Tuesday, June 23, 2020

REMADE: Living Free

About a week or so I presented my readers with a BOOK OF THE DAY called, "Remade: Living Free," by Nicole Byrum. I had great response to that posting and as a result, I am now interviewing her. First, a little reminder of what her book is about.

Remade: Living Free Paperback – April 27, 2020

by Nicole Byrum  (Author)

For anyone who has experienced the depths of addiction or the pain of unhealthy relationships, this book was written for you. As a therapist of 13 years, I have spent countless hours listening to stories and struggles of substance use and pain. As a follower of Jesus, I wanted to write a book centered on the biblical truths of common struggles experienced by those in recovery. Topics explored in this book include guilt and shame, God as our Father and Healer, Friendship, Perseverance, Purpose, The Importance of Not Compromising, and How to Live Abundantly. While I wrote this book with a specific population in mind, the more I wrote, the more I realized this is a book for anyone who desires to know more of God. I invite you to open the pages found here, for within them lies everything I could ever hope for you to know about living in true freedom.

Nicole Byrum 

REMADE: Living Free
Follow Remade: Living Free Page on Facebook

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

My name is Nicole Byrum, and I am from a small town in northwest Ohio.  I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home and attended an evangelical church.  As a child and all through high school, I loved going to church, being a part of a youth group, and learning about God.  These years were formative in my faith and in my relationship with Jesus.  Following high school, I attended Huntington University in Indiana and received BA’s in psychology and sociology.  In college, I ran cross country, and track, and subsequently, met my husband.  After graduation from Huntington, my husband and I moved to Abilene, Texas, so I could obtain my Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.  This was an amazing program and a fun way to start married life!

After graduating from ACU, we moved to Lafayette, Indiana, for three years, where I worked as a therapist at a community mental health agency.  It was here my work with women in addiction began.  During this time, my husband and I attended a church with fantastic Bible teaching.  I am so thankful for Battle Ground Bible Church.  It was here I was able to understand in a more profound way the truths of God.  However, when the opportunity presented itself, we moved back to my hometown in Ohio, where we currently reside.  I continue my work as a therapist at our local community mental health agency, and my husband teaches high school physics and engineering.  We have two ambitious and lively children, 11 and 9 years old.  I am still an avid runner and also love to cook and read.   Writing has become a new passion in my life, and I am so thankful for the opportunities the last year and a half have brought with this endeavor.  

I also maintain a website that includes a blog and a podcast.  You can check it out at nicolebyrum.com.  My podcast is called “5 Minute Word” and can be found under the media section of my website or at http://anchor.fm/nicole-byrum

What inspired you to author this book?

I have worked with women in recovery from substance abuse for 14 years, both in individual and group capacities.  Most of these women also have a history of trauma or domestic violence (or unhealthy relationships of some kind).  God laid it on my heart to write a book that focuses on the issues they encounter in recovery from a biblical/theological perspective.  For instance, I have chapters on perseverance, God as our Father and Healer, Guilt and Shame, Friendship, Purpose, Not Compromising, and the meaning of Abundant Life.  I absolutely loved writing this book!  It truly has been one of my favorite things I’ve done in my life. 

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

As I neared the end of writing the book, I reached out to my friend, Nate Vandlen, who is a graphic designer.  He was a good friend from my college days at Huntington, and I thought it would be cool if he could do the cover!  It’s funny because I really had no specific vision for the cover other than I wanted “warm colors.”  However, I was at peace about not having a vision because I felt like God was saying to me, “You don’t have to have that vision, Nate does!”  I would never have imagined a tree... but that’s what it was!  Nate told me he liked that image because it symbolizes growth, regeneration, seasons, and faith.  And I absolutely loved the reflective aspect of the cover, because, to me, that signified being Remade. I love it and think he did an amazing job! 

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

God has blessed me beyond measure in the “people” department of my life.  I have two amazing parents who both follow Jesus, and they, of course, have been hugely influential.  I’ve always said that because I’m only a child God decided to bless me with fantastic friends throughout my life!  Those friends (and youth group leaders in high school) have played such a key role for me personally and in my faith.  I also have an amazing husband and am awed by his kindness.  The way he serves our kids and me is incredible.  I strive to be more like him.  

As a writer, I’m going to give two different angles.  In terms of being able to write from a biblical/theological perspective, Kenny Loehe (the pastor from BGBC) has been an enormous influence.  Reading books by R.C. Sproul, John Piper, C.H. Spurgeon, and A.W. Tozer, has also greatly enriched my theology over the last three years.  

Stylistically?  I absolutely love classic fiction!  I think the works of Dickens, Tolstoy, and Hugo are just beautiful.  When I was writing my book, I aimed to write something easy to understand, yet theologically rich, engaging, and written in a beautiful way. 

Tell your readers about your book.

As I said above, I wrote this book for women in recovery and/or for those who have experienced unhealthy relationships.  However, I also believe this is a great book for anyone who wants to grow in both their knowledge and faith in Jesus.  This book is Christ-centered and approaches the topics mentioned above in a unique way.  Often in the realm of psychology and therapy, a humanistic approach is taken regarding those topics, and I wanted to write something full of truth.  This book is literally everything I would ever want any of my clients to know about finding true freedom.  It’s about how to find identity in Christ.

Who is your target audience, and why?

Women who are in recovery from substance abuse and/or unhealthy relationships.  It’s for anyone who wants to know more of God and the person of Jesus.  Even for those who have been Christians for quite some time, this book is an encouraging read, and a reminder of who you are in Christ! 

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

My children.  I am so proud of them.  My daughter is 11, and she has such a heart and passion for Jesus already.  She is so kind and compassionate, yet she is bold in her faith and unashamed to stand up for truth.  My son is 9, and he feels very strongly about God as Creator!  He was given a feisty spirit, and I pray he will use this to be bold for Jesus.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

I think I have a unique way of connecting ideas with Scripture and personal stories.  Listening to Christian music is a big part of my everyday life, and how I worship, so I bring some of those song lyrics into the mix as well.  I also think the blend of my background as a therapist with my passion for theology is unique.