Character Interview: Noah Andrews from Tamera Lynn Kraft’s Soldier’s Heart
Noah, please tell us a little about yourself. I know the readers would love to know what you did prior to joining the Union forces, about your courtship with Molly.
That seems so long ago. I wish I could go back to those times. Molly has always been the love of my life. I saw a lot of her since her brother, Aaron, is my best friend. I think I knew I loved her the first time I pulled her pigtails when we were kids. The fire in her eyes made me laugh. But she’s a little bit younger than I am, so I waited until she was fourteen before asking to court her. I was eighteen at the time. Her father gave me his permission on the condition that we didn’t marry until she turned sixteen. I knew I could support her. I have a nice size farm outside of Ravenna. When the war broke out, I was torn. I felt honor bound to fight for my country, but if I enlisted with the Ohio Seventh, I had to leave the day after her sixteenth birthday. We decided not to wait. We married the day before I left.
Life in your hometown has changed since you’ve been off to war. What strikes you the most about those changes?
I’m not really sure it’s changed that much. Of course, the grief caused by so many men dying on the battlefield affects everyone. But I think I’m the one who changed. Everybody here is pretty much the way I remember. That’s comforting in a way, but it’s hard. I’d like to go back to being the friendly laid back man everyone remembers, but I can’t seem to manage it.
Noah, I understand that although you are no longer on the battlefield, a battle still rages in your soldier’s heart. Today, long after your battles are over, soldiers and their spouses still may suffer from the same disorder. Would you mind sharing a Scripture that helps you during those times?
It’s a verse I memorized a long time ago. My father was the town drunk. That made things rough for my mom and me. But Reverend Haskell helped me trust in God during the hard times by reminding me that God would give me the strength I need to get by. The verse is Isaiah 41:10. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Quoting this verse when I start to have one of these episodes seems to help, at least most of the time.
Since the war, has your spiritual life deepened? If so, what do you attribute to that deepening spiritual walk with Christ?
With all I’m going through, I would have thought my spiritual life would suffer. After all, I do have soldier’s heart. That’s something I’m not proud of. I keep thinking if I had been closer to God, I wouldn’t be going through this. But it doesn’t work like that. It seems the weaker this makes me, the more I have to rely on Christ to get me through the day. I find I’ve grown closer to Him than I’ve ever been. I guess the Apostle Paul was right when he said that Christ is shown strong through our weaknesses. Anyway, it doesn’t seem that Christ is mad at me for not doing better. Instead, He’s right there with me.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” When God says, “all things” I believe He means even the bad things that happen to us. You saw some horrendous acts of violence. You lost friends in the heat of battle. You didn’t come away unscathed, but did you discover on this side of Heaven the good that came from the bad?
I’m still working on that one. I know this verse is true because the Bible says it, but seeing my squad being gunned down, well, I can’t see the good in that. Maybe I’ll never know what good has come from it until I get to the other side. Or maybe when I accept it, I’ll manage to get through this soldier’s heart I’m suffering with. All I know is that bad things happen, but God is still good.
About Solider’s Heart:
After returning home from the Civil War, will his soldier’s heart come between them?
Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.
But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction because there are so many stories in history. Soldier’s Heart is her first published fiction work, and she has a Christmas novella coming out December 1st called A Christmas Promise. Tamera has recently celebrated her thirty-fourth anniversary with her loving husband. She has two grown and married children and two grandchildren.
Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over twenty years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
On Wednesday, Tamera will share with us about Soldier’s Heart, and on Friday,she’ll share how you might win a copy of this very enjoyable novel.