Welcome everybody, it’s really great to have you with us. It’s really great to have Wendee with us. So Wendee is an author, yeah, a real author. One of the first Tasmanian authors that I met, she’s a bit of a mentor to me. You can probably see, if you’re watching the video, that she’s so much younger and more beautiful than I am, but still in terms of publishing wisdom she’s got it.
She lives in Tasmania where I live and she’s creating amazing work, fantasy and urban fantasy …
And a little bit of science fiction, and a very tiny amount of maybe pseudo-horror I guess you could call it. I don’t find it very horror-like but some people have told me that it upset them, so …
Oh no. Good. So yes, increasing range I guess, the more you write, the more you write.
It’s what I love most about indie – you can almost, well you can literally do what you want to do. But also, you’ve got creative control. And I love it. You can write in any genre you want so long as you’re still writing saleable books.
And it’s all fine.
So to define ‘indie’ for people who aren’t writers who are listening, it’s independent publishing. It’s what we used to call ‘self-publishing’ but we realised that we don’t do it by ourselves. We need editors and cover designers and …
Because I can’t design covers. I have no artistic skills whatsoever when it comes to visual arts. I literally can’t do it. I can copy from what someone else has done, but I can’t make up my own thing.
But she has this amazing skill of finding a really good cover designer.
Yes, I’ve been so fortunate with that. I really have. Some of those were accidents, like happy accidents. And with Jenny from seedlings, I had seen her covers for years and years before I could actually afford to buy them. And it was my promise to myself if in the first couple of years I made enough money to be able to afford a cover by Jenny I would redesign. And the first one I think was Masque.
So I was very happy when I started earning enough to be able to actually do that.
That’s so awesome. So one day I’ll be earning enough to be able to do that, but right now …
It shouldn’t be too far away I don’t think. But I like your covers. Your covers are, although they’re not something that naturally appeals to me exactly, they’re on target for genre. Like, they’re perfect for your genre.
You can’t do any better. And honestly you don’t need to spend a huge amount of money or get a really good designer, so long as you are speaking to the genre.
That’s so true. Yeah. So it’s a journey.
Anyway, Wendee is also a Christian. So we have this thing, you know, that happens when you’re an author and you’re a Christian so we want to talk about that a bit. And then there are other parts to Wendee’s life as well that we want to talk about. So we have a good chat coming up.
I’m like an open book, if you’ll pardon the pun.
Fantastic. So we always start by asking, how did you become a Christian?
Actually, my journey to Christianity was, because I grew up in a Christian family, it was actually a very gradual sort of a path. There wasn’t a time where I didn’t know about God, where I didn’t understand that he was God and understand the fundamentals of salvation. Like the substitutionary atonement, the death of Christ for us, the application of that sacrifice to us. I understood all the component parts of it.
And as I grew up, through the years, as a child, I was always afraid that I was never Christian enough, or never saved enough. So I used to pray quite often about it. It was something that really bothered me. Especially since I could unfortunately see a lot of what I was actually like, which was not a very pleasant child or person, even as I grew up.
So there was always that, there was no doubt in my mind that God was God, that everything said in the Bible was true. It was just something that never troubled me in that way. But it wasn’t actually until about 14 or 15 that we got into a book by Michael Barrett called Complete in Him. And it went through, not just the fundamentals of Christianity but actually applying them in real life. And it went into a depth that I’d never seen before. So I started to understand more and more.
And although I can’t say that there’s a definitive point at which I understood all the things, for me it was still progress. There was never any point at which I was in danger of being lost. Because God was working the process in my heart and life. And I can’t point to a specific day, actually I mean I can’t point to an actual date.
I remember the actual day very, very clearly when I became a Christian, because it just struck me for the first time that not only was I a sinner before God, and that I was thus not able to save myself, but there was absolutely no reason why God should actually save me. There was nothing I could offer him, I could bargain with, even the sincerity of my heart was not enough. There was nothing that I could offer. And at the same time, when I prayed for salvation, I knew that he had given it to me. Not because he had to, not because I was sincere, not because I was so needy, even. But because he had chosen me.
And I remember that day so well. I don’t remember what day, I don’t remember even the day of the week that it was. But I remember that was a definitive point in my life at which I understood, not the thing or a thing but that was the point at which I judged that I actually became a Christian. Even though I’m certain that there was no point at which I could have been lost. Not because you are saved by being in a Christian family or anything, but because God had me. And it was just his working out in his perfect time.
That’s about it. Not very concisely, I’m afraid.
No, no, that’s wonderful. It’s always good to hear, I think, for people who’ve grown up in a Christian family. And that’s one of the reasons why I have this podcast is, you can grow up in a Christian family and just think, ‘well I never had that before and after thing’ but there always seems to come a time when you accept it fully and draw a line in the sand.
And I’m grateful for that because by God’s grace I didn’t have to go through any really horrible hardships or any previous life that I would wish was undone. Or at least, not at that point. And I’ve been very blessed with the family I’ve got. Not just growing up in a Christian family but I have been able to watch my father grow and change from what he was in the earliest memories of him to what he is now. And not only does that amaze me but it gives me hope for my own life because I see how much God can change a person.
And it’s just an ongoing process.
OK, so we have Christian authors, and then we have authors who are Christians. Would you put yourself in either one of those camps? And how do you show your faith through what you write?
So, in general terms, I’m a Christian who is an author, at this point. Because I don’t write ‘Christian books’ again, at this point. I do have plans to do that, I’ve got plots and I’ve got stories. I want to write them but they are much harder to write than just normal books.
Because they can go cheesy really quickly.
Yes. And not even just cheesy, but preachy. And preaching is good. It’s a blessing and it’s good, but it’s not for books. Not for fiction books. Not when you’re trying to work with a different portrayal of truth. Not of a different portrayal of truth, but portraying it in a manner that is different from the usual.
So hopefully sometime at the end of this year, or next year, I will also be a Christian author.
In terms of how that plays out in my writing, for the most obvious things, I write clean books. I don’t write sex scenes, I don’t write swearing, I don’t write gay and lesbian relationships or characters and I don’t … I was going to say I don’t write torture scenes but actually in my latest book …
It’s not exactly torture scenes.
It’s not glorification of torture.
And that’s something, if I find that in a book it just makes me ill and I can’t read it anymore so I put it down. I think maybe there’s been one book I’ve read where that was in there but because the story was such a strong redemption story (not in terms of Christianity, but the characters) I was able to keep reading. But I felt really sick for a lot of it.
But yeah, in terms of content, I try to keep things clean, and something that won’t dishonour God. I try to give my characters good morals, in terms of most of them do not lie or at least if they do they don’t consider it to be a good thing. Just in terms of general morals, like all the outside stuff, I try to make good and interesting characters who don’t have to be half-evil, or half to the bad side to be actually interesting and good characters. It’s what I like so much about noblebright fantasy.
In other ways. In the story itself, in the way the characters change, in the themes that run through the book, especially in my latest ones I guess, I explore a lot of things in terms of love in different kinds of relationships, or forgiveness, or redemption. Just stuff like that. Not necessarily on purpose, because quite often it happens by accident, but because my worldview is so entrenched in who I am, then it comes out naturally in the writing. And so in a lot of ways, that’s how I write as a Christian, just in terms of trying not to dishonour God in what I portray and allow, and in the way that I advertise. It’s really hard to partner up with people as a Christian author who writes, because there are certain things that you don’t want to be advertising alongside with. Or certain practices you don’t want to be pulled into.
There’s been some really dodgy things that have happened in the Indie world, in terms of book-stuffing and just general shenanigans. I was part of a group like that and I started to see where it was going. And they make a lot of money, but it’s not worth it. Not in terms of my own conscience before God, not in terms of my witness. So in that way too, it’s not just in the story telling, but in the way I run my business, is a direct reflection of who I am as a Christian, and the things that I approve and don’t approve of.
So in the Indie world we have to make connections, like this, because we’re trying to get our word out to different people and we don’t have million dollar budgets to do any advertising with. So yeah there are little groups everywhere. But I agree with you, some of the groups are really just trying to make a buck any way that they can. Other groups are more ethical.
And there are some really good people out there. I’m not saying that only Christians out there are either making good art or decent art or only Christian authors are behaving decently. Because it’s not true.
But as in everything, you have to be really careful who you make your connections with. Absolutely.
And if anybody just got very excited by the idea of reading Wendee’s books, I’m going to put a link to her website in the show notes so you can all download or buy as many as you can.
And some of them are in Kindle Unlimited at the moment so if they read them it’s free so long as you have a subscription. For three of my books anyway. The rest of them are wide so you can get them at other stores.
Fantastic, and some of them are in Hobart bookstores as well.
Yeah, A Bit Curious still have some though they’ve downsized their book department now so I’m going to have to find another place to have a storefront.
So what does a normal day (do you have a normal day?) a normal day in your life look like as an author?
Ah, normal days. I don’t think I’ve ever had exactly normal days. But in general, if it’s just a regular writing day and I’m not at the day job, because I still do a couple of hours at Woolies for a regular weekly pay check instead of once a month. So I would get up at about 4.30 am and I would go to work for about four hours. I get home just a bit past 10 o’clock in the morning. And then, although, in general I don’t come home if it’s a writing day, sorry, scrap that. Then I go out to a café, usually like Banjos or somewhere small and hidden away where I can sit next to a window, look out if I’m wasting time …
Yeah, thinking. Imagining. Working.
So I do that, and I usually do that for about two hours or so. I usually have, it usually takes anywhere from half an hour to an hour to answer emails, fan comments, tweets, and everything else that’s interaction with either fans or fellow writers as well. It will take anywhere from half an hour to an hour. And then I try to do something with my Facebook as well so that I can say, ‘Hello’ to any of the readers that are out there and post something from my day, or an excerpt, or anything like that to give them something to look at while I’m going about my day.
Usually I try to write about one or two thousand words while I’m out. It doesn’t always work. But that is what I try. When it works and I’ve got two thousand words then I go home quite satisfied in terms of making a good start. I try to do three thousand words every day. Not at the moment, obviously, because I just finished a book and I crashed for about a week and a half.
So the end of this week will be two weeks and I’ll be back, hopefully, working as usual.
After I’ve done that I’ll come home, have lunch if I remember. I do actually forget about food a lot.
Wow. I don’t have that problem.
It’s just because I’ll get into the mindset of, ‘I’ll just do a little bit more. Just a little bit more.’ And then before I know it, it’s six o’clock at night.
So I’ll usually go home, say hello to everyone, have some lunch, clean up my room if it’s a little bit messy, and then try to write another one or two thousand words or get a give-away ready or any of those things that I’m currently running or in. And at the moment I’m also trying to learn a little bit about Facebook ads and Amazon ads. So I’m trying to put aside a little bit of time for doing that every day. And sometimes I’ll have some books to review for other authors that they’ll send me and say, ‘Can you look it over and tell me your feelings about it, or give me some advice about this or that.’ So I do some of that as well. And then after that I will do some Korean study and settle down for the night with either a book or some TV.
That’s about it for the day.
That’s a lot in a day.
It is a lot in a day. Some days I don’t do all that. But that is, when I’m in a proper workflow, that’s what I do.
So you also blog, your blog is The WR(ite) Blog found at wrgingell.com and I read a post recently that I just thought, ‘Wow. I need to get Wendee on the podcast to talk about this.’ So my question is a bit vague but your life has changed pretty dramatically recently and I wondered if you’d like to share with us a bit about that?
Yeah, it’s been about nine months, in April it will be a year.
Nearly a year by the time this airs.
I got married when I was twenty, I think it was. And, obviously when I got married I thought that my husband was a Christian. It’s one of those things where if you’re a Christian you marry a Christian, otherwise the two world-views are too disparate and you can’t make a proper joining together.
Makes life very difficult.
It does. Unfortunately for me about a week or two after we got married my husband dropped any pretence of actually being a Christian and stopped going to church, and stopped any kind of interest in church or the Bible or God in a way that was so thorough as to make me very certain that he had never truly believed and that it had just been an act.
At the time I didn’t think that, but looking back I can see very, very clearly that that’s what it was.
It was also about a week or two the first time he had a really violent outburst with shouting and screaming and yelling at me to get out of the house, breaking things. So of course as a first-time wife it was a thing of, ‘it’s not possible to separate from my husband, how can this happen?’ So it was a thing where I was trying to fix it.
It didn’t happen very often at first, it was maybe three or four times a year. It could have been more than that, I got used to it so quickly. That things like that would happen where he would punch a hole in the wall or break things or just get into screaming matches, well not really screaming matches, I didn’t actually yell back. But just where I would be screamed at to get out of the house, to leave him.
And that was the normal for years and years. It was just where nothing was ever good enough. The house was never clean enough. I was never loving enough. It just built one on the other. And it didn’t occur to me at the time that there was anything wrong, because I thought, ‘He’s not a Christian, so I can’t expect him to act like a Christian man.’ It didn’t occur to me until much, much later that that’s not normal behaviour for an unsaved man either. The kind of behaviour he was exhibiting, the violence and the breaking things, and the screaming and the name calling was abuse. And it didn’t occur to me because I got so used to it. I thought, ‘I have to be a better wife, I have to do better and be better and forgive more, and he will change.’
And this started to affect your health didn’t it?
Yeah, for the last five years, definitely. It happened so gradually I didn’t notice it but I started to get afraid to go out, afraid to speak to people. It would get so that if I was going out to have lunch in a restaurant I would feel so sick with nerves before I went in and always so sick when I was there. I was terrified to have people looking at me or interacting with me. Just talking with people was exhausting and going out of the house was so hard.
And in all of that I could see that my ex-husband was just using that, and accentuating that as much as possible because he didn’t want me to go out. He didn’t want me to be anywhere apart from in the house with him even though he didn’t talk to me or interact with me, he just wanted me there.
And it was mental health definitely affected and my physical health too. It got so that I was sick pretty much all of the time. I either had a cold, or a flu, or a stomach bug pretty much all the time for the last two years I was married. It just never stopped. And because I suffer from Meniere’s disease as well stress does not help that particular condition so I ended up much worse with a lot of things. So not being able to stand up, and if I’m given food with salt in it, or a lot of salt, then I’ll get sick. Unfortunately, my husband refused to cater to that and would always give me very salty food so I would end up sick more often.
Even with all that it still didn’t strike me as ‘not normal’. I got used to putting on a good face. The neighbours next door, I found out later, were really worried about me. Sometimes they’d nearly called the police because of the type of things that they’d heard. And I didn’t realise it at the time.
So what brought the realisation?
Something really stupid.
I was watching a TV show for research. Forensic Files on Netflix. I was watching it, and for a little while there was a streak of, it sounds really bad, but husbands who had killed their wives. And without fail, all the things that those husbands had done up to and prior to killing their wives, were one-for-one things that my ex-husband had been doing for years. And the ones that were closer towards the death of the wife were ones he had just started recently.
So I was like, ‘OK so this is not a normal thing. This is not a normal thing to be doing. This is a personality disorder-type thing. It’s abusive, it’s not normal.’
So I started to get frightened because with the level it had already got to he had already hit me the first time. And up to this point I had been getting night-terrors quite often but when it got to here I began to get them nearly every single night. So I had been getting them, probably once a week before that. Not just nightmares but actually awake and I would have the night-terrors and I would wake screaming. I would think I was awake and I wasn’t. And it just got worse and worse until I was having that every night, which didn’t help, of course.
It just got to the point where I’d started to know this is not normal so when he started to behave like that I’d push back. I’d say, ‘No, this is not OK.’
In some ways I wish I’d done that earlier but I didn’t have the knowledge base and I didn’t have the strength to do it earlier. And as soon as I started doing that, he got more violent. So it got more and more dangerous. There were some nights where he’d be screaming and rushing at me and I’d be backed into a corner and I’d have to think, ‘No I can’t let myself be backed into a corner.’
It got to the point where when my parents asked me, ‘Are you safe?’ I could no longer say, ‘Yes, I’m safe.’ I didn’t feel like I could.
Then my mother said to me, ‘You need to pack a bag. You need to have a bag at our house, have it ready.’ And I said yes at the time but I thought, ‘No, this is ridiculous, I’m being really stupid, there is no way he’s going to hurt me.’ Despite the fact that he had already hit me.
You think, ‘It’s not bad enough. I have to wait until it’s bad enough. That occasion wasn’t bad enough.’
My brain, even at that point, was playing so many tricks on me that I had no reasonable thing to judge by.
I decided not to do that. And then there was one day where, I had started to go out every Thursday as a sort of , ‘keeping sane’ type thing. I would walk around Hobart with my earphones in, just listening to music. I would walk, and walk, and walk and try to stay sane and have lunch at my favourite Korean restaurant.
But because I did that, and because the young man who runs it had paid for my lunch one time, or told me not to worry about it, then my ex-husband suddenly got very angry about that. And he got really violent and started accusing me of cheating. So for three days he would just storm up to me, accuse me, refuse to look at my phone or look at anything, refuse to come out with me. I would go to bed to sleep and every one or two hours he would come in and wake me up.
At that point I was the only one working. For two years prior to last year I was the only one working. He had quit his job, refused to go find another one, and at first I’d said, ‘That’s fine until you get a job.’ But he was refusing to get another job after that. So it was just me.
And that pressure from that was finally bad enough that I was scared enough at that point because he had got so wildly unreasonable and so violent and so inclined to break things. Like, there would be glass all over our kitchen floor, outside in the grass. The dog would be terrified all the time. And I packed a bag and took it to my mother’s.
I said to him, ‘If you keep screaming at me to get out, next time you do it I will be leaving. I will take that as “things are at an end” and I will go.’ Which, of course, made him much more angry. Because previously when he’d said that I had cowed back and done what he wanted me to do. And this time I didn’t do that and one night he started doing that again so I started packing up my things to leave and then he took the car keys and wouldn’t let me go. So that frightened me enough to be like, ‘OK I know now that if I have to go, I have to get the dog so she doesn’t get hurt, I have to have stuff packed ready in the house as well as what’s there.’
And then the night came where it did get that bad again and at this stage, if you remember at the start I said he was just having episodes four or five times a year, it had started to be once a week, and after that a couple of times a week. And I would know the cycle, I could feel it starting up. And I would just get so sick knowing it’s going to break one night, when is it going to happen? What’s it going to be about? And you were trying not to talk, trying not to be loud.
But it did happen that one night and I grabbed my dog and my computer and I called my father and he came to pick me up. And I waited out in the carport because I was so afraid that he would come out and drag me back inside. It seemed to take so long for my father to come and pick me up.
At that stage they’d started to sleep with the phone beside their bed because they were afraid.
But then he came and picked me up and it wasn’t until three days later when we came back to get my things that I realised that he’d smashed my violin and my chair and several other things and just sprinkled his blood through the entire room over all my stuff. We were still finding blood later on.
And after that it was text messages, and text messages, and calls, and approaching me at work. And I was really grateful for my parents at that point, because if they hadn’t been there to help me and make me able to do it, I would have gone back. And I know he would have made me pay for it because that’s how it always was. If I did something he didn’t like there was always payment for it one way or another. And I’m so grateful to my parents and that God made me able to trust them in this circumstance because I literally couldn’t trust my own mind.
It was terrifying. I would find myself feeling sorry for him for having to get a job now that I was gone. I literally found myself thinking, ‘Oh no, it’s my fault. He has to get a job, how could I have done that to him?’ And to find myself thinking that was just terrifying, not just because of the thought but that I could think it so naturally and so normally.
I’ve been depressed, I had post-natal depression, and at that point for me, yes, everything was my fault. Someone else would make tea and it wouldn’t work and I would think, ‘that’s my fault, if I’d made tea it would have been fine.’
Yes, and you’re always apologising.
Yes, and it’s just your brain playing tricks on you.
Trying to make the other person feel better because you’re so used to reading those emotions, taking them to yourself as your responsibility, and trying to fix them for the other person.
So how long did it take before you found yourself becoming … more human?
Able to think clearly?
It took so much longer than I expected. Funnily enough, my father offered to get me some counselling, which for anyone who knows my father is unprecedented. Because my family in general, we don’t talk to someone else about our problems. And I’m like that a lot myself. On my blog, and this, is the most open I have ever been about anything like this. And it’s because of so many years of silence. I didn’t want to be the one who didn’t speak up about things like this, and then somebody like me could think it was normal to go through what I went through and live like that and be slowly mentally warped.
So that was the most open I’d been. And in the first place my father offered to do that and I said no because, for a start I didn’t think I needed it. I was very, very wrong. I did need something. I was completely mentally warped, confused, and not normal and not right in the head for months. Even my physical health took about six months.
I did a lot of talking to my mother. Even to my father. Especially to my sister, my younger sister. We talk about a lot together and this is one of the things we talked about a huge amount.
And through that, and through realisations through my writing (which is how I learn a lot of things about myself) gradually I began to understand. In small moments like when I started feeling sorry for him having to get a job, or when I found myself asked out on a date by someone and finding myself so sick at the thought, not of going out on a date, not of even just ‘oh I’m actually still married, I have to explain that to this person’, but the feeling to explain everything to make them feel better about the fact that I was saying no to them.
The fact that I found it so hard to say no. And even the fact that I started to realise that my difficulty in going out, my difficulty in speaking with people, was not because I’m an introvert, which I am, but that feeling of sickness, heaviness, the complete exhaustion after talking to someone, it’s anxiety.
Because you always felt responsible for their emotional state.
It’s not normal, it’s not introversion, it’s anxiety, it’s depression.
And just small steps, realising those things, talking about things, realising even how far back the deception and abuse had started.
At that time I read a book called, ‘Why does he do that?’ by Lundy Bancroft. And it was hugely helpful because again I would look through these things he would talk about, these abusive men and the women who would either stay with them or had got away safely. And the things they were doing were things he had been doing for years. The manipulation, the lies, the insanely manipulative use of his anger as a weapon to make me do what he wanted. Things like that, realising little bit by little bit.
In prayer and in meditation and reading the Bible it was slowly slowly like things unfolding and untwisting. And going from a really warped and twisted view of the world and myself and even him to what it should be. And it took at least six months to start feeling even slightly normal again.
And even now Mum and Dad (I’ve blocked him) still get text messages and abuse, even my pastor has been getting abusive messages as well. So in one sense it hasn’t stopped but feel so much more equipped to deal with it.
I was going to ask what you would advise women in the same situation to do, but it sounds to me that what really helped you out was education?
Yes, yes. Education all the way. Because until then I thought that was normal. I thought it was horrible, but I thought it was normal, and I just had to live with it and be a better wife.
So if you have doubts, if you’re listening to this and thinking, ‘Well my situation sounds similar but definitely not that bad’ then …
Because everybody thinks, your brain tells you it has to be bad enough to leave, it’s not bad enough yet.
It’s a lie. Your mind is telling you that. Don’t listen to it.
And even if you have to get information little bit by little bit, if it’s not safe, there are websites out there, especially the ones that deal with more physical abuse than I dealt with, but there are websites the main website if you go to it, if you look up anything about abuse, you’ll find this website, there’s a key, if you press the escape key it gets rid of it immediately if someone else comes into the room.
For a while I was using that website and I was being very careful with my books that I was showing because I didn’t want him to see me reading them.
So do that, reach out on the internet. There are so many women who have gone through this. If you can reach out to, if you’re in a church, if you can reach out to your church. My church was very good but I know there are others that will encourage you to always forgive and always go back.
I think the church is waking up to that now. I think that the attitudes are changing.
I think so. My pastor was so good because he was the one that said to me, ‘There has to be a separation in this case, whether it’s long or short, that’s up to how you can reconcile, if you can reconcile, but it’s going to take a long time.’ And in some sense I’m very fortunate because not only was my ex-husband the one to tell me to get out, he also moved on very quickly to someone else. So in terms of reconciliation, there’s no reconciliation from that. There’s no going back to someone who’s already gone on to someone else. So Lord willing and everything falling into place, divorce proceedings will start in April.
This happened, by the way, over my birthday.
Oh yes. Always. Yeah, great.
Yes, so that was … fun.
But if you’re listening to this, if you’re starting to think, ‘this is not normal,’ read. Search on the internet. Find out what is normal. Even look at the people around you because through seeing my sister get married, in the last two years of my marriage, my brother-in-law is such a lovely man and just seeing them together – I was always watching them and thinking, ‘That’s the normal, that’s how it should be. That is not what I have.’ So just look at the people around you, do your research, and if it’s safe, start to say, ‘no’.
From what I understand, I don’t think many abusive men change, but I wish I’d started saying no sooner, because even if it had prompted the violence to escalate earlier then I still feel like I wouldn’t have been married for eleven years constantly under attack because I was too afraid to say no, or too afraid to stand up to him, or always thinking that I had to be nice all the time to try to bring him to God.
Because you can’t bring someone to God. You can’t. That’s God’s work. Don’t try and do it. Because I tried to do that for years and years without realising it. I made an idol of my marriage so that I was more concerned about keeping that whole than really about doing what was right. Which in this case would have been saying no to my husband. And if he chose not to take that, and chose to become worse, then that’s his own choice.
I think that’s about the only advice that I have, because again, like I say, I have gone through much less than a lot of women who are in a similar type of situation.
It sounded quite bad enough, if you ask me.
It felt like it.
Thank you for sharing so deeply and I really hope that we reach out to people and help other people in a similar situation.
Yeah, me too. It’s one of the things that made me start to speak out about it because I didn’t want to be the one that kept quiet about something that could have helped someone else who was having the same difficulties. I thought it was more important than me feeling awkward and oversharing.
OK so a couple of probably quite brief questions.
Because I have talked at length.
When do you feel closest to God?
Usually in my morning devotions. But not always. Morning devotion is usually the time where I’ll have a little bit more time to pray and quietness to study my Bible. But also even if I’m out and about and I see something really beautiful, or I’m really thankful for something, or anything like that where I can see his work in me or in the world. To me I feel very close to God at that point.
Even when things aren’t easy, even when I was further back and still married, although it was very hard and I felt like I was just barely surviving, yet in that time, for that time when I was saying, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen, but please show me which way you want me to go’ at that time, although I couldn’t pray like I wanted to or have the time to read the Bible like I wanted to, I felt very close to God because it was the only thing I could hold on to. So it’s not necessarily just the good times but it was being able to see something of God in the world around me.
But I like to have my set aside times for meeting with God and those are the times when you can really get close to him I think.
What’s one thing about God and Christianity you wish everyone knew?
That one’s actually a really hard question because there’s so much encapsulated in what I wish people knew. I guess the first thing is that God is a holy God. No matter how good you are, no matter how kind and nice you are, you can’t be holy enough to be right before God. You can’t. It’s not possible to be holy enough to be comparable with perfection, and anything short of perfection to God is not enough. So having failed that at the very basic level, you can’t be in fellowship with God, which means you cannot go to heaven. You are literally bound for hell. And not just after death, but in this life you don’t have any of the real taste and beauty of life.
The other thing that’s part and parcel of that is that God is also love, in that he gave himself, he gave his son to make a way for us, as fallen human beings to be actually able to meet with him, to have fellowship with him. And that that is a thing that you can ask for. You can ask for that forgiveness, for that sacrifice of his to be applied to you, for the righteousness that Christ lived to be applied to you. And for the forgiveness that was earned from that to be applied to you.
You can literally be one with a holy God even though you’re not holy.
Isn’t that awesome?
Yeah. It still amazes me every time to think that he’s such a holy God and even though so fallen and wicked as I personally, and the human race is, he still made that way to bring us back into a relationship with him. I love that.
So it’s kind of two things, but it’s joined.
It’s great. Well, thank you so much for sharing so deeply with us.
It’s been good to be here. I haven’t done a podcast before so I was nervous but excited. Thank you for having me.