Hi, dear reader. Please welcome author Laura V. Hilton to Whispers in Purple. Laura was willing to share the "story behind the story" about her latest release The Amish Wanderer. Thanks, Laura, for being my guest today.
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I didn’t intentionally set out to write an Amish story loosely based on a true story. If fact, when people asked me if I would write my maternal grandparents’ story, I told them no.
time came to write
story, all I knew was a short paragraph blurb about it. Bethany and her
once-upon-a-time boyfriend Silas who left that particular Amish district and
her before their relationship became serious. I didn’t know their backstories,
really, and had no idea how the story would proceed. And since I don’t plot, I
spend a lot of time praying about the story, because really, I want to write
what He says to write. He knows who He wants it to reach. Bethany
So I sat down to pray about it. And God gave me a verse. Which is unusual at the beginning of the story. Usually, for me, it’s at the middle when God reveals His theme for the book. But this time, it was at the beginning. The verse is:
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)
And the verses caused more prayer. What am I supposed to do with it?
I was driving to Melbourne (Arkansas, not Australia) to pay property taxes and get my vehicle tags renewed, listening to the radio as we (my three daughters and I) drove down Larkin Road (that’s not the real name, just what everyone calls it—we have a lot of those around here: Day Road, Moko Road, etc—because there are ghost towns on these roads so they are called by the name of the ghost town). A song came on the radio and I don’t remember the name of it, or even who the singer was, but when I arrived in
Melbourne, I had the opening line to my
The sky is falling and I’m searching for somewhere to hide.
I’m sure the people at the county clerk’s office might have been a little concerned about the state of my mental health when they saw the words scribbled at the top of my bill. I did get a strange look. I didn’t offer an explanation. And they didn’t ask.
When I got home, I started writing and paying close attention to
mental clues (and Silas’s) to figure out what their stories were. And how they
tied into the verse God had given me.
And then, without even realizing it until it hit, I knew who’s story I was writing.
My grandmother’s. My grandfather’s.
Except they are different. My grandmother wasn’t date raped. It was a member of her own family. And she wasn’t in love with my grandfather. She just discovered he was leaving the Amish and she wanted—needed—to escape.
Neither were Christians at the time. My grandfather was saved on his death bed. My grandmother’s youngest child was a teenager when she was saved. My mother, her sister, and all their girlfriends went to a tent meeting for a
and my grandmother attended one of the meetings with her daughters and was
saved as a result. And their testimonies ultimately led to the salvation of my
uncle and my grandfather. United
Both of my grandparents had a lot of issues to work through as to why God allowed the bad things in their lives to happen. That they eventually came to Christ is a miracle but I’m glad they did, as I was raised in a Christian home.
Why does God allow bad things to happen to people? The short, pat answer is: because sin entered the world. Yes, God could stop them. But what if He uses the bad thing to refine a person’s faith, to draw them closer to Him as a result?
How a person reacts to the bad things directly ties in to how they affect them. In my story, Silas chose to trust God even though he feared for his life. No, he didn’t like what had happened, but even though he didn’t see how, he trusted God was working behind the scenes to bring Silas to where he needed to be, spiritually and physically. On the other hand,
Bethany believed God had
rejected her. Pushed her away and didn’t care about her. If He didn’t care for
her, why should she care about Him? So she went into a stand-off with God.
The lessons ultimately learned, for both my grandparents and my characters, brought them to their knees before the living and holy God who was, and is, and is to come. And I trust God will use this story to help a reader out there who might be questioning something terrible that happened in their life.
You might not see how now and may not know why until eternity, but God has this. Keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep believing.
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)
The Amish Wanderer
Bethany Weiss has been fascinated by Silas Beiler since he spent a couple of years in
before he and his family moved to another Amish community. They hadn’t kept in
touch, but she hasn’t forgotten the friendly young man who brought her lemonade
and took her home once from a Singing years ago. When she finds a man sleeping
in her family’s barn, like Jesus sleeping in the hay, she is stunned to
recognize Silas. He’s left the Amish and is backpacking across the country. She
talks him into staying, at least until after Christmas. Jamesport, Missouri
Silas’ family has never been happy living in one area for long, and their vagabond ways are wearing on him. He’s lived in Amish communities all over the nation, moving whenever his daed became disgruntled with the leaders, and he’s looking for some sense of stability. His intentions are to make it back to
Pennsylvania and stay with his Englisch
onkle and his family—and pursue an education. Will Bethany be the one to bring Silas in from the
cold? Or will he continue on his way to his extended family and become
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Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.
Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye and currently live in
Arkansas. One son is in
the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest
When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.
You can find Laura's books here:
- Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q
- CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=laura+hilton&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1
- Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton
- Deeper Shopping http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX
And you can find Laura here:
- visit my blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/ & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/
- twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/