17 February 2013

Interview with Christy Barritt by Carrie Fancett Pagels


Christy Barritt

Christy Barritt is the author of Key Witness, the Squeaky Clean mystery series, as well as many others—thirteen books in all with five more releasing in 2013.

Christy, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 

Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
I went through a particularly difficult situation with my church last year. Though it was hard, I’ve seen the amazing ways that God has used the situation to not only increase my faith, but also to help others who are struggling.

I was a worship leader at this church for nearly a decade. I won’t go into all the details, but one day I was called into a meeting where I felt very betrayed and stabbed in the back. That same day, I stepped down from my position at the church and afterwards had to deal with the effects of that meeting on my life—issues that included bitterness, forgiveness, and overwhelming hurt.

My husband and I continued to go to that church for nine months, and each Sunday I felt like my wounds were ripped open again. My struggle during this time became: What happens when your place of healing (church and worship) becomes a place of hurt? Finally, last summer, we felt like it was time to leave and find a new church home.

I do believe that God works all things together for his good, even when it feels impossible to see. Good has come throughout the situation I endured at my former church. As soon as I stepped down from the position there, God brought multiple writing contracts my way. If I’d continued on at the church and tried to fulfill those contracts, I would have been miserable. God knew my dream had always been to write full-time, and He allowed that to happen.
I’ve also been able to minister to other people who’ve been hurt by their church—and there are a lot of people like that out there.  Some people have been hurt over splits or gossip or false accusations. Some have been called out publicly on misunderstood issues and others have had their names drug through the mud unfairly. I know that the church has lost a lot of people through hurts that have transpired within the body.

God’s taught me a lot of big lessons on forgiveness and grace. He’s also given me heart to help people who share my same wounds. This is a theme that can be found in my writing, also. God is still good, even when his people fail you. And his people will fail you because they’re all—or should I say we’re all—imperfect.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
I love Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” I’ve clung to this verse many times and it’s helped me to remember that God does have a plan for my life, throughout the good and the bad. I always say that the good times in life make you happy, but it’s the bad times in life that build your character and faith. I think this verse is a reflection of that. Hard times have shaped me into the person I am.

Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?  Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print?
 
Great question! My book, Hazardous Duty, is just now being made into an audio book! I’m so excited about this. All of my Love Inspired Suspense books are also released in large print. Of course, the Kindle is great because you can increase the font size or listen to the books read on them. Isn’t that so cool? (CFP: Way cool!!!)

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?

I try to be authentic with my faith. I think the worse thing you can do is constantly gloss things over. I want to be real about my struggles and my doubts because I so appreciate it when people are real with me about those things. It makes me realize that I’m not alone. I think you’ll see that in a lot of my books. I hope to also show that beautiful things can come out of the darkest places.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?

I’d have to say one of the most touching things that I learned was because of a weekend women’s retreat where I was asked to be the main speaker. Their topic was joy, and I had to prepare several hours worth of material. During that time, I was really reminded that joy was a choice and about the importance of thinking on the positive instead of dwelling on the negative. (CFP: Emphasis by me: this is a recurring topic on OWG and so important!)

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?


In my book, The Good Girl, which releases in March, really touches on several subjects. It touches on legalism versus grace, caring too much what people think of you, perfectionism, disappointment with the church.

Hazardous Duty, the first book in the Squeaky Clean series, deals with doubting God, abandonment, alcoholism, kidnapping.

Suspicious Minds, the second book in my Squeaky Clean series and a Daphne Award winner, deals a lot with loneliness.

It Came Upon a Midnight Crime deals with the war on Christmas and Christians.

Organized Grime talks about the importance of forgiveness.
Race Against Time addresses being a single parent, dealing with the loss of a spouse, and trust issues.

The Last Target talks about God using even the worst circumstances to bring about good.

The Trouble with Perfect deals with perfectionism and abuse.

Lifeline, releasing in July, addresses abuse by a loved one and learning to trust again.

Final Justice (this title will probably change) releases in November and talks about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the power of positive thought.

Whew, that’s a lot of bibliotherapy possibilities, yay! Thank you, Christy, for agreeing to answer these questions!

GIVEAWAY: We're giving away a choice of any of Christy Barritt's book this week, choice of format (outside USA-ebook choice only.)

62 comments:

  1. Thank you, CARRIE and Christy, for this wonderfully transparent interview which will truly resonate with alot of people. So many people (including myself) have suffered pain at the hands of the very place that is supposed to bring healing...the church. Like you, CHRISTY, I had to move on to another place of worship, but what is so sad is the amount of people who let that painful experience stop them from going to church at all anymore. I pray God will lead those people here to read your words of wisdom, and return to a new place of worship wherever God leads them. Churches are not all the same, and there are some good ones out there that will administer healing to their wounded hearts.

    Didn't mean to say all that, but that being said I really enjoyed Keeping Guard, CHRISTY, and would love to read some more of your books. I have another one of yours on my TBR bookshelf. Thank you for being with us girls this week at OWG!

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    1. DIANA, I'm glad you said all that. It's really important for it to be said as too many leave, not to go back, and that can be such a shame. I was in that position just once and knew the temptation, but then gave it to God to lead us to the right place!

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  2. Great interview. Thank you, Carrie for having Christy here today. I love the phrase 'Squeaky Clean'. Your books sound very good and helpful, Christy, I love how God gave you the time to write these.
    I totally understand about having to find a new church home. Sometimes God puts us in a certain church just long enough to fulfill a purpose and then asks us to move on.
    God bless.

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    1. DEBBIE, Christy is such a sweetie. I am so sorry she suffered at the hands of church members. We've had to do the same several times, unfortunately, but we've also moved quite a bit.

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  3. CARRIE and CHRISTY thank you both for the terrific interview.
    Christy I'm so sorry you had to go through that at the church you were attending, my husband and I endured something very similar as we were the worship leaders at our former church. We had a new pastor come to the church and after telling us every service what a great job we were doing for almost two years, then we find out he had been looking for someone to replace us the whole time. It just about killed us to leave a church we had attended for years and years and where we had gotten married at. But God had better plans for us!! We have to trust Him when He moves us out of our comfort zone...He always knows best.

    I didn't realize you had so many books out, I have two on my kindle waiting to be read and I can't wait for your new one that's coming. I have truly enjoyed everyone one of them! :) Keep them coming and I promise to keep reading!!

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  4. Diana--it's so true. So many people have a bad church experience and let that taint them. I've met so many people who say they love Jesus, but can't stand his people. It's very sad. I hate to see that because church can be such a wonderful place, a place where we can grow closer to Jesus and be the hands and feet of Jesus. It's been such a blessing to be at the church where we're at now!

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  5. Great interview Carrie. I have had the same thing happen to me in a church. The church ended up splitting we stayed for about 6 months or so then my husband and I both dropped out of our ministries there. we tried to keep going there but like you said it was like wounds be opened every time we went in the door. People were very rude or ignored us. We are in another church and love it. Back in where God wants us with a loving church family. I would love to read your books. Thanks for the giveaways.
    Blessings
    joeym11@frontier.com

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  6. Chaplain Debbie--I totally agree. Sometimes God just puts us somewhere for a purpose and for a season. He truly does "work all things together for His good."

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  7. Teresa,

    When people have been involved with church for the majority of their life, most have at least one bad experience. I can relate to what you said! But if God closes one door, another one always opens. Oftentimes, it's for an even better opportunity. He truly does always know best. Wise words!

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  8. Thanks for the comments, Diana. I'm so sorry to hear you've had hard experiences also! But I'm glad you've found a healthy, loving church home.

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  9. I love your Squeaky Clean mysteries and I look forward to reading the rest of your books. Congrats on 5 in 1 year! Wow! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  10. Great post! I know many people experience these hurts within the church, and don't know how to deal with them. So glad you've found a church home now, Christy!

    And what an amazing roster of books! Sounds like you're hitting on some important topics with your writing.

    I'd love to be in the contest--my email is heatherdaygilbert (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks!

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  11. All of the books sound wonderful! I had not run across any of them yet, but I will definitely be looking them up. My family went through what sounds like a very similar trial about 2 years ago. It was horrible but God is so wonderful and had His plan throughout it all for our good and His glory. Thanks for sharing.

    bskaggs(at)zoominternet(dot)net

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    1. I love that wonderful theme with everyone here. God had a plan throughout it all--oftentimes a plan for something even better. I wish everyone could remember that when they face trials like this! Thanks for sharing.

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  12. This is a wonderful interview, ladies! Christy, Your openness is a blessing. We waked away from a very hurtful situation several years ago so I can understand. Your books sound intriguing. I like mysteries, as Carrie and the others can attest to ;)

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    1. Thanks, Anne! I'm sorry you went through a hurtful situation. I always remember James 1:2: Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds! Trials like this can definitely make us stronger.

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  13. Great interview. I appreciate what you said and I am very sorry that you were hurt *hugs* been there myself a few times. *sigh*

    Enter me please.

    winterrose (at) comcast (dot) net

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  14. beautifully said Christy. alot of people struggle with that same church issue. so happy God worked it out and let you write. i have thoroughly enjoyed reading your books and look forward to the many more you have coming out and that are still just a seed in your mind.

    Angie
    migrainequeen@msn.com <3

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  15. Hello Christy and welcome to one of my fave blogs, it's such a pleasure to "meet" you!! Thanks sooo much for sharing your story. I've experienced betrayal in the church, but that must REALLY be tough for a worship leader to go through!

    Church is the one place you believe to be safe so it's mega disappointing when the love and acceptance you hoped to find there ends up lacking or nonexistent. I'm really sorry that happened to you, but LOOOOVE how your obedience opened the door for your books and how your testimony helps others! Loved how you mentioned the lessons you took from this were grace and forgiveness, very important and precious lessons :) As a reader, I truly appreciate how your desire to write about authentic faith and that beautiful things can come out of the darkest places. So very true and I will keep you in prayer as you aim to write about that.

    You greatly encouraged me in this interview and after seeing your books listed here, my TBR list just grew :) I have also been heartbroken by the church more than once and the Holy Spirit continues to remind me with the healing process He provides that the church is imperfect and for me to stay focused on Him. My job is to love the church no matter what it's lacking. God will take care of the rest and He will nurture my growth as I seek Him.

    Please enter me in this giveaway and thanks again Christy for being here, hugs and blessings to you!
    *sending more hugs to my OWG sisters!*
    Kara

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    1. Beautifully said, Kara, and right on target. Our job is to love the church, in all its beautiful and in all of its weaknesses. Thanks for the comments, and I'm so glad the interview encouraged you.

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  16. Wonderful interview Carrie and Christy. I was familiar with your work in Love Inspired Suspense novels, the large print, as I am a monthly subscriber, but didn't know about your other books. Such a blessing to know I have even more to order and read. LOL. I was so sad to hear about what happened at your Church. Praying for your and Carrie's continued inspiration. Blessings, Susan Fryman susanngarrylee@yahoo.com

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  17. I enjoyed reading the interview. Your latest book looks very interesting to me. I have a tendency to care too much about what others think of me so The Good Girl might just be what I need. :)

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. The Good Girl is one of my favorite books! I totally understand what it's like to care too much what people think of you. God's working on me, though. :-)

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  18. Oh, I have experienced the hurts from church too many times in my past. I am thankful God has me at a wonderful church now where I am able to serve and be an active part of ministry. I have learned that people will disappoint you, you will disappoint them, and wounds take time to heal. But when you make serving God your number one goal, then He goes before you and puts a covering over your heart to protect you. Thanks for sharing your story. Sherri igottawrite at bellsouth dot net

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  19. Christy, I loved your comments on being real. That is so important to me. You can tend to think you are all alone in your struggles, and there must be something terribly wrong with you because everyone else seems to have it all together. I felt that way in my own life, and now it makes me very aware when I see others struggling to let them know that I've been there, and how God helped me and continues to help me through. Being real is a wonderful way to minister to others!

    I do love your books, and in fact, just let my teenage son read "Hazardous Duty". Now he wants to read "Suspicious Minds"! We both have really enjoyed your work. Thanks for that! :)

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    1. Bethany, you're absolutely correct. A lot of times our first inclination is to keep our struggles inside, but there's so much healing when we realize that other people understand what we're going through, that they've been there before and we're not the only ones to experience these hurts.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed Hazardous Duty, and I hope you'll enjoy Suspicious Minds as well!

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    2. Christy, I've read the whole series, including "It Came Upon a Midnight Crime", and also "The Trouble With Perfect" and "Death of a Couch Potato's Wife"! Loved them all, and now my son is begging me to let him read them all! lol

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    3. I love hearing that, Bethany! Thanks for sharing, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the series!

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  20. I know what it is to be hurt, but it made me stronger for it.

    OWG

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. There's an old saying--hard times can make us better or bitter. It's our choice. Glad you chose to become stronger!

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  21. I know several people who have felt hurt within a church for various reasons. Some people are overly sensitive and seem to be looking for a problem. Others may have their expectations too high. Perhaps if people took their search for a church more seriously they may find a better fit.

    I would love to win a copy of your new book. It has a great cover and sounds like a really good story to address issues I have not seen addressed in other Christian fiction.

    Blessings, Janice
    jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Janice, it's true that we should work not to be easily offended and search within our own hearts for ways we can be a reflection of God and a tool in his hands (and not Satan's!). It's easy to carry our old hurts into new situations--whether that be church or even just relationships in general.

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  22. Thank you CARRIE and CHRISTY for that transparent and very encouraging interview!
    I've enjoyed being made aware of your books Christy as I haven't had the chance to read any yet. I loved the list of Bibliotherapy details from all your books - what a great idea! We should get everybody to list their books like that CARRIE! :) I can see a couple straight away I'd like to read first up that touches upon certain topics. God bless!!

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  23. I am not familiar with Christy's books but I would love to add them to our church library.
    Thanks for the opportunity to do so.
    Janet E.
    OWG
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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  24. I'd love to win one of her books to see how I like them! Thanks for the chance!
    makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com
    OWG

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  25. I enjoyed reading the interview. Thanks for the opportunity to win Christy's book.

    Katie J.
    OWG
    johnsonk133[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  26. I love the interview and would love to win any of Christys book thanks for the chance i hope i win
    Shirley Blanchard OWG
    jcisforme@aol.com

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    1. Good luck, Shirley. Thanks for stopping by.

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  27. Thanks for the Awesome Giveaway! My choice is Key Witness if I win that is. :)
    God Bless!
    richmond.abigail@gmail.com

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    1. Key Witness is one of my favorites! Good luck. :-)

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  28. Christy sounds like a sweet, compassionate lady, I enjoyed getting to know a bit about her. I would love to be entered for The Good Girl. Thanks!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com
    OWG

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Merry! Good luck. I think you'd love The Good Girl. :-)

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  29. I love this author. I have read some of her books and would love to win this one!
    ischu9@aol.com

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    1. I'm so glad to hear you've read some of my books and enjoyed them! Best of luck.

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  30. Thanks for sharing your story Christy. I can relate to what you went through with your church. But God is faithful!
    I've only read your Squeaky Clean series but I enjoyed them so much! I love Gabby.
    Thanks for offering the give away.
    Blessings
    hollymag(at)gmail(dot)com!

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    1. Thanks so much, Holly! I love writing about Gabby. Another Squeaky Clean mystery will release this summer!

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  31. love Squeaky Clean mysteries thanks for chance to win one of Christy's books

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the Squeaky Clean series!

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  32. Glad you can't see me! I'm having a little temper tantrum here. Just typed a long comment and it didn't take it, and I lost it. GRRR! This one will be shorter. Thanks to Christy and Carrie for this chance to win this book. That would be a scary situation to be in. I hope I would be that brave but not sure. I haven't been in a situation like this , except being brave when I was so scared when my Christmas baby girl stopped breathing while nursing. I had to get my hubby to hold her and told him to breath in her mouth while I got the doc. I then lay on the bed with her while the doc talked to me, and until she was pink again. Then I turned loose and cried hard. I was terrified of losing her. So thankful my hubby was at home. Please enter me. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Oh my goodness! That sounds so scary. I'm so glad everything turned out okay. It's so hard seeing your children hurt or in pain.

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  33. I thought I should add also that there was a great book that helped me through this. It's called Healing Church Hurt by Stephen Mansfield. If you're dealing with any kind of hurt at the hands of other Christians, this is a great, practical book to check out.

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  34. Carrie--thank you for yet another wonderful interview! TY Christy for sharing about the hurts from a church and how difficult it is to forgive and go on to find a new church--been there and done that, & it is NOT easy!

    I have not had the fortune to read any of Christy's book YET, but I'm definitesly wanting to check them out now! Winning one of them would be a GREAT way to get started.
    vmarnay(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Vicki OWG

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