Author Interview & Book Giveaway! But God, wouldn’t I be more useful to You if I were Healthy?

Thank you, Esther Smith for joining us to discuss your brand new book, “But God, wouldn’t I be more useful to you if I were healthy?” Congratulations on being Amazon’s #1 hot new release in Christian Counseling and Recovery in your first week as a published author! Let’s jump in and talk more about your book!
But God wouldn't I be more useful to you if I were healthy Abodyofhope Interview with Author Esther Smith

1.    Did you do anything special to celebrate the release of your first book? ~or~ How did you reward yourself when you completed writing “But God, wouldn’t I be more useful to you if I were healthy?”

The night my book was released I celebrated with dark chocolate and a glass of red wine. My favorite indulgence. I am hoping to get out to my favorite restaurant this month, and that will definitely be a part of the celebration. To me celebration equals all of my favorite foods!

2.    Aside from writing, how do you enjoy spending your free time? (hobbies/activities)

I have had a hard time coming up with hobbies I enjoy since chronic pain became a part of my life, which is one of the reasons I turned to writing in my free time. But, I do enjoy reading, lying out at the local pool, and cooking delicious recipes.

3.    How would you describe your personal writing process? (Are you research-driven, methodical, intuitive, spiritually motivated, etc. Please explain).

 For me, writing typically looks like sitting down with an empty head and writing about a topic that is important to me without much prior thought. Oftentimes, I don’t know what I think about a particular topic until I put it into words on paper. It is the act of typing and writing freely without restraint that brings me to my best ideas. Then I come back later with research, additional stories, and more attention to detail. Those final changes are important, but it is the original brainstorming that gives life to my words.

4.    Thus far, what is your favorite aspect of becoming a published author? (designing the cover of your book, the writing process itself, doing interviews like these, etc.)

 I have loved hearing feedback from readers. It is the best feeling in the world when someone tells me that my book helped them in some way or that they were challenged to think differently by something that I wrote.

What is your least favorite aspect of becoming a published author? (the editing process, marketing, doing interviews like these, etc.)

I greatly dislike wearing all of the hats in the publishing process. I was not able to pay for help for any part of my book, so I edited it myself, though I am far from an editor. I also designed the book cover, though design is not my strong point. I would much prefer to focus on my strengths and get help with the rest. 

5.    “Resting as an act of faith” is one part of your book I felt was particularly inspired, and is wisdom that both well and chronically ill individuals can benefit from. Can you explain what in your own life lead you to write about resting by faith?  

For so long I tried to maintain the same life I had always lived even though chronic pain made this difficult. I became burned out, and my health started to regress because I was doing more than my body could handle. I maintained all my responsibilities because I felt guilty about giving them up. But I finally realized that letting go of what was physically harmful to my body was not something to feel guilty about. I realized that I was not stewarding my body well, and that being faithful with the body I had been given meant letting go of things that were good but harmful to me. It was a freeing realization and allowed me to better serve in the areas that I didn’t give up.

6.    One of your readers, Ginny asks: Did you have any hesitation in sharing the personal thoughts expressed in your book? (she adds that she can’t wait for your next book!)

Yes! My book was more personal than much of my blog. I poured out some of my deepest fears and failures. Releasing the book left me feeling so vulnerable. But hearing readers say that they could relate helped a lot. It all felt worth it in the end.

7.    Blog follower, Max asks: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

 For a long time, I had the basis of good material and important points that I wanted to convey, but I didn’t know how to make it interesting. Like I mentioned before, I did have hesitation about sharing personal thoughts and stories, so I left those out at first. As I read through my material and shared it with a few close friends, I could tell that the material was dry. Perhaps I was making good points, but what good was that if no one wanted to read it in the end? My greatest challenge was growing in my ability to write content that had solid ideas conveyed through interesting stories.

8.    Because I follow your blog, I know that you live with chronic pain. How has Chronic Pain influenced you or inspired you to write more often, or has it?

Before chronic pain, I would not have called myself a writer. It was chronic pain that gave me something important to write about. As I looked for answers to my own questions, I found limited resources on chronic pain from a Christian perspective. Many of the resources I did find were either lacking in depth or didn’t seem to understand the actual experience of chronic pain. As both a Christian counselor and an individual with chronic pain, I felt able to address the topic with both depth and insight. If not me, who else would do it? That is what led me to writing.

9. “Giving out of a poverty of health” was one of my favorite pieces of wisdom you shared in your book. Can you give a brief example (or explanation) of giving from a poverty of health?

 At one point my health regressed to where I could only work at my job as a counselor 2-4 hours a week. And even that felt almost impossible to maintain. I would go in every Wednesday to see as few as one or two counselees and then drag myself home. It felt ridiculous to work so little, and I seriously considered quitting my job. I am so glad I didn’t. My one or two counselees mattered. I may not have counseled a great number of individuals, but I did my best with the few I had. 

10.    Can you give us a hint of the focus of your next book?

 I am going back and forth between a few different ideas. The next book in the Chronic Pain and the Christian Life series may be about mourning and grief in the context of pain and illness. Or, it may be about communicating our pain and relationships with others. I also want to write about the shame of chronic pain at some point. Too many ideas and too little time! But, I am working towards the next one coming out this fall.

~Reader Reviews~
“This is the first book of its kind: reconciling faith with illness.”
“It’s a wonderful book, it is most encouraging and well written. It’s an excellent read for both sufferers of chronic pain and the people who care for them.”
-Nancy Belz
“I love her honesty and the reflection questions that conclude this wonderful book- I found insight- comfort- motivation, and hope in Esther Smith’s sharing. This would be a great book for a small group study in person or online!”
-Ginny Law

How to win a free signed copy or e-book?
To participate in the random book give-away drawing, in the comments section below, let us know:
1. Where you found the link to this interview
2. Tell us where on social media you are sharing this link
I will contact the winner Friday, Aug. 5th! Good luck, and thank you for reading!


But God, Wouldn’t I be More Useful to You if I Were Healthy? is Available to purchase on Amazon in paperback or ebook.

About abodyofhope

I do not know why it is that we must wade through tragic circumstances to find truth. We nearly drown! But under the water, there are pearls. I hope in writing this blog, more will come to the surface. Over the past 15 years living with chronic pain, patient advocacy has had a powerful effect on my life through meeting so many remarkable teens, women and men: SURVIVORS. These individuals are HOPE personified. I wish to honor them in the same spirit they have encouraged me to press on. Eight years ago, I became bed-bound from a variety of secondary chronic illnesses. A procedure meant to help the pain condition I had been managing for several years- went bust #BIGTIME. Over the years, my entire life has changed. I have changed, but I am still striving to live my best life possible. Along with sharing inspiring pieces about spiritual wellness and finding quality of life inside of ongoing illness, I also share health research, awareness information, poetry, memes, art, and this blog is also an attempt to put my own pieces back together. Welcome to A Body of Hope, and thank you for visiting. [Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/ RSD, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Dysautonomia, Chronic Intractable Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Occipital Neuralgia, Hypersensitivity to Sound & Light, Fibro, CFS/ME, Cerebrospinal Fluid Imbalance......blah, blah, blah] >>> P.S. My headgear is protective for pain. I just rock it hard ;)

Posted on August 2, 2016, in Christian, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Interviews, Purpose, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Oh wow!! So happy you made this interview, you clever rabbit!! I did wonder about a lot of that about Esther’s writing process and struggles through it. I’ll have to reach out to her for cover editing maybe for next time as I have worked with an equivalent of Photoshop proficiently for half my life (18 years). 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Clau! Thank you for the sweet encouragement, you silly rabbit, you! 😉 I was lucky enough that she said yes to the interview!
      That’s so kind of you to offer your services to her! That’s the generous sort of person you are. Very rare in this world!


  2. Thank you so much for doing this Mary! As a heads up, the book I give away will be a paperback copy with additional journaling questions, so even if you have the kindle version, you may be interested 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello to our author! 🙂 😀
      It is my pleasure, Esther! Thank you for giving me the opportunity!

      That’s great information to know about your book! What a fabulous keepsake to write our thoughts on the back as we go along reading, or to have an additional copy to give a friend as a gift.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I found this via Esther’s page. Will be sharing it in a few groups!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I really enjoyed hearing about the author’s inspiration and process! I am anxious to read the book. (By the way, I saw this on Mary’s Twitter and shared it on Twitter.)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. *I found this giveaway from the awesome author and on her fb page for life in slow motion 🙂
    *and I shared this on my fb page! Going to share with my many endo n spoonie sisters too!! Thank you for the giveaway and awesome interview!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joy! Thank you for sharing and for visiting! Have a blessed day!


    • Hi Joy!
      Congratulations! You are the winner of the free copy of “But God, Wouldn’t I be more useful to you if I were Healthy” by Esther Smith!
      Lucky girl, you!

      You’re going to love her book! I can’t wait until you have it in your personal collection to enjoy and share 🙂

      Please email me at by Monday to make mailing arrangements.

      Congrats, big winner!


  6. What a great interview! I heard about this giveaway from Esther in a Facebook group we are members in together. I look forward to getting a copy (hopefully soon!) and reading more of her heart-words. I’m going to share this on my Facebook page.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much Gina! “Heart Words” is a perfect description for Esther’s writing. Thank you for popping by and for sharing. It is nice to meet a mutual friend of Esther’s!


  7. I love Esther’s book! It’s truth and it’s comforting. I also enjoyed this interview and learning about her writing process, her strengths vs weaknesses. Although she said cover desdign is not her strongpoint, I thought the cover was superb! Thank you, Esther, for this powerful book and thank you, Mary, for bringing this gem to light!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Found this link through Esther’s blog – Life in Slow Motion. I’m posting this link on my facebook page.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I found this link on ” A body of Hope ” page. I loved the interview. Mary asked the perfect questions! I can’t wait to read the book, (I hope I win! 🙂 ) I am posting this on Facebook.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Aubrey Bergman

    I have shared the information of this book on our support page in Ft Wayne and Love LWR page and the support and people on there. I am so excited to read this book. I really would love to win a copy.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hey, such a cool interview, thanks for sharing! As an aspiring writer, love hearing of the process, and the rewards once a book is finished, gets my juices flowing!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m very behind on my blog reading. But I really enjoyed learning more about you and your writing inspiration, Esther. I wish you much success and hope you continue to spread your joyful message 🙂


  1. Pingback: Book Giveaway at A Body of Hope | Life in Slow Motion

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