Story Behind the Story: Pamela


Home All Along concludes the Amish Secrets series, so there were quite a few threads that I wanted to tie up that led to a satisfactory conclusion for readers. But buried within the pages was a personal goal targeted toward a person who is close to me.

While writing the story, I learned that this person—let’s call her Pamela—didn’t believe in heaven. Pam believes in God, but she doesn’t think there is anything for us after that. I know this woman well enough to know that preaching to her wasn’t going to work and would only push her further away from the truth. I began thinking of ways that I could ‘show’ her that heaven truly does exist, without beating her over the head with a theology she wasn’t buying into.

So I wrote this issue into the book, hoping to subtly reach Pam. I believe that there is a way to feel heaven here on earth, or at the least, to attain an all-knowing certainty that it exists. I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but for me, I just know.

I went into the story hoping God would lead me in the right direction to reach Pam, even if just a tiny bit. Maybe it’s just a start. I want Pam to know heaven and feel what we have to look forward to. I want her there with me someday.

Our faith journey is such a personal one, but reaching out to Pam was my main goal while I was writing Home All Along. Did I succeed? I don’t know.

Maybe it wasn’t Pam who I was supposed to reach. Perhaps it is the reader who is walking in the bookstore and picks up my book for reasons she can’t explain. Maybe this reader doesn’t even like Amish fiction, but God has lead her to this story. I’ll be praying for Pam to get on board, and I may never know the random reader the story might help, but I felt called to include this important issue in the book.