Could your congregation/audience benefit from a special

guest speaker with an uplifting message?

Carol's story is one of courage,

faith, and inspiration. She is an inspirational speaker!

Could your congregation/audience benefit from a special guest speaker with an uplifting message?  My name is Carol Guscott and I am a survivor, author, speaker, and Christian woman living in Orange County, California.  Having faced a life of tragedy and triumph through Christ, it is my passion to offer hope and encouragement from my experiences through my writing and speaking.  I would love to share my story, ~Between Faith and Tears with you and your congregation/audience. The principal foundation of my message on my feet, ~God is Sovereign!

I grew up in a deeply impoverished, tiny Jamaican village and always had the determination to be better than the circumstances surrounding me.  As such, I spent many years becoming a successful business woman, yet it was this choice that ultimately brought me to face a horrific assault that has left me blind and disfigured

Still wanting my life to matter, I cried out to God and He ordained the circumstances that brought me to the United States for reconstructive surgeries and medical help.  However, my trials were far from over and what has ensued since my arrival has nearly rivaled the tragedy that had brought me here; but God’s continual care and comfort were never short of amazing and my heavy-laden adventures under His ever-watchful eye have been nothing short of miraculous. 

In moving beyond the tragedy, I have decided to share publicly and openly about my experiences and have penned them out on paper and documented my story of adversity and victory to share how God has worked, even through the extreme trials in my life.  This has also led to my debut book, Face Of Hope: The Carol Guscott Story, which was released on July 12th, 2011, and has received great, reviews (see below). 

Face of Hope: The Carol Guscott Story is for men and women from all walks of life, ages sixteen to ninety-six, who need to understand their own strengths, who want to find help for their own journeys, who seek healing for their own wounds.  Readers may draw parallels as to how the Providence of God can work in their lives, as He has done in my life and is still doing, both in the obvious things as well as in the deep and hidden areas.

My presentation and my book will open the eyes and minds of many hurting people in your congregation/audience, making room for optimism in even the worst of circumstances.

Qualifications:  I HAVE had a big adventurous life.  It was hard and very difficult at times, real and good and full of ups and downs but always a challenge with hope for a better day.  I entered young adulthood full of expectations and all kinds of ideas of what life would bring to me.  Each turn I took was in an arena of what I thought would help accomplish those expectations and my life's goals, but life took me in directions I could never have imagined.  Between the ages of 17 to 32, each success I experienced was followed by a violent setback and a deeper walk with Christ.

Audience takes away:  If God has allowed adversity in your life, He is adequately sufficient to supply all your need (Philippians: 4: 19).  This inspirational talk will challenge your congregation to a deeper faith and a closer walk with God. The presentation typically runs about 40 minutes and I am available afterwards for a book signing.  And, since I live and worship in your community, I would be happy to donate my time; and, if the Lord leads you to assist me in any way or to cover the expenses associated with this speaking engagement, I greatly thank you.  I am excited to share my uniquely compelling stories of inspirational quests that began with great promise, hope and expectations, but ended with things I didn’t feel prepared for—and most importantly things I could never have faced on my own without a Great and Loving Father watching and guiding me through every trial and adversity. 

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.     ~2 Corinthians 12:9

I look forward to meeting with you and your congregation/audience.  Please contact me with any questions or to schedule a date. 

Interview with Carol

Vanessa: Carol, minutes after battery acid was thrown at you, even though you had instantaneous burning of skin and eyes, horrendous pain, and blindness, you somehow left the sense of present-day-reality. And instead, for a short while, all you saw was a vision, detailed with scenes of hope. How soon did you believe that vision was from God? Did you often think about it while still in Jamaica, before coming to America?

Carol: Yes—I knew God was there with me in torment—when I share my story on my feet, I tell that experience. Shortly after I was admitted into a hospital that had no facility to treat my so severe injuries, the beauty of that vision came back to me again and again, as I lay in pain in that hospital bed. In my distress, I pondered upon the vision, wondering, “Will God deliver me out of Jamaica, and give me favor in another country? Is my vision actually the revelation of my future life in another country?” I recalled the Bible prayer, Psalm 23. I thought, “I don't believe my mind is playing tricks on me -- somehow, with God’s help, I will put myself back together again.” I didn't believe I would stay broken like a beggar at a street corner, stretching out a bowl to receive coins for the rest of my life!”

Vanessa: One of the main themes that I see running throughout Face of Hope is God bringing good out of evil. Even before the attack, you experienced serious tribulations, which you flashback to a few times. Back then -- having been raised in a Christian home and being a Christian yourself -- did you realize or consider that theme as being an attribute of God?

Carol: Yes! God has always been close to me; I have felt God’s closeness, even when I was not too close to Him, He was always near…

Vanessa: I was saddened when I read the occurrences of injustice by unmerciful people after the attack, especially by those professing to be fellow Christians. It reminded me of King David in the Bible and his Psalms. Although you beautifully describe your path to forgiving the attackers, how difficult was it to forgive those professing Christians?

Carol: Sin is cruel. What those people did lodged inside me. Satan is a master at re-runs—he re-runs the events over and over again. It was very difficult to let go; I had expected things would be on the up and up and was astonished by the news. Whenever the hurtful things returned to mind, sweet sleep couldn’t pour into me for days, because I was filled to the brim with bitter yearnings. I wanted a better life than being consumed with anger, bitterness, and hatred. As I pursued healing, I saw that the anger, hatred, and bitterness in my heart were a blockage in both my physical life, as well as my spiritual walk.

One day while I was praying, a seed of truth dropped into my life:

Scriptures say that in the same way that God has forgiven us, we too must be willing to lie all down and forgive the person whom has hurt us. I had to do what’s necessary to move into that same forgiveness that Jesus has secured for me—I had to forgive all of whatever there was to forgive.

Today, I am set free from all the bad things of the past, because the love of God is bigger than any hate. The love of God is a love that knows no barriers. When we walk in the Spirit of God, it goes against our natural minds. It is God’s great plan that we, His people, rise up beyond our personal hatreds, and not fall to the devil’s temptations of despair, darkness, and easy thoughts of hate and destruction. But instead, we are to see beyond those thoughts, in order to see that making peace within ourselves and with all fellow human beings is the only way we can only truly survive and freely live. I still feel the pain and loss, but not the anger and the bitterness—I am at peace.

Vanessa: Also in the book, in the midst of suffering, you show wonderful occurrences of bountiful blessings to you from God, and grand opportunities of sharing your story via speaking engagements, including television. It makes me want to shout, “Hurray, praise God!” Here in a few sentences, can you give encouragement to victims of any kind of circumstances, to not let circumstance make them permanently bitter, but “better?”

Carol: Well, I want victims to know that we are living in a sinful, fallen world. Things are going to happen in our lives that we do not want, do not like, and do not understand. But bad things happen; we can find rest and peace if we lean on the promises of God—we can trust the promises of God! He promised that He will never leave or forsake us, and He is the God that causes all things to work together for good, if we love Him. (Romans 8:28) In Isaiah 43:18-19, God told Israel not to be focused on the bad things that had happened, nor dwell on them; this is an act of faith and belief in God. Like Israel, God is calling us to break free, move forward, and let His Words always be actively living within us. He promises that He will pull us through anything that we are going through. Concerning our lives, He will even “make a roadway in the wilderness, (and) rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19). We can, and must trust God on His promises.

Vanessa: Because I believe that grief is a process of healing, I wonder if you still ever have any remaining sad feelings or memories that bring you back to calling out to Christ for comfort?

Carol: What those people did stayed lodged inside of me for a while. Satan is a master of at re-runs—he re-runs bad memories over and over again. But God is Conqueror, and He will conquer our ungodly thoughts, if we call out to Him.

Vanessa: In 2 Corinthians we're told to comfort one another with the same comfort that God gives us. But we don’t often meet other Christians who've experienced such horrific traumas as you have. Have you been able to feel comforted by others? Or have you felt that no one, other than Jesus, could understand your pain? Have you developed any Biblical heroes to relate to? 

Carol: I am in agreement with you of my degree of suffering; most people will never be able to relate to my suffering: a story of being burned and blinded; left to die; experiencing a living hell. I was wandering each day -- wondering if I would survive -- the hatred I knew -- the faith I have -- and the forgiveness I had to give.

However, I have been comforted by many; people from all walks of life have comforted me in some ways. From Hollywood celebrities, to prisoners in New York City, to the very poor and down trotters living on the street of California, I have been comforted by them.

On my journey, I've met many Christians suffering from afflictions, but nothing close to what I have suffered. I wanted to have a kind of friendship with these people, thinking we are all suffering from affliction. But when I reached out to them, I found nobody there reaching out to me; no hand of friendship was ever extended back to me.

My sufferings affected my Mom greatly, but I do think that only Jesus Christ alone knows all about my suffering, He alone really understands the degree of my pain.

My # 1 One Biblical heroes is Job! Coming to America, I truly believed I would find the kind of healing Job received, as described in the Bible story. Not only was Job’s body restored, but his business. His life restored anew even better than before his affliction. I too was truly looking forward to that kind of healing with the advanced technology available here in America. After 80 surgeries and procedures to regain my sight and face again, I discovered that in spite of the surgeries and prayers of hundreds of people, God was not going to heal me like Job, or make it easy for me. It has been very difficult for me, and yet God has strengthened my character, given me a ministry of helping people, given me a testimony, and drawn me closer to Him, and to people.

My second Biblical hero is Joseph—God had a purpose for his life, and I feel like God is going to lift me up, and use me mightily for His Kingdom.

Vanessa: You write about having been blessed to receive professional Christian counseling. Would you advice other victims of trauma to also receive therapy, if possible?

Carol: Yes! If it is possible for a victim of any crime to receive a trained mind to listen to the pain, go for it! We are only human, living in this sinful fallen world. We all need a sense of purpose. We all need a vision for our future. We don’t have to know the exact details of it, we just need to know that we have one, and that’s its good. So, we need to be encouraged by the trained minds given to us. While going through suffering, we need to be assured by a trained mind that out of the pain and brokenness, we can turn the page to write new chapters for our lives, to find healing and fulfillment. When the negative voices come, it is always good to have a trained mind we can go to with our burdens.

Vanessa: How has writing your memoir helped bring spiritual/emotional healing to you?

Carol: My writing was therapeutic for me to have, to sit and write, sorting out my life’s story. Sometimes to move forward, we must be willing to look back at the life that was! When I had my business, there was a “vision of success” dancing in my head. When the horrific tragedy happened and my health was driven away from me, and my success not within me, I was devastated! My life was empty without meaning, without purpose---I was ruined from the outside and stagnant; not going anywhere in particular with my life. The voices would tell me that I am of no value, and I will never be of worth to society. To live would mean that I would be spending the rest of my days taking crumbs off from someone else’s table.

As the years passed, and it became obvious that I could not return to the old self, the old Carol Guscott; there was an overwhelming desire within me to start life all over again—to find a career path that would give me purpose and meaning in life. Wanting people to ask me what I do for a living, and I would be able to hold my head high, and tell something worthwhile. So I vowed to find a way out of my stagnant life. Now, with my published book and the official release of it, plus the launch of my speaking ministry, I can truly say I have purpose in life—I am an Inspirational Speaker and Writer.

Vanessa: Are there any words of wisdom you can give to us fellow writers about writing our own memoirs, or advice on self-discipline to reach our publishing goal, as you did?

Carol: When I was writing my memoir, I was often times challenged by a new criticism or new doubt. I decided to persevere. So my advice to writers wanting to be published is, “Writers, never give up! Trust in God and believe that like everyone else, you are here for a purpose. If the writing you are pursuing is the truth of what God’s wants from you, You will have the energy to do it well, and the people you will need to help you on that writing journey will show up too.” The vision I had at the time of my horrific tragedy, seeing myself in a different country, and having the opportunities to speak and write, would come to mind often. I considered: “I have not been trained as a writer--I had no writing education and I know nothing about the intricate depths of grammar. But deep down in my heart I felt like I could write and speak and believed the public would love my book and presentation, too. This was the beginning of telling me that I could take my life in an upward turn; I was cut out for something other than a victim role and my poverty. With determination in my heart, with the perseverance within me, I vowed I would write and publish my story. I did it. So, I'd also tell writers that if they feel and know they are to pursue writing, make the choice to not let go. Make the choice to find courage and commit to perseverance. When rejections come, and the negative voices begin talking in your head, find the courage to not let go, and they'll be just fine.

Vanessa: Have you ever thought about getting a trained guide dog?

Carol: When I was attending the school for the blind for rehabilitation, I was introduced to the guide dog, and to the walking stick—the cane. I chose the walking stick, and not the guide dog as my means of mobility. Often, people have asked why I don’t get a guide dog! My answer is that I am not an animal person; I am a gardener. I find pleasure in gardening. I rather go outside with my walking stick and play in the dirt with plants, while planting flowers and vegetables for my usage, rather than caring for a dog. I simply don't have a guide dog, because I don't want the responsibility that comes with a guide dog.

Vanessa: I felt warmth as I read about your relational closeness of you and your Jamaican family. I hope they all are well today. Do you mind if I ask how your son is doing? Do you hope to visit Jamaica in the near future?

Carol: My son Dale is all grown up, and is doing what he likes—working in the entertainment industry. His job choice is not what I his mother wanted him to pursue, and I let him know that. He is now 26 years old and six feet three inches tall—a big young man. My mother and brother are doing well living in Jamaica. Mom will be coming to visit me next year, and I will make plans then to take a visit to Jamaica then.

Vanessa: Congratulations on completing all your speaking training! Do you plan to keep speaking? How about writing? I know you're just finishing up your Web site, and a YouTube video. How can people reach you, if they want you to speak at their church or event?

Carol: My speaking ministry goes with the book. I am primarily speaking to promote the book. God allowed me to go through everything, so that I may help hurting people going through anything, So it is my desire to pursue speaking and writing with a passion. The sufferings God allows in our lives He uses for good—His glory will be revealed in our sufferings.

I am working on the first draft of my second book, called Molly Rose. It’s a story of how a child would find a way to cope with a sudden disability, such as blindness. With my eyes blind and my beauty gone, I am working hard on this book—I am alive for a purpose. So I strive with gratitude, to do my best with my writing and speaking. I am so aware that things in life don't come easy—the mentality that I was raised with was that we must fight for everything we get. We should strive to be the best. And even when reach our best and get what we've fought for, we must be even tougher to hold onto it.

I may be contacted at my web site, www. CarolGuscott.com. I can be found on Facebook at my Facebook Page, Face of Hope: The Carol Guscott Story. I also have an Author Central page on Amazon, or people may just send me an email: carol@carolguscott.com.

Vanessa: Thank you, Carol. You've been added to my list of heroes and herons!

 

Carol Upcoming Events 2012:

January 24, 2012

West Hollywood Lions Club Convention, CA

February 1, 2012

Central Christian Church, 10:30am

933 N. Lindsay Rd

Mesa, AZ 85213

February 1, 2012

Victory Lutheran Church 6:30pm

corner of Recker Rd and University Dr

Mesa, AZ 85213

February 22, 2012

book club Fullerton, CA

June 7, 2012

Christ Church of the Valley, 11:00 am

San Dimas, CA.

 June 10, 2012

 Rancho Community Church, 9:30 am

31300 Rancho Community Way, room C110/112

Temecula, CA 92592  

Web site is www.RCC.tv

Contact person: Dick Ball

Past Places Carol Has spoken

Past year 2011

July, 2011

First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, book signing

2801 Brea Boulevard. Fullerton, CA  92835

August 14, 2011

First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton

2801 Brea Boulevard, Fullerton, CA  92835

October 6, 2011

Fullerton Breakfast Lions Club

Fullerton, CA

2nd of November, 2011,

Forest Home Christian Conference Center

Hospital Christian Fellowship Fall Retreat

Valley of the Falls Drive, Forest Falls, CA 92339

Nov 8, 2011

Front Porch Bible Study Group

First Evangelical Free Church Of Fullerton

 2801 Brea Boulevard, Fullerton, CA  92835

Nov 8, 2011

MS Support Group

Past years before 2011

First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, CA

Pacific Youth Correctional Ministries, Los Angeles, CA

West Hollywood Lyons Club Convention, CA

United Methodist Church, Watertown, MA

Giving Children Hope Foundation Annual Banquet, CA

The UP Church (Understanding Principles for Better Living), Los Angeles, CA

Concord Baptist Church Milton, MA

Belonging Bible Study Class, the River Church of the South Bay, CA

Orange Lutheran School, City of Orange, CA

 

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