Welcome Linda! It’s great to have you with us today. I’m so excited to hear about you and your ministry. Please, tell us about what you’ve been up to.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? What led you to writing?
My name is Linda Kay. I am married to a wonderful man who loves and supports me even when I get messy. I am a mom of five grown children and have four beautiful grand kids. They call me Granny because I was quite a young grandma when the first one was born, so my daughter asked me what I wanted to be called. The furthest thing from me I could thing of was Granny Klampett from the Beverly Hillbillies. So, Granny I became. LOL
What led me to writing? God. Quite a few years ago, when I was still not where I should have been with Him, God gave me a vision one night. It was of me on a large stage, such as the Honda Center, speaking to a group of people. I had just finished and brought my daughter up on stage as an example of God’s grace and forgiveness. And that vision has stuck with me ever since. You know it’s a vision and from God when it just won’t leave you alone. I can still see it even as I write about it now. Then a few years later, He told me to “write it” and the speaking would come. So, writing it is.
Can you tell us about your writing background or training? Do you write alone or have a writing group or editor?
I first started writing when my fourth-grade teacher gave me extra credit for turning in stories I had written. Who knew back then! They were pretty awful as I recall. But my mom keeps reminding me that one of the stories where I had predicted that we would have telephones where we could see each other talk has come true. And then, I wrote a successful real estate blog when I was a Realtor. And finally, after God said to write, I started writing this book about my experiences.
So far, I write alone. I am hoping to start a new Meet Up for writers in 2019 where we meet and write; kind of like an accountability group. That would be awesome. And I don’t have an editor, but one of my friends from Facebook has done magazine editing in the past, and she helped me out with this project.
Can you tell us briefly about the book? Why did you write it, and what do you hope to accomplish by telling this story?
The book is about overcoming shame and guilt and of course the redemption of Jesus Christ. He promised to give back “what the locusts have eaten” and boy, has He!
I wrote this book not only because God said so, and He was specific in His instructions, but also because God showed me a lot of women in the church walking around shackled by guilt and shame. They are still afraid of everything and can’t do the work Jesus calls them to do. It says in Ephesians 2:10 that God gave us all assignments and we are to “walk in them”. Do them. And in Revelation 3:2 it says, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.” We can have unfinished business.
So from this book, I hope to accomplish two things. First, I hope to wake up some ladies. They must get healed from this shame and guilt to move forward and walk in their work. Boldly. And secondly, for those women and girls out there that think they have too many obstacles to overcome, that there is more than one thing to get over in their lives, my book shows that this is a lie from the devil. They are not too bad, they are not counted out. They can come to Jesus. They can receive new life, they can be healed and have hope and a purpose.
What were your biggest challenges writing the book?
Goodness, you want to hear about that? The first book I wrote, the very first draft, was awful, painful, raw, real, and hard to get through. I figured that I just wasn’t cut out for writing and what was God thinking! So I stopped writing. For like four years. Then God said, “It’s time to write.” So I did it again and quickly realized this was painful, too. How could this ever help anyone? So, you guessed it, I questioned God and quit again. This time only for a short period of time. He kept saying, “Keep going.” So finally, after two more drafts, it was coming together and flowing. It is full of hope and people have told me that they read it cover to cover because they just couldn’t put it down. And I’ve heard that it’s giving people hope for their future, hope with Jesus.
What I concluded from all that is God wanted me to work all the grief and hurt out of me so I could write and eventually speak about it. And I have spoken about it a few times now. I hope to speak, giving hope and encouragement to more ladies in the future.
How did God figure into the process?
God has been leading me and guiding me all throughout this process. If it wasn’t for Him, this would not be. From Him encouraging me to keep going, to the people He placed in my life to give wisdom and words of encouragement and never let me give up or quit.
And once, He gave me another vision. I was at an amusement park with some friends and I thought I just couldn’t keep up. I was beginning to stop trying when all of a sudden I was near the back stage of the management of the entire park. If you don’t know me, bright shiny object huge! Of course I had to go in, I had to stop and turn, just like Moses did with the burning bush. He had to stop and turn to the bush. Anyway, I went into what looked like a big warehouse and there were all sorts of creatures there and all were working. I kept walking in further and further until someone finally noticed me. He looked at me and said, “Oh you! You’re not supposed to be here yet. You’re early.”
So what I got/get from that is that I’m not going with all of those other women, stop trying to keep up. And that I needed to slow down and stay in step with the Spirit or I would be too early. I was so excited in my dream that I was going to be of use in building the “amusement park” that I actually was happy. The amusement park is heaven, or the church, and I am honored to be able to be of use in the building and running it. I just have to slow down and stop comparing myself and my work to others.
And of course, He keeps on guiding and presses me when it’s time to move forward.
What major lessons did you learn about yourself, humanity, and God?
I learned that I still am susceptible to the old wounds that I thought were long gone. See, God says He will make all things new. It happens sometimes all at once. But sometimes, we have to put in the work to study and with the Holy Spirit’s help, we are continually becoming new. It’s like being sick. When healing happens all at once, we call it a miracle. But when it takes some time, we usually see that as a no. But really, that may be God’s work in you over time. We just have to follow God and be patient.
I think the word I am looking for here is perseverance. There are two meanings and both apply:
1) Steady persistence in course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
2) Theology: continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.
What are your future writing goals?
I think the next stop may be a study guide for this book. The chapters are by topic. Abuse, pregnant teenager, unequally yoked, divorces, bad parenting, and sexual abuse. These are topics that some women may find useful to work through for themselves. After that, I believe I am supposed to write Bible studies and speak.
What are 1 or 2 things you hope readers will remember about your story?
That in spite of all those horrible things, some done to me and some I did myself, God still comes after you, loving you and making a way for you. All you have to do is repent and be baptized and then follow Him. And that He does replace the years the locusts have eaten. There’s a story about how He did this for me in my book.
How can people contact you?
My email address is LindaKay10@Ymail.com, My Facebook page is called Go Beyond Bride LindaKay, and my closed group for women only is called Going Beyond Shame and Guilt. You must request to be in this group because, 1) it’s for women only and so I need to check. And 2) Some of the women share their own stories, or have in the past. It needs to be private so that they will feel comfortable sharing. This is a huge step in overcoming, and sometimes it takes encouragement from others to get over a hill. My website is Go Beyond Online. On this site, you will have opportunities to participate in two separate workshops, an in person, online Bible study, get a free PDF about the affects of shame and purchase my book if you so feel led.
Thank you, Linda, for sharing your story and incredible vision with us. May God continue to richly bless you as you faithfully serve Him and his daughters. Readers, please visit Linda at her various social media platforms and discover how she can help you fulfill your spiritual goals.