It took her twenty years to write her first book. Why? Because she had to overcome her own walk through pain, and wanted to share what gave her hope to conquer her past. It was learning how to forgive. She began diligently studying the word of God, and teaching forgiveness in classes for over fifteen years. She thought that people would embrace the message about forgiveness but they didn’t, even the church folks. Yes, they quoted their scriptures, were ministry leaders but she discovered many of them were angry at God. However, they were too fearful, prideful or religious to confess it to get healed. She once was wearing the same mask this was how she was able to discern an obstacles to their wanting to forgive.
She noticed something else that many people expressed when she would tell them to forgive. They would say “She hadn’t walked in their shoes.” And many of them became angrier or hurt because they perceived her like so many had no idea of the cost they were being asked when told to “forgive.” So she prayed and asked God why do they remain stuck? Why are they coming to a class to forgive but they resist? And what does she have to do with their shoes…?
God revealed to her that you can’t pour water (words of life) into broken vessels. You have to first repair the vessel and then it can hold the wisdom you’re imparting into it. God told her to share her story…her shoes, and then they will know that she had walked where pain had taken them. It took twenty years to get published because it took her that amount of time to get the courage to be transparent to share her pain with the world. She had to share the journey from the beginning of how pain tried to shape, steal her identity, destiny and ultimately separate her heart and trust from God’s love. Then she had to translate it in a way that the reader could take the journey on their own after following her lead.
People need to know how to trust a good God that allows bad things to happen to good people and how to trust him with their hearts to forgive and how to forgive the people who hurt them. So Tammy puts flesh on forgiveness.
Sharing My Shoes… isn’t not your typical forgiveness book that just preaches forgiveness, tell you that you’re a sinner; God forgave you so forgive… Her book doesn’t leave you with just scriptures, and your pain all alone to figure it out. She has been told from many readers it feels like she is there with them having a cup of tea and while allowing them to share their heart in a way they have never felt safe before... Tammy Gaffney shows you how to confess, confront and reconcile with your pain. You will leave after reading her book wanting to forgive because you will see the power it had in her life.
Tammy has a heart a passion to minister to the world to help them learn how to really once and for all conquer their past. She was molested, rejected by her biological father for over thirty years, abused by her first husband(divorced) who was a minister, and involved in a cult-like religion that took the place of God in her life, leaving her almost suicidal because they took her faith and hope from her. Yet, she learned to forgive them all and she shares how in her book. Today she has a wonderful relationship with her parents, God and she has been happily married for twenty-three years, have four beautiful children. Her husband Adolphus Gaffney who is a minister and together they have attended their church New Community Bible Fellowship in Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118 since 2003.
Tammy’s desire is that people will stop hiding behind their past or wearing shame, fear or anger as mask to cover their pain. She hopes that people and communities will come together to see the pain of others instead of judging their behavior and just telling “them to move on and forgive.” She recognized that they need more, and Sharing My Shoes A Walk through the Journey of Forgiveness book is one tool anointed by God to start the process.
She wants to teach fatherless girls and boys how to love themselves. She shares her life to teach them how to stop being victims because of other people’s choices. There’s forgiveness for everyone in her book. She wants to teach people to talk about the molestation that has happened in families. It didn’t end there in the past. Until we talk about the hole left in the person’s heart and soul they will never move on. Childhood molestation affects marriages today, because men are marrying women with broken little girl’s hearts. Many people are wounded. The pain didn’t die. It just took on another shape. Her book is about more than abuse. We all have a story and it’s time to start dealing with the pages of our lives so that we can begin to create new chapters.
She wants to teach families how to deal with difficult topics. The past will never get behind us until we confront the whole truth about the past within us, and learn how to confess, confront and get it out of us. You can’t forgive what you deny. Tammy Gaffney through her book gives you the courage to take off the mask. Her book is about more than forgiving…it’s about learning how to live.
" Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
Colossians 3:13 (NIV)