WRITE: Interview with Connie Cavanaugh
(Remember to leave a comment on my READ review of Connie’s book here and have your name entered into a drawing to receive my review copy!)
Connie Cavanaugh’s latest book, Following God One Yes at a Time, has just been released by Harvest House Publishers. This book tells you how – one simple, immediate, possible yes at a time – to do what Jesus commanded when He said, “Follow Me.” This is “following God for dummies,” a simple way for ordinary Christians to follow Christ through the maze of our complicated lives.
Q: You begin by saying “God has a dream for every believer.” Could you explain that?
God does have a dream for every believer. In fact He has many overlapping, interlocking dreams for us: some big, some small; some lifelong, some seasonal; some manageable, some seemingly impossible. When His dream looks like a mountain we can’t climb, because we lack faith in ourselves and in Him, we think:
- This dream is too big; I don’t have what it takes.
- The process looks so complicated; I don’t even know where to start.
- The finish line is so far away; I don’t think I can go the distance.
- I’ve tried before and dropped out; I must be all out of chances.
- Is this God speaking or my own wishful thinking?
- People like me don’t get to do these things; I’m not worthy of this.
Q: Are these the barriers you refer to in the book’s subtitle Overcoming the Six Barriers that hold you back?
Yes, the biggest barriers to following God are internal, not external. It’s not situations, circumstances, tragedies, crises or even physical limitations but things like fear, guilt, pride, shame, comparison, and doubt that hold us back from pursuing the dreams God has for us. Following God one yes at a time is about how God breaks down His impossible dream into manageable steps and once we begin to follow Him in faith, because He loves us, He sends us proofs that we’re on the right track.
Q: God sends us “proofs” when we follow Him? What do you mean by that?
Even though we talk about a God who is alive and personal, all Christians occasionally feel like He is remote and invisible. Once God gets us to say yes to His dream and begin following Him, He knows that we’re going to be battling doubts and fears so He sends us proofs that we heard Him correctly and we’re on the right track. These proofs are little assurances that we pick up in a number of ways – through our daily Bible reading or hear in a sermon or through music or circumstance or pretty much anything that God chooses to use. He’s not limited in the ways He communicates with us. These “proofs” are His way of encouraging us not to lose heart but to keep following.
Q. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Easy answer. Thelma Wells said it in a talk she gave at the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association event the weekend I pitched the idea for this book to Harvest House and they agreed to take it on the spot. She said she had been at the point of quitting writing and telling the editors she couldn’t meet her deadline because she “wasn’t a writer.” I don’t know if it was a friend or her editor who encouraged her to keep going by saying: “Thelma, just write like you talk.” Those were the magic words that got her going and the rest is history.
Well, those were the words I needed to hear to give myself permission to use so many stories to convey a serious, spiritual truth. The fact is, I’m a humorous storyteller. That’s what I do best and I needed to be free to be the same person on paper that I am at the podium in order to write a book that truly represented my message. So that’s the best tip I’ve ever gotten: write like you talk.
Q: Where can people find this book?
You can buy Following God One Yes at a Time
at most Christian booksellers and online bookstores. If your local bookstore does not carry it, they can order it for you. It’s also available at these links: Amazon, Amazon Canada
, Amazon Kindle
, Barnes & Noble
, Barnes & Noble Nook
, Chapters and Indigo
Thank you, Connie, for sharing your book and your expertise with us. I know many will want to read your book. And I’ve already used your advice to encourage another writer!