Reading Dr. Barb’s writing and talking with her adds warmth and light to my work at Awakenings. Dr. Barb’s beliefs are a match with which she lights a path for herself. Even if some of my beliefs veer away from hers, I get to feel this warmth and see my surroundings brighten because of her light. She inspires me to light my own match, to engage my own beliefs as a source of healing, and warmth in hopes that others, too, might strike a match and light their way.
Question: What are your mediums of artistic expression?
Answer: My artistic expressions come through writing and drama. I have written, directed, and produced three plays. I have written poetry for Awakenings about abuse and healing. I have authored The Pastor Maggie Series about a young female pastor and her lively congregation. These books are based on my own experiences, with some fiction thrown in for fun.
Question: How has art impacted your healing journey?
A: Drama is another way I connect with life stories. I enjoy acting, directing, and, again, writing. I think those who are processing their own lives may also be able to use writing and drama to find peace, healing, and wholeness. We each have our own ways to grow and flourish.
Q: What do you hope people who see or experience your art walk away with?
A: I hope those who feel loss, fear, or despair find comfort and strength in my writings. Abuse can steal our bodies and souls. Healing comes when we realize, and believe in, our wholeness and our worth. Erasing the negative messages we have been given, and replacing them with words of our strength and power, heal wounds and scars. I am in awe of the other artists at Awakenings. I find strength in them all.
Q: What has your connection to/relationship with Awakenings been like?
A: I have had the opportunity to submit my writings on abuse and healing. I also have been part of an evening where I read some of my writings in a public setting. I’ve been moved to see the many gifted artists who use music, painting, drawing, sculpture, dance, and writing to share their experiences.
Q: How do you think the work of Awakenings serves survivors & allies alike?
A: Awakenings is a safe place to bring your life story. The staff members are incredibly empathetic, kind, encouraging, and accepting. When you walk into the Awakenings building, you walk into a gentle embrace.
Because Awakenings is an organization unafraid to let individuals share their truth, truth wins. Healing occurs. Those who feel lost in the dark, find the light again. The work of Awakenings is a necessity for the health of the community. Listening to, or seeing artistic depictions of survivor’s lives, creates empathy and is a call to action for all of us. I wish there was an Awakenings in every city.
Barb has been a pastor for over twenty-five years. She is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. She has spent her professional life trying to share good news, hope, and healing from all ills. She is the author of The Pastor Maggie Series.
She is married to Dr. Douglas Edema and is the mother of Elise, Lauren (Sylvester), Alana (Alan), and Wesley. She is the stepmother of Becky (John) and Todd (Alli), and step-grandma to Mason, Addie, Sam, and Matthew. She is also a fan of felines with four rescue cats.
Rev. Dr. Barb’s piece “Reclamation” one of the pieces featured in our anniversary celebration of our blog The Nightingale.
Read more of the writings she’s share with us in “Stressure” , “When the Fairytale Ends”, “My Voice” , “I am a Pastor and this is my Sexual Assault Story”, “Easter Women” , and in Issue 8 of Awakened Voices: Those Who Help