If you thought a woman who failed 9th grade twice and dropped out of high school was least likely to write a book, you may have underestimated Caren Bright.
You wouldn’t be the first.
Caren, who overcame homelessness and domestic violence to found Pamper Lake Highlands, is now executive director of the charity which began by distributing diapers to needy women in our neighborhood and has now expanded to education, parenting classes, addiction recovery, counseling and Bible studies.
At a book signing last week for “50 Dates with the Lord,” attendees were riveted as Caren read her account of her first childhood memory – her mother’s attempt to drown her in a bathtub. Young Caren received the message loud and clear – she was unlovable – and she struggled to escape the legacy of her mother’s eight failed marriages, multiple suicide attempts and myriad addictions.
God had a different message.
Caren’s book shares God’s invitation, personal and real, she says, to carve out time for 50 outings with Him. It illustrates what an intimate relationship with God can look like and the transformational joy of living in God’s presence.
“I didn’t want to write a book,” Caren laughed as she autographed copies. “I was filled with my own insecurities.”
Despite what she describes as a “sixth-grade reading comprehension,” Caren did her own writing and later found help in editing. The process took three-and-a-half years from beginning to receiving the printed copies.
“It’s a very personal journey,” shared Caren. “You can’t hesitate to communicate the truth. You have to work to put your personal issues out there – all the work and the tears and the joy and the hours and the time in one hard copy that you get to share with others.”
Son, Reggie, recalls the moment he first saw his mom’s book in print.
“We were in Ohio visiting family, and she was jumping up and down shouting, ‘I wrote a book!’ I could not wait to tell people my mom is an author.”
Amazon reviewers describe the book as “a page turner,” “an amazing story” and “an easy and thought-provoking read.”
Caren, in between book signings and her work at Pamper LH, is now writing her second book, “Engagement: A Period of Preparation Before the Ultimate Commitment.”
The book sells for $18.99 and 20% of the proceeds go to Pamper Lake Highlands. “50 Dates with the Lord” may be purchased now at My Office, 9660 Audelia at Walnut Hill, and will be available Feb. 15 on Caren’s website here.