I’m Not Garbage
I was honored to have the opportunity to interview Rein Johnson, the author of “I’m Not Garbage”. Her message of transformation is very powerful. I can relate on so many levels as to the healing process that takes place once we take a pen to paper. I hope this interview blesses you as much as it blessed me and make sure to click on the link to see the book trailer.
1. What inspired you to write your book, “I Am Not Garbage”?
Writing “I Am Not Garbage” was a charge from God. Initially it wasn’t something that I really wanted to do. I had toyed with the idea and even began some early drafts of it but never really moved on it in the way that God wanted me to. I had received a prophetic word that I would come off of my job to write the book, but I didn’t mentally and internally receive that. I’m a single mother raising three children with bills to pay like everyone else. I assumed that if I were going to come off my job to write anything God was going to set me up financially to do so either through independent miraculous wealth or maybe even marriage. Not so!
God had been dealing with me about leaving my job. I resisted significantly even though it was stressful and meant much neglect of my family and personal life because the money was good, the benefits were good, and I could provide the life I had always wanted to for my children (or pretty close to it). Little by little God began to do things with my employment to get my attention. The job became more stressful. We went through a major employee overhaul and restructuring, which was my job to oversee, we shifted the benefits plans which resulted in my having to pay out over 1/3 of my paycheck to cover me and my children medically in addition to the expensive monthly commute I was already paying to drive two hours one way. I still decided I’d leave my job on my terms or when I secured new employment.
To make a long story short (because this is discussed in the book also), God initiated a real transformation process for me. It was an extremely painful time, and nothing gets the message to the brain like pain! I walked into work one day after already going through some other major change with God, and they told me that they had no need of me and paid me almost triple my salary to leave. I laughed; I knew it was God. I accepted my severance and drove home. God stripped everything that would’ve taken any attention away from this assignment including my house (because I only would’ve continued to worry about bills and maintaining my home unemployed, and I would’ve definitely needed to find a new job). I ended up moving back in with my mother who had a loft off the side of her large home, and that’s when I decided to obey and put pen to paper.
It wasn’t that I had a problem sharing my testimony. I had already been doing so at many conferences and events, but writing it was a challenging thing to do for so many reasons. See, preaching my story allowed me to only go as far as “I” wanted to and expose as much as “I” was comfortable with. When it was over, I could go home and forget, and thank God for everyone He delivered during the service and be done. Writing is very permanent. It required that I go back into the depths of places that I genuinely wanted to forget. Writing meant exposing myself and my family in a very real way; a way I wasn’t quite ready for, so I resisted. But when I yielded, I became so much more inspired to get this book out, because God was giving me transformation, and I understood instantly that He wanted to get that message of transformation out to others. It was a lot to write and a hefty book, but I watched God heal me completely as I wrote right up through giving me powerful revelation on what transformation in God is really about!
2. Was there ever a moment that you doubted or just wanted to stop writing?
As stated earlier, I definitely had my doubts. Whenever we have to heal from anything, we essentially have to “kill” it and bury it if I may use that metaphor. When something in us dies, we grieve it– all five stages. I definitely went through the grieving process as I recalled each horrifying story and very explicitly shared my testimony. It was hard at times, but I typed through tears, prayed through, and took breaks, but I couldn’t stop.
I became more engrossed in the healing and transformation taking place in me that the pain was worth reliving just to expose and expel it. God helped me to understand things that I never understood before about my life and launched this ministry of transformation. When you are chosen to share healing with the world, the process of writing isn’t as easy as it seems. We live these words. We wrap ourselves up in them. We sleep with them. We bury them. We know they will be on display for an entire planet to read. It’s a heavy weight to bear. There were definitely times I felt that weight. Stopping though, never crossed my mind. If I thought about anything, it was mostly about my family having to read and endure my truth as I revealed more about molestation and family abuse, but I knew I was commissioned and I was more inclined to just obey once I accepted that God really wanted me to do this.
3. Did you discus your book with your family prior to writing? Was there any concerns? Were there any unhealed or unmended issues that needed to still be dealt with?
I had already launched into transformation ministry well before I wrote the book. It was probably more uncomfortable for my mother and my youngest sister who supported my preaching engagements, but there were no riffs. It’s funny how God works. We didn’t actually heal through the book. God began to deal with us as a family unit spiritually while I wrote. Things happened simultaneously. Conversations that had never taken place before suddenly happened as we prayed together, God used me to really minister to my family after telling me that I was going to be the example of the transformation that would take place for us all individually. It was all so quick and divine.
God didn’t give me the liberty of talking to my family about the book and about what it would include. I believe that was divine also. Sometimes, when you’re on assignment you just have to write and let God deal with the rest. God definitely handled it that way for me. I couldn’t afford to be shifted in my conviction to write by fear, the fear of others, or opinions. I knew that I couldn’t stop to worry about what family would think. I knew that I had to write the details and the explicit truth. I had to trust that by the time of the book release, God would cover my family. Because no one other than two editors and the publisher have actually read the book, I believe among my family there’s still a little anxiety about what I said and what people might think, but it will subside once they have it in hand.
It was definitely hard to write about my youngest siblings’ father and the things I suffered because of him, especially since I am very close to them and they are developing a relationship with him. It was definitely hard to write about my mother’s mother and have her face the harsh reality of secrets never unveiled before now. I definitely stressed a little about how my truth would impact them all on occasion, but again, I had to trust God. I had to obey!
We’ve had some very in depth conversations in the time frame of my writing and releasing this book, and I can truly say that we have healed so much as a family unit, but there is still more healing for us to come. I believe this book will initiate more of that process. It’s been an amazing and powerful experience.
4. In your excerpt, you discuss sexual abuse and how you blamed yourself at one point. How were you able to heal and move past the abuse?
Healing and moving past the abuse had everything to do with God and this writing process. I have also had some therapy, but in my writing, God began to open my eyes to so much as I relived my stories. I literally walked into worship through the pain and the tears as I wrote and God, like a school teacher, began to speak to me about the conditions of others, how my truth was my own in a nine year old reality, about forgiveness, and about guilt and so much more. It was absolutely powerful. I remember spending hours at my prayer bench in that little loft just weeping and listening, then running back to the computer to write. Many heal before they write. I had some closure prior to writing, but I really healed and transformed during the process. It was God’s strategy. By faith, I let it go.
I won’t get into a long theological debate here about worship and what it’s true purpose is, but I learned something significant about worship through the writing process. Most often when we are encouraged to worship God, we tend to press heavier into our praise. We reach a depth in our tongue (heavenly language) and feel like we have accomplished something because we felt a spiritual high. But The Lord said to me, “They that worship me must do so in spirit and in truth.” He said, “My people have spirit. They know how to shout (holy dance) on command and cry on cue. They know how to speak in tongues and fall out at a touch, but they are completely missing the truth. To worship Me is to obey Me. When you come to worship before Me, you are essentially asking Me to show you where you need to apply Me. Anything you are struggling with is where you have not applied Me. You cannot come into my presence and not be changed because in worship I expose, I explain, I expel, and then I expedite. Therein is the truth of worship and real transformation.” That blew my mind!
In my worship, that’s exactly what God was doing! God exposed the pain, explained many things related to it, expelled it from my emotional and spiritual systems, then expedited my healing and the blessings attached. Writing this book wasn’t just writing, it was worship, and in my worship was my healing!!! I pray somebody takes that and runs with it!
5. What would say to a young girl or woman who is or has dealt with abuse to encourage them to seek healing?
There are few words. So often, I thought about what I wished others had said to me, but even then, there really were no words. I would suggest that I have had similar experience and that I know first hand how abuse eats you up inside. I know how it creates sexual issues, trust issues, and other abuse issues when the pain is left unchecked. Living with that is a curse we were never meant to carry, and to that young woman and old woman alike, I would say that there is a God who cares a great deal about them, and wants them to care for themselves enough to be whole.
I’d tell them that there is life beyond the pain, that they are valuable, and that they deserve to live memory free! Transformation is absolutely real when we are willing to look at our lives, have a conversation with our lives, and return every ungodly thing to its sender. It’s not ours to own. We were never meant to carry such burdens. God is a divine healer to the core! I tell my story because I want others to know the same transformation I know. It’s possible! Abuse does not have to be our identity.
Watch the trailer and listen to a one of the songs to be released with I’m Not Garbage here.
6. Describe the transformation process that took place while writing your book. How instrumental has writing your book been in that process?
I won’t share too much here because it’s very detailed in the book along with transformation revelation, and some of this I’ve already addressed, but I will say that I didn’t choose it. I was content to pretend that all was well. I wanted to see others healed, but with myself I only wanted to go so far. I was called; however, at 7 to preach the gospel- a child prodigy indeed. When The Lord whispered, “Trust Me” in 2011, I had no idea I was in for some of the greatest testing, trials, challenges, and pain of my life. I didn’t want to relive these things to such depth, but The Lord said, “I have need of you!”
7. You are also a singer and songwriter. How would you compare or contrast the process of getting your heart down on paper in music versus writing a book?
It’s funny, I recall a song I wrote in my early twenties when I needed to express some of the pain and the lyrics were:
“I’ve got a secret, between me and you, can’t tell nobody else. Somebody’s touching me, abusing me, and using me, and O it’s hurting me, and it’s confusing me…”
I was already telling my story to some degree just in a different way. I believe the best music is written from experience. The process isn’t that different for me. When I write, it can be in many formats because I have the gift of writing. I convey the message in verse, song, book format, poetry, or plays. It’s all the same to me. It’s like fire. I have to release the words or they will choke me. I have to let them out however they come.
8. Can you talk a little about the music that will be released with the book.
I worked on some music a little while ago and could never understand why I had such a hard time releasing a CD. There were always obstacles! Now I know why. God needed to birth this book. When I wrote those songs they just came to me. I opened my mouth and started singing with no music. I ended up recording 5 of them. As I wrote the book, I could hear those songs with each chapter. God told me to take the music and make it interactive. It’s something you have to experience, but it makes complete sense now. It’s literally the soundtrack EP to the book. “Conversation Peace.” The book is a conversation about transformation and peace. I had no idea when recording that those songs would be used this way. It was truly divine!
9. Do you see yourself writing another book in the future?
Absolutely! A volume 2 to “I Am Not Garbage” because there’s more to tell, and many other spin off books. There will be a forth coming workbook to “I Am Not Garbage” in late Feb or early March. I really want the reader to embrace transformation and this workbook is in depth! Get ready! There is much more to come from me!
10 Any last words?
I am so thankful that God chose me as a vessel to write. I know that this book is going to bless so many lives and help them put voice to their pain, but more than that, it will transform lives. Every tear I shed in writing and everything I had to endure was more than worth it. Your investment in this book will change you for a life time if you are really ready to walk into a brand new you!
The book is Christian based, but many of the principles of transformation apply regardless of where one finds him or herself. The book will be released 1.29.13 and will sell at www.rein-soul.com
and at Amazon.com
. The e-book versions for iBooks, Google Books, and Kindle will be released mid February. God bless you for taking the time to listen to my voice. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2)!
You can also book me for conferences, book signings, tours, speaking engagements, revivals, etc. by contacting HeReinz Ministries at HeReinz@Me.com
God bless you!!!
You can watch the trailer for “I’m Not Garbage” and hear some of the music that will soon be released here