Greetings from C. Kevin Thompson. Well, winter is officially over, I guess. I know. I know. Those of you in Minnesota and Montana might argue the point. It’s all about three words: location, location, location. We almost broke a record the other day of 87 degrees here in central Florida. So much for spring…
So, we sit here on the front porch…ceiling fans on high…ice-cold glasses of lemonade sweating on thirsty stones…welcoming Georgia Shaffer to the Guest’s Adirondack Chair.
Welcome, Georgia! Before we get going on the other questions, first tell us about your latest book, A Gift of Mourning Glories!
The reasons we face loss are many. The results, however, are the same. Our hearts ache. Life as we knew it is gone. We can avoid the most common mistakes of starting over with this book’s practical five-step approach, enabling us to move from feelings of hopelessness and despair to those of hope and joy.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to give hope and practical help to those facing overwhelming losses. I know what it feels like to face a frightening future. I know the brokenness that comes from an abusive father, the upheaval brought by terminal cancer, and the overwhelming feelings that come with a divorce. I’ve faced the challenges of being single again and the desperation of having few financial resources. I know the hopelessness of a mother who grieves over her son’s disabilities. But I also know the courage, resilience and perseverance needed to begin anew. Most importantly, I know the joy that comes when you have experienced firsthand God’s ability to transform your life and guide you to one filled with purpose and meaning.
How has God used the message of your book in your own life?
There have been many times I’ve had to travel the path from hurt to healing and rebuild my life after difficult setbacks. Four years ago, I was forced onto this path again when I was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and given dismal odds of living more than a year. (No, I’ve never smoked.)
At the same time, I was engaged to a man I loved deeply but discovered he had deceived me on several counts. His betrayal threw me back into the heart-wrenching feelings that come when we lose someone or something we treasure. Once again, I faced the messiness and pain of grief as I slowly moved through the journey of restoring my life. Once and done? Not by a long shot! But those experiences gave me fresh new experiences and insights to share with my readers.
Wow. This next question is fitting. How has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
My writing friends will tell you I’m a reluctant writer because writing is not something that comes naturally to me. English and writing were my worst subjects in school. Because writing is so challenging, I have realized how dependent on Christ I’ve had to be for each book that has been published. There have been lots of tears and times on my knees asking God to help me. But through it all, I’ve experienced Jesus far more intimately through the pain and struggles of writing than if I would have taken a job that comes easily for me.
When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
It was one hot summer day more than twenty-five years ago. I sat on the steps outside my kitchen door with my tiny flower garden around me. As a single mother recovering from a bone marrow transplant for the recurrence of breast cancer, I felt hopeless and helpless. As I cried and stared at my garden, a thought came to me that I felt the urge to write down.
I went inside and got a journal. As I was writing, a still quiet voice within me said, “Write a book.”
“Why would I write a book?” I questioned. “I’ve never wanted to write a book. Writing was one of my worst subjects in college.”
“Because it will help others,” a gentle whisper said.
So, it was on that summer day I clearly knew God had called me to write what is now the book A Gift of Mourning Glories: Restoring Your Life After Loss.
Do you have any unfulfilled dreams? Anything driving you to keep on keeping on?
I have tucked one dream deeply in my heart for more than 20 years. It is to finish a script written for film, or maybe a movie for television. It is an impossible dream, but I know I serve a God who can do the impossible. Recently, for the first time in six years, I reread my notes for the script and realized I must try again. Right now, one Hollywood producer is reading it, so we will see what happens.
Awesome. You just never know…What ministries are you involved in, and why?
Mourning Glory Ministries, which I founded 25 years ago, provides practical information along with emotional and spiritual support to those facing challenging situations. Whether a person faces the loss of a safe and secure home, the void after losing a loving and stable parent, partner or spouse, a divorce, a death, the loss of income, or an ongoing illness, the need is the same. People need encouragement and guidance to counteract their feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and the erroneous belief that for them beginning anew is impossible.
Mourning Glory Ministries’ current projects include:
- RESTORE: a small group coaching experience (over the internet or telephone) providing support to women who are stuck or overwhelmed by difficult challenges and losses.
- Book donations to prison ministries. Mourning Glory Ministries mails free copies of Taking Out Your Emotional Trash to chaplains for prison libraries and/or small group study with prisoners throughout the US.
What is one of your favorite memories when it comes to book-related topics, like going to the library, for example?
I loved going to the library as a child because it was a very quiet place away from the chaos of my family life. The stories in the books carried me to special places where I met wonderful characters. I especially loved the heroines who gave me the courage to do what was right despite what it might cost them personally.
Do you have any hobbies, activities, or passions outside of writing?
I’m a gardener. I love tending my flowers, watching them grow and become things of beauty. It is amongst God’s creation that I find relief from life’s stresses and rest for my soul.
More power to you. When I work in the yard, I need therapy. So, Georgia, before we wrap things up, tell us about your next project.
RESTORE: implementing small group coaching experiences (over the internet or telephone) which will provide encouragement and support to women who are overwhelmed by difficult challenges and losses. Many women want to move forward but they are either stuck or do not have the skills needed to rebuild their lives.
That sounds like it has great potential to minister to many. We wish you the best and God’s blessings as it fits into His plans!
For more on Georgia and her writing, don’t forget to stop by Georgia’s website for the latest news!
Thanks for stopping by today, everyone!
Until next time, may God bless you all, and may you all bless God!