What inspired the concept for The Hope of Refuge?
While staying with an Amish family, I began to understand the heartache and trauma that’s involved for everyone when a loved one leaves the Order. Over the course of a week, I spoke to people from four generations of one family—learning the most from the experiences of the grandparents—and I dared to ask the question: what happens to the future family of the ones who leave. Those intriguing answers became the seeds for this novel.
Is any part of The Hope of Refuge factual?
Yes, but those who shared the particulars of certain events have asked to remain anonymous, so I can’t be specific about which storylines follow real life.
How closely is The Hope of Refuge based on your life experiences?
The story isn’t based on anything I have personally experienced, but there is always a spiritual journey in each book I’ve written that is based on some facet of my passion for life. In The Hope of Refuge, that zeal can be seen in Cara’s jaded heart through her need to protect and provide for her child in a way that is beyond her ability.
I think how my life lines up with several of the characters’ lives in The Hope of Refuge can best be seen in the dedication I wrote to my children:
To Justin, Adam, and Tyler
The Hope of Refuge shares the story of several moms—their strengths, weaknesses, joys, and sorrows. I dedicate this book to you because each of you woke a different part of me before I even felt you move inside me. When I held you in my arms, it seemed my very DNA shifted. Without conscious effort, you stirred me with a challenge to be your mom—to become more than I ever was before. I found strength where weakness had once been. As you grew, you stumbled on weaknesses I hadn’t known existed. But because of you, I discovered that life had a euphoric side. And I learned that where I ended—where my strength, wisdom, and determination failed—God did not.
For Him and for each of you, I am eternally grateful…