Many, many moons ago (like three years), I started a new feature interviewing authors of upcoming or newly release books that I believe my readers would love. The last few years have seen a lot of changes in my life, and this blog has fallen by the wayside. But tonight, I'd like to share a book with you that is causing me to re-think my ability to forgive and receive forgiveness. I hope you will enjoy the interview as well as the book.
Q&A with Laurie Coombs
Author of Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness
Q: What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
A: I’m just a girl who loves Jesus. Someone who believes God enough to follow His lead. I love my husband and children more than I can ever say. I love spending time with my family and friends. I drink entirely way too many soy chai tea lattes. I am terrible at keeping a workout schedule. And I feel most alive when I speak about Jesus.
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: My family is most certainly my greatest blessing here on this earth. My husband, Travis, and I have been married almost fourteen years but have been together for close to eighteen. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long––we were just babies, seventeen and eighteen years old, when we began dating.
Travis and I have two wonderfully amazing daughters, who are seven and nine years old, who we absolutely adore. But our family is not finished yet. We’ve been in the process of adopting from Ethiopia for almost five years now and are in the home stretch to bring our three year old little boy and five year old little girl home! Quite honestly, we cannot wait to see this epic journey come to completion, and so prayers are very much appreciated!!
Q: Have you written other nonfiction books?
A: Not yet! But I have a sneaking suspicion God might call me to write a book on faith and belief enough to follow Him in the hard places. I have so many more incredible stories of God’s faithfulness in the face of difficult circumstances in me, but we’ll just have to wait and see where He leads!
Q: Do you have any other books in the works right now?
A. Letters from My Father’s Murderer has been keeping me pretty busy over the last three years, and I quite honestly haven’t had much time for anything else. I told my husband I’m never going to write another book, when I was in the thick of it a few months back. His response made me chuckle. He told me writing a book is probably like having a baby––toward the end, you think you’ll never do it again, but once you give birth––and see the fruit of your labor––you get amnesia of sorts and are ready to do it all over again. I think Travis is right. This will not be my only book.
Q: What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
A: I absolutely love doing just about anything outdoors––hiking, camping, backpacking, snow skiing––and so does the rest of my family. Together with some of our closest friends, we spend most weekends outside, enjoying God’s creation in one form or another.
Aside from that, I love to read. I can often be caught reading four or five books at the same time (though not in one sitting). And I’d say one of my favorite things to do is to share dinner with our closest friends while our gaggle of kids run around playing with one another.
Q: Why did you write the featured book?
A: To be honest, I didn’t initially want to write this book. I wanted to share my story, but I knew that writing it in a book would require me to bare all. I knew I’d have to share difficult things, and I quite honestly didn’t want to. But greater than my resistance was my desire to see people experience freedom and redemption and healing as I had. I wanted God to be glorified for what He had done in and through my life.
I knew God was calling me to write this book. And I knew God well enough to know that if I answered that call I’d most assuredly see lives change as a result of the message He has given me. God allowed me to see that good could come out of the ashes of my past. That I could play a small part in the grand story He has been unfolding since the beginning of time. That I could participate in what He’s doing in the here and now, for the good of many. And so, I chose to say yes, and of course, I’m now completely on board with God’s plan for my life.
Q: What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
A: Hope is at the heart of my message. God truly has worked all things for good in my life. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” The first part of Genesis 50:20 says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” God brings good out of evil. Love out of hate. Peace out of despair. I believe it is His desire to do this for every one of us. You see, our pain won’t be wasted. We don’t have to sit in it. If we bring our pain, past and present, to God, He will redeem it.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
A: I’d like the readers to know that we all have wounds. Every one of us. And my pain is no more valid than yours or anyone else’s. I believe pain is pain, regardless of its cause. But here’s the thing, Jesus came that we might have life. Life to the full. He came to bind the brokenhearted. To proclaim freedom to the captives. To release prisoners from their darkness. To comfort all who mourn. To bestow a crown of beauty instead of ashes. In short, He came to redeem. To make us new.
Jesus once said that we will have troubles in this life, “but,” He said, “take heart for I have overcome the world.” Troubles will come, pain will be felt, but our troubles and our pain are not without purpose. God uses everything. Nothing goes to waste. If He allows something to take place, it is because He has a plan for it. There is absolutely nothing we might face that won’t be used by God.
Q: Where on the Internet can the readers find you?
A: I write at LaurieCoombs.org but can also be found on iBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com. I also have had the honor of being featured in Billy Graham’s most recent film, Heaven, which can be viewed online at My Hope with Billy Graham. It’s well worth the time to watch!
Laurie Coombs is a passionate writer and speaker on the issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the hope found in Jesus. She is the author of Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness, an incredible true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God. Her story was featured in Billy Graham’s film, Heaven, and she is a featured writer and blogger for iBelieve and Crosswalk. Laurie and her husband, Travis, make their home in Nevada along with their two daughters, Ella and Avery. Be sure to visit LaurieCoombs.org or connect with Laurie on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.