Beneath the Pain

Anne PetersonMeet my friend Anne Peterson. Oh my gosh, I’ve learned much from Anne. She writes lovely poetry, the kind my Gram would clip out and tuck away in her Bible because they said the right thing. Always just the right things. She also writes children’s books and devotionals. Anne has a deep-seated and tested faith, as you will see. Her spirit is sensitive, and she is kind. I couldn’t be happier than to feature her today.

By Anne Peterson @AnnePeterson

I’ll never forget answering the phone that day. Before caller ID, you had to pick up to find out who was there.

“Hi Anne, Is Nathan home?” my son’s youth Pastor asked.

No chit chat at all? This didn’t sound like Kyle.

“What’s up Kyle?” I asked.

“Anne, I have reason to believe Nathan is going to hurt himself.”

I’d love to tell you that my first instinct was that of a loving mother. Concern for my child. But can I tell you at that very moment I felt something completely different. Anger.

How could this happen and I not know? How could this be going on under my roof and I not have a clue?

Those couple of hours were excruciating. A friend of Nathan’s was out looking for him. In the meantime we waited. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait long.

I could tell you his side of the story, but why not just hear Nathan.

Years later I would hear Nathan’s struggles as he grew up. Sometimes when you have dysfunction in your home, it takes all your energy just coping from day to day. We know God can bring good out of difficult situations, the question was, what would he bring out of this?

I was arrogant.

Little by little God showed me how arrogant I was. My anger was a clear indication of my pride. And what good came out of the attempts my husband, Nathan’s father made?

A few years ago I began writing my sister’s story. How she died a victim of domestic violence. But as I started to write I felt God’s nudge. He wanted me to write my story as well.

“Mike, how would you feel if I were to share our struggles in a book?”Broken, Anne Peterson

He answered,“I think it would be great if we let God take something that was so difficult and he brought something good out of it.”

And so I opened my heart and let the world in, writing Broken: A Story of Abuse and Survival.

What Good can comes from being vulnerable?

We let people know they are not alone.
 Writing with vulnerability is a win/win. People who are hurting need to know they are not the only ones. 

We give people hope.

When people go through trials it’s easy to feel like the trial will never end. More than anything people need to have hope. Hope it will not last forever. Hope there is a way out.
We get healing.

Often as we share with others God touches those hurting places within us and heals.

One thing I realized as God started healing me is that we can’t isolate our feelings. In other words, when we numb some of our feelings, all of them are numbed. And when I learned how to embrace my pain fully, God healed me and then I felt joy which had been non-existent. The more I healed, the more I was able to feel my life again.

Sometimes there are surprises

Little Emma's wishdid I know there was a hidden surprise in being open. For as I healed, stories started flowing out of me. Children’s stories. They were hiding underneath the pain.

First there was Emma’s Wish, then The Crooked House. And on and on they came. Recently we released a book, Sonny Follows His Heart. And we’ve just completed Make Believe: A book of Poetry Volume one and Volume two.

We live in a broken world. And we carry baggage around with us. But the good news is, we can break destructive chains. And even though our parents made some choices, we don’t have to follow in their footsteps.

Nathan is the lead singer of a band called Hello Industry who ministers to struggling students. When they do retreats, kids line up to talk to him. Why? Because God comforted Nathan and he wants to pass that comfort along. He wants them to know they’re not alone.

I’m not sure what you are going through in your life, but I can tell you this. You matter. You are valuable and you can be healed. And one day you can live the life you were meant to live. The truth is, we’re all broken. The good news is, we don’t have to stay that way.

Anne Peterson is a published author, poet and speaker, but her favourite title is still Grandma. She lives in Peoria with her husband Michael who she has been married to for 39 years. Besides her books, Anne has also published 42 Bible Studies with In addition to the Bible studies she has about 30 articles published as well.

To find out more about Anne you can visit her at:


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