2009 Write-to-Publish Writer of the Year, Karen Rabbitt documents her true story in Trading Fathers, showing her journey from brokenness to wholeness. Beginning with her conception through the trauma of marital rape, Karen’s story continues by revealing the sexual abuse experienced at four years old at the hand of her father.
The story begins with the ripple effect on Karen’s childhood and on her social, mental, and emotional security following the abuse. Just before her marriage to Jerry Rabbitt, Karen becomes a Christian and immerses herself in the freedom and healing offered by Jesus Christ.
Far from her expectations of immediate perfection, however, Karen continues to experience shame, depression, and emotional instability. After her second emotional crisis in her twenties, God challenges Karen to do the seemingly impossible: forgive her father. Readers will identify with her denial, depression, anger, and when she finally makes peace with the consequences of her father’s abuse.
The special focus of her story is wrestling with God: “Where were you when I was abused?” As she sorts out the differences between her heavenly and earthly fathers, Karen learns to see God as her true Papa and experiences lasting freedom from the bondage of abuse.
Karen was named 2009 “Writer of the Year” at Write-to-Publish, one of the oldest and largest Christian writing conferences. The judge wrote:
“The winner of the Writer of the Year award truly satisfies the reader’s cry, “Take me there.” She uses uncommonly vivid sensory detail to transport her readers—to scenes from her difficult years of childhood abuse through to her adult life of struggling to relate to both her earthly father and her heavenly Father. Yet her sensitivity to “how much pain to share” and her careful balancing of “stories of hurt” with stories of people who showed her little glimpses of unconditional love along the way, keeps this memoir uplifting. Trading Fathers: Forgiving Dad, Embracing God is beautifully written. And it’s a valuable resource to help readers–whether they’ve had similar backgrounds or not–learn hope, healing, and forgiveness, as she has, by God’s grace.”