Profiles of moms who are making a difference
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Years ago, I picked up a book called “What a Girl Wants” at my local library. While I had read more than my fair share of Christian fiction books, this was my first encounter with Christian Chick-Lit that held my attention, wasn’t trite, made me laugh out loud and had an underlying message reminding me of Who God is.
I proceeded to devour every Kristin Billerbeck book that she’d written. They’re just good books. I read so many books that I typically use the library or Kindle Unlimited, but I bought a few of Kristin’s books when they weren’t available. Now I buy them when they release so I don’t have to wait! They really are that good.
I follow a few of my favorite authors on social media. A few years ago, I came across Kristin on Facebook and had a friend from church who was friends with her. So I sent her a friend request. I had a total fan-girl moment when she accepted my friend request.
In being the casual Facebook friends we are, I have enjoyed getting to know more about her and keep updated when new books are released so I can buy them for my Kindle. I’ve learned that real-life Christian is like many of her heroines: she has a sense of humor and a passion for God.
Though she’s won many awards for her numerous books, Kristin’s biggest source of pride is her four young adult children. I knew she’d be a great fit for the Moms on a Mission series and was so excited when she replied that she’d be happy to answer questions for me.
You’re going to be inspired by her and adore her. You’ll want to read more of her words! Kristin’s website is filled with information about her and her books. It’s organized so you can find series and stand-alone novels to dive into.
Families with Grace: What is your God-given mission or passion?
Kristin Billerbeck: My God-given mission is to tell the world God is perfect — not His people. Though His people may let you down and cause harm, God is not like that. God is loving and compassionate and quick to forgive with repentance. My books all reflect that message.
FWG: How do you work to live out that mission right now?
KB: I’m currently writing a book about five sisters with three mothers and the same father. I wanted to show the grace in the hardest of circumstances. It can be so hard to understand God is a loving father when your earthly father is harmful or even abusive.
FWG: What are some of your biggest challenges in living out your mission?
KB: Sitting down daily and putting everyday life aside to write. I also feel a huge responsibility to get things right Scripturally. For example, in my book “Swimming to the Surface” the heroine is married to an abusive man who is narcissistic. I told the publisher before I sold them the book this will end in divorce. I cannot tell an abused woman that she can love a narcissist enough to make him change. There is no psychological evidence that a narcissist is capable of changing.
That one was tough for me because I know what the Bible says about divorce, but I also know women who have been ready to commit suicide to get away from their abuser. God doesn’t want a mockery of a marriage over a human soul. That was not His design for marriage. But I know there are legalistic people who will not see that point of view. I respect their viewpoint, but maybe they’ve never loved anyone in that situation. I think if it were happening to their daughter, they would want separation, if not divorce.
FWG: What have been some of your biggest blessings in living out your mission?
KB: I’m very fortunate in that I’ve gotten to travel all over the United States and meet amazing people. Also, the Christian writing community is very close-knit and I’ve made lifelong friends with many.
FWG: How do you balance motherhood responsibilities with your work/mission?
My children are grown now, but when they were young, we had “Mommy time” which was their nap time. When they got older, I still kept those hours (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) to write. I was fortunate in that I could be interrupted mid-sentence and go right back to where I was in the book when any crisis was over.
FWG: What’s the best advice you have for other moms who are following their passions?
“Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” (It’s a book title — great book, by the way.) But if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. Sometimes, if we are being called to a ministry, we have to make sure that is God’s call and follow through.
I would also say, “Make time for yourself.” It doesn’t have to be a long stretch of time, but it is very important when you’re pursuing a passion that you understand, you do have a right to a life. Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice who God made you to be. There are years in parenting where that is more difficult and your kids will always come first, but it’s OK to pursue what you’re passionate about.