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Posts tagged ‘Kathleen Friesen’

Discovering Nila’s Hope by Kathleen Friesen

NilasHope_h11737_300I fell in love with Nila Black while writing my first novel, Melody’s Song. My heart broke for Nila’s hopelessness caused by years of neglect and her current abusive relationship. So, when that story finished, I knew I had to continue Nila’s.

As you read her story, you may wonder if I drew on experiences from my own life. The answer is yes and no. I thank God that I have never experienced the kind of abuse that Nila endured. I will confess that as a teen I was attacked and molested, and that gave me some reactions to explore. But when my husband and I cared for four siblings who were terribly abused by someone who should have protected them, that changed me. The damage done to these innocent, beautiful children tore away my mask of naiveté. I could not simply wish that children everywhere would be cared for and protected. I, like Will in Nila’s Hope, became desperate to protect, but for the most part, I was powerless.

That’s why Nila’s journey from fear and despair to courage and bright hope resonated within me. I knew that what I could not accomplish in my own strength, God could redeem.

Nila learned that her quest for a trustworthy hope could only be found in her Savior, Jesus Christ. And with the help of her landlords/friends, Pastor Dave and Lydia, Nila dug deep into God’s word and found treasures of promise.

Treasures like, “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (Psalm 147:11). Nila had never known an unfailing love. In her childhood, everyone she’d loved had abandoned her. It’s not surprising that this verse grabbed her heart.

And when the danger that stalked her pushed her to despair, Psalm 119:49-50 became her buoy of hope. “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life.”

I greatly admire Nila, and while I hope I never have to what she did, her journey encouraged my faith. I pray it does the same for you.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). Amen.

profile shot by JamesAbout the Author:

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.

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.

 

Author Interview: Kathleen Friesen

profile shot by JamesToday our guest is Kathleen Friesen, author of Nila’s HopeOnce 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.

Welcome, to Inner Source, Kathleen. I’m delighted to have you because I have had the pleasure of watching your debut novel come to fruition. Nila’s Hope is about a young woman who is overcoming an abusive relationship. Why was it so important to you to bring Nila’s story to us?

I met Nila while writing my first novel, Melody’s Song. In that story, Melody tried to help her young neighbor escape an abusive boyfriend, and my heart broke as I researched the terrible mistreatment many endure and how difficult it is for them to escape. After Melody’s Song was finished, Nila kept after me to tell the story of her journey to freedom.

When I’m writing, and I feel as if God has shown me something I wouldn’t have recognized outside of working on the project, I refer to it as “God bringing something to the table for me.” While writing this story, do you feel that God had a message that you needed to learn that might or might not have been separate from the reason you started to write the story?

One question that haunted me was: How can we forgive the unforgiveable? I knew God expects us to forgive those who have hurt us, but some things just seemed beyond forgiveness. For me, not for God. But Nila showed me the way.

Through your research or through your experiences do you have any pearls of wisdom for women who are in an abusive relationship or might be recovering from one?

The first concern is safety. Get help, and get to a safe place. Once your security is assured, forgiveness is crucial, for yourself and for your abuser(s). Without it, you will never be free. And that kind of forgiveness can only come from God. Get to know him. Learn to trust him. He loves you and will love you forever.

Nila’s Hope is set in wintry Saskatoon. I live about as far on this continent as you can get from Saskatoon. Is this where you are from? If so, I’d love to hear a little about your life there.

I grew up in the mild climate of the Pacific Northwest, but after I met my Saskatchewan-born husband at a small Bible college, the prairies soon became my home. I had a hard time with the long, bitterly cold winters, but I loved the colorful dance of northern lights, hoar frost so brilliant it hurt the eyes, and even – sometimes – the brisk winter wind, so cold it burned. Blizzards are not uncommon, and as long as my loved ones were all safe at home, I enjoyed watching its power, as the white monster enveloped the house and made the windows whistle and the rafters moan. When swirling snow was all we could see from our cozy home, we had a real blizzard. That meant it was time to get out the candles, oil lamps, and popcorn, because more than likely, the power would soon be off. Those were the days!

Well, it sounds like the preparations for your blizzard stays aren’t much different from our Florida hurricane preps, except when the power goes off here, we’re facing weather that, while hot, can still be alleviated some by the opening of windows when the storm has passed.

What’s next for Kathleen Friesen? Are you working on any new stories? If so, I hope you’ll share a little about them.

My work in progress is Hayley’s Choice. Hayley is introduced in Nila’s Hope, and I have to admit, I didn’t like her. Spoiled and self-centered, she was a foil to Nila. Until I got to know her better. In this story, she has suffered a great loss and is searching for a purpose, a reason to live. On her way to Saskatoon, she meets Trevor, who is eager to leave Saskatoon to make a name for himself and prove he is better than his past. Can these two damaged people, one wanting to know God better and the other anxious to escape Him, find the answers they long for?

Sounds like a great story, and I remember meeting Hayley. I can’t wait to read her story, and I hope you’ll visit us again on Inner Source and introduce her to us once the story is released.

NilasHope_h11737_300More 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.

Character Interview: Nila Black from Kathleen Friesen’s Nila’s Hope

NilasHope_h11737_300Today’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.

profile shot by JamesAbout the Author:

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.