|Author Kelly Goshorn|
Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
I’m going to tell you something that I don’t like admitting about myself. Most of my life I’ve been a quitter. Not because I’m lazy or afraid of hard work, but because I had allowed the fear of rejection and failure to rule my life. I’d learned to settle for second best, achieving the lowest bar rather than shooting for the stars. Mediocrity became my norm.
This worked for a long time and I was reasonably happy until my mid-forties when God placed the desire to write fiction on my heart. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write. Completely hooked, I pursued my new God-given passion vigorously until I made an uncomfortable realization. I’d have to let others read what I wrote and evaluate my work—evaluate me.
What had God gotten me into? In true God fashion, He had used this new passion he’d placed on my heart to lead me into a head-on collision with my biggest personal and spiritual obstacle—my fear of failure. I discovered that I’d never really trusted God to come through for me. Yes, I prayed and believed God would answer my prayers for others but would He do the same for me?
Conviction set in. I had to pour out my heart and confess to God that I believed He would meet others needs but not necessarily my own. I repented for believing that the finishing work of the cross wasn’t enough. That I didn’t trust He was faithful to do what He said He would do—for me.
The results have been liberating! I am no longer living what I call a ‘small life.’ I pray expectantly, believing God is who He says He is. He wants to work in and through us to accomplish His purposes. When we get out of the way, and trust God, He will work in and through us and His name will be glorified.
I can’t imagine living a more abundant life than that!
What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
As odd as it may sound, reading about Gideon. The Bible tells us in Judges 6:15 that Gideon was the least in his tribe and his tribe was the least in all of Israel. In other words he was big ‘nobody,’ just like me. God used this “nobody” to accomplish his mighty purpose and equipped him to fight the Midianite army with only 300 men! What a great story and it is a great story because God used a plain, ordinary man. I realized how much I’m like Gideon. I mean the man was hiding in a wine press. I could relate! I’d spent most of my life staying in the shadows hoping not to be noticed by God. And now that He was calling me to write I was terrified. I had no special writing skills, no formal training. I had no idea how to plot a story or what a character arc meant, but God had other plans for me. He wanted to teach me to fully rely on Him, not just in writing, but in every area of my life. I began to pray that God would raise me up a Gideon and use me however He wanted. For the first time in my life I truly believed that God would do this—for me!
What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?
The encouragement of the body of Christ. So many times I considered quitting—again. I cried over my keyboard and asked God to take this desire away, that I couldn’t do it. Every time He sent a word of encouragement from a critique partner or friend. I started an “encouragement file” so I could remind myself of the positive things people said about my story or my characters. Like most people, I have a tendency to focus on my shortcomings. I thanked God for this encouragement and promised to continue writing until he released me from this calling.
Kelly weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever- after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 26 years. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi. Her debut novel, A Love Restored, is under contract with Pelican Book Group.
You can connect with Kelly through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
Book blurb for Kelly’s upcoming release A Love Restored (Pelican, 2018):
She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.
Twenty-year old Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. She would rather read Jules Verne or teach Negro children to read and write than join the Women’s Benevolent Aid Society or practice her voice lessons. Her pert opinions and less than perfect figure keep many suitors away, but when Ruth Ann accepts a position teaching at the new Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer she is likely to receive. Should she risk life as a lonely spinster or reinvent herself to accept a proposal from a man she does not love?
Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. All he needs now is a woman to share his promising future. When Benjamin has a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, he is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?
Question you’d like to ask readers: Do you struggle with the fear of failure? If so, do you think it might be a type of perfectionism?