Today, Autumn speaks to us about her book, a personal struggle, and using the Bible as our first and not last resort.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I was very blessed to grow up in the Bible Belt in East Tennessee. My parents, who are still married, raised my brother and I in church. Until I became older, I didn’t realize how blessed I was to live near both sets of grandparents as well as three great-grandparents who lived until my teenage years. Family was and is extremely important to me. I always remember being surrounded by my extended family at birthdays, Christmas, and Easter celebrations as well as any events that I participated in school. I just thought all kids spent the night with their grandparents baking cookies and eating popcorn while watching movies. I don’t take for granted that my childhood was filled with love and support but also discipline. We were taught by example to use our manners and the importance of serving others, and I hope I can instill that same message into our daughter.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: This is a great question seeing that we are still in the midst of the Coronavirus as well as the election. It has been so tiring to watch the news and see our great country in despair. I think for me and many believers around the world we can cling to the verse from the book of Galatians which says, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (6:9). In other words, if we can focus on God’s purpose for our lives and continue taking opportunities to further His kingdom as the following verse states, we will continue to thrive despite the negativity around us.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I want to focus on really learning Scripture to the best of my ability. I am so in awe of pastors, such as Dr. David Jeremiah, who has such understanding of God’s Word. It is very difficult for me to find available time in being a working mom, promoting my Christian book, and serving our church; however, I know there are many things that take priority of my time that I could definitely replace with reading God’s Word.
Profession: Obstetrics & Gynecology Nurse Practitioner
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? I already did– it’s called Type A Christian. That’s me in a nutshell! My book contrasts successful Type A traits to the nine attributes of the fruit of the Spirit and helps us identify “when traits to prune and which traits to grow.”
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I was saved at the young age of ten years old. I knew who God was, and I believed Jesus died for me and rose again. I knew various stories in the Bible after attending Sunday school and church for many years, but I really didn’t feel like He talked to me until about ten years ago. Now, was I alone during the time that I was saved until then? Of course not! I felt many convictions by the Holy Spirit for my sinful behavior, but I never really felt like God spoke to me until after I had my daughter, which I wrote about in the introduction of my book. I was planning to start a blog entitled, “The Type A Mother;” however, I awoke from a dream one morning and remember the term “Type A Christian!” I knew it was God who provided me with not only this new title but a book that would benefit others who are Type A just like me.
How has your relationship with Him changed you? I remember talking with one of my former co-workers who was saved in his 20s after many years of sinful and selfless living. I told him that I felt like his testimony was better than mine since I had always been a Christian, but he quickly reassured me. At that time I really didn’t feel like I had a testimony–I had a great life, a great family and husband, and blessed with a great career. But even though I was a professing Christian, I wasn’t doing my part to have a relationship with Him. I think we need to remember it’s a two-way relationship. And when I started taking notes during church and putting more effort into learning more about God, I started to feel closer to Him. Little did I know that He was preparing to give me an awesome testimony in the years to come.
“When I started taking notes during church and putting more effort into learning more about God, I started to feel closer to Him.”
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? My husband and I suffered with infertility for about three years. It was mentally, physically, and financially exhausting. Luckily, we were able to naturally conceive a beautiful baby girl. Unfortunately, she was quickly diagnosed with hearing loss, and I felt the breath knocked out of me after each specialist confirmed her diagnosis. I prayed to God for so many years to have a baby, and I was so excited when our prayers were finally answered. But after her diagnosis, I was so worried about her health and questioned so many times, “Why our baby?” I was so upset and angry and scared at the same time. However, God was with us through the support and prayers of our friends and family as well as our church family. I remember praying to God that our daughter would just be ‘ok.’ Yet I have seen God in our daughter so many times throughout her life as evidenced by her love for Jesus. I remember tearing up after she won the 4H speech competition in the fifth grade–despite her speech therapist’s concern many years ago. I know that God created her in His image, and I am so glad that we are able to watch Him prepare her for His purpose.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Currently, I am writing my second book, a follow-up to Type A Christian, and I am researching how to overcome obstacles in order to maintain the nine attributes of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. It is so funny that the Bible has answers on how to avoid stumbling blocks and how to overcome them, yet we often look to the Bible last in our efforts to find solutions. It is very important to me to include various Scripture in my book as the foundation for any recommendations.
“It is so funny that the Bible has answers on how to avoid stumbling blocks and how to overcome them, yet we often look to the Bible last in our efforts to find solutions.”
Top three essentials: My family, Hallmark and chocolate.
Hobby: Singing! I love to sing. I sing for our church on our contemporary praise team. I sing a solo for the song “What a Beautiful Name” by Hillsong Worship, but it is so difficult for me to sing because the words have such emotion. I also love to cook! My family’s favorite recipe is my salmon!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: First, take notes while you read the Bible or while listening to your pastor’s sermon; it helps you remember and retain even more Scriptural information to apply when needed. Second, pray and keep a journal of answered prayers for you and others. And third, surround yourself with strong Christian individuals; this could be a church or small group that offers prayer and support for when you need it the most.
Favorite person in scripture? If I was to choose another individual other than Jesus, I would choose Esther. She risked her own life for her faith in order to save God’s people. And God not only used her beauty but intelligence and obedience to fulfill His will.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? In the wake of racial issues, I hope that others can see God’s love for all people in the way that I treat others. I also pray that in my profession as a health care provider that I never discriminate anyone no matter their color, their age, their financial status, or their choices for health care. I believe that God is a God of love and wants nothing but His children to accept His love as shown by sending His only Son to die for our sins in order for us to be with Him forever.
How do you engage with your community? As a health care provider in women’s health, I pray that I am able to encourage a healthy lifestyle for those within our community. As a Christian author, I pray that I can encourage a healthy spiritual lifestyle through my speaking engagements at local church and women’s groups. And as a pastor’s wife and Christian mother, I pray that I am able to serve my family, church, and community through various outlets, such as feeding homeless, assisting with local school drives to help provide essential clothing and hygiene needs, and supporting various mission organizations for local Christian radio stations as well as international missionaries.
Favorite holiday? Christmas. I love the focus on Jesus’ birth as well as the special music that fills my heart each season. I also look forward to sharing time with family and friends and sharing gifts with others.
A goal you have? I would love to be more active in my writing and to have a series for my Type A Christian book, such as Type A Christian Mother, Type A Christian Spouse, etc. But I am excited to work on a special devotion book for my third project after publishing my second book, hopefully in the next year or two.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Chocolate chip pancakes on Saturday (my cheat day lasts from breakfast until dessert after dinner)!
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? What were my missed opportunities?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I would love to raise awareness for diagnosis and treatment for Children’s hearing loss. It is sad that many insurances do not cover hearing aids, which are essential in providing a productive, quality of life for many children and would prevent stress and financial burden to many families. In our area we have an organization called “Waiting to Hear” who helps provide hearing aids in our community.
What is on your nightstand? Alarm clock with phone charger, chapstick, face lotion and anti-aging cream, picture of my daughter and I, and several books.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Great question! I actually defined my idea of a Type A Christian in my book as “someone who has learned how to use their positive personality traits and has overcome negative behaviors in order to fulfill their role as a follower of Christ.” I hope this definition rings true for those with various personality types.
For more Autumn:
Her first Christian book, “Type A Christian: Transforming Personality Traits into Fruitful Growth” is available in eBook, paperback, and audiobook version on Amazon!
Until next time, keep witnessing!