04 March 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels Interviews Sandi Rog

Sandi Rog is the author of YAHSHUA’S BRIDGE the second book in her Iron and the Stone series. Her first book was THE MASTER’S WALL, which won the Small Publishers Book of the Year Award, and her most recent release is a western romance titled WALKS ALONE.

I met Sandi Rog through ACFW and an online writers group HisWriters--those who have either published or planned works with European characters.

Sandi, welcome to Overcoming Through Time.
Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here!

Would you share either the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help, or the most tragic situation or circumstance one of your character’s has had to get past?
Okay, I’ve been sitting on this question for weeks! That’s why it took so long to get this back to you, Carrie. But I finally know what to share.

This last year I’ve been battling cancer. It’s been a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs, with trusting in God and doubting Him, with wanting to give up and wanting to fight. I’ve been an emotional mess.

After going through a stem cell transplant in May of 2011, then finding out in September that the cancer came back, and then going through radiation, I finally gave up.

Here’s what I mean. I had to give up two things: my children and my fight.

I have an idea of how Abraham and Hannah must have felt when they had to give up their children.

You see, my motivation to survive has been my children. Seeing their faces and knowing how much they need me made me fight that much harder. I wouldn’t let them go. But I finally had to realize that ultimately they’re not my children. They belong to God. Of course, I’ve always known that, but this time, I had to trust in that, trust in God to take care of them for me if it was His will for me to go home. So, mentally I had to literally hand each one of my children over to Him. I watched them in my mind, floating up to God and out of my hands and into God’s hands. That wasn’t easy, but once I did that, I knew they’d be fine because God would take care of them for me. After all, He loves them even more than I do!

Shortly after that (and radiation), I was exhausted and decided I was DONE. Done fighting, and just done. That’s when I prayed and told God I was finished fighting, and if He wanted me to survive on this earth, He was gonna have to do the fighting for me. When I let go of my fight against cancer, I can’t tell you how much relief I felt. The anxiety left. The fear diminished.

Everything was all in God’s hands, and what better hands could my children and my life be in?

I can’t say the fear was completely gone because I didn’t know what God wanted. Did He want to take me home, or did He want me to stay here longer? And if He wanted to take me home, would it be a slow and painful journey? So, I still had fear about those things.

Well, not long after that, I got a PET scan, which I scheduled to happen after Christmas (I didn’t want to ruin our Christmas with bad news; with all the pain I had in my back, we were sure it was covered in cancer).

I did the PET scan and two days later went in for the results. My sister came with me and my husband, and as we were in the waiting room, she shook out her hands and said her palms were sweating. She didn’t want to be there. Ha! I said, neither did I!

Anyway, I was finally called into the doctor’s office, and when the doc came in, she said they couldn’t find cancer anywhere in my body. The three of us just sat there in stunned disbelief. Before I could ask, she said the pain in my back was from a fractured rib due to the cancer and then the radiation. Then she pronounced me in remission!

Needless to say, we asked a lot of questions and left in shock. LOL I still have plans to go back to see my naturopathic doctor in AZ just to give this cancer one last major blast. Now we’re simply praying that it doesn’t come back.

So, that’s the most difficult thing I’ve had to face and overcome. Not necessarily overcoming “cancer,” but learning to let go and let God.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Jeremiah 17:7-8. I think it’s my favorite because it shows the power of faith. Even when our circumstances are difficult, simply trust in God—no matter what.

Disability friendliness:
My books are all available on Kindle, which has an audio capability.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
That they’re not alone in their struggles. That God is with them throughout it all, even during the lowest valley and when He feels far away. I also want readers to know they can be overcomers, to cling to the Lord no matter what happens in this life.

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

For Yahshua’s Bridge, it was what the Romans did to interrogate the Christians. To find information on that, and all the steps they took to “save” the Christians or to make sure they truly weren’t Christians was bitter sweet. On one hand, they tried to get the Christians to deny their faith because they didn’t want to execute them. On the other hand, the things they made them do to prove they weren’t Christians were blasphemous.

For my book Walks Alone (which is a romance about the Cheyenne Native American tribe), I learned that genocide wasn’t only practiced by Hitler, but it was done on American soil. That really shocked me when I learned about the Sandcreek Massacre.

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

My story is about growing up with abuse and how we allow it to affect us. We can either be angry or trust in God and let it form us into a stronger person. I was abused as a kid, and God has made me an overcomer. I want others to learn that they can do the same.

Thank you Sandi.  A year ago, I prayed that I would be putting up this interview and that God would save Sandi's life and give her an AWESOME testimony of His healing power.  This brings tears to my eyes as I prepare for this to go "live" on Sunday.  Thank you Jesus, for Sandi, and her survival!!!

Thank you for having me Carrie! So glad I could be here.

GIVEAWAY:  We are giving away one of Sandi's books at the end of the week. Winner can choose any one of Sandi Rog's books, ebook or paperback.  Leave your comment and email address.


  1. What a beautiful testimony. Thank you for doing this interview, Carrie. And thank you Sandi for sharing your inspirational journey as you learned to trust in God.

  2. Amazing testimony! God has everything covered - thanks for the reminder and the visual (watching your kids being placed in God's hands). I need to do that more often with everything. Thanks for sharing, Sandi and Carrie. Blessings!

  3. What a testimony! It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. Thanks for sharing with us Sandi.

  4. Sandi, what a delight to have you with us this week. Like Carrie, I am so glad she was able to share this interview and your wonderful testimony with readers here on OTT-With God's Help. And like Carrie and Marian, I am rejoicing and wiping away the tears. God is so good! Thank you, Sandi, for sharing your difficult journey and victorious testimony!...you are such an inspiration to us all.

  5. Love that testimony!


  6. Sandi, What a journey you have taken through darkness and I'm grateful that you had the courage of your victory to share it with us. I sat very still after reading your testimony and allowed your words to settle down within my heart. Several scriptures flew through my mind, but the one that stuck was that God knows the plans he has for us; and the story of Abraham obeying the lord and was ready to sacrifice his son. I didn't know you before, except by name. You are a chosen one. I know your written words in the stories you created would teach me much more about even myself. You see, I have been refined by God's healing fires several times. Thank you for this gracious giveaway and the chance to win a wonderful read. I hope I do.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  7. Bless you, Sandi! It's so good to see you here! And what an incredible testimony and story you have. Our God is alive and all-powerful and all-loving!! I pray your new releases hit the best-seller list!!! God Bless..

  8. I'm very thankful that Sandi is now in remission. I appreciated her sharing about releasing each of her children to God. Thankfully, I haven't had to go through something like cancer, but I did have to give my children to God at different times, especially when my teenaged son moved from living in Kansas with me to Oregon to live with his dad. That was so hard, but I did feel peace when I was able to release him to God's care.
    I'm especially intrigued by Sandi's book, "Walks Alone" because of the comment she made about the research.Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.

  9. Sandi, What a blessing it is to have you here to chat and share with us. I know you went through terrible times but with God's help you made it. I never thought of genocide here on American soil but when I think about it now I can see where this was possible. If only the settlers could have lived with the Indians in peace this would not have happened. May God be with you and keep you and your family safe in his hands.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  10. Loved hearing about winning over the dread C word. God is amazing in how He works. You were ready to give up, but He wasn't. Glad He has chosen you to continue in your writing endeavors. Blessings, Janice

    P.S. I would love to win your book! jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

  11. What an amazing testimony of God's grace and mercy. Isn't it wonderful when He surprises us with good news in what seems to be our darkest hour? Thank you Sandi for sharing your story with us.

    I remember the PET scan my husband endured in 1999. Thank God he has been cancer free for almost 12 1/2 years. GOD IS SO GOOD!

    I can't wait to read your books! :)

  12. What a blessing to hear from all of you! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It's wonderful to see old friends and new faces. I thank God for all of you. Thank you, Carrie for inviting me to your blog. I feel honored and blessed.

  13. WOW, what a testimony , one that I can share with others. How amazing His love for us is and the way He shows it. You're testimony give's me goose bumps.
    I would love to read a book from you. Bless you're heart for sharing you're story!

  14. Sandi, thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I have learned in my life that God really wants us to give him our total faith and trust, but we so often don't understand the depth of what that really means. It was so encouraging to read your testimony of doing that very hard thing. I know that your books will reflect that deep understanding that you have of God. Looking forward to reading them.

    Bookwurm70 at gmail dot com

  15. SUSAN and LIBBIE, We were praying for Sandi in several groups that I am in. When I first "met" Sandi in the HisWriters group we were both going through problems with a biologic we were both on. I was finally getting better (off it) when I heard of Sandi's new diagnosis.

  16. Sandi,
    So thrilled and awed by all God is doing through your life and in your writing! You have such a moving testimony! I can give a huge recc to Sandi's newest book, Walks Alone. Not many handle the themes she did so well but this is a splendid reading experience - and the beautiful cover gives a glimpse of the treasure between the pages! Thanks so much to Carrie, too, for having you here. Prayers with you both.

  17. What an amazing testimony! I'm sure this experience brings a new depth to your writing. Praise the Lord for his healing in your life.

  18. MARIAN & DIANA, One of the blessings of us doing this blog is we get to read every week about the awesome testimonies of overcoming with God's help. I always feel privileged to get the first peek at what authors have to say about God's healing in their lives.

  19. TERESA, I hope to have your husband's testimony up this Saturday for our sharing and commentary post. Praise God you got your sweetheart back and healed! I can only imagine the relief Sandi's husband and children have. Actually, since my mother had cancer when I was 12, I kind of do know what they are feeling. We were blessed to be given forty more years with her after her healing.

  20. BARB, wow, thanks for giving that to Sandi. Thank you for pointing to this excellent scripture!

    MARISSA, thank you for coming by. I hope you are blessed by Sandi's testimony.

    MARYLU, It was a privilege for us a Colonial Quills to be able to participate in one of the fundraisers for Sandi, too, wasn't it?

  21. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sandi's first book and have her second one ready to read. I would love to read Walks Alone. I am a friend of Sandi's brother-in-law, Reuben Rog and his wife Amanda here is Canton, OK.. Reuben has kept us posted on her progress and struggles. I have lost two husband to cancer and truly understand that we must put everything into God's hands. Thank you for sharing with each of us. May Ann Johnson mayajhsn@pldi.net

  22. PAM and MISS KALLIE, Thanks so much for your words. So glad Sandi is back writing again and resuming a more normal life.

  23. Beautiful testimony, encouraging story.

  24. OH MY, SANDI, what an INCREDIBLY inspiring story!!! I am SO glad I stopped by today -- there is SUCH power in your words as to what God has done in your life. You are a true encouragement to me and SO many people who need to know God is in control and we can trust Him no matter what.

    I pray blessings galore on your writing and your life!!


  25. JANICE, MIRJAM, and GAIL, Amen sisters! I agree!

  26. LAURA, we have a review here later in the week. Sounds like I need to download this book. I bought Sandi's first book and have it on Kindle. Thanks for stopping by!

  27. Praise the Lord for your remission, Sandi! It's wonderful to serve a God who is capable of that, and is so faithful to answer the prayers of so many! You know the gates of Heaven were being stormed on your behalf :) I pray that you have continued good health and your body heals fully from the trauma that it has endured. Thank you for sharing with us.

  28. PATTY, we here at OTT-WGH believe that the authors' works are impacted by what God has gotten them through. I will be watching for how this amazing healing will show up in Sandi's work!

  29. MARY ANN, God bless you for stopping by and sharing. Sandi's life and her testimony have touched so many! Her family must be so relieved.

  30. Inspiring interview. Thank you Sandi, for sharing with us.

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

    I'll have to look up some of those books :)

  31. Wow! What an incredible story. Any time Sandi tells it, I end up with chills. I'm so thankful for the healing HE has brought to her body, and for her sweet spirit. And of course, I'm also happy to read her books. :-)

  32. DAVALYN, Thank you for coming by and reading Sandi's testimony.

  33. JULIE, I let Sandi know that you came by and left a message from her. I pray she is a having a good day.

  34. All of you are so wonderful. I haven't been able to be online much in these last few days. While I am in remission, I'm still fighting to regain my strength. Thank you all for being here, for storming heaven's gates on my behalf, and for all your encouraging words. All of you are my inspiration and a huge blessing in my life. I thank God for you (especially Carrie for making this interview possible). xxx

  35. Powerful testimony, Sandi - Let go and let God. It's often hard to give up the driver's seat! Prayers to you in your remission. Obviously, you have much still to do here.


  36. Great interview and awesome testimony! We serve a powerful G-d! Wonderful news that you are in remission.


  37. Thank you Sandi for sharing what you have been through and the struggles you had getting to where you are today. It is a tough lesson to learn, but letting go and letting God is powerful when we can finally leave it with Him to take care of. I have been there many times and each time I wondered why I did not do it sooner - guess it is our human nature to think we can do better. I thank God of your news of being in remission and pray He will use your story of healing to touch the lives of others you encounter. Thank you for sharing your story!Blessings to you!


  38. Wow, thank you for sharing such an amazing testimony.

    I would love a chance to enter the drawing. What a lovely book cover.



  39. ANNE, FAYE, and NAOMI, Thanks for coming by! I am so grateful to have this interview to publish. Let us keep praying for Sandi to get her strength back and keep recovering fully.

  40. SUSAN and LIBBIE, I’m so glad you could drop by and read my testimony. It really is a relief to let go and let God. It takes so much off our own shoulders! And I believe that’s what God ultimately wants. He’s an awesome God!

    MARIAN, you are such a blessing. It does my heart good to see you here, especially because you’re from the Country I love, the Country that’s a part of my family, and the Country that will always be a home away from home. Boy, I’m starting to feel homesick!

    DIANA thank you for the blessing you’ve been to me during this difficult time, whether during the cancer or during this time of recovery. I want to run and do all the things I used to do, but I’m learning I have to be patient with myself. Sigh Not easy!

    MARISSA, I’m so glad my testimony could encourage you! And BARBARA thank you for reminding me of that verse! It’s funny how sometimes I forget that applies to me and not someone else, someone “better.” Ya know? I’ve honestly learned a lot from all my Christian writer friends. They’ve shown me more love than I dreamed possible.

    MARYLU, I was so excited to see you here! Everyone, I’m a BIG fan of MaryLu’s books! She writes the kind of fiction I love to read with all the romance and adventure my heart desires!

    Oh, PAM. I know where you’re coming from with your son being so far away. My oldest is planning to leave for collage this Fall and it’s breaking my heart! I feel like I’ve already lost a year with her, and now she’s about to leave.

    KALLIE, yes our history is amazing to me. We’ve always been about the “land of the free,” and to this day, we’ve overlooked what happen to all the Native American tribes. It breaks my heart how they were treated by our forefathers.

    JANICE thank you! I could use some prayers now as I start my next book. TERESA you know exactly how we felt when we got news that the cancer couldn’t be found. I’m so glad your husband has been cancer free for so long! That’s wonderful, and a huge encouragement to me!

  41. MIRJAM I’m so glad my testimony could encourage you. It isn’t always easy to talk about without crying. GAIL, it’s true! We don’t always understand the depth of “letting go.” It reminds me of the walls of Jericho. God wanted to do it ALL. We should let Him! Lol It certainly makes life easier! :-)

    CARRIE, you’re so wonderful for keeping up on everyone for me while I was gone. You’re one of those gals who is MY inspiration! Xxx

    LAURA! I got one of your books on my Kindle! I can’t wait to read it! It sounds a bit similar to mine where the hero is half Native American. I’m really looking forward to it! Thank you for all your encouraging words! And that beautiful cover is all compliments of my awesome publisher WhiteFire. They’ve been absolutely wonderful!

    PATTY I sure hope my writing can be pleasing to God and have added depth. The only way to do that is through lots of prayer as I put pen to paper. And MARY ANN I’m so glad you could stop by! Your prayers have meant the world to me!

    DAVALYN, I love your name! I’m so glad my testimony could encourage you. JULIE it’s so exciting to see you here! Thank you for your excitement! Yes! God IS in control! I just need to remember that. So often I try to take the control back, but I tell Him to hold on to it ‘cause I don’t want it. That’s really more for me, since I know He’s doing what I asked no matter what. I want His will to be done in my life, not my own will.

    ANNE you’re so right! The gates of heaven have been stormed on my behalf. I can’t tell you how much all your prayers have meant to me. You all have shown me God’s love. And thank you for your continued prayers, I need them. It’s so hard to regain strength when I still feel so weak. But God is able, and He will hold my hand. :-)

    FAYE, I sure hope you can get your hands on my books. I’d love for you to read them! NAOMI what a wonderful surprise to see you here! It’s so great to see you, and honestly, I’m so looking forward to reading your upcoming release! I didn’t sign up to be one of your “influencers” for a free book because I plan on buying it! I know how nice it is to get at least one extra sale! :-) Can’t wait!

    LYN I sure hope God has lots more for me to do. We’ll see what He wants. :-) He is amazing. He’s already amazed me just by the love and prayers that have come from all those I know and don’t know. He’s blown me away.

    JO, yes, we serve an awesome God! He deserved praise, whether things go our way or not. LORI it’s so true! I wondered why I didn’t give God the reins a lot sooner. I find that I have to do it over and over again. Not because God can’t handle it, but because I keep snatching them back! Old habits die hard.

    JANELLA I’m so glad you could be here, and that beautiful cover is because I have an awesome publisher! WhiteFire is the best!

    CARRIE bless you for covering for me while I was gone. Love you SO MUCH!!!

  42. An excellent interview! Praise God He healed you, Sandi. You didn't know it, but I was praying for you as well ~ I saw a post on the ACFW yahoo group. (Yes. I'm a lurker...) Isn't it amazing when God answers someone's prayer that all the people who were praying feel as though they've won as well?

  43. AMANDA, thank you so much for your prayers. When everyone was praying, I could see in my mind so many knocking on heaven's gates. It's such a great thought to think that those who were praying also feel like winners! It's so true! xxx

  44. What a great testimony. What a hard heart decision to give your kids over to God. That was very inspirational as I have 6 kids of my own. Please enter me as I would love to read one of your books. Thanks.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  45. AMY I'm so glad you could come by. Yes, it was a difficult thing to do. I just remember thinking about Abraham, how badly he wanted a son, and then having to prove (more to himself) that he loved God more. It's something we should all ask ourselves. It's not easy!

  46. Wow! Thank you for such an awesome testimony!

    Giving the lives of loved ones totally up to God can be difficult. I also had to do it and mean it, but once I had done this I had peace and assurance. That person is fit and well more than 30 years later and I always associate these verses with him Psalm 91:15-16

    ruthdell (at) mweb (dot) co (dot) za

  47. Sandy, thank you for opening up and sharing about what's going on in your personal life. What a miraculous testimony God's given you! My mom passed away from cancer 16 years ago, and I've often wondered what was going through her mind during those last few weeks. Now that I'm a mom, I imagine the agony it must have been for her knowing she'd not be part of her kids lives to help raise and nurture them.

    I'm so glad God has given you this new lease on life and that you'll be able to have more time with your family. What a priceless gift...Thanks again for your honest words-rejoicing with you over God's goodness! :)

  48. RUTH ANN and CHRISTINA - We are so glad God spared Sandi and gave her a second chance and that her kids have their sweet mommy!

  49. RUTH, thank you so much for those passages. I ended up reading the entire chapter it was so encouraging. Thank you!

    CHRISTINA, you would certainly be an encouragement to my own children, especially my teenage girls. They’ve watched me go through this with all the ups and downs, and it’s been a terrifying ride for them. I kept telling all my kids that Satan would try to use this to get to them. So, they need to stay strong in their faith and not allow Satan to win. They’ve done really well throughout all of this. I’m very proud of them, as I’m sure your mom is proud of you!

  50. NAOMI RAWLINGS - you are the WINNER! Congrats!


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