|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?
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.