With Susan Wales
Author of Standing on Promises
GGBC: Susan, your book addresses a wide variety of life storms that
women face-divorce, financial setbacks, natural disasters, parenting
dilemmas, singleness. How are you qualified to speak about each
SUSAN: Can you believe that
I have been through many of storms personally? That is why I
really wanted to write the book. People see my life on the surface,
which appears very glamorous living in LA in the film community
being married to a well-known film producer with celebrity friends,
etc., but my life has been filled with storms. Thanks to God's
grace and his strength.I am a storm survivor! All the storms
you mentioned above are storms I have personally experienced,
but some of the storms I have not personally faced, such as
infertility, death of a child although I walked through this
with my aunt and my grandmother lost two children, and a few
GGBC: Why did you decide to write this book?
SUSAN: God has blessed me with the gift of encouragement and I wanted
to write this book to encourage others. However, this was a
very difficult book for me to write because I had to be so transparent
to really minister to others. Do you know what it felt like..that
I was putting on a skimpy bathing suit on my middle age body,
and walking out on the beach and exposing my overweight body
to the masses! When we witness to others we are always talking
about how great it is to be a Christian and we present this
incredible life which is all true, but most of the time we do
not address the storms and Jesus said, "The storms will come!"
I wanted to take my mask off and say "You know yes, being a
Christian is life-changing and there's nothing quite as wonderful
and fulfilling than a personal relationship with Jesus, but
hey, life is not always easy; being a Christian doesn't make
life pain free or easy.Jesus didn't promise that. He promised
that he would never, ever leave us and would walk with us.no,
carry us through the storms. That's why His promises are so
vital to us. When we walk through a storm we know the promise
and can cling to it. His promises are our anchor. They keep
us from getting washed away. I have had some incredible miracles
in my life during the storms that have carried me through and
I wanted to share these to encourage others.
GGBC: Does the Bible really
speak to even the most devastating problem? Can you give an
SUSAN: Absolutely. The greatest promise of all is the
gift of eternal life through Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. "He will wipe away every tear." We will be reunited with our
saved love ones in heaven and there will be no more sorrow,
no more pain.what a wonderful day that will be! I have always
wondered how we feel about our loved ones who never accepted
Jesus when we get to heaven and they are not there, but I cling
to the scripture, "We look the glass half clouded." Jesus will
be our answer to that, too. Also, doesn't that thought really
cause you to pray more and really concentrate on leading the
lost to Christ.
GGBC: Can you describe a
particularly painful storm you've experienced and how God sheltered
you through His promises?
SUSAN: My storms have been so painful.divorce, betrayal
but the most difficult was my daughter's rebellion. I wanted
to write my own bumper sticker, "Mothers of rebellious children
never have a nice day," for it is so painful to have a wayward
child. I was really helped through this by God's promises and
the community of believers. During m most difficult times when
I felt I couldn't go on, God would send a messenger or a special
person to minister to me or encourage me. I share in the book
where a former youth pastor comforted Ken and me and said, "Her
behavior doesn't matter.all that matters is that she is saved." I was able to get my eyes off her behavior and concentrate on
her salvation.this helped a lot. When she would do things that
devastated me I was able to tell myself..all that matters is
that she is saved because Christ has already died for her sins.
These sins will be washed away.
GGBC: Your book includes the poignant stories
of many women who have endured some of life's harshest storms.
What did you learn from these fellow sufferers?
That God never forsakes us or leaves us. He doesn't always make
the problem go away but he is faithful. Also, the importance
of staying close to the Lord..making deposits in your spiritual
bank account.by staying close to the Lord in prayer, Bible reading
and also the fellowship of Christ. Most everyone mentioned that
Christian friends encouraged them through their storms. The
greatest lesson of course is that God can take even the most
impossible situation and bring good out of it.
Can you give an example of how a reader can apply
a specific promise to her need-actually stand on the
example I want to give is that of finances because most everyone
can relate to this. God promises that: "Our needs are met according
to His riches in glory." Let's say you have a financial need
at the moment, a bill to pay, money needed for an operation
or money for the kids braces, a car repair. God has promised
to meet our needs..not our greeds, but our needs. Stand on this
promise. Every time the money problem crosses your mind, recite
this promise. Write it on the bill and place it in your Bible.
When you pray, pray the promise: Lord, you promise us that our
needs are met according to your riches in glory..I know that
you will provide the money for Susie's braces. Thank you Lord
that this need, Susie's braces. Begin thanking God for meeting
that need according to His riches in glory. Also there are promises
such as "Do not worry what you will eat, drink for does not
your Heavenly Father know of these needs?"
Are there storms we can avoid? Are all storms inevitable?
the storms that come as result of our sins can be avoided. There
are many storms that can be avoided that direct consequences
to our sin. Let's say a man commits adultery and eventually
leaves his wife and children and marries the other woman. The
consequences will be great. His children who are totally innocent
will be greatly affected, his former wife will be affected and
woe to that man! Also let's take something as simple as overeating,
which we all can relate to.over-eating. If we overeat, we gain
weight. These are laws of reciprocity.reaping what we sow! I
love to use the example of David. He loved God and yet in his
humanness he stole his friend's wife and had his friend killed.
God didn't stop loving David but David suffered great consequences.
In addition to this
there are storms that come out of nowhere.we have no idea where
they come from and why they are happening to us. Perfectly good
and innocent people are victims of these storms. But Jesus said, "The storms will come." These storms make us stronger and God
uses them to discipline us. I love the scripture, "He disciples
those he loves."
When enduring personal trials
of your own, what is the life verse (scripture) that you stand
on? How does this scripture speak to you?
SUSAN: I have two verses that really mean a lot to me and have carried
me through many, many storms. One of these favorite verses is
II Timothy 1:12. "For I know in whom I believe that he is able
to carry out that which I have entrusted to him this day!" Whatever
comes my way, I know that I can give it to the Lord and I only
have to endure for just the day. Tomorrow is a whole new day.
I may have the same problem, but I only have to get through
a day. I know the Lord will not forsake me. I can trust him.
The other verse is: "For I know the plans I hath for you saith
the Lord, "plans not to harm you but plans to give you a future
and a hope!" When I went through my divorce I believed that
my life was truly over, and as I share in the book, I visited
a church where the pastor recited this verse and the realization
suddenly hit me."My life is not over.God has a plan in all this
mess. He's working out that plan right this very minute! Did
he ever have a plan..one more wonderful that I could ever have
come up with myself!
How can all women begin to achieve
more peace in their lives while being pulled from every side
to be perfect?
SUSAN: By setting priorities. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and
all this shall be added unto you.. We must prioritize and learn
to say no. I spoke with a single mom the other day who was complaining
that she never had any time to spend with the Lord and when
I began to question her I was shocked to hear how much time
she was spending at church activities. I told her that God didn't
need all these works that he wanted some time alone with her.
We always hear "Idleness is the devil's workshop, but I believe
that business is his workshop!" Slow down and spend time alone
What is your prescription for
enduring trials when hope is gone and faith is shattered?
Paul tells us to praise God in the midst of the circumstances.
When I am feeling absolutely shattered and can barely put one
foot in front of the other, I hop in the shower and began praising
God as loud as I can. I know some people sing the shower, but
I praise in the shower! There is something about that water
pouring over me and praising God that gives me relief. I often
go to my husband when he is available or I will call up a friend
who encourages me and gets me through and if I am really feeling
desperate I call my pastor! I ask for prayer and admit that
I'm having a hard time and ask for help.
Do you believe that ALL things
work together for the good of those that love the Lord? Or do
you feel this scripture has become a cliché?
SUSAN: I believe it because the Bible tells me so, and I have also
been very blessed to see this scripture prove true in most instances
of my life, but yes, I feel it not appropriate to say in certain
circumstances. How can you tell a mother whose child has been
murdered that all things work together for the good.you cannot!
Good things come out of bad but in certain circumstances there
are no answers.we can only cling to the fact that we do, as
the scripture says, look through the glass half cloudy. Jesus
told parables and sometimes instead of being preached to with
scriptures that sound like clichés, a story of how another mother
survived her child's death can be more helpful. Also, just being
there for a person without saying a word is sometimes the best
thing to do or just to cry with them. I give an example to my
friends who are enduring trials. When my first husband left
me I felt as though my life was shattered like a mirror dropped
to floor and smashed to hundreds of pieces. Eventually, I was
able to pick up all those pieces of my life and give them to
Jesus. He took each one of those pieces, even those jagged pieces
I wasn't very proud of and used them to design a beautiful mosaic.
That mosaic will not be completed until my life is over but
I hope that the end result will be spectacular because I was
able to trust Him and allow him to put all the broken pieces
into their proper place.
What do you hope the reader will
take away from reading your book?
SUSAN: Encouragement, hope and the love that God has for his children.
Also the understanding that not just standing but faith in his
promises is best way to get through the storm.
GGBC Thanks Susan For Her Time
and prays for continued success!