Kim Vogel Sawyer
I predominantly write historical stories. I love slipping through a portal into the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. But every now and then, characters who belong in a contemporary setting whisper in my ear and ask to have their story told. Such was the case for From This Moment.
At least ten years ago, one of my dearest friends, Eileen Key, showed me an article in a magazine about a young Amish woman who wove items from donated clothing and sold them to raise money for missionaries. She suggested, “Wouldn’t it make a neat story if she found something unusual or valuable in the pocket of one of the pairs of donated pants?”
Every now and then after that, she’d ask, “When’re you gonna write that story about the weaver?” The weaver had already made herself known in my mind, but I’m not a mystery or suspense writer; the story would have to be more than finding the item’s owner. And suddenly Jase Edgar stepped into the picture, and right behind him came Lori Fowler.
Jase is a young man struggling with doubt. He’d committed to serving the Lord overseas as a missionary, and then tragedy struck. With the foundation of his plans shattered, he questioned whether God really cared, or if God was even there. Don’t we all have those moments of confusion and questioning when things don’t go the way we expected? His new “chapter of life” as a youth pastor feels like a farce. How can he teach kids to trust when he’s lost his trust in God? A wise minister named Merlin Kraft—inspired by my father’s boyhood mentor—will gently bring Jase back on track.
Lori and I have a lot in common. We both lost our moms—a devastating blow—and in grief and loneliness, we turned to a common comfort: food. My heart went out to Lori, who only wanted to feel as if someone was always there for her, the way her mother had been. Well, food is always there, but it isn’t as “fulfilling” as Lori wanted it to be. Lori’s journey from using food as her comfort to leaning on Jesus is a very personal one, and I pray her discovery will encourage others to let go of worldly things that can never fully satisfy and rely on the only One who is able to fill and complete us.
Then, of course, there is the weaver, Kenzie Stetler, born MacKenzie Hochstetler to an Amish family in Indiana. She always tried to follow the community’s expectations for behavior, but she never felt as if she could do enough to be right with God. Then, on her rumspringa (the running-around period young people experience before joining the church), she met a group of college students who shared Ephesians 2:8-9 with her and told her how to receive salvation, thanks to Jesus’ work and God’s grace. From the moment Kenzie accepted the gift of grace and truly believed her place in heaven was forever secure, her life changed. From then, she performed works not to earn salvation, but as a loving outflow in appreciation for what Jesus had done for her. Kenzie’s character—a woman who still believed many of the things she’d been taught as a child—was inspired in part by the magazine article referenced above and in part by a dear, former-Amish couple in Ohio who set aside works for the assurance of grace-given salvation.
I only have one regret concerning this story. My friend won’t see the book in print. She graduated to glory during the editing stage. But you know what? She’d accepted the gift of salvation offered through grace, so she is now in heaven with her Savior, seeing much greater things than a published book. And that assurance makes my heart smile.
Award-winning, bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer wears many hats. As a wife, mother, grandmother, song-singer, cat-petter, and active participant in her church’s music and women’s ministries, her life is happily full. But her passion lies in penning stories that share the hope we can all possess when we place our lives in God’s capable hands. She and her retired military hubby live on the beautiful plains of Kansas, the setting for many of Kim’s books. In her free time, she enjoys quilting, traveling with “The Hubs,” and spoiling her quiverful of granddarlings.
Visit Kim: https://kimvogelsawyer.com/