I had endured years of abuse in my childhood and teen years and that, coupled with life struggles caused by my deafness, made me lose all hope. Incredibly, God sought me out…Tracy Williamson
I first got to know the lovely Tracy Williamson a year or so ago when I was on the launch team for her amazing book ‘The Father’s Kiss’ (which I thoroughly recommend!) She’s just had a new devotional published, ‘A Desert Transformed’, which I was delighted to endorse with these words:
In ‘A Desert Transformed’ Tracy Williamson invites us to sit a while and hear the assurances of a God who holds us in our wilderness times as well as in easier times. With Tracy’s warm, prophetic voice, the rich words and reflections on scripture in this devotional will be a blessing to the weak and weary, to those who are not finding that a life of faith means a life without pain. Readers will be greatly blessed and soothed by the gentle words of comfort Tracy offers, and the many images she paints so vividly of the Father’s passionate love. This is a book which merges the ordinary with the sacred, the messy with the beautiful and the darkness with the treasure. Highly recommended.Liz Carter
I asked Tracy some questions about herself and the book, and I’m really pleased to share her answers today, and also thrilled to be able to give away a copy of this book. If you’d like to win it, see the end of this post for details.
Tell me a bit about yourself:
I am single and live in Kent, sharing a home with my friend and ministry partner Marilyn Baker. Marilyn is blind and I am deaf and partially sighted so we make a good team! I also have a Hearing Dog, a golden lab/retriever cross called Goldie who is very much part of the ministry! Marilyn sings and writes her own songs about God’s love and I speak and write. We travel the country together doing concerts, leading conferences and taking part in large and small Christian events. I became a Christian when I was 19 at college when I was going through deep emotional pain. God has done a wonderful healing work in my life since. I love life and although introvert by temperament, I love being with people and encouraging others. Reading is my big passion and I also love the beauty of creation, dogs, chocolate, wine and garlic! I’m constantly amazed at the hugeness of God’s love.
What is your new devotional book about and what was the inspiration for it?
A Desert Transformed is my first devotional book and it has been both an exciting and a heart searching experience to write it. My publisher wanted me to use the 40 day format and I began to think how significant the number 40 seems to be in the Bible. Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days, Moses was on the run for 40 years after murdering an Egyptian and then leading the Israelites as they wandered in the desert for another 40 years; Elijah met with God when he was very depressed then had to journey for 40 days in the desert before coming through to a new place in His relationship with God….as I thought of these examples I became aware of all the ways a desert could symbolise some of the things we go through in life…times of disappointment, times when our dreams are shattered; times of illness, loneliness, isolation, fear, betrayal…it was as if God was whispering to me, ‘see how I was always with each individual in the Bible stories, how I met with them to turn their mourning into joy. I am with you and all my children in just the same way and long to bring transformation into your deserts.‘
Thus the idea for the theme of this book was born!
What were the easiest and most challenging parts to write?
The easiest parts, or rather the parts I found most exciting, were the awarenesses of life giving story in each individual reading, the joy of unfolding something momentous and sensing God’s heart through it in a new way…And for me, the most challenging aspect was writing with meaning but succinctly enough that readers would meet with God and be inspired. The days readings had to fit into a rough word count but naturally I tend to be wordy rather than succinct so that was a challenge indeed!
I love the way you include prophetic writing in your books – tell us more about that.
Yes I love the prophetic or rather I love the fact that God delights to share His heart with us, to encourage, build us up, challenge and affirm us. I’ve found it a humbling and awe inspiring experience to realise that God my Father is so involved in my writing, sitting with me at the computer, as it were, and wanting to break in and impart some thought from His heart or a picture that will in due course impact on a reader! It has happened with my 2 latest books, The Father’s Kiss and now A Desert Transformed. It makes writing become a holy adventure!
You write about wilderness/desert times. Can you tell us a little about how you have come through times like these in your life?
Like all of us there have been many desert times in my life, some majorly life crippling and others more mundane yet still causing deep ripples…. The blackest, most despairing time for me was just before I became a Christian and was suicidally depressed. I had endured years of abuse in my childhood and teen years and that, coupled with life struggles caused by my deafness, made me lose all hope. Incredibly, God sought me out by putting me on the heart of a Christian student at my college. She shared God’s love with me and I became a Christian a few weeks later. It was the beginning of a healing journey that I’ve been on ever since. I still experience wilderness times, the feeling of isolation because of my deafness can be a big cause, disappointment, feelings of inadequacy and fear….but God meets with me again and again, showing me His unconditional love and renewing my hope. I know there is no desert He cannot transform.
You’ve written some other wonderful books, can you tell us about them?
Yes, I’ve written 7 books now. The first, The Voice of the Father (Hodders) came about through the amazing intervention and support of writer and speaker Jennifer Rees Larcombe who has had a huge influence on my writing and ministry. That was all about hearing God’s voice of love. It was great as it came so much from my heart but sadly it didn’t stay in print very long. Then several years later I wrote 4 shorter books with New Wine Press. The first 2, Expecting God to Speak to You, and Letting God Speak Through You, were also to do with hearing God’s voice but with the next 2, Encountering God and Flying Free with God the emphasis changed to looking at the things that hold us back from knowing God’s love. Flying Free was one of my most heartfelt books as it is about stepping into our true God given identity and I shared some deep things from my own life in that. Then I had a long gap as I went into a bit of a desert of disappointment for 10 years as I’d thought God was leading me to be ordained but I was rejected which caused me great confusion. Then in 2013, through a series of amazing steps, God spoke to me about writing The Father’s Kiss which was published by Authentic Media in 2018. Like Flying Free, The Father’s Kiss was born out of my deepest experiences and revelation of God’s heart. I have had many testimonies about lives being changed through this book and I feel so thankful to God that He helped me write it. Then A Desert Transformed – and I am now starting a new book, a memoir of my own life and Marilyn Baker’s too and a sharing of all the amazing things He has done for us and through us in our years of working together. Please pray for this work as I only have a few months to write it and it is a real departure from my usual way of writing! That will also be published by Authentic Media and will hopefully be published Autumn 2020.
Thank you so much to Tracy for sharing some of her amazing story. If you are interested to know more about Tracy and her ministry with Marilyn Baker please visit their website www.mbm-ministries.org. You can get all Tracy’s books and Marilyn’s CD’s too from MBM and also from Christian retailers and online sellers like Amazon and Eden.
And if you would like to win a copy of A Desert Transformed, all you have to do is sign up to my mailing list (I only email sporadically, won’t bombard you, and you’ll get a free gift for signing up in addition!) – or if you’re already part of the Great Adventure community, do leave a message in the comments and I will put all the names in a hat 🙂