This week I’m heading to Realm Makers! It’s a Christian, speculative fiction, writing convention that is being held, this year, in Reno, Nevada! I’m taking the five month old, and will be gone from Wednesday – Sunday, so I’d appreciate your prayers! Prayers for good health, good energy, good fellowship, good learning, and a God-glorifying attitude would be much appreciated. ❤ Secretly, I’m super nervous!
Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to reach out to other authors who are similar to me – same heart for counseling believers, similar writing style and genre, or a hero of sorts to me. ❤ I’ve been in contact with four ladies who write everything from historical fiction to alternative drama to psychological thrillers to clean romance. It’s my hope that if you like these ladies’ books, you’ll like mine and vice versa! 🙂
Today, it’s an immense pleasure to introduce you to Kimberly Rae! She wrote my very favorite series of the year – and maybe of all time – the Broken Series! The story involves members of a church all dealing with abuse, anti-trafficking, and saving women from prostitution. But the best part is that they are so real and relatable. They are Every Church, and every Christian should read these books! ❤
I asked Kimberly some questions and she graciously replied!
Me: Here at BlondeRJ, we’re all about Myers-Briggs types. Do you know your personality type? If not, are you an extrovert or introvert?
Kimberly: Through talking to you, RJ, we figured out my type! I’m an INFJ (explanation here).
People see me as an extrovert but I am actually an introvert. I’m very nervous around strangers and need time by myself to recharge. One odd thing about me is that I enjoy speaking to huge crowds, but get very uncomfortable in small groups.
Me: I adore INFJs! I’m even raising one. 😉 What first inspired you to help and write about trafficked women and victims?
Kimberly: When I first had to come back to the US, I wanted some way to stay involved but wasn’t sure how. When I started considering writing a novel, I tossed around some ideas but didn’t know quite what to focus on. I was talking with my mom one day and she said, “If you could write about anything, what would you write about?” By the end of the day, I think I had three chapters of Stolen Woman written. It was the book I felt I was meant to write – it combined things I care deeply about: fighting trafficking, missions, and women knowing their worth in Christ. Stolen Woman is still my best-selling book out of all of them. I love how God is using it!
Me: I still haven’t read Stolen Woman, and I know I need to remedy that right away! You said, “Coming back to the US…” How many different places have you lived, and what is your favorite?
Kimberly: I’ve lived in several states in the US, but overseas is Bangladesh, Uganda, Kosovo and Indonesia. The most interesting by far was Bangladesh. There are over 100 million people in a tiny country about the size of Michigan! It was creative chaos, and their love for bright colors and loud noises and super spicy food just was so fun for me at age twenty-two, fresh out of college and ready to experience the world. I remember being in a rickshaw one day when a riot broke out in the road in front of me, and I thought, “If I knew I was going to live through this, it would be really exciting!” I got to wear beautiful shalwar kameez outfits, experience their amazing gift of hospitality, and I even ate cow brains!
Me: That’s amazing! And you’ve had quite the trials yourself. ❤ Can you tell us about what illnesses you struggle with on a daily basis and how God has helped your faith through them?
Kimberly: I have Addison’s disease, asthma, hypoglycemia and a rare condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. My day is very structured with specific diet requirements, medication, trying to deal with chronic pain, and responding to symptoms, etc. Like 90% of people with chronic illness, I often “don’t look sick,” so have to be careful about not doing too much to try to keep up with healthier people out of a sense of expectation by them or myself. I’ve taken up a beautiful verse from 1 Corinthians 8:12 that says the gift is accepted according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. God has limited me physically, so I am not expected to do what a person with more physical resources can do (just like finances and everything else – God is the provider, and He asks us to give back out of what He has provided, no more, no less).
I used to care very much about doing a lot, and realized I was finding my worth in how much I got done rather than in Christ’s value for me. Now God has taken away my ability to “compete” in that way (we women are pretty bad about competing with each other, aren’t we?) and now He is transforming me (sometimes kicking and screaming, I admit) into a representative of His beautiful truth that our worth is not in what we do or how much we do, but in Him and His love for us. If we can be radiant in that love, and not need to prove ourselves, oh, how we could change the world! We’d stop being so intimidating, so stressed, and so resentful, and instead shine beautiful and strong and at peace. A woman living full of joy and peace is a treasure. I want to be like that.
I won’t lie. Living with disease and health problems and daily pain is hard. Some people tell me that if I just had enough faith, it would all go away. I’ve learned over the years that it takes a lot more faith to trust God when He doesn’t “fix” things as when He does. My need for Him is constant, and living with a body that betrays me keeps my mind on the eternal, which isn’t a bad thing. In every difficulty is a gift—if you look for it, you’ll find it. God is there, offering the peace that passes all understanding, and the joy that is beyond current circumstances. There is purpose in what we go through, and for all I have learned of my God, and all He has taken away and given in replacement, I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s.
Well, that wasn’t brief. Sorry! That’s why I’ve got a series of books on living joyfully despite chronic illness—there’s a lot to say!
Me: What a beautiful, beautiful testimony, Kimberly! And you seem to totally understand human nature and the heart, as evidenced by your writing. ❤ Speaking of which, I bought the “You’re Sick, They’re Not” book you wrote and look forward to reading it! But, if we’re talking the books I HAVE read, which character in The Broken series is your favorite?
Kimberly: Candy and Jean, but for different reasons. I love Jean because she has so much potential and value inside her, but she doesn’t know it, and I love how she grows and blooms and gets set free. Candy is my favorite because she’s so fun and so real. Her character is actually based on someone I know! To this day, sometimes I’m in church and I imagine her walking down the aisle with all her stuff dropping behind her, and I want to crack up right there during the service. =)
Me: I looooooove Candy. She’s my favorite too. She has the most spunk EVER. 😀 What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about your books?
Kimberly: Can I pick two?
Kimberly: A lady told me once that her pastor’s wife said Francine Rivers used to be her favorite author, but now I am. Francine Rivers is MY favorite author, so that was huge, huge, huge to me.
Back in the beginning, after Stolen Woman came out, a teenager sent me an email that said, “Your book changed my life.” That has stayed with me and meant so much all these years.
Me: You are WAY better than Francine Rivers, and it’s my blog, so I can say so. 😀
Last, and definitely not least, how do you think we, as Christians, can safely get more involved to help trafficking/sex/drug victims and prostitutes?
Kimberly: It is a great time to be fighting human trafficking and exploitation! There are over 2,000 groups actively involved around the world. Some of my favorites are:
Rahab’s Rope (Mumbai, India) – www.rahabsrope.com
Women At Risk Int. (worldwide) – www.warinternational.org
Tiny Hands (Nepal) – www.tinyhands.org
There are lots more sites and statistics and ways to get involved on my website. If you go to www.kimberlyrae.com, on the right sidebar you’ll see posts about fighting trafficking internationally, nationally, and even locally. There are so many ways to make a difference. Feel free to use to the “contact” button on the site if you have questions or need ideas – I’d love to help you change the world!
Me: Thank you, thank you, dear Kimberly!