Stories of faith, life, and love

Tag: Sara Foust

Where’s your Hope?

sara 1Sometimes loving hurts.

As a mother I’ve watched my children make choices that are not only wrong but can also have devastating effects in their lives. My instincts may be to protect them from themselves, but this isn’t always the loving thing to do. There are occasions when mercy is called for, but there are also times when we try to dress up our enabling actions as the more godly characteristic of mercy. When our children are so enmeshed in patterns of poor choices, whether they are sinful or just not the best route to take, we reach the point that loving them means stepping back and letting them face hard consequences. At times like these, loving hurts.

As a friend I’ve had to respectfully and lovingly disagree with choices or beliefs held by those closest to me. When their beliefs are not in line with God’s word, the loving thing for me to do is approach them about it. It hurts to love them when they choose to continue in the wrong direction, especially when those choices are harmful to them beyond spiritually.

As a wife I’ve experienced disappointment with my spouse. We’re human, and we fail each other. At times, those failings can be devastating to our ways of life, our emotional connections, or our trust. If behaviors are repeated we can pray for our spouse but we can’t make them change. In any of these times loving someone can mean hurt for us.

If loving others can cause such pain, how can we even stand to choose love? It takes hope. Just ask Amy Dawson from Camp Hope by Sara Foust. Her childhood was marked by events that told her love wasn’t worth it. Due to a couple special people in her life, Amy was able to choose love anyway by dedicating her life to run a camp for foster children who need a safe haven and a lot of love. It isn’t always easy, especially given her own issues, but she does it every summer.  At the start of her story we also see Amy has chosen to give love to another needy child by becoming a foster mother. Balancing both takes effort, but Amy is determined.

When the unthinkable happens and her foster daughter is kidnapped, Amy once again faces the pain of loving. Her friends and the authorities blame the only man Amy ever loved, and at times she considers him a suspect as well. Due to the kidnapping, she faces losing her foster daughter forever even if she is found. Authorities think the search is pointless believing her little girl is dead.  Amy doesn’t believe them.

Making it her mission to find her foster daughter Amy takes off into the wilderness with meager supplies and the prayers of her friend to carry her through. The challenges of the terrain, the need to determine who she can trust, the pain of her past, and her fears for her foster daughter all push Amy further than she can handle on her own. She has to let go and find her hope in God despite the circumstances.  Learning where her hope comes from allows Amy to continue opening her heart to love even when loving hurts and the outcome is unsure.

We can find the same hope in the times when it’s difficult to love and we’re doubtful of how everything is going to turn out.  Scripture doesn’t say God will take away all the difficulties we face or smooth out all the wrinkles in our personal relationships. What He will do is change our hearts and attitudes if we let Him. He will give us strength and peace that doesn’t make sense to the world around us. When we come boldly before Him and lay our requests at His feet, He listens. When we draw near to God, He promises to draw near to us. When we focus on Him and open our hearts to what He wants to do in us through the things we face, the circumstances may still be painful but we also begin to see Him working. We see the truth that no matter how long the painful situation remains in our lives, we are not facing it alone and it is not in vain. God will bring beauty out of it, for us and for those we love when we let Him. This is our hope when loving hurts.

“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both secure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” – Hebrews 6:19-20

By the Book: Take time to learn God’s promises for us. Commit them to memory or write them on a notecard. Use them to draw near to Him and meditate on them during the painful times in your life. Let His words remind you of the hope you have.

Where's your Hope?

sara 1Sometimes loving hurts.
As a mother I’ve watched my children make choices that are not only wrong but can also have devastating effects in their lives. My instincts may be to protect them from themselves, but this isn’t always the loving thing to do. There are occasions when mercy is called for, but there are also times when we try to dress up our enabling actions as the more godly characteristic of mercy. When our children are so enmeshed in patterns of poor choices, whether they are sinful or just not the best route to take, we reach the point that loving them means stepping back and letting them face hard consequences. At times like these, loving hurts.
As a friend I’ve had to respectfully and lovingly disagree with choices or beliefs held by those closest to me. When their beliefs are not in line with God’s word, the loving thing for me to do is approach them about it. It hurts to love them when they choose to continue in the wrong direction, especially when those choices are harmful to them beyond spiritually.
As a wife I’ve experienced disappointment with my spouse. We’re human, and we fail each other. At times, those failings can be devastating to our ways of life, our emotional connections, or our trust. If behaviors are repeated we can pray for our spouse but we can’t make them change. In any of these times loving someone can mean hurt for us.
If loving others can cause such pain, how can we even stand to choose love? It takes hope. Just ask Amy Dawson from Camp Hope by Sara Foust. Her childhood was marked by events that told her love wasn’t worth it. Due to a couple special people in her life, Amy was able to choose love anyway by dedicating her life to run a camp for foster children who need a safe haven and a lot of love. It isn’t always easy, especially given her own issues, but she does it every summer.  At the start of her story we also see Amy has chosen to give love to another needy child by becoming a foster mother. Balancing both takes effort, but Amy is determined.
When the unthinkable happens and her foster daughter is kidnapped, Amy once again faces the pain of loving. Her friends and the authorities blame the only man Amy ever loved, and at times she considers him a suspect as well. Due to the kidnapping, she faces losing her foster daughter forever even if she is found. Authorities think the search is pointless believing her little girl is dead.  Amy doesn’t believe them.
Making it her mission to find her foster daughter Amy takes off into the wilderness with meager supplies and the prayers of her friend to carry her through. The challenges of the terrain, the need to determine who she can trust, the pain of her past, and her fears for her foster daughter all push Amy further than she can handle on her own. She has to let go and find her hope in God despite the circumstances.  Learning where her hope comes from allows Amy to continue opening her heart to love even when loving hurts and the outcome is unsure.
We can find the same hope in the times when it’s difficult to love and we’re doubtful of how everything is going to turn out.  Scripture doesn’t say God will take away all the difficulties we face or smooth out all the wrinkles in our personal relationships. What He will do is change our hearts and attitudes if we let Him. He will give us strength and peace that doesn’t make sense to the world around us. When we come boldly before Him and lay our requests at His feet, He listens. When we draw near to God, He promises to draw near to us. When we focus on Him and open our hearts to what He wants to do in us through the things we face, the circumstances may still be painful but we also begin to see Him working. We see the truth that no matter how long the painful situation remains in our lives, we are not facing it alone and it is not in vain. God will bring beauty out of it, for us and for those we love when we let Him. This is our hope when loving hurts.
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both secure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” – Hebrews 6:19-20
By the Book: Take time to learn God’s promises for us. Commit them to memory or write them on a notecard. Use them to draw near to Him and meditate on them during the painful times in your life. Let His words remind you of the hope you have.

Full of Character with Sara Foust and Giveaway

saraToday I want to welcome Sara Foust to Full of Character. Sara has two fiction books available, Callum’s Compass and Camp Hope. Both can be purchased on Amazon, with Camp Hope currently available as a pre-order. Sara also has stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul:Step Outside Your Comfort Zone and Heavenly Humor for the Cat Lover’s Soul.

Let’s get to it and find out more about Sara! And don’t forget to read all the way through. Sara’s giving away one of her books, and the entry information is at the end of this post!

What character from the books you’ve read has impacted you more than all the others?

Adah Knepp from Kelly Irvin’s novel A Plain Love Song. It was reading Adah’s story of learning to follow God’s plan for her life that made me realize I needed to do the same. It led me to my first mission trip this past May to the Philippines.

I’ve always loved the fact that God can use even fiction stories to grow us and challenge us. What character you created was the easiest to write? The hardest?

The female characters are always easier to write because I can put pieces of myself into them. The male characters are usually a bit harder, because, though I’ve been married to one of these male species for 14 years, it is still hard to know what they naturally think! My newest novel, Camp Hope, stars Amy Dawson, a scarred but headstrong woman. I think the headstrong, independent parts of her character were easy to write.

I wonder if that means there is a headstrong, independent woman in you. Scripture is full of real people who had character to spare. Which one do you most relate to or enjoy reading about?

This is a hard question! I’d like to think I am like Abigail, a wise and patient wife. However, I’m not sure that’s entirely true. Ruth’s story of how hard she worked is inspiring too. Ruth 2:12, The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust, was my personal verse for my recent mission trip. It reminded me that no matter how scared I was, I ultimately trust God explicitly, implicitly, all the -plicitlies, and want to be willing to follow Him no matter where He leads.

Ruth’s story is a great one. Abigail’s too, but you don’t hear about her as often. Do you plan your characters and their backstories before you begin writing or are you as surprised by them as your readers?

I am a planner. I usually spend a couple weeks developing my characters, their backstories, lies, flaws, etc. before I begin writing. But that doesn’t mean that sometimes they don’t still surprise me!

If someone wrote a movie about you, who would you like to play your character? Why?

I honestly have no idea. I’m not great at remembering movie stars’ names and roles they’ve played. It would need to be someone a little bossy, organized, and in love with nature.

I’ll have to think on that one. I’m not sure who fits that description. And thank you Sara for participating in this interview. 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

If you’d like to ask Sara a question or maybe even give us your idea of who might play her based on her description, please leave it in the comments. Everyone (in the US) who comments will be entered into a drawing to win one of Sara’s books! The winner will be drawn and announced next Monday. I’ve reviewed Callum’s Compass and interviewed one of her characters in my previous posts. You can find both in my archives. 

Main Character Monday #1

MCMphoto

Welcome to Main Character Monday. It’s a little different than my regular blog posts, a little more lighthearted. But stick with it, and you just might find some characters you’d like to read more about. And even though it isn’t my usual devotional style, you may still come away with an encouraging word from the Word. I hope you enjoy Main Character Monday!

Today’s Guest is Kat Williams from Callum’s Compass by Sara L. Foust. Thank you for joining me Kat.

Could you please share with us your favorite Bible verse?

Psalm 103:12 (KJV)– “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” This verse reminds me that God loves me, no matter what my past indiscretions and sins have been. When He forgives, He forgives for good, and I am very thankful for that.

Is there a person from the Bible that you most relate to?

Boy, this is a hard question. Maybe Thomas. I never believed God didn’t exist, but I did doubt that God could love me. Thomas doubted that Jesus had arisen, and until Thomas could see for himself the proof he refused to believe. Until I finally humbled myself to the power of God’s forgiveness and love, and saw for myself that beautiful Light, I doubted that it was possible for me to ever feel free from Callum’s death. I miss my little brother every day, but I don’t blame myself for his death any more. That is God’s love working in my life.

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Is there one of these characteristics you find easier to show than the others?

It is easiest for me to exhibit self-control because I have always been a bit timid and self-conscious. Even to a point that I am a little too in control. For many years now, I had been stuck in guilt from my past over losing my little brother Callum. Over the years, self-control became a habit. And I withdrew even farther into my shell. I am so thankful Clayton (I miss him!) believed in me and offered me a “taste of adventure” to help me break free from that self-created prison!

Which one is the most challenging for you?  

What hadn’t been easy for me was love. I blamed myself for Callum’s death and felt unworthy of love from anyone, even God. It took a treasure hunt filled with danger and a handsome new friend with a past loss of his own to show me that love is possible, even for me.

If you could give one message to those reading this interview, what would you tell them?

God loves you unconditionally. You have never done anything so “bad” that He doesn’t still love you. It took a long time for me to realize that. I wasted a lot of years missing out on life and love because of my guilt.

Just for Fun:

Dark or Milk Chocolate? Milk chocolate

Beach or Mountains? Mountains!

Sweet Tea or Lemonade? Sweet tea!

If you could describe Sara Foust in three words, what would those words be? Faith-filled catalyst. If it weren’t for Sara pushing me into a situation (really, several situations) I was extremely uncomfortable with and forcing me to deal with my past, I never would have discovered the light of God’s love.

Thank you for joining me for my first Main Character Monday! I hope you enjoyed it. Callum’s Compass is available from Amazon in both ebook and paperback. And thank you, Sara Foust, for letting us get to know Kat a little better!

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