Divorce is a topic most people shy away fromóbut not Antoinette Richards-Garraway.
After going through her own divorce, Richards-Garraway decided to put pen to paper and write a book, titled A Divorcee's Restoration.
Designed to inspire others to forgive and release those who have inflicted hurt, the book also assists in helping to show those who have experienced divorce there is life past the rough patches, she said.
"Divorce was never really anything to me until I went through it. Most people tend to not even realise how many persons get divorced in Trinidad and what a divorcee goes through. Some people are insensitive when they approach you and ask so many questions, not really understanding that you are going through hurts too. Being a minister of the gospel, I realised this was not something to overlook. I told myself once I could turn this thing around it would be a noble goal for me to try and help people," she said.
"The divorce rate in Trinidad and Tobago last year stood at 80 per cent. This is quite alarming. Marriage is no longer the lasting institution it once was. Every year a drastic amount of families experience divorce, and over half of the children witness their parents' divorce before they reach the age of 18," she said.
Richards-Garraway noted that while there is some benefit for children stuck in abusive family situations, the effects of divorce are usually physically, emotionally and financially negative for everyone involved.
"When I wrote the book, I knew that there are people hurting out there and I needed to do something. Just like what God has done for me, I wanted to reach out and help others. To help them restore and be made whole," she said.
"If it were not for my restoration, I think I would be going around in circles or my life would have been stagnant for a very long time. And at one point it was, but that has changed," she added.
"I have always been concerned about families, and I realised one of the major breakdowns in family is divorce. In most of these households, there are children. If these individuals are not restored and come to a place of appreciating themselves, then the children are damaged and hurt and then you see the results in the statistics. Some of these children don't do well in school; they drop out or fall into crime," she said.
"People need to understand this is a major thing. When I was going through my divorce, I realised I needed finance. For those who have never experienced divorce, one thing to note is this: it cripples you financially. I wrote several other books; however, the Lord laid it in my spirit to write this book. My first thought was, oh Lord! This will be a hard book to sell since it is such a controversial topic. In the church they deal with married couples, singles, too, but divorceesóno. However, the Lord kept on laying this in my spirit and I obeyed," she said.
Writing for a number of years, Richards-Garraway recently launched her book at Tabernacle of Prayer at Cunningham Street, Ste Madeleine,.
A Divorcee's Restoration is the first book published by the author; however, she has written several other books yet to be published. She is currently working on the sequel and says A Divorcee's Restoration is not just for divorced people, but everyone.
She said, "Written to strengthen and reassure positively, there will be a sense of belonging and not rejection. Persons will learn how to move from being a victim to a victor."
For copies of the book, e-mail Richards-Garraway at firstname.lastname@example.org.