With a profound and moving sincerity, Red Deer resident Bev Burton recently released two inspirational books detailing her journeys of recovery.
Create Your Calm Waters and Arise & Shine Morning Devotional were officially launched during an open house book launch party last month.
The event also featured local author Margie McIntyre who released her latest title The Last Piece of the Puzzle.
Meanwhile, in the introduction of Create Your Calm Waters, Burton notes on her web site that the intention of the book is to, “Take you, the reader, on a journey of intentional preparation in order for you to experience this ‘place’ of calm at any time, anywhere, regardless of the storms you are passing through.”
Burton, who was born and raised in northern Alberta, has indeed experienced much over the years, from a devastating sexual assault as a young woman which impacted her life in deep and troubling ways to a cancer diagnosis just a few years ago.
She would also find herself in toxic relationships, desiring to find love and fulfillment but ending up disappointed particularly after the end of two marriages.
But in the darkest places of isolation, fear and confusion, she relates how she also discovered how the power of God not only changed her life but guided her through to a place of wholeness.
She said that after she was assaulted, she soon left home and delved into her busy and challenging work schedule as it was a place where she felt in control.
Burton had enjoyed a successful career, working in government and other businesses as a bookkeeper and a manager.
As long as life went along in a carefully ‘controlled’ fashion, and she was recognized for her skills, she felt a certain peace and satisfaction. “That was where I got my self-worth.”
But she knew that there was plenty of inner turmoil as well.
When she started facing her personal issues, she found that she had never really allowed herself to explore what was hidden behind the ‘walls’ in her life.
From there, she signed up for Celebrate Recovery here in Red Deer at CrossRoads Church several years ago – and that’s when those walls really started to crumble. It was also where – for the first time – she shared the fact she had been sexually assaulted all those years ago.
“It was at the age of 65 that those words first came out of my mouth.
“In concentrating on my faith and being supported by family and friends, events started to turn around for me,” she said. “The more time I spent with my faith the more hope, freedom and peace I felt.”
But the battles were far from over.
As mentioned, in 2016, she was diagnosed with Stage 1 uterine cancer.
“I sort of went into denial at first, but I ended up having surgery in April and then started chemo in July. In November that year, I also went to Edmonton and had 25 radiation treatments as well,” she explained.
She had completed part of Create Your Calm Waters prior to this, so her cancer journey would ultimately be included in the book as well.
“The third part of the book is about my faith journey,” she said, adding that this part of her life was sparked in 2004.
Meanwhile, during her treatments and recovery from cancer, Burton also started doing daily devotions on Facebook, and ultimately compiled them in Arise & Shine. “That’s when my faith really deepened,” she explained, adding that today doctors said she is cancer-free.
As to writing, Burton pointed out that she had never aspired to be a writer, but has found it to be a source of healing.
“You write things down, and once you start, things just start to flow. You have to trust the process.”
Ultimately, Burton hopes readers will not wait until they are 65 to begin a road to wholeness.
“I am no longer a victim of all the relationships, the shame, the fear. I have moved through that to become a victor.
“In life, our focus and attitude sets the stage for where we will end up in our journey. I needed to show people how to eliminate the fear, rally family and friends and be the rock on which I stand.
“My desire is to demonstrate finding freedom not fearing your journey, rallying your family and friends, and being set free in peace and love.”