Today, I’d like to introduce you to the wonderful woman in this photograph. Mary Ball is a special friend of mine, and she has a truly beautiful heart. Although she has undergone heartbreaking circumstances, she is not only dedicated to the Lord—she is also dedicated to helping people live productive, happy lives. When we speak, she always brings a spot of sunshine into my day. It’s such an honor to have her with us today!
Danele: Hello, Mary, I’m so glad to have this opportunity to interview you!
Mary: Thank you, Danele. You’re an awesome, inspiring lady. I’m honored to be on your lovely blog.
Danele: That’s so nice of you to say—and so like you! You always lift my spirits and make my day a happy one! Well, let’s jump right into things. Can you describe a time when God spoke to you?
Mary: I sure can. At one time, I was in a rut about being an author. I felt I was letting people down because I wasn’t “Miss Awesome Seller.” One day, I was chatting with my husband about my hopes and what I felt might be a few shortcomings. As I sat in the passenger side of the car and contemplated the encouraging words of support my hubby offered, the Lord spoke to me and asked, “Why did you want to become an author?” Silently, I recalled my reason. It had been to shine a light on God’s mercy, and nowhere in my thoughts was the New York Times bestseller list. That one moment brought me back to where I needed to be. I realized that I had let the bling of the big picture pull me away from my real goal of spreading God’s salvation. Not long after that, I received a review of one of my novels. The lady commented that my books “made her want to be a better person.” To me, that was God’s confirmation. After that, I was back on the right track.
Danele: Wow! What a revelation! I know you’re right–God doesn’t count success the way the world does. He looks at our lives and how we’ve impacted people for His kingdom–and your words, and your attitude, have impacted my life. You are such a blessing!
Mary: Thank you! If one of my books can be a light in a dark world and point someone in the direction of Jesus Christ then I’ve done what I feel called to do.
Danele: Mary, you have such a beautiful spirit! Is there another instance in which God helped you overcome a difficulty?
Mary: For me, that’s a complicated question with many facets, and I feel led to explain the road I traveled when I faced losing a loved one. You see, about twenty-three years ago my oldest daughter died in a car accident.
Danele: Oh, Mary! I’m so sorry!
Mary: I’m ashamed to admit that during that time I stepped away from the Lord. I tried to go through the process of grief without God—perhaps feeling He let me down. It was selfishness.
Danele: It’s so hard to understand why bad things happen. How did you reconcile your pain?
Mary: Well, ten years later, I came crawling back into God’s grace. Through His word and fellowship, I began to accept the loss of my daughter. God also reminded me that three months before her accident she received the gift of salvation. Every time I read Matthew 20:1-16—the parable of the workers in the field—I think of her, and I know she’s in Heaven.
Danele: You just brought tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine going through that type of pain.
Mary: Looking back, I should have sought solace in His mercy. I understand now that at the time, I wasn’t spiritually where I needed to be. Thank goodness, the Lord never gave up on me. He was always tugging at my heartstrings to bring me back to the fold.
Danele: God’s love toward us so beautiful. Even when we are angry at Him, He’s always reaching out in love. I’m so grateful that He’s always ready to welcome us back home.
Mary: That’s so true! Losing a child is difficult, and it takes a piece of any parent’s heart away. However, the Lord helped me understand that I would see my daughter again. There’s a lovely song called Knowing what I know about Heaven. It reinforces the idea that God has beautiful plans for each of us that we will understand one day.
Danele: That’s such a terrific song. I love the idea that heaven is a place where life and love never ends. Mary, thank you so much for sharing about your daughter. I know that had to be difficult, and I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish we were in the same room–I’d give you a hug. I know that when you faced your heartache, God was with you. Was there a specific place where you felt the presence of God the most?
Mary: I feel the presence of God in many situations, but mostly when I’m by myself. During those quiet times, I seem to have a oneness with the Lord. When I’m in the car driving, I can listen to His instructions and mediate on scriptures I’ve read. Also, as I enjoy the outdoors, I feel close to God. The trees, flowers—even the little frogs—remind me of how awesome God’s creations are and that I’m one of them.
Danele: That’s so beautiful, and so true! I love those wonderful “alone” times with God. I love the fact that God wants to spend time with us, and that when we quiet ourselves, He’s always ready to speak to us in special ways. Now, Mary, can you tell us a little about your books?
Mary: Sure, my newest novel is Redemption in Big Fork Lake. It’s my third book, and it was sparked from my debut novel, Escape to Big Fork Lake. Everyone kept asking, “What happened to Rob?” (The bad guy in Escape to Big Fork Lake.) So I decided to write Rob’s story. Here’s the back cover blurb: Can he be forgiven? Only after Robert Turner hurts a woman does he realize how much of a hold alcohol has on his life. For Robert, a chance meeting with an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor offers hope. A new devotion to the Lord and a relationship with Belle McBride gives him expectations for a better future. His life appears to be on the right track, until he comes full circle with his past and faces the one mistake that haunts him daily. Can forgiveness free Robert? Or will heartache drive him to return to the life he once had?
Danele: Your new book sounds terrific! I love it when a villain has a chance at redemption! How can we get more information about all of the books you’ve written?
Mary: Here are some links you can follow:
Escape to Big Fork Lake: http://www.amazon.com/Escape-Fork-Lake-Mary-Ball-ebook/dp/B007NK1EEQ/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Redemption in Big Fork Lake : http://www.amazon.com/Redemption-Fork-Lake-Mary-Ball/dp/1503267962/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Danele: Mary, thank you so much for being with us today. I really appreciate the way you shared your heart with us. I know that your testimony, and your books, are going to touch many lives.
Mary: Thank you, Danele. I appreciated your unique line of questioning. Your questions were more than random inquiries about my books. They made me look inside myself, they encouraged me, and they had me pondering about how wonderful our Creator is.
Danele: Thank you, Mary! I’m so glad you enjoyed being on my blog!
Friends, Mary L. Ball, is SUCH a sweet person. Her love for the Lord is reflected in everything she says and does. If you would like to learn more about her, you can follow the links below. I hope you all have a wonderful day!