked.

I knew her face at once, her beautiful skin like coffee with a heavy dose of creamer, the most perfect set of full lips, and twinkly almond eyes. What I also saw was layer upon layer of pain and destruction. This did not come as a surprise to me as I knew some of her story and now standing in front of me the parts I had missed lay open before me like an abused book-pages bent, missing, torn, jacket and hard cover long gone and spine struggling to hold together what pages remained.
The book that was her life started like every other, carefully and wonderfully bound together by God in her mothers womb. Pages brimming with potential for everyday that was to come.

13 For You made the parts inside me. You put me together inside my mother. 14 I will give thanks to You, for the greatness of the way I was made brings fear. Your works are great and my soul knows it very well. 15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret and put together with care in the deep part of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me before I was put together. And all the days of my life were written in Your book before any of them came to be. Psalms 139

But like books lives are not created to sit on shelves, but rather for their story to be told. In a world that was not fallen and laboring under the curse that is sin every book would be a delightful page turner- full of light, love and all things beautiful. There would be no tragedies, no murder mysteries, no horror stories. Everyone that handled the books would handle them with great care and respect in awe knowing there was only one book in the whole world like the one they had the privilege of holding in their hands. The librarians entrusted with their care would take that responsibility seriously and see to it that the books and those allowed to read them would be treated with respect and that any book that was damaged would be sent to the author to be repaired and those who damaged it be fined or banned from the library if necessary.
That’s not to say the book was expected to appear as if it had never been read. In fact the author had just the opposite desire for both the book and those who encountered it. Everyone knows the wear signs of a well loved book- it’s pages have been written in, favorite parts highlighted and read over and over, dedicated by the author as a gift to others, the cover shows signs of having been carried on journeys, the pages no longer crisp and unopened now swell more open allowing you to turn the pages with less resistance.
But as I was saying, we live in a fallen world an imperfect library, with imperfect books, imperfect librarians, and imperfect readers. Today the book standing before me that had once been intact with every chance in the world ( even a fallen world) of being a best seller could now barely be navigated. Chapter 1 her childhood had abruptly ended and her chapter on innocence had been completely ripped out when her mother the librarian in charge of her allowed her stepdad to systematically molest her. The chapter concerning faith and God’s love for her were all blurry and smeared because her mother and stepdad who had helped to write some of these pages had spilled the bile of their selfishness on them and tried to wipe it off with their own filthy rags. When she tried to refer to these pages all she felt was pain and confusion.

Others came along and ripped out parts and rewrote them to fit their own desires. This left an ugly mar in her book and when others would see it they would either shun the book and give it a bad review, pretend it wasn’t there, or see the book as invaluable and abuse it and show disregard for it as if there was another one like it then discard the little book and move along to the next book. Others who meant well tried to dust the book off or tape it up, but they did not understand what other readers had done and how the librarian had turned her head, even waited for the stepdad to get out of prison and welcoming him back with open arms into the library, despite what he had done to the book and what he might do to other books.
How the little book wished her story would stop taking such horrid twists and turns, how she had longed to know what had been written on the rest of the pages of her childhood before they were stolen from her, she wondered what her original story carefully laid out by her author had looked like before others had made so many revisions. How she longed to be treated and handled with care like she saw happening to other books. She felt inferior to the other books she saw in the library, sometimes they aided this by their treatment of her, they would move over when she was re-shelved by them, snicker with the other books while she sat alone on the shelf. Mostly the only books left around her where ones in similar condition to her, there was some sort of comfort there, they were all damaged, they had an unspoken understanding of how they came to be that way.

No one saw her value anymore. The abuse and disregard continued despite the fact she was a one of a kind book. The book became more and more damaged now only consistently checked out by those who were looking for something to abuse. They wrote vulgar words on her pages, empty promises, deceitful lies, manipulative twists, and used her however they saw fit.
She had tried fixing her cover herself, writing some chapters that she thought would make her more appealing but her damage was so extensive and her story so baffling to even her they usually ended up making no sense and leading to more heartache and a sense of hopelessness.
The saddest part of the story may be that the little book now saw herself as no more valuable than those that handled her with such disregard- thus she began to treat herself with the same contempt. Instead of people taking her pages she began to just give them away. The memory of what her author had originally written seemingly would never be known.
So there I stood in the store, hard bound, pages worn from being loved on, repairs so seamlessly made you would barely know there had been any prior damage, looking at the little cover less book, spine exposed, gaps of pages gone… why had she called out to me from her hellish little shelf in the library? What did she stand to gain? Had the pages in her book of our childhood memories together somehow survived? I don’t know why she called out to me but I’m thankful that she did. Why? Because I love books, and I know the author of hers, He also wrote mine and yours too for that matter. I know Him well enough to know that with every page ripped out of her story he wept for the little book. He knows everything that goes on in the library of life and by His just nature and according to His author agreement concerning the book He will make all things right in the light of eternity. Everything that happened to the little book, and everyone who was responsible for its care- every librarian, every reader, even the little book herself will have to give account to the author for what they did with the little book.
On that day when He reaches the page where I ran into the little book in the store, I hope it will read something like this…
The well loved, hard bound book rejoiced at seeing the little book after such a long time. She embraced her tattered pages and listened as the little book told how she came to be in such bad shape. The Hard Bound book also read the pages that lay open that the little book did not want to talk about. She was not repulsed in anyway by the little book but she couldn’t help but see her not as she was but as she could be, as one day she believed she would be, as she had known her in the brief moment that was their childhood. After she listened to the little book, she reached out in compassion and gently caressed her pages, the hardbound book seemed more like a paperback as her eyes filled with tears as she told the little book how sorry she was for the injustice and abuse she had known. She then reminded the little book that her story had been written in her authors heart and despite the fact that she had been all but destroyed in the library, her story still existed in His heart and that He could re-write it if she would allow Him to. The hard bound book encouraged the little book to no longer give away her pages, to hide herself from those that would use and abuse her-she reminded her she was still valuable as she was one of a kind. Finally the hard bound book gave the little book one more hug and her phone number and told her she would help her in anyway possible and promised to contact the author constantly concerning the little book and her condition. The hard bound book knows in her heart of hearts the author will make sure to repair the little book, to re-write her story and make all things right in the light of eternity. I know for a fact he did not write her story to be a tragedy…

Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I know that He can repair her…

Psalm 71:20-21

You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.

Are you missing some pages? Did others attempt to re-write your story? Did you give away pages you wished you hadn’t? Do you wish your book could be made whole again? Did your librarian fail to protect you? Have you contacted your author about the damage- He is the only one that can make the necessary repairs. It is my prayer that you will be made whole, that when your book comes to a close and they all do, that despite the library, the librarians, and the readers that your story will be everything the author intended it to be.
Finally, Little Book if your reading this, when I looked at you today with the eyes of my heart, my spirit, I didn’t see a stripper, a prostitute, an addict, an unfit mother, I saw page after page of potential- may God the author of your life reach down and rewrite your story.

2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

If this post has made you feel like an open wounded book and you need someone to talk to I encourage you to cry out to God, those who you can trust and to speak with a professional who can help you gain perspective on where to go from here. If you don’t know of any resources I recommend Focus on the Family
Today I am Dreaming and Scheming of your book being made whole,


Join our conversation
Aunt Carolyn 9/17/13

Brandi, this touched my heart. May God bless you and I pray along with you that she will give God the chance to rewrite her book.

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/17/13

Thanks so much for reading the blog Aunt Carolyn. You always have such encouraging comments to offer and I appreciate it. Thanks you for committing to remember the little book in your prayers! Feel free to share it on your facebook page if you think it would be of encouragement to someone.

Jshonda Galmiche 9/17/13

I will pray for her . I to have thought of her over the years and know she can be better than ever . God heals all . Great job Brandie Packard Dickerson .. I to pray for healing of all of the world around us . Life can be difficult but with God we can count on him only if we ask .. Looking forward to the next one .

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/17/13

Thanks for reading the blog Jshonda! I appreciate it. Feel free to share it on your facebook page. Love you!

Mary Helen Oliver 9/17/13

So beautiful, Brandie. I shared your writing on my page. You are gifted with writing.

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/17/13

Thank you so much Mary Helen I really appreciate it! Thanks for sharing it on fb as well! You are a beautiful book :-)

Darlene Dunkin Emile 9/17/13

Sweet Brandi,.. I am amazed at the eloquence of the story and how tender the heart for the broken, battered book.. I know so many with similar stories or rather torn pages , full of gaps and missing the caress of the author of their story.. I will pray for who ever this is and also for all of those who life has left their pages torn and dirty and missing..

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/17/13

Darlene, thank you so much for your kind comments and thank you for praying for “the little book” I appreciate it! Feel free to share the blog on fb if you want to :-)

Denise Krumm 9/17/13

Brandie, this is absolutely beautiful! Could I have your permission to use this when I recruit and train foster parents? I would always credit you and God for these eloquent and compassionate words. Thank you so much for sharing your heart in this way!

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/17/13

Oh Denise that would make me ecstatic to think it could help foster parents understand the “little books” they would be entrusted with!!! Use it anyway you see fit! This made my day! Thank you so much!

Denise Krumm 9/17/13

Excellent! I have a presentation tonight with people in the field, and they’ve given me a whole hour! I’m going to try to work this in. So beautiful! Thank you so much!

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/17/13

Great I hope it will be a blessing to them if you get to use it- If you need an object lesson I just tore up a readers digest for the picture :-)

David Dunkin 9/18/13

Beautifully written Brandie. Reminds me that God is still writing our stories and there is always the hope of a good ending!

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/18/13

Thanks for reading the blog Mr. David, yes there is always hope!

Denise Krumm 9/18/13

Oh, that’s a great idea! Tonight there were only 6 people, all CASA and DHS workers. One of them really wants to be a foster parent. I actually read your blog to them at the end of my presentation–word for word. I’m glad there were only a few people there because I found myself nearly crying a couple. This time as I read I was struck not only by the beauty of your words but also the depth of insight in your description of this troubled young woman and your resolve to do what you can to help. I believe from the bottom of my heart that your writing will be an inspiration to those who choose to take on the challenging adventure of caring for other people’s children. I also believe your words may inspire biological parents struggling to be the parents their children need them to be. Thank you again so much for writing and posting this.

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/18/13

Thank you for your encouraging words Denise! My family volunteered most of my life with the Harrison County Emergency Children’s Shelter. My sister Ana spearheaded the Playground of Hope project in the backyard and you will see that the gazebo has a dedication plaque in memory of my grandmother Geneva. This little book is bursting with joy to know the blog post will be used to help foster parents and children!

bj campbell 9/18/13

brandie thank you for sharing that was amazing it really touched me see my life started out as a dirty book but God has rewritten my story so I can share His redemption story for my book!! So I thank you for sharing that it is a wonderful way to look at life ….I plan to share your story myself!!! If thats okay with you … I wish you could have giving this to pastor Murphy when he was talking last week about getting rid of the past! This went right along with that it would have been perfect for that sermon but it’s never too late!!

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/18/13

Thanks so much B.J.! I love for people to share the blog posts!!! Share anytime! I am glad it was a blessing to you and I’m so glad your story was rewritten!

Jody dickerson 9/19/13

Brandie, you are so talented and have such a way with words. It was touching to look at life as a book, it made me cry. We know that God can rewrite any or all the pages. Thank you for sharing, I will be praying for her new pages to be written by our Loving God. I praise God that He is the BEST AUTHOR EVER.

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/20/13

Thanks so much Momma Jody! I love you and I appreciate all the wonderful things you have written in the book that is me :-)

Chris Dickerson 9/20/13

Wonderful post! Writing is one of the many gifts God has blessed you with and it really shows your heart. I loved reading it and I love you!

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/20/13

Awe! Thanks babe I love you too- your the best chapter in my book :-)

Rhonda 9/21/13

AWESOME! You did a great job. I love it . It is very touching and it fit many parts of my life. And it was very eye opening. Because I have those tattered and torn pages and I did have to consult my author for repair. Very very impressive.

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/21/13

Dear, sweet Mrs. Helper, thank you for reading the blog and for sharing it with your sister. I am so glad the author of out stories can repair us from yesterday and tomorrow’s torn pages. I’m sure if I would have written this same allegory using a quilt it would have been right up your alley :-)

roma hickman 9/21/13

my sister Rhonda Hepler sent this to me, I was one of these abused books. I was able with the help of Jesus to forgive my librarian and we spent the last few years of her life as great friends. when she was called home it nearly broke my heart. I never married and she and I lived together all my 50+ years. she went home in feb 2010 and I found out that july I had cancer. still fighting it. I love her so much and I wish she was here with me, but she is in a better place as she was not well. I thank God and all those who prayed for me that we were able to mend our relationship before it was too late. thank you for writing this, it really meant a lot. roma hickman

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/21/13

Dear Mrs. Roma, thank you for reading the blog! It does my heart good to know you were able to see yourself in it and that the author of your story has made the necessary repairs and that you were able to make peace with your librarian. Mrs. Rhonda posts about your cancer battle on FB and I pray for you when I see the posts and I look forward to hearing of your complete healing!

Karla 9/8/14

Beautiful…tears trickling down my cheeks again… are so gifted.

Brandie Dickerson @ Dreaming and Scheming Blog 9/11/14

Thank you Karla, I so enjoy your blog as well!

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