In each of my novels the plot and characters are unique, but I often highlight God’s faithfulness and His ability to turn painful and difficult situations around for good . . .His good and ours.
In The Governess of Highland Hall, the first book in the Edwardian Brides Series, I carried out this theme in the life of the heroine, Julia Foster. Julia and her family served as missionaries in India for many years, but when her father has a health crisis they are forced to return to England, and she must find a position to help support her parents. Julia takes on the role of governess at a large country estate, caring for two young children and two teenage girls. She faces many challenges caring for her young charges and trying to understand their aloof, widowed father. A painful past, and current financial struggles plague the hero, William Ramsey, the new baronet and master of Highland Hall. He has a distant relationship with God, and is surprised by Julia’s practical faith, persistent prayer, and patient wisdom. Through her kind and caring actions, she helps him and several members of the family and staff understand more about God’s faithfulness and His willingness to supply courage, guidance, and strength.
In my research for The Governess of Highland Hall I read A Chance to Die, the biography of missionary to India, Amy Carmichael, and was touched by her deep devotion to God and her assurance of His faithfulness. I wove some of those elements into the back-story and character of Julia Foster. She lives out her faith each day, applying what she believes to the challenges she faces. As a result she has a powerful impact on the family she serves and the others on staff at Highland Hall.
I’ve featured missionaries returning home after a time overseas in several of my novels. I chose that back-story for some of my characters because it is a familiar situation for me. I spent three months in Belgium as a short-term missionary when I was in my twenties, and our family spent a year in Kenya serving with Africa Inland Mission just a few years ago. I remember experiencing reverse culture shock when we returned home to the US after our time in Kenya. Some of my missionary experiences . . . driving through a riot in Nairobi and hearing about a revolution in Congo where our friends served . . . made me wonder how God could ever bring good out of those kind of circumstances. But looking back years later, I can see God’s faithfulness and the way He does wove it all together for good . . . His good and mine.
When readers open one of my books I hope they will be entertained by a heartwarming story, but I also hope they will be challenged and inspired. As they see the difficult and painful situations my characters must overcome and how their faith and trust in God helps them, I hope their belief in God’s faithfulness will grow even stronger.
How has God taught you more about His faithfulness? I’d love to hear from you!