Karen’s Story

Karen Rabbitt, M.S.W., a seasoned psychotherapist, has written for Marriage Partnership and Today’s Christian Woman, in addition to writing her own story, Trading Fathers: Forgiving Dad, Embracing God (WinePress, 2009). A self-proclaimed late bloomer, Karen did not begin writing until she was 52 years old. She writes to share her hard-won wisdom—informed by her professional experience but energized by her own struggle for emotional and spiritual health.

Raised on an Illinois farm in a difficult and dysfunctional family, Karen experienced traumatic sexual abuse as a child at the hand of her father. The devastation of this abuse eventually led to depression and serious mental illness in her twenties. After she recovered, Karen earned her Master’s of Social Work degree and provided psychotherapy to Christian women from 1986 to 2005.

A CLASS graduate, Karen now speaks and leads retreats as a way to encourage others; her deepest desire is to feed your hunger for Papa-God’s love. Having wrestled with God herself, she knows how to help others confront and find help for deep-seated hurts. Karen often experiences God in his creation and his words to her are often related to nature and the beauty of gardening. After surviving severe mental illness in her twenties, she heard God say, “Karen, dear, you have deeply rooted weeds in your heart. Let me pull them.” Her memoir is the story of God’s painful pulling and his delightful daffodils, lilies, and roses of joy and forgiveness that she now enjoys.

A lifelong seamstress, Karen tailored her first suit at 12 years old and has sewn everything from wedding dresses to men’s suits. She is also a prize-winning poet, winning third prize in a regional poetry contest that drew national entries. She and her husband ran Heron Lake Studios, a lampworked bead and silver jewelry business, from 2003 to 2008. Together, they are Illinois Artisans, a juried program which recognizes Illinois craft. In the same vein, she loves dinnerware, and would stockpile china, silver, and glassware, along with tabletop décor if God gave her permission. Now a grandmother, Karen still lives in Illinois and has been married to Jerry since 1972. They walk or bike to their neighborhood church.

Links to professionally published magazine articles:

Today’s Christian Woman article: “I Was A Food Addict”

Marriage Partnership: “Sticks and Stones”

Todays Christian Woman: “Free to Say Yes”

Todays Christian Woman: “Redefining God as Father”