Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of four author interviews.
The Plain Choice: A True Story of Choosing to Live an Amish Life tells how Sherry Gore, who moved several times across the country looking for a new beginning, finally found one – in faith.
Gore’s book, which releases next month, walks the reader through her difficult childhood, her six months of homelessness and her eventual focus on living for God.
She graciously tells us more:
What do you hope readers take away from the difficult parts of your story?
All my life I knew God was real. I could see Him working in the lives of others. But my feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth were overwhelming. I couldn’t see an end to my emotional pain. The bad choices I continually made in the past left me thinking I’d missed any chance there was for me to ever have a personal relationship with God. I thought I was unforgivable. I had no faith. What I learned when I did give myself over to God – and every day since – is that His grace is powerful enough to redeem anyone. Including me.
Sometimes the Amish life – and even just choosing to live more simply – seems so far away. What are some steps people can take to begin to shift priorities?
Living with a sense of community in your heart can do wonders for your psyche. This is easily achieved by turning our attention away from things that drain us of our time, and giving more of ourselves – be it a listening ear, or offering a helping hand where needed for others. … Being present for others is what makes a community.
How common is it for an adult to join the Amish? What was it that the Amish offered that spoke the most to your heart?
Hosting visitors is fairly common in the Mennonite church. Actually joining the church is not. Most of the letters and emails I receive from those seeking the Plain community entail a desire for a lifestyle that appears romantic and ideal. Once the “romantic” aspect of living Plain wears off – this often happens in six months or less – they’re left feeling unsatisfied. The path that led me to the Plain church was any but romantic. My discovery that there were people in this world who were living a life parallel to my own (based on my own bible reading and convictions) was what set my search in motion. Once there, I knew I was in God’s will. I’m exactly where God wants me; in a place where I can fellowship with like-minded individuals allowing me to flourish in my relationship with Him every day.
When I go in Christian bookstores the shelves are full of novels that feature the Amish. Why do you think people are drawn to that subject?
I think the initial attraction to Amish fiction is the longing readers have for a simpler life. … I believe what keeps the readers coming back for more is that most Amish fiction books are written with wholesome, clean storylines, and have characters with surprisingly every day, true-to-life problems readers can identify with. At the same time they offer a look into the lives of a culture not readily understood by most people in society. Amish fiction is here to stay.