16 July 2017

Carolyn Miller Interview - Praising God Through Trials


Author Carolyn Miller

Carolyn, welcome to Overcoming With God. We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 
Thanks for having me - greetings from Australia!

Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
In 2001, after several years of marriage, my husband and I were thrilled to learn I was pregnant. I remember waking before dawn a few weeks later, knowing something was wrong. In those cold, dark hours as I watched a precious life ebb away, I felt challenged: I’d praised God in church only the day before—could I still praise God when my hopes crumbled?
I was struggling—wasn’t God supposed to work things out for good? This certainly didn’t seem good. And what if it meant I could never have children?
I felt this moment to be a crucial one in my relationship with God: would I somehow trust Him, despite my circumstances, or would I blame Him for not giving me my heart’s desire?
Despite everything, I chose to sing, and praise God anyway, with a broken heart, a voice that cracked, and a faith under siege. For me it was putting into practice what’s described in Isaiah 61 as “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness.” So I sang, amidst muffled sobs, in my lounge room, and praised God for His goodness, for His love, and for His promises. I knew this garment of praise was one that had to be ‘put on’ – it was a choice, requiring action, so opposite to what we naturally want to do. I was still desperately sad, but I believe that by praising God in that moment of heartbreak—and during those subsequent weeks and months—the depths of sorrow were eased by this decision to sing by faith.

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
I’ve always loved Romans chapter 8, where we’re reminded about God’s love in the midst of suffering: “Who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, no any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8.35, 37-39)

What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?
Remembering God’s love, recalling His faithfulness, was crucial in this time. I’ve always loved singing, so I found praising God in the midst of pain strangely therapeutic, like singing in defiance of my circumstances. I also wrote a number of songs that we sang in my church (and in other churches around Australia), that reaffirmed God’s love for us—singing out the promises of God always seems to help make them ‘stick’ a little better, and helps combat negative, fear-driven thoughts. Later, I found talking with other women who had undergone miscarriage very helpful. I’ve since found my experience of loss really beneficial in helping counsel others who are facing difficulties, as I can relate a little more deeply now, and offer encouragement that comes from God and His word.
Footnote: later that year my husband and I attended a conference where the pastor prayed for couples having trouble with pregnancy. We were prayed for, and he told us to come back next year and show him our baby. Twelve months later we did! (She’s now nearly 15, and has a sister and two brothers. God is good!)


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?
My first novel, The Elusive Miss Ellison, will be available in a large print edition later in the year, and I’m hopeful for the same for The Captivating Lady Charlotte. And I’d love to see them in audiobook format—we’ll have to wait and see J
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  

Question you’d like to ask readers:
Have you ever experienced or tried to help others with miscarriage? What did you find helpful, useful? What was not helpful?

BIO:
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has co-pastored a church for ten years, written songs and headed music ministry, and worked as a high school English and Learning and Support teacher.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.
Carolyn is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Australasian Christian Writers and Omega Christian Writers and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. Her latest Regency novel The Captivating Lady Charlotte released June 27, 2017, and follows her February debut release The Elusive Miss Ellison, both from Kregel Publications.

Carolyn’s Links: Connect with her at www.carolynmillerauthor.com and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, and follow via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Giveaway: We're giving away a paperback copy this week and Carolyn is offering an ebook copy.

30 comments:

  1. Carolyn, what a beautiful testimony! I had 3 miscarriages and ended up with a miracle baby, too. You were faithful to God in spite of your loss and He rewarded you for that!

    I loved The Elusive Miss Ellison and am looking forward to reading The Captivating Lady Charlotte as well. The covers are gorgeous!

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    1. Hi Diana! Wow, and I thought one miscarriage was hard. Praise God for your child! (What a good reminder to do so...)
      I'm so glad you enjoyed Miss Ellison's story, and I hope you enjoy Lady Charlotte's adventures as well. And yes, I agree, the covers are lovely!
      Thanks so much for your comments. God bless you :)

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  2. I loved The Elusive Miss Ellison and NEED to read The Captivating Lady Charlotte. Good writing and totally my thing!

    I, too, had a miscarriage. It was an extremely difficult weekend for me because another couple at church announced their pregnancy that Sunday in church. How to help someone? Really, you just have to let each person grieve in their own way. Be willing to listen/talk about the baby, their hopes, but not to say trite things like "Don't worry, you'll soon be pregnant again" or "God had a reason" or other such sayings. Deep in our hearts we know all those things but it's not helpful at the time.

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    1. Hi Arletta! I'm so pleased you enjoyed The Elusive Miss Ellison - I hope you enjoy her cousin's story too!
      What a challenging time that must have been at church then afterwards. I feel for you.
      I think you're right, as everyone will tend to grieve differently, sometimes it's best to just be a listening ear or a hand to hold or a safe place where the person can just 'be'. There's a time and a place for platitudes - and it's probably not in the midst of pain.
      Thanks for your comments. God bless you :)

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  3. The captivating lady Charlotte was an amazing book!

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    1. Thanks Marsha - I'm so glad you enjoyed! Xx

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  4. My best friend had miscarriage after miscarriage. Finally resigned herself to not having children. The sad fact is that she works with children. In a way though this has also healed her heart and soul. I found the best thing for me to do was to be her friend. Just be there for her.

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    1. I think we all tend to take it for granted that we will have children, then when circumstances or or bodies don't cooperate, our lives (and our faith) can sometimes take a battering. God bless your friend, Mary, as she works with children in a role God may very well have designed for her, and God bless you for being her friend.

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  5. I'm so grateful to have never experienced miscarriages, but jusf about everyone else I know has experienced them. I usually end up saying the wrong thing, but thankfully people are forgiving, just as the Lord is. I appreciate your testimony of faithfulness in trials! Although our trials may be different, we can all relate to the need to maintain an attitude of gratitude! 😉

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    1. Thank God for gracious friends! I know I've said the wrong thing many times.
      It's a good thing, isn't it, to reflect on the many blessings in our lives, especially in a society that often tells us to compare and be dissatisfied. Thanks for commenting :)

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  6. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing. We never know what trials we may face but God will always see us through.

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    1. Thanks so much Melanie! How true that is, and how important to remember when life doesn't work as we expect. Thanks for commenting :)

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  7. I was 40+ when I got married and never had or lost any children. Such a very sad, hard thing to go through.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. That is tough, Patty. (Sending you a hug from Australia ❤️)

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  8. I was a friend to someone who was married over 7 years before she was able to conceive a risky pregnancy. It was very difficult for her because it was almost expected it seemed for her to have kids and people would inevitably ask when she was going to start a family. She went through many difficult years and I was her friend as best as I could be. I was unmarried so I struggled having a married friend. Today I still haven't met that special someone and she has 2 beautiful children. All in God's time. :)

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    1. Hi Sabrina. I think that's a really helpful thing to remember: if we truly are trusting God, then we're trusting Him regardless of the outcome, or the timeframe. If we believe He loves us, then our circumstances shouldn't dictate our faith - but so often it does. (Sigh...) Thanks for commenting.

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  9. I've never had a miscarriage or knew anyone personally that had one. I'd be at a complete loss for words or what to do. I guess just being a shoulder to cry on or a good listening ear, or praying with them if they wanted that. No idea the "appropiate" reaction really. It would be a heart-wrenching time.

    Thanks for the giveaway chance!
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Hi Trixi. It's funny how much miscarriages are not talked about. I think asking God for wisdom, and being that listening ear, is more valued than we know. Thanks for commenting :)

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  10. What an amazing testimony! I really love that you found emotional healing through singing God's praises. When I was going through treatment for breast cancer the primary way I found strength to deal with it was through a group of contemporary christian songs that helped to keep my focus on God and His presence instead of my suffering.
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of your book.
    debbiewilder (at) comcast (dot) net

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    1. Hi Debbie. I think music holds a power far greater than we realize - and praise is even more powerful! Thanks so much for your comments. God bless you :)

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    2. Congrats, Debbie! You won a paperback copy of Carolyn Miller's new novel The Captivating Lady Charlotte on OWG blog!

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  11. Carolyn, thank you for sharing your testimony. I've had friends who have gone through the heartbreak of miscarriage. Words are so inadequate! I would cover them in prayer.

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your book.
    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Caryl. I believe prayer and praise are more valuable- and valued - than we realize. Thanks for commenting. God bless you :)

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  12. Carolyn, thank you for your beautiful testimony. I've just been there for those who experienced a miscarriage and letting them know they would be reunited one day with their infant. Your books sounds amazing. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.
    marilynridgway78 [at] gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks Marilyn. I think sometimes that's all we need, the knowledge that someone is there for us. Thanks for your comments. God bless you :)

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  13. I have known many women who have gone through miscarriages or stillborn children even. It breaks my heart. I personally have never gone through it, or if I did it was too near the beginning for me to know for sure if that was what was happening or not. I think for others I take cues from them what they would like others to do or how we can help them through that difficult time.

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    1. Hi Laura. Yes, if we can read others people's cues that certainly helps in being able to assist them. Thanks for your comment :)

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  14. Thanks for your inspiring testimony, Carolyn. I do believe that God works all things out for the good of those who love Him, through it is done in His timing - not ours. Congrats on those additional 4 children He has given you!!

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  15. Carolyn, what a beautiful & inspiring testimony. Thank you for sharing.

    My niece has had 4 miscarriages, she has 3 beautiful children. She & her husband praised God, much the same way you did, during their heartbreak.

    ...I am not entering...I really enjoyed The Captivating Lady Charolett.
    Blessings, Tina

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