07 January 2018

Novelist Amanda Barratt -- Coping With Anxiety

Novelist Amanda Barratt

Amanda, welcome to Overcoming With God.
Thanks so much for having me today! 
Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
While I absolutely love the word ‘overcome,’ it often carries the connotation of “over and done with.” So often, while we remain pilgrims in this broken world, our struggles are not overcome, as in “shelved,” but overcome day by day, moment by moment, through the tender constancy of our loving Savior. Such is the case with the struggle I’m sharing with you today. Anxiety is something I’ve experienced since my middle school years, and it’s something I still deal with to this day. About six years ago, I went through a period where my anxiety was HUGE. We’d recently moved into a new home, and within a few months of moving, I began to experience health issues—along with an increase in anxiety. This continued for over a year, but it was through this year, more than at any point in my life, that I began to seek and find Jesus like never before. While I believe the Lord didn’t cause my anxiety, He did use it to bring me closer to Him, and though it wasn’t a pleasant thing to experience, I can now look back on that period and see God intended it for good (Gen. 50:20.) The closer I became to Him, the less I focused on my fears, and the greater my trust grew in His power to calm my anxious heart. I remember being on an airplane traveling out of state, clutching the pocket Bible I use while traveling and just reading the Psalms and letting their truths sink within me. To this day, I still have days and weeks where I battle anxiety, but they occur less frequently, and when they do, I can trust that “Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times? Psalm 91 is so precious to me, and last year I memorized it, so I can recall it, even when I don’t have a Bible. Jeremiah 29:11 is another, as is Isaiah 40:31.
What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty? – Leaning close to God and spending time reading His Word. Also, being able to be raw and open during prayer, approaching His throne not as someone who has it all put together, but as a person who needs His help just to get through day to day. And realizing my limitations and not judging myself for them. People with anxiety always have things that trigger that emotion, and it’s helpful to put in place a coping process before actually being in a situation where you’re forced to confront a trigger. The support of my family was also an immeasurable blessing.
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?  My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York, will release in large print hardcover format from Thorndike Press in 2018.
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  My characters struggle with trusting God, and what that looks like in difficult situations. Both my hero and heroine go through incredible challenges, but it’s only through those struggles that they are able to go deeper with God. (I’d add more, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers.)


BIO: ECPA bestselling author Amanda Barratt, fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story – a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes inspirational historical romance, penning stories that transport readers to a variety of locales – from the sweeping coastline of Newport, Rhode Island, to the rugged landscape of Central Texas. Her novella, The Truest Heart, finaled in the 2017 FHL Reader’s Choice Awards.
A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters.

These days, Amanda can be found reading way too many books, watching an eclectic mix of BBC dramas and romantic chick flicks, and trying to figure out a way to get on the first possible flight to England.
Social links:
The My Heart Belongs series website                


Question you’d like to ask readers: My novel is set in the beautiful locale of Niagara Falls. Have you ever visited there? If not, what vacation spot have you visited that you have fond memories of?

Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of this brand new novel from Barbour this week! Leave a response to Amanda's question to enter.

37 comments:

  1. Oh this sounds like a such an amazing story!! I've never been to Niagara Falls.....yet. But my favorite spots that I've been to are Washington D.C. and Nashville, dream trips!

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    1. Those both sound great, Abby! Washington DC is on my travel bucket list!!

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  2. I have never been to Niagra Falls, but would love to visit. I have very fond memories of a trip I took to Israel and one I took to South Africa.

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    1. Oooo, those both sound exciting!!

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  3. We have visited but it’s been so long that we need to go back! We love Stowe, VT and Disney World, of course.

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    1. I've never been to the last two places, but going back to Niagara sounds like a lovely idea. I'd like to go back myself!!

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  4. We went to Niagra Falls for our 25th aniversary. It was fabulous! My hubby even upgraded our room and we had a terrific view of the falls on the Canadian side. Your book sounds fabulous. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.
    perrianne.askew@me,com

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    1. Oh how sweet!! That sounds like a wonderful 25th anniversary celebration!! If you ever get a copy of the book, I do hope you enjoy it!!

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  5. Um, actually, we stopped in Niagara Falls on our honeymoon, but my phobias kept me from getting close enough to the bridge to enjoy the falls.

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    1. Well maybe you can enjoy the view from the safety of your own living room, with my book!! LOL :)

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  6. I have never been to Niagara Falls but it is on my list of places to go. My fond memories are of Estes Park, Colorado where we stayed a couple of years ago. We went through the Rocky Mountain National Park for the fist time during the fall and it was breathtaking.

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    1. Wow! That does sound breathtaking!! Maybe I should add this to my bucket list!

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  7. Hi Amanda, thank you for sharing with us. What a great setting for your book.

    I've never been to Niagara Falls, yet but would love to one day. My favorite vacation spots are the Outer Banks, Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge TN and Lancaster county PA.
    Blessings, Tina

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! Tennessee is a great place to vacation. I really enjoyed going to Nashville when I attended an ACFW conference a couple of years ago.

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  8. I’ve never been to Niagara Falls. Haven’t been on many vacations but we went on a trip before our oldest went to college. We lived near Green Bay so we went to Manitowoc shop museum and the EAA flight museum . That was special. When we were first married we got to spend four years on Guam, so that was nice. Like Hawaii only more primitive at the time. ( early 70’s)

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    1. Hi Paula! Sounds like a fun vacation!

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  10. I have never been to Niagara Falls, but hope to get there sometime. One of our sons went and sent us a video. It was so loud that we could hardly hear him. Looks like a good book and I love that it's historical. My favorite vacation spot has been the Grand Canyon, which we have seen several times.

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    1. Thanks so much, Becky! I've always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon. There are so many great destinations, but not enough time! :)

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  11. I have visited Niagara Falls and I think it is absolutely beautiful. Anyone should take advantage of a visit there if at all possible. God has blessed us in so many ways and surrounding us with beauty is one of them.

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Melanie. A visit to Niagara Falls is a visible reminder of our Creator's handiwork.

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  12. I will already be getting a copy of this book through Barbour's book review program, but I am happy to spread the word for the giveaway! I can't wait to read this :-)

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    1. Thank you so much, Trixi! Your enthusiasm blesses my author heart so much!

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  13. I have never been to Niagara Falls. My husband and I visited Hawaii in October. I will always have fond memories of that trip.

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    1. Hawaii sounds like a great trip! Especially with this crazy cold weather we've been having.

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  14. I have never visited Niagara Falls - frozen over at this time apparently.

    The Sunshine Coast holds many great memories for me and the family.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. It IS frozen over! People have been sending me pictures and it's quite a sight to behold!

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  15. I love Niagara! I'm from Michigan so I got to go back when you didn't even need an enhanced driver's license! Lol My honeymoon with my first husband was in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and that's such a cool little town too!

    mylittlebirdiebooks (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. That's so special that you went on your honeymoon there, Karen! My romantic heart loves that idea! :)

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  16. Crissy Yoder ShamionJanuary 8, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Amanda, Thank you so much for sharing!
    Hopefully one of these years a visit to Niagara Falls is in the plans!
    God Bless!

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    1. You're welcome, Crissy. I hope you have a chance to visit Niagara.

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  17. Never been to Niagara! And while there are many vacation spots we've enjoyed the one that immediately leapt to my memory was when we went to Red River here in NM!

    Many Blessings, Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a)
    amada_chavezATyahooDOTcom

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    1. New Mexico sounds like a great place to vacation, especially this time of year! :)

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    2. It is really any time of year, but I may be a bit biased! LOL! NM's got it all in the form of water, forest, dessert, snow, etc. and so there's tons of stuff to see and do all year round! It's actually been a very unusually dry and warm winter this year however. We normally have gotten snow (we're right in the middle of the state), but I'm not complaining too much since our baby goats are due soon! :D A mild winter is fine by me if that's what The Lord wants to do! :)

      Hugs, A

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  18. AMANDA, thank you for sharing your heart! I've not visited Niagara Falls. I'm able to travel to many vacations spots through the books I read. *wink*

    Congratulations on your release! I LOVE the My Heart Belongs series!

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    1. Thank you so much, Caryl! I love traveling through novels! <3

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  19. The summer after I graduated from high school i worked at a camp in NY. It was only an hour or so from the falls, so I did get to see them!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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