Character Interview: Nila Black from Kathleen Friesen’s Nila’s Hope
Today’s guest is Nila Black, the heroine of Kathleen Friesen’s excellent debut novel, Nila’s Hope. Thank you for being with us, Nila.
Thank you for inviting me.
I love your story. We’re not going to give a lot a way for our readers just to say that you’ve been through a lot. Let’s start by having you tell us a little about your life, where you’re from, what you do for a living.
I’ve always lived in Saskatoon, so I assume that’s where my parents lived. I grew up in foster homes, some good, some not. Can we leave it at that?
I’m an apprentice carpenter, and I work with a couple of really great guys – my boss, Daniel, and my co-worker, Will. Don’t tell Will, but I think he’s amazing. And awfully easy on the eyes.
You’re a carpenter. We don’t often see women in that line of work. I would be that occupation’s worse nightmare. Would you mind sharing why you like carpentry?
It surprised me, actually. When I moved in with Pastor Dave and Lydia, they hired Daniel and Will to finish out their basement, including a bedroom for me. Daniel let me use a table saw, and I was hooked. I loved the power controlled by my hands. So different from most of my life. And when they let me help with what turned out to be a beautiful space, I knew this was what I wanted to do.
Your story is one of a woman overcoming an abusive relationship. If you had someone that you knew who was in that type of a relationship, is there something that you would tell them that you wished you’d done differently during that time?
Run. That sounds flippant, but I wish I’d left the first time Nick hit me. But he convinced me it was a fluke – my fault, really, and he’d never do it again. Of course, he did, and it just got worse. So I would tell someone to talk to a trusted friend and let that friend help them. Ask the friend to be patient, because it will probably take more than one attempt. It may take several tries. Don’t give up! Make a detailed plan for escape. Give a few things at a time to that friend, so that when you do leave, you have something of your own. Especially make sure your friend has copies of important papers.
Wow! Those are actually steps I have never heard. So many times, we hear about an abused person leaving with only the clothes they are wearing. Excellent advice to plan ahead if at all possible. Along that same line of advice is there a scripture or a biblical precept that you leaned upon through everything that occurred that spoke into your life and might possibly speak into the lives of others who are enduring or have endured what you went through?
When it looked like Nick was going to get away with everything he’d done, God showed me Psalm 10, especially verses 14 through 16:
“But You, O God, do see trouble and grief; You consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked and evil man; call him to account for his wickedness that would not be found out.”
Isn’t that amazing?
That is an awesome Scripture for someone who is facing any evil. I know this is a tough question, but looking back on your life do you see clearly where God was there, even in the worst of times? If so, have you been able to answer the question of why God didn’t pull you from the situation right away?
In the worst times? I don’t know. I guess he was there, because I didn’t die. I’ll probably never understand why He allowed some of that stuff, but I know He loves me. If what I went through helps someone else, then I could see some purpose. Or maybe that’s what it took to make me what I am today. I don’t know all the answers, but I know Jesus does. That’s enough for me.
Well stated, Nila. I look forward to the interview with your author, Kathleen, on Wednesday.
More About Nila’s Hope:
Just when her career as a carpenter and a relationship with handsome co-worker Will Jamison are within reach, Nila Black’s abusive ex-boyfriend is released from prison. He’s out of jail, out for revenge, and making promises she knows he’ll keep. Nila will do whatever it takes to save her friends from the evil that will come their way if she doesn’t put distance between them-even if it means abandoning her new-found faith. It will take a miracle and an angelic messenger to show Nila that God is her greatest protector. He has never left her side, and He wants only the best for her and for the man she loves.
Once upon a time, there was a shy girl who loved to read. She found friends, adventure, and reasons to trust God in the pages of her favorite books. When she grew up, she carried a dream in her heart that some day she would join those authors long admired in the adventure of writing stories. Today Kathleen Friesen is writing and loving it. Her stories invite readers to risk faith, dare to love, and trust God with the consequences.
After thirty years on the Canadian prairies, Kathleen and her husband Ron now live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. They enjoy travelling, long walks in nature, and time spent with family and friends. And wherever they go, Kathleen’s on the prowl for ideas for her next book. Catch us with Kathleen on her website, and on Facebook.