DEMOTTE — Sharon Bailey never expected to be an author, but with encouragement of church friends, she decided to write about her life and how she has overcome chronic illnesses and an abusive childhood.
Bailey said she shared her story with people at church about her background, and for some time they encouraged her to write about it. She was finally convinced and began the process of telling her story on paper.
The process was difficult as painful memories stopped the storytelling for about a year.
“It’s taken three years to write,” Bailey said. The name of the book comes from the Bible book on Job, who has everything he loves taken away from him. She said it’s OK to “not be like Job.”
“Cry, yell, get upset, then seek help and pray,” she said, referring to a verse in Ecclesiastes that says there is a season for all things. “We are not defined by our worst experiences,” Bailey said.
She has been diagnosed with three autoimmune diseases — Lupus, Crohn’s disease and hypothyroidism. The Lupus has deteriorated her spine and she sometimes uses crutches to get around. She said her symptoms first appeared at age 16, both the Lupus and Crohn’s.
“Some things are meant to be private,” she said. “I wouldn’t talk about it, but talking is therapeutic. It really helped.
“Even if you feel broken, God can still use you. You can be productive; it’s not the end.”
Bailey said she learned from a psychologist who had two bowls of water on a table in front of him. He told her to soak up the water in one bowl with a sponge, which she did. He then told her to soak up the water in the other bowl with the same sponge without wringing it out. The lesson was to “wring out” things that hold you back and get rid of them.
Bailey said she met her husband, Russell, who is a Jasper County judge, while they worked together as EMTs at US Steel. She grew up in Michigan City, and she and her husband lived in Indianapolis for 12 years before the couple returned to his roots in DeMotte, where he became a judge.
Sharon no longer works, but enjoys her new volunteer job as secretary for the Angels Wrapped in Love organization, which makes burial gowns for babies who don’t live long enough to go home. She learned how to sew after volunteering to help and she sews tiny gowns.
She said she had worked for an investment company, but with her diseases, she wasn’t able to continue.
“I had to mourn the loss of that life and accept my new life,” she said.
After writing her story, Bailey said she hired an editor to look over the writing. The editor referred her to a woman who does book covers for Christian authors.
After the book is released, which could be any day, Bailey plans to have a book signing at the DeMotte Library.
She said she wrote the book for no other reason than to help at least one person.
“If one person says it helps, it was worth it,” she said.
After telling her story, she said she has bonded with her two sisters because her story is their story.
“I have already heard from three people who have been in abusive relationships,” she said. “It’s a good idea to talk about it.”
The book is now available through Amazon for $7.99 in the paperback version. She said it isn’t about the money; it is about letting people know they’re not alone.