Sheryl Giesbrecht Turner - Helping People Doubt Their Doubts
A delivered drug addict, stage four cancer survivor and former widow, exchanging hurt for hope is Sheryl Giesbrecht’s focus—a message she shares with audiences as a radio and television personality, author and speaker. A dynamic teacher and motivating leader, Giesbrecht has endured many changes and challenges, moving her to a deep faith, trust and dependence on God. As our Author of the Day, she tells us about her book, It'll Be Okay.
Please give us a short introduction to what It'll Be Okay is about.
It’s hard to keep praying or walking forward in faith when we don’t get answers or see God’s guiding hand. Difficult times often cloud our perspective. Does God see me? Does God hear me? Does God care? Christians are afraid to admit to having doubts—even to themselves—because they confuse doubt with unbelief.
Was there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this subject?
I wrote this book to help you doubt your doubts, when we are open to let God show us his truth found in his word, we press into a deeper faith. Doubts need to be addressed, or they will rot your faith from the inside out. Be honest with God and yourself. Dealing with doubt to the point of renewed belief brings spiritual strength.
Your book poses the question: Is it okay for Christians to doubt? Why is this an important question to ask?
We shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or seek answers. God is not threatened by our questions, logic, science, or emotions. Along with our fallible humanity, we must be able to grasp the existence of a loving, omniscient, omnipresent, infinite, and everlasting good God.
You are a former drug addict, stage four cancer survivor, and widow. How has this changed the way you see life?
These seasons have been challenging opportunities when, I’ve found I can’t trust how I feel. I’ve felt estranged and distant from God. I believed in God, but didn’t know there was a difference between believing God and believing in God to provide what I needed. I kept telling myself, “It’ll be okay.” Yet somehow I wasn’t sure “it” would be okay. I kept choosing to let God heal me from my addictions, my disease and my frustration with being out of control of my future by reading the Bible. I studied his word and let it renew my mind. Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Later on, I discovered I could question God, doubt my doubts and feed my faith. It was only through my choice to be raw, honest and real as I brought my questions before God.
What have readers' reactions to this book been like so far? Here’s a few reviews from Amazon:
“A genuine look into one of the hardest topics for Christians to face – doubt in times of struggle. Doubts of God’s goodness, doubts of what the future will hold…Sheryl gives us an honest discussion about the struggles we face and how to draw near to god in spite of/because of them. Read and be encouraged and challenged in the best way possible.” Erin
“Great heartfelt book with authentic personal shares. I love how Sheryl ties scripture into her journey. I find it well written and easily applicable.” Suzanne
“This is a beautiful story that takes you through the author’s life and her doubts about God and what it took for her to realize that he does hear you when you speak to him. We have all felt distant from God, we’ve been here and it helped me just knowing I wasn’t alone. I would recommend this book to people who feel lost in faith.” Anonymous
From Amazon statistics after our March 2019 free promotion, there were 23,251 downloads
3,465 pages read
14,000 in Amazon ranking
#6 in Faith
#6 in Grief/Death and Counseling
#8 in Spiritual Warfare
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I love being an adoring wife to my second husband, my Boaz, Dr. Jim Turner. We love the beach and the outdoors, especially hiking in Yosemite. Together, Jim and I have twelve “bonus” children and fourteen grandchildren. I love hosting the family here for our holidays, BBQs, and swim parties, the menus usually include my homemade pineapple juice popsicles. I love running 5K races with my 87 year old mother.
You share some personal stories from your own life in this book. Was this hard to do?
I’ve grown accustomed to sharing my life stories so that others can learn from my mistakes.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
It’ll Be Okay: Finding God When Doubt Hides the Truth invites readers to push through their questions by faith, through the grid of God’s word.
Readers will find:
Faith can grow by addressing doubts head-on
God has a plan in the good and bad that life brings
God can heal our wounds and turn our past mistakes around
Through this book, readers will be exposed to how doubt can be a friend to our faith. Doubt can be healthy if handled well. We should be able to doubt our doubts, examining them to prove our faith is dependable. Faith grows when it is challenged. It’ll Be Okay can strengthen every believer’s walk with God through meditating on the truth, thus enabling the reader’s faith to be deepened, their trust and hope to be renewed. This may lead to transformation and determination to share with others who might need the same encouragement.
What's an aspect of being a writer that you didn't know about going in?
Before you write a book, you must live the book.
What is the best writing advice you’ve received?
Self-edit, edit, edit.
Did you ever have days when writing was a struggle?
Absolutely! Life happens, things come up. We must plan for these divine interruptions so we don’t get frustrated or postpone personal deadlines.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Up at 4 am, run/exercise at 5:30, prepare to-do list for the day 7 am, in office by 8:30 am. I use the Pomodoro method (set a timer to write for 35 minutes, then get up and walk around.) I always walk outside of my office, breathe deep cleansing breaths, drink 8 oz of water, sometimes I walk around the block. I write in these 35 minute segments of time and usually at least two or three different projects at a time. Lunch at 12:30, coffee, too. And then back at it until 4 pm. 5 pm, early dinner with my husband and evening opportunities for meeting with people. Usually turning in for the night by 9 pm.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on a non-fiction book for women about how to untangle lies we believe about ourselves. Here’s a synopsis.Have you ever said, I’m trapped. Why did God let this happen? I can’t move ahead.
You’re tied up in knots. You struggle, only making your bands tighten, cutting intA o your skin. Like a bird trapped by a poacher’s snare, we are bound up in a tangled ambush, snarled and kinked to a standstill by our viewpoint about past events. We’ve believed a lie about something that happened. We are products of our upbringing. Life happens; we try to straighten things out and make progress, but are hindered by our twisted, intertwined emotional and spiritual state.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Thank you for asking! I would love for you to sign up to receive my weekly blog and follow me here!
Amazon author page:
Goodreads author page:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6947592.Sheryl_Giesbrecht