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Interview 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 of these? 

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 others.

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 example? 

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? 

SUSAN: 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.

GGBC: Can you give an example of how a reader can apply a specific promise to her need-actually stand on the promise?

SUSAN: 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?"

GGBC: Are there storms we can avoid? Are all storms inevitable?

SUSAN: Yes, 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."

GGBC: 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!

GGBC: 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 with him.

GGBC: What is your prescription for enduring trials when hope is gone and faith is shattered?

SUSAN: 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.

GGBC: 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.

GGBC: 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!

ON A LITERARY NOTE

Review: Emma Dash

Emma Dash
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