Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

5/3/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In 1975, as a young new wife with her own local television talk show and a husband on the verge of a political career, Rosemary was viciously raped at gunpoint.  A man whose face she never saw had brutally violated her body and her life, and as she says, stole her joy. Fear to Freedom is her amazing story of getting that joy back - and then some. Jennifer Hartline interviews Rosemary Trible, the author of Fear to Freedom. Hers is a real-life account of God's miraculous exchange of beauty for ashes. 

Highlights

By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/3/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - What if you did not have to be so afraid?

With that simple yet intriguing question, a truly remarkable story begins to unfold in the pages of Fear to Freedom.  I had the wonderful privilege of sitting down in person with author Rosemary Trible to talk about the book.  Two hours later, I left the interview convinced there's not a corner of the globe that this book won't find its way into, and that everyone who reads this book will be positively impacted by its profound message.

In 1975, as a young new wife with her own local television talk show and a husband on the verge of a political career, Rosemary was viciously raped at gunpoint.  A man whose face she never saw had brutally violated her body and her life, and as she says, stolen her joy.  Fear to Freedom is her amazing story of getting that joy back - and then some.

To every person, man or woman, who has suffered the violation of sexual assault or abuse, Rosemary extends a lifeline of hope and healing.  As we talked about the darkness she walked through and the barrage of negative emotions she fought with, she told me how she felt like a big, ugly cracked pot with R-A-P-E on it.  Then she had an image of God placing His light down inside, and He asked her, "Where does the light shine through?"  Through the cracks, of course!  "That's how I want you to shine for Me," He said.

Her goal in Fear to Freedom is to let each of us know - especially those who feel like damaged goods - it's okay that we're cracked!  God repairs what is broken, and brings new life out of the ashes.

Don't be too quick to assume this book is only relevant to those who've suffered sexual assault.  That would be a big mistake.  This is not a book about rape; this is an unshakable testimony to the life-changing power of forgiveness, and the awesomeness of God's love.

If that sounds canned or phony to you, listen again.  Forgiveness is talked about a lot these days from psychologists and counselors and researchers and even celebrities.  It's acquired an almost chic quality in our culture.  But the world's brand of forgiveness doesn't even come close to the forgiveness offered to each of us by God, through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and it doesn't always equal the forgiveness we are called to give one another.

I was amazed as I read Rosemary's account of how she made the courageous decision to forgive her attacker.  I was stopped in my tracks by what she did next.  She did not simply "release him" for her own sake and remain indifferent to him.  Most people would call that far more than anyone should expect of her, but on her knees before the Lord, she asked for the unthinkable - eternity with the man who'd terrorized her.

She prayed, "Lord, I forgive the man who raped me.  And I will pray every day for the rest of my life that someone will tell him about Jesus and that I'll spend eternity with him."  She took a step beyond mere release into love - love for her enemy!  She made her own great sacrifice of selfless love for the very person who rightfully deserved her contempt and condemnation.  In doing so, she realized as never before that "forgiveness is the greatest power on earth next to love."   She said to me, "When you pray for someone every day, you just can't hate them anymore."

The highlight of the book is Rosemary's astonishing description of what she calls her "near-life experience" after a strange car accident.  While in a coma-like state, unable to speak or move at all, Rosemary was allowed to see beyond the veil.  Though she warns that words are inadequate to describe what she experienced, she tells over and over again of the unspeakable love and peace that enveloped her, the light that warmed her, the absolute calm and joy that overtook her.

After being greeted and embraced by friends who had died, she suddenly found herself face to face with someone she did not recognize.  "Who are you?" she asked.  He replied, "I am the man who raped you.  I would not be here except you forgave me and prayed that someone would tell me about Jesus and I would be set free."

Rosemary writes that this heavenly meeting was "a great gift to my life.  To be face to face with the man who had stolen my joy, and see him now at peace with God and forgiven of his past.  What a merciful God to answer my prayer."

What she learned about forgiveness is for every one of us.  Next to love, forgiveness is the greatest power on earth.  When we forgive, the power of God is loosed in the life of our offender, to work eternal transformations.  We not only set ourselves free, but we free the one who hurt us to be changed by the force of God's perfect love.  God desires that not one soul be lost, but that every soul, every soul, be reconciled to Him through Jesus.  He will stop at nothing, and go to the ends of the earth to win back even the most hardened soul.

When was the last time you prayed for the good of your enemy?  I think back to times I have prayed for someone who hurt me deeply or hurt someone I love, and I'm not sure I was all that interested in that person's good.  I was mainly concerned with "freeing" myself from the anger I felt and getting a pat on the back for being so gracious toward a real schmuck.  Which means I have missed the point of forgiveness and love entirely. 

Rosemary has truly lived God's command to love your enemy, and she now radiates the light of Christ.  I asked her near the end of our time together, "If you could edit your life so that the rape never happened, but without the assurance that you'd be the woman you are today, would you do it?"   With barely a moment's thought, she smiled and shook her head and said, "No, I wouldn't."   

Hers is a real-life account of God's miraculous exchange of beauty for ashes.  It's through those ashes, she told me, that God has taught her the power of forgiveness and how immensely great is His love for each of us.  Her mission in life is to tell people about that love and say to every person who is broken and trapped by fear, "You can be free again.  You can have joy again!  You are loved and wanted no matter what you've done or what's been done to you."

One thing's for certain - the cracks in her pot no longer spell r-a-p-e, but H-O-P-E.  She simply shines with hope.

To order your copy of this marvelous book, visit the Fear to Freedom website (www.feartofreedomjourney.com).

-----

Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and mother of four precious children (one in Heaven).  She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.  She is also a serious chocoholic.  Visit her at My Chocolate Heart.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Personal assistant to Mississippi Senator arrested for trafficking meth and date rape drugs Watch

Image of Assistant Fred Pagan was paid $160,000 in his Senate role last year, according to newspaper reports. The 49-year-old Pagan has worked for Cochran since he was 16 years old.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Mississippi Senator's personal assistant has been charged with trafficking drugs from China to use as payment for sexual favors. An investigation was launched after police seized a package on April 9 with over a kilo of the date rape drug GBL addressed to ... continue reading


Oregon bakers who refused to make lesbian wedding cake get $100K from online fundraiser Watch

Image of Melissa Klein and her husband Aaron disapprove of gay marriage for religious reasons. They refused to  make the cake for a commitment ceremony in June of 2013.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, in the Portland suburb of Gresham, made international headlines when they refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple two years ago. The bakery was fined $135,000 -- $100,000 was raised on an online fundraising page ... continue reading


The Obama Administration to bring waves of immigrants to refugee settlements in the United States Watch

Image of You could look for clues if you're community is selected for immigration settlements, says WND.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Obama administration is no less than discreet. From the "Strengthening Communities by Welcoming All Residents: A Federal Strategic Action Plan on Immigrant and Refugee Immigration" report from the White House Task Force on New Americans, certain clues and signs ... continue reading


Infant Exposure: Newborn Baby Rescued from a Dumpster Reunited with Hero Who Saved Him

Image of Officer Michael Buelna reunited with the baby he had saved from the trash, twenty five year old Robin Barton.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Michael Buelna is a Police Officer in Santa Ana, California. In 1989 he heard a sound coming from a trash bin. When he looked closely, he discovered a newborn baby boy with his umbilical cord still attached. The child was only four hours old. He weighed four ... continue reading


Lifting the Christian flag on Georgian government grounds raises concerns Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After seeking legal recommendations, Cochran, Georgia was advised not to raise the traditional Christian flag outside City Hall. However, the city council decided to determine this through votes that eventually turned in favor of lifting the flag. The flag raising is ... continue reading


California's extreme drought causes rodents to raid homes Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rodents are being forced to forage into houses and residences for water to survive during the high temperature in California causing an extreme drought. The rats are going through various lengths and pushing themselves into small holes just to get some food and water. ... continue reading


It just might be the largest eruption ever! Fire in the belly - much more magma underneath Yellowstone volcano than thought Watch

Image of The recently discovered magma reservoir alone has a volume 2.5 times that of the Grand Canyon. However, these new expanses do not mean that the two hellish hollows could overflow the Grand Canyon with molten rock.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A research group, using seismic technology to scan Yellowstone National Park's depths has made a literally earth-shaking discovery. Yellowstone's magma reserves are many magnitudes greater than previously thought, making the notion of an eruption far more ... continue reading


Islamic State's seduction, recruitment of Americans under scrutiny Watch

Image of At least 25 Probable American recruits have been detained since January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. prosecutions of would-be recruits to Islamic State has grown exponentially. ISIS has used both brutality and perceptive propaganda to attract members worldwide, in ways that are far more sophisticated than al-Qaeda and other jihadist adherents. LOS ... continue reading


'Man of peace, tenacity and courage,' Cardinal Francis George dies aged 78 Watch

Image of Polio during childhood had left the prelate with a weakened leg and a pronounced limp throughout his life. With his death, the College of Cardinals has 223 members, of whom 121 are under 80 and thus eligible to vote for a pope.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Retired Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George has died after a decade of battling cancer at the age of 78. The first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, he is being remembered as "a man of peace, tenacity and courage" by his successor Archbishop ... continue reading


Genetic rescuing considered for shrinking wolf population on remote Michigan island Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are only three wolves left on Isle Royale, a small island in Michigan Lake's Superior, according to biologists. Researchers said that they do not know what to do or what should be done in order to save the wolves from dying and disrupting the ecology. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 11:19-26
19 Those who had scattered because of the persecution ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 87:1-3, 4-5, 6-7
1 [Of the sons of Korah Psalm Song] With its ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:22-30
22 It was the time of the feast of Dedication in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 28th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Chanel
April 28: In St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr (Feast day - April 28) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter