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.)