Today it is my great pleasure to introduce you to Jocelyn Green, author of Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives! And as a special treat, read on to see how you can have a chance to win this inspiring book!
Amber: Thank you so much for joining us today, Jocelyn! To start, could you share with us a little bit about yourself and how you met your husband?
Jocelyn: Sure! I live in Cedar Falls, Iowa, with my husband Rob (a former Coast Guard officer) and our two children, who are ages two and four years old. I have always loved writing, but it wasn’t until I became a military wife in 2003 that I felt like I actually had something valuable enough to put in a book.
But backing up a little- I met my husband in 2002 at the Memorial Day church service at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Va. (I worked as an editor at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. at the time.) On this particular Sunday, all the military members of the congregation (which were many, since we were so near the Pentagon) were asked to dress in uniform. When the church band played the military anthems, the members of each branch were to stand and sing along with their song. I had never noticed Rob before but he was sitting directly behind me and when it was his turn to stand up and sing with the Coast Guard anthem, wow, did he ever belt it out! I just had to turn around and see who in the world this guy was. When I saw him, I was suddenly very sorry I was sitting next to a guy, who was just my ride to church since I didn’t own a car. I didn’t want Rob to think I was “taken.” But obviously, we sorted that out pretty quickly. :)
Amber: What inspired you to write Faith Deployed? How has the book (writing it and getting it published) impacted your own life?
Jocelyn: I was inspired to write Faith Deployed because I was spiritually starved for something that taught me how relevant the Bible was to me, as a military wife. Rob and I married in Arlington, Va., and moved to Alaska two days later. It was rough. One week after we arrived in the small town of Homer, Alaska, he left for the first of many separations.
That year was isolating geographically, socially, emotionally, and vocationally. But it was during that time of isolation that God really drew me to himself and showed me all kinds of truth and comfort from His Word. I felt like I was reading the Bible through new lenses (those of a military wife), and God clearly showed me how much he cares for me and still has my best interests in mind.
I thought, “Surely, there is a devotional book full of all this stuff I am learning, and even more, written just for military wives.” But I didn’t find one, so I decided to write it myself. However, I knew that I wanted to get other military wives from all branches of service to contribute to it so it would represent a broad array of experiences. The book would not have been possible without the 14 contributors.
Writing the book impacted my life greatly, because I had to look back at every hard situation I faced and evaluate what God was trying to show me so I could use it as material in my book. Doing that really helped me see how God doesn’t waste what we consider as trials or wastes of time. Also, connecting with the contributors and reading their submissions as they came in just further underscored God’s faithfulness, even in times of war, uncertainty, and pain. God is still God, no matter what. That’s the one thing we can cling to, and that’s the theme that underlies the entire book.
Amber: What was it like writing a devotional book as a collaborative effort? How did you meet the other women who contributed to the book, and do you still keep in touch with them?
Jocelyn: I loved doing the book collaboratively. I can’t even tell you how I met each woman. I had only met one of them in person by the time the book was published: Lori Mumford was another godly Coast Guard wife I befriended in Homer while I was there. Some of the contributors were already published authors and speakers for military wives, so I asked them to join me and they graciously agreed. Others learned about it from an ad I placed in a chaplain’s wife’s newsletter. A couple of them had published articles in magazines that I read, so I followed up with them and they agreed.
Since the book published, I have had the great pleasure of meeting four other contributors at conferences we have attended for military wives: Marshele Carter Waddell, Sara Horn, Rebekah Benimoff and Ronda Sturgill. Meeting these women is always the highlight of the event.
I do keep in touch with most of them regularly. I send them updates on the good news I hear about the book (awards, positive feedback from readers, etc.) because the book simply would not exist without them. And several of them are regular bloggers for the Web site that was born out of the book: www.faithdeployed.com. They, in turn, let me know when they make their PCS (Permanent Change of Station) moves, so they keep me busy updating my address book.
Amber: As a published, award-winning author, have you learned anything about remaining humble that you could share with us?
Jocelyn: Honestly, it’s very easy to stay humble about this book because I know that any credit has to be split 15 ways among all of the women who helped me write it. I consider myself an “unlikely vessel” to be used by God to speak into the lives of other military wives because I was only a military wife myself for one year. Still, it was enough time to recognize the need for spiritual support, and enough motivation to do something about it.
Amber: How can we pray for you and your family, as well as all military families in general?
Jocelyn: Thank you for asking! You can pray for me as I am working on a very tight deadline for a sequel to Faith Deployed right now- Faith Deployed Again! I’m so excited about this project, and just learned last week that Moody Publishers wants to do this. I’m working with even more contributors for this book, so please pray that we will all carve out time in our holiday schedules to write the devotions that God wants us to write. We have less than two months to complete it.
For military families in general, pray for God to strengthen their marriages, to heal the broken-hearted and to restore hope where it has faded away. Pray that even when they are hurting and face challenges, that they will recognize God’s presence in their lives.
More specifically, I just so happen to have a prayer request list for deployed military HERE, and another list for the spouses at home HERE.
Amber: Jocelyn, thank you so much for sharing with us today, and thank you for the sacrifices you have made for our country. It is an honor to host you here!
Readers, would you like a chance to win a copy of Jocelyn's great devotional book? If so, leave a comment on today's post saying you would like to be entered in the drawing, and please include your e-mail address. This giveaway is for those with a U.S. mailing address only. A winner will be announced next Monday (November 29).
Be looking for my partial review of this book soon! I can say right now, though, that whether or not you are a military wife, this book is an encouragement and a comfort. So whether you know of someone you can give this book to, or whether you yourself would like a copy, this book is a blessing!
Don't forget to leave an encouraging comment for Jocelyn, as well!