The Back Story


I met David Wagner in college. I knew him through my roommate, and he was close friends with my future husband.

Our stories intersected again after college when we started dating our future spouses at the same time and spent many date nights together. We married a few weeks apart, and remained connected through our personal and work lives.

Over more than 25 years of friendship neither my husband nor I had any inkling of the darkness lurking just below the surface in Thomas' life. In fact, afterward, we wondered how we had managed to know so little about someone we thought we knew so well.


A Search for Answers

It was his wife who first approached me about writing his story in 2009, but it was God who ultimately called me into this journey in 2014, a labor of love that took more than two years to complete. 

DENIAL is more than a memoir. Unlike first-person accounts, I was able to bring a unique perspective that drew on my deep compassion for my friend, my journalistic training to guide my research and pursuit of truth, and most importantly, my love for the Lord, which led me to search for answers to two questions that tugged at my heart and soul:

  1. What was the connection between Thomas' sexual abuse and the brokenness that permeated his adult life?
  2. Where was God in his suffering? 

My hope is that DENIAL will help others in their search for answers -- survivors, their loved ones, and the counselors and pastors who treat the ripple effects of abuse.

I pray that the truths you discover here will lead you out of the slavery of denial into His redeeming light:

Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
— John 8:32