17 September 2017

Heidi Chiavaroli -- Overcoming Fear With God's Help

Heidi Chiavaroli, welcome to Overcoming With God. We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 
Thank you so much for having me, Carrie!

Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
 Definitely, definitely fear. I was the little girl who would run to my Mom every time I got the smallest scrape, fearing it would somehow prove fatal. I was the girl who clung to the side of the pool for the entire 4th of July party, missing out on all the fun, even though I had a perfectly dependable bubble strapped to my back.
By God’s grace, some of this lessened as I grew and then…I had kids of my own! Talk about knowing fear. How would I protect them, raise them right, keep my patience? Add to that a particularly trying time in the northeast when New England was shaken up by the Boston Marathon bombing, just months after the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. I totally reverted back to my old fearful ways. I didn’t want to send my kids to school, I even called the police on a tax assessor who came to our door in the days following the bombing because I was fearful one of the brothers stood at my door (to me, the assessor looked just like the pictures all over the news). Crazy, but I was scared, just realizing—really realizing—that anything could happen any time or any place. I was not an exception to the evil in the world.
BUT I was able to explore this fear in the writing of this novel, and even work out my own struggles through it.

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
I’m so glad you asked this!
There are many, but here are two of my favorites:
Isaiah 41:10 – Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
This verse absolutely speaks to my heart. And I love that it’s one of those special prophecies, written about Jesus (my righteous right hand) hundreds of years before Jesus even showed up in Bethlehem. Love that.
The other is Romans 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I think we often go to this verse and think, “Okay, everything’s going to be good for me because I love God.” But that’s more of a health and wealth gospel, not the gospel Jesus died for. His gospel is so much bigger, bringing purpose out of pain and suffering. Though I often struggle with fear, this verse reminds me that no matter what, no matter how I see things, God has this, simply because I am his.

What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?
Marinating myself in God’s promises and the truth of His gospel. By realizing that belief isn’t just a one time thing. It’s an every second of every minute kind of thing. We need God for so much more than a one-moment-of-faith conversion. We need Him to sustain our own faith, even. At least I know I do!
Reading the writings of those strong in the faith also helped me, as well as attending a Bible study. Having sisters who sympathized with me and prayed for me made an absolute world of difference. And of course, my family. I don’t know what I’d do without their love, shown in tangible ways all the time.

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? 
I’m sorry—nothing yet! Hopefully down the line…
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  
Everyone has struggled with something they fear, or something in their past they would have done differently. This is both Annie’s and Liberty’s difficulty. Annie wonders how she will ever get past the day of the marathon bombing, and the subsequent choices she made. Liberty fears she will have to face the man she stole a ring from—a man who showed her nothing but kindness. She is also distraught over her brother’s death in the Boston Massacre.

Both these characters struggle with forms of PTSD (though certainly they didn’t label it such in colonial days!) Though we might or might not suffer from a similar disorder, we have all done things we regret. We struggle over our inability to have do-overs. We spend precious time fearing we will make the same mistakes, or fearing that we are simply not strong enough, not smart enough, not enough at all. And maybe we’re not. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a hope greater than us and our abilities.
BIO:
Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston's Freedom Trail. She writes Women's Fiction and won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle.
Heidi’s Links:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16080793.Heidi_Chiavaroli

Question you’d like to ask readers:How have you struggled with fear in your life? How has God used this in your life?

GIVEAWAY: Heidi is generously giving away a copy of her book to one of our commenters! 



37 comments:

  1. Don't pick me, I have it already at home on my TBR pile and I can't wait to read it. I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful interview. Love the scripture verses too. Have a blessed Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jeanne! I hope you enjoy the book!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for sharing your testimony with us on Overcoming With God, Heidi!! I'm so glad that with God's help you have conquered your fears, I look forward to reading Freedom's Ring.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fear is very real and no fun. I am cautious and sometimes fearful but I always remember that God is with me, he is on my side and he knows me better than anyone. He sees me through the ends and outs of life. mauback55 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, Melanie.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  4. I guess I have struggled with fear as long as I can remember. He has been with me and helped me to remember that most of the things I have been afraid of happening didn't. Other things did,and I not only survived but became stronger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so wonderful to hear, Jan.

      Thank you for stopping in and commenting. 😊

      Delete
  5. HEIDI thank you for sharing how you are overcoming fear; it's great having you on OWG today. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. HEIDI, thank you for sharing your overcoming journey!

    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Do not enter me, I have this book.
    Thank you, Heidi and Carrie for this wonderful interview.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for sharing your story! Fear is a big deal to me as I've had any challenges in my life. Thank you also for hosting this giveaway! ��

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fear is something very tangible in our life, especially in one of my daughter's. We pray through the fear, remind ourselves that His perfect love casts out fear, and hold on to His promises.
    Thank you for reminding me of who our God is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thank you, MH, for the reminder that perfect love does cast out fear. It's funny, because while I like to think I've overcome many of my fears, new ones always find me. But clinging to Him through it is part of our faith journey.

      Thank you for stopping by, MH!

      Delete
  10. I have always been afraid of most things in life. After my divorce from first husband the life fears really kicked in. My present husband and I started attending church together when we started seeing each other. We have been married two years and with alot of support and pray my fears are at a minimal. I put all trust in God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is beautiful to hear! We can definitely always find something to fear, but absolutely falling into God's arms is the answer to banishing them.

      Thank you so much for commenting!

      Delete
  11. I control my fears by putting my trust in God and praying. Thank you so much for the interview, as I really enjoyed reading it. Would love to read. Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for visiting with us, Heidi! I'm praying Tyndale sells the audiobook rights and I can listen to your new novel! Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie, it is a true honor to be here. I'll be praying for that, too. Blessings on you and your own journeys!

      Delete
  13. I can't think of any fears..this point in my life.Thank you for the
    Interview and giveaway. Would love to win a copy of this book .

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks so much for sharing your testimony, Heidi. I look forward to reading this book. I studied PTSD in college, and it was still rather misunderstood at that time. I can't imagine what it would have been like in Colonial times. Thanks for the giveaway. It would be lovely to win.
    bettimace at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great point, Betti. This is just one of the many areas that were handled so differently all those years ago, and yet, the feelings and the struggles are very similar.

      Thank you so much for commenting!

      Delete
  15. Thank you for sharing your story, Heidi! I can so relate to your struggle with fear through your life. Being a parent does bring whole new experiences with fear in wanting to protect your children. Fear could be all-consuming if I didn't have Jesus. Claiming Scripture and reaffirming it in my heart and mind is what sustains me. The verses you quoted are some of my favorites in dealing with fear, as well as 2 Timothy 1:7 & I Peter 5:7.

    Thank you for the opportunity of this giveaway! Your book sounds amazing! I can't wait to read it!! ~Alison Boss

    nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love those verses, Alison!

      Yes, as a parent, for me, it is so tempting to become an anxious control freak instead of trusting Jesus minute by minute and pressing into him. Thank you for reminding me of these encouraging verses today!

      Delete
  16. I got epilepsy at the age of 13. When I got pregnant with our first child, the neurologist didn't know 31 years ago how the medicine would effect the fetus. I was fearful for the baby, but at the same time, I knew God not only was in control but would not give me more than I could handle. So it was a constant minute by minute relying on Him daily. When I got pregnant with our second it was the same thing. God blessed all four of us richly and both children were born healthy and strong. They are to this day. The power of prayer and salvation is so very real. I have been able to use this illustration to help other women who are going through difficult times and cant seem to understand why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is absolutely amazing, Lori. Thank you for sharing. It touched my heart in a special way, too, because I struggled with seizures as a teen also.

      Praising Him for my healing, and for your healthy children. And I am so glad you are using these trials to help others. That is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing, Lori.

      Delete
  17. I constantly struggle with overcoming fear. It is so easy to let the fears talk. But everyday I pray to have a moment that I can overcome fear and being the child He wants me to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep pressing into Him, Terressa! You might not be able to be strong enough, but He can be your strength.

      Thanks so much for stopping in!

      Delete
  18. Great interview Carrie and Heidi!

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring testimony with us Heidi! The Scripture verses you quoted are some of my favorites as well. I especially like what you said about ..."marinating yourself in God's promises and the truth of His gospel"...oh, so true! You are a new-to-me-author, I look forward to reading Freedom's Ring, which I have on my very looooong TBR list.

    Blessings, Tina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words, Tina! And I am honored to be on your TBR list! ;)

      Delete
  19. Fear is not a huge issue in my life I would say... but having lost a younger sister in a car accident I do fear losing another close family member. And as my parents grow older I worry about dealing with that.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

Google Analytics