I am very excited to have a unique opportunity to be interviewing popular Christian speaker and author, Susan Call, in this HeartPoint Blog post.
Hi Susan! First of all, I want to express my deep gratitude to you for taking time to “chat” with me. It is truly an honor getting to meet you, and I know that my readers and me will be greatly blessed because of this special interview.
Thank you, Dr. Fraser. I’m glad to be here today.
Please tell us a little about where in the U.S. you currently live and also something regarding your family, faith, and personal interests.
I’m a Pennsylvania native who now calls southern New Hampshire home. I’ve been married to my husband Jim just shy of ten years. Together we have a busy Brady-bunch family with four young adult children at home – my two children and two of his children call our house home. I’m a ground Christian who has learned through life’s incredible trials that God is bigger and greater than the most difficult challenges in life. Outside of writing and speaking, I enjoy photography as a hobby. Slipping behind the camera allows me to slow down and appreciate the world around me.
Your recent 2013 publication by Guidepost Books of A Search for Purple Cows, consisting of your own remarkable memoir, is making quite a stir and has been receiving rave reviews on Amazon.com. I want to especially congratulate you on having your work named as the grand prizewinner of the Inspiring Voices Book Publishing Contest. That’s an amazing accomplishment and certainly well deserved! Were you surprised and what has that been like for you?
Thank you. Somehow, the word surreal doesn’t really seem to be strong enough to describe the whirlwind year it’s been. I have been so blessed to see the pieces of my challenging past fall into place and be used in such a powerful way. I’ve been touched to hear from many readers who found encouragement or restored hope through my book, regardless if they share similar trials or not. I’m thankful for the gracious reviews from as far away as Mexico and India. Truly I feel as though I have a front row seat watching God’s hand at work touching and encouraging the lives of others.
For those who haven’t heard the story of your remarkable journey, it is one that is so inspiring and challenging to all of us—no matter our personal life difficulties and challenges—to focus on what’s truly important in life, pursue forgiveness, and find hope. If you don't mind, please tell us something about your background and life experiences that inspired you to write this book.
When I came to faith as a suburban mom of two young children, I thought God would show up and “fix” my less than perfect world. But, it didn’t quite work that way. Instead, He gave me clearer vision to really see what my situation had become. I was married to an alcoholic, unfaithful, abusive husband who had vowed to kill me if I ever tried to leave with our children. To make matters worse, his mistress was a close friend who was like a sister to me. It seemed to be an impossible mess. During that difficult time, the story of Daniel really ministered to me. I learned to focus on God, rather than the lions in my life. I trusted Him with each step necessary to provide safety for me and my children. Amidst my life’s turmoil, I felt God say to me that one day He would use my story, having no idea how he could use my broken path. Two years ago sitting a conference, moved by the transparency of the speakers, God spoke to my heart and said “write.”
I’m intrigued by the catchy title, A Search for Purple Cows, and am curious how you came up with it. Would you please fill us in?
On the day I fled with my children, a private investigator who had helped me leaned down to wish my children well. Searching for something encouraging and appropriate, he blurted out “be sure to look for purple cows.” My children, four and six jumped into my van wide-eyed, scanning the world beyond the windows for purple cows. It was a valuable lesson in focus for me. They weren’t looking back at our broken home, our torn lives, and shattered dreams but instead ahead to the unknown and perhaps impossible things that lie ahead. In our faith, I believe that’s what God wants us to do – focus on Him, and not limit Him by what we think is possible.
What is it that you hope your readers will take with them as a result of reading your book?
One of the biggest lies this world has to offer is that we’re the only one struggling and that everyone else has “life” all figured out. We’re not alone in our difficulties. I would love for readers to know that no matter what life has dealt them, they are not alone. God is available, present, and loves them. Life’s lions may be close but the same God that protected Daniel can give each and every one of us His strength and peace.
You are a nationally and internationally sought after speaker. Please tell us about some of the meaningful experiences you have had in this work and also about the main thrust of your passionate message.
I’ve been incredibly moved by the women who have reached out to me. From those caught in abusive dangerous situations inspired to seek help, to those who thought that because of their trials God had given up on them, or others who are just caught in the challenging routines of a busy daily life – I’ve been blessed to see God’s hand at work giving them a fresh new hope and sense of self worth.
While my speaking engagements are tailored to the audience or event, I speak passionately about our self-worth – what and who has influenced our sense of value, our focus – where we focus shapes our journey, and forgiveness – because it frees us to really live after we’ve been hurt. I enjoy sharing practical tips and powerful analogies that help us to see the fingerprints of God in our daily lives.
So, what’s next on the horizon for you in your speaking and writing ministry? Do you have any special projects that are currently in the works?
I’m looking forward to bringing the message of A Search for Purple Cows to audiences throughout the year. I have a variety of speaking engagements from women’s teas to full weekend retreats. On the writing front, I’ve begun a blog and am beginning to work on my next book project. My newest “project” is working with a mission’s team at my church partnering with Compassion International for our July trip to the Dominican Republic. My husband and I will be traveling with a team of 15 to be God’s hands and feet there.
Susan, once again it has been such a privilege and honor to have you agree to this interview. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to share a bit of yourself and your passion with us. As always, I would like to give you the opportunity to have the final word and see if there’s anything you would like to say to us by way of parting.
Thank you Dr. Fraser. It’s been great “chatting” with you. I’ll leave you and your readers with this encouraging thought – God is not limited to what we think is possible. He is capable of so much more. When Peter focused on Him, he walked on water. When Daniel focused on Him, he was spared from hungry lions. When I focused on Him, I found the possibility of purple cows. Now it’s your turn, what is possible in your life when you focus on Him?
Susan Call is a speaker and author who enjoys sharing her insights from life's valleys, offering hope and wisdom to her audiences. She holds a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern Nazarene College and a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Susquehanna University. Her website is susancall.com.
Her new award-winning book, A Search for Purple Cows, is available everywhere!