God is in the mending business

Part 2 of an interview with Kim Vogel Sawyer,
Author of Bringing Maggie Home

In Bringing Maggie Home (WaterBrook), award-winning author Kim Vogel Sawyer introduces readers to three generations of women whose lives have been shaped by a 70-year-old unsolved mystery.

Hazel DeFord was just 10 years old when her younger sister Maggie vanished while they were picking blackberries one afternoon. However, her guilt over the incident has shaped her entire life, particularly in her relationship with her daughter Diane. Hazel’s inexplicable eccentricities, unexplained overprotectiveness and constant paranoia drove a wedge between the two women.

When Diane became a parent, she was determined not to imitate the close hold her mother held on her. In fact, she gave her daughter, Meghan, such free rein that Meghan sometimes questioned whether her mother really loved her. Though neither woman had a good relationship with their own mother, Meghan has built a cherished relationship with her aging grandmother who lavishes her with attention and affection.

Will the three women ever find a way to mend their tattered relationships?

Q: Why do past events affect present situations? How can we make sure we aren’t allowing our pasts to influence our future negatively?

Past events remain embedded in our memories and impact the way we view the future. Sometimes life lessons lead us to make better decisions, and sometimes they send us into hiding for fear of being hurt again. It’s wise to take inventory of your actions and reactions now and then, to explore if what you’re doing/saying/feeling is building you (and others) up or bringing you down. We can’t always rely on our own judgment on this, though, so it’s good to have one or two people you trust to give you honest observations . . . and to listen to them. I also suggest digging into God’s Word. God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear, so if fear, uncertainty or any other negative emotion has control, He wants to offer peace and discernment in its stead. Seek Him.

Q: There are things people turn to in order to numb the pain of the past and escape their problems. Why are these comforts only temporary?

EVERYTHING in this life is temporal; only our relationship with God through Jesus’s sacrifice at Calvary is ETERNAL. Thus, seeking comfort, joy or satisfaction from any other source is a waste of time and energy. Sure, drugs or alcohol will temporarily mask the pain; obtaining the latest gadget or adding more money to our bank account will give us a rush of pleasure. However, those effects quickly diminish, leaving us needing a bigger binge, a larger acquisition, a better whatever-it-is we’re grabbing for. In the end, they all leave us empty. Nothing fills us and satisfies the way the hope of heaven can, and that is found when we become a child of God.

Q: Diane believed God orchestrated certain events in a way to bring the three generations together. Do you believe God plans our pathways or uses the paths we create to bring us to Him?

I believe God makes good plans for His children (see Jeremiah 29:11 and Ephesians 2:10). I also believe He gives us free will — salvation is a gift we can accept or reject — so we can either seek and follow His path or carve our own pathway. However, it’s His will all should find Him (see 2 Peter 3:9), so even when we’ve gone running off on our own, our route doesn’t catch Him by surprise. He can use those circumstances to grow us in faith and work good in our lives. That’s the wonder of God — nothing is wasted. So, in answer to the question . . . both.

Q: What message do you hope readers take away from reading Bringing Maggie Home?

Q: Can you offer us a tease about your next release?

I’d love to. In March of 2018, I’m returning to “prairie romance” with Beneath a Prairie Moon. It’s a major twist on the mail-order bride story:

Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence and knows exactly how to behave in high society. However, when she is cast from the social registers due to her father's illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined — tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in the subjects of manners and morals so they can “marry up” with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose uncle was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he’s put off by the snooty airs and fastidious behavior of the “little city gal” in their midst. As time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the down-to-earth men. How can he teach her that perfection won't bring happiness?

I hope readers will enjoy this often humorous, sometimes touching story that brings two very different worlds together in a way only God can orchestrate.

Learn more about Sawyer and her books at www.kimvogelsawyer.com, on Facebook (KimVogelSawyer.Author.Speaker) or by following her on Twitter (KimVogelSawyer).