The author interview series continues, with an exclusive interview with Kate Motaung, author of A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging.
1. What do you hope readers gain from reading A Place to Land?
Oh, many things! 😉 But primarily I pray that their hearts will be stirred toward a greater longing to spend eternity with their Redeemer and Savior. I pray that they’ll be encouraged to hold this life loosely and to remember that this world is not all that there is—the best is yet to come. I also pray that they will find their anchor in Jesus Christ amidst the turbulent trials of this life, holding fast to the truth that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
2. What was one of the toughest parts about writing your memoir? What was one of the most surprising? Most rewarding?
Toughest: The tears! Crying almost EVERY TIME I sat down to work through certain sections of the book. It didn’t matter if I was writing or reading it for the first or thirty-first time, I still got choked up during the same chapters and had to wipe tears at some of the most inconvenient times.
Most surprising: The sanctifying process of the writing, editing, revising, waiting, trusting, sending, giving, and laboring. I expected that writing and publishing a book would be a monumental task, but I had no idea how much it would stretch and grow me spiritually. Even if the book did not get published, the process was so worth it for my own walk with the Lord.
Most rewarding: The satisfaction of knowing I’ve done my very best before the Lord to offer up a work for His glory, and hearing stories of how He has already used it to work in readers’ lives for good. All praise and glory to Him alone . . . “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness” (Psalm 115:1).
3. What is one of the main verses that upheld you during the difficult road of your mom’s cancer?
Oh, there were many. So grateful for the way that God’s Word sustained me during some very dark days, weeks, and months.
One passage in particular really buoyed me up when I was tempted to sink. I mentioned one of the verses above, but really this whole section was a great help to me on countless occasions and in many different ways:
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” ( 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
4. What advice would you have for someone is thinking about doing mission work?
Be sure of your calling. It’s easy to romanticize the notion of going to “save the lost,” or experience life in a different culture—but the truth is, it can be an all-out spiritual battle. There will likely be lonely, dark seasons when you’re tempted to throw in the towel, pack your bags, and go home.
You’ll miss out on family gatherings, birthdays, holidays, funerals, weddings. You’ll cry over stupid things like running out of Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips or trying to get your stick shift vehicle to start after it stalls in the dark while it’s raining. But if you’re sure, deep down in the belly of your soul, that the Lord has called you to that place for His purposes—even if you have no idea what those purposes are—then any earthly “loss” or “sacrifice” will pale in comparison to being in the center of His will, exactly where He wants you to be. Obedience may be painful now, but the reward is greater than we could ever imagine.
5. Can you tell us a little bit about the process of writing the memoir? How long it took? Your writing approach?
Ha! Do you really wanna know?! 😉 From start to finish, the entire process took about four years for me. There were definitely times when I balked over the fact that it was taking so long and I thought I’d never see the end, but most of the time I was really grateful to have a slower pace for this project. The Lord knew I needed time to sit with these stories, to let them simmer and marinate in the flavor before they’d be ready to be dished up.
Thank you for sharing your heart with us, Kate. And thank you for taking the time (and tears!) to write this moving memoir.
Kate Motaung is the author of A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging (2018), A Start-Up Guide for Online Christian Writers, and Letters to Grief. She is the host of Five Minute Friday, an online community that encourages and equips Christian writers. She also serves as Publishing Consultant at Fistbump Media and is the owner of Refine Services, a company that offers writing, editing, and digital marketing services. Kate blogs at Heading Home and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
P.S. If you order Kate’s book, you can enter to win one of these amazing prize packs (giveaway ends April 7, 2018)!
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