Ask the Author: Liz Curtis Higgs
November 19, 2014
Author and speaker Liz Curtis Higgs is holding a sold-out Ladies Night Out at the Billy Graham Library, on Nov. 21. It’s one of many upcoming events this season, including Christmas at the Library Dec. 1-23.
In anticipation of Liz Curtis Higgs’ upcoming visit to Charlotte, the Billy Graham Library Facebook page gave followers the opportunity to ask her a few questions. Her answers are below.
Would you please tell us more about your decision to follow Christ? What was the “moment” that turned things around for you?
Many small steps brought me to that moment when I took a leap called faith into the arms of a hero called Faithful and True. God chose the perfect ambassadors to introduce me to His Son: brand new Christians, who’d experienced His grace in a life-changing way and were eager to share what they’d learned with everyone they met. I’m so grateful I was one of them! They didn’t judge me; they hugged me. They didn’t insist I know God; they explained that He already knew me, loved me, and had a plan for me. That moment of acceptance came when I read Romans 5:8: “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Finally, I understood: I was a sinner and I was forgiven. Even though I wept buckets, it was the happiest day of my life.
You appear to always be so joyful. Was there an experience in your younger life to help you choose joy? Did you have anyone to show you joy? How do you recharge when joy runs low?
I grew up in an all-funny family, where humor was applauded and funny stories celebrated. With five older brothers and sisters to teach me how to see the sunny side of life, I’ve learned that, even on my grumpiest days, I can still find something to laugh about. My husband thinks I’m easily amused, and he’s right. Show me one good sight gag, and I’ll laugh for ten minutes. And children and pets are a never-ending source of delight.
Do you ever look at the obstacles or trials your children encounter and wonder if your past has something to do with it? Do the sins of the mother hurt the child?
Our children are now 25 and 27, and I couldn’t be more grateful for how they’ve matured in life and in the Lord. They’ve faced many obstacles with confidence and weathered the usual twenty-something trials with their sense of humor still intact (one of the ways our family measures how we’re doing!). I think because I’ve always been honest with them about my past, owning up to my failures and showing them God’s goodness, they have a clear understanding of the ugly nature of sin and the beautiful gift of grace.
Who was your favorite Bad Girl to write about?
Hard to pick a favorite. While writing Bad Girls of the Bible, Really Bad Girls of the Bible, and Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible, I realized I had something in common with all of them! Eve had food issues, Delilah had man trouble, Lot’s wife couldn’t let go of the past, Sapphira couldn’t let go of money, and Jezebel couldn’t let go of anything. But my favorites are always the redeemed women, the Former Bad Girls, especially Rahab, the woman at the well, and the woman caught in adultery. Their stories give us hope: we’ve not gone too far; we’ve not done too much. God’s mercy and love run so deep, so wide, He can and will wash us clean of even the worst of our sins. Those are the stories I never tire of telling.
I would love to speak again, but how do I overcome this anxiety beforehand? Just thinking about it sometimes is so overwhelming! Or is this a normal feeling?
It IS a normal feeling, even for those of us who’ve been speaking for ages. To get your butterflies flying in formation, prayer is the key. Instead of praying for yourself, pray for the audience. Put your entire focus on them. Pray that they’ll have open hearts and that God’s love will flow through your words. Don’t ask yourself, “How am I doing?” Ask the Lord, “How are they doing?” If you fill yourself up with His Word, His truth will pour from your mouth. When you are there to give, not to receive, you can be sure God will carry you through!
What advice would you give a new author starting out? Now that my book is out, I am starting to put a marketing plan together. I just really want to tell folks about Jesus, but know there has to be self-promotion. How do you balance it?
You’re so right: it’s a difficult balance. I avoid words like “marketing” and “self-promotion.” Too much about money, too much about me! Instead, I keep the focus on ministry. Just like with speaking, writing is all about the audience. With each book I ask the question, “How can I encourage my readers? What might I teach them? How can I best honor the Lord and His Word?” Then, when you let people know about your book via Facebook or Twitter or email or printed pieces, share how your book can truly help them. Success is never about the number of sold books; it’s about the miracle of changed lives.