15 October 2017

Kelly Goshorn Author Interview

Author Kelly Goshorn

Kelly, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 

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.

BIO:
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 FacebookTwitterPinterest 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?











































20 comments:

  1. I have decided that I am me, I will do the best I can each day so there is no room for failure. Thank you for a great interview. mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Melanie, I think you are very wise. I'm 52 and it took me about 50 years to learn that. Slow learning curve! LOL! Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Don't really struggle with it. I am blessed to be where I am in live. Wonderful interview. Looking forward to reading her book.

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    1. Hi Ann, Nice to see you here! I agree. As I told Melanie above, it took me quite a long time to learn that. I spent a great deal of time focussing on what I couldn't do or what I lacked, rather than my strengths. I love that God wants to use us, often through our weaknesses. Have you heard the song Broken Things by Matthew West. Speaks to my heart!

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  3. Love the interview. So honest and heartfelt. I want to start so many projects. I don't though, because of my fear of trying and failing. Perfectionist?, I think not.

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    1. Hi Karen, Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words. And ya know, for a long time I didn't consider myself a perfectionist. I mean I don't know that a psychologist would agree with me either. My mom was a classic perfectionist. Everything was neat and tidy and done just right. In fact, the mantra in our home was "if you're going to do something, do it right or don't do it at all." Well, that's a pretty high standard to attain. I quickly learned it was better not to try, than to try, fail, learn something from the effort and try again. I was often chided growing up for not "sticking with" ballet or scouts, etc but why would I when I could never be perfect? I learned that not doing it all was better than failing. Now I've learned to see the my growth in the process. It's a much more freeing way to live, that's for certain!

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  4. I guess I never thought about it but maybe I do and that's why I don't try things that I don't think I'll do well at. I guess you have given me something to think about, thank you!

    wfnren at aol dot com

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    1. Hi Wendy, nice to meet you! Its quite a long journey. I still struggle sometimes to believe that I can do what God is calling me to do. I've had a very hard time writing a second book. At times I let those nagging voices of self-doubt creep back in. I realized that God had been so faithful to me but when I don't trust in Him and in the gifts He's given me that I'm being faithless. Sometimes, I have to learn the same lessons over and over again.

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  5. Thank you Kelly for your testimony! This is a fear I really struggle with. Reading this helps me to know I'm not alone and that we should trust God to help us through our fears. May God bless you always!

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    1. Thank you, Lynne. I'm honored that anything I might have to say would be helpful to you! I still struggle, I want to be clear about that--especially with my weight. That's another issue I want to come back and talk about on Overcoming with God after my book comes out. I've really had to struggle to believe that God will change my habits and I can lose weight and keep it off. When I was diagnosed with diabetes last fall, I was so discouraged. I thought how will I ever do anything to improve my weight and overall health. I've failed--big time, too! I've lost 50lbs twice and gained it back. I didn't even have the courage or wherewithall to try again. But I've been working at it slowly and have made progress and just the other day while praying and walking the dog I believed for the first time I'm going to keep it off. Not the "I'm going to keep it off" that comes from the flesh, but that deep down belief that God is who He says e is and that if I believe, He will change me. I have to pray expectantly with thanksgiving. So that's what I do. I thank Him for what He is and will do in this area of my life. Wow, I sure do talk alot! LOL! Too bad I can't burn calories doing that! LOL!

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  6. Hi, Kelly. Just what I needed to hear! You got, girl, and thanks!
    Kim

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    1. Thank you, Kim! May God raise us each up a Gideon! Amen!

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  7. Thank you for sharing Kelly. I can't wait to read your book!
    I'll be honest here. I still deal with issues left over from childhood, drilled into my head and heart that everything I do is "half a**ed" or "not good enough."
    I read your response to a previous comment about your mom's house. My mom was similar but expected the house to be magazine perfect, meaning a magazine camera crew should be able to show up and take pictures at anytime. Thankfully, that didn't rub off on me unless the magazine is titled "Messy's!" She's not as obsessed anymore either.
    I try to do the best I can with what I've got.
    Kelly, I also want to say "thank you" again for reaching out to me when you. You have no idea what that meant for me.

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    1. Hi Andrea, The last few words of the sentence were cut off but I think your talking about the books. You're welcome and I'm so glad. I'm making another pile to send you actually! Yes, those childhood things really do creep in and stay there. Sometimes the things our young ears hear, we pick up and play over and over like a needle stuck in a scratch on a vinyl record! Boy, I just dated myself with that comment! When I was first married, I clean the house on a tear when mom would come to visit. My husband had never seen me like that. My stress poured out onto him and then he got stressed. When we moved back to VA just 5 minutes from mom's I spent three years cleaning and eating TUMS! I've slowly settled into a level of clean that works for me. I'm okay with some dirt and dust, I just try to keep it manageable. And on a funny note, as mom aged she mellowed a bit. She would tell me how clean my baseboards were. I told her she needed to get her glasses cleaned because I cleaned them about as often as i ever did which was pretty much never! LOL! So glad you stopped by!

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  8. Yes! Fear of failing is so crippling and puts us in the 'small life' camp. I finally began to get rid of tha fear in my late 20s. So glad I did because life's much more fun when you don't worry about failing.

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    1. Hi Toni, You learned that lesson must faster than I did! I would like to go back knowing what I know now. Then again, this is the path God has chosen for me. Perhaps I should just rejoice I "get it" for the rest of the journey.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony of overcoming fear. I overcame fear when I returned to graduate school as a non-traditional student. God blessed every need and I was honored to be voted the Graduate Student of the year in the Counseling Program. I overcame a lot of fear and even developed a special support group for disabled young women that had been sexually abused. Only when I surrendered my needs and fears to the Lord He graced me to do exceeding more than I had ever expected. Praise His Name.

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  10. Hi Marilyn, Congrats on that award. What a wonderful testimony! It can be really scary to stretch ourselves in ways we think we cannot. You are right, only when we surrender our desires to His will can we learn to walk in the abundant life Christ has for us!

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  11. Kelly, thank you for this great post! Yes, I struggle in this area. The Lord is stretching me in several areas of my life.

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