Interview with Fran Caffey Sandin

What are your interests besides writing?
Music has always been an important part of my life. I enjoy playing the pipe organ at my church as part of the praise team, and I play the piano at home. I'm a group leader for the women's Community Bible Study that meets on Tuesday mornings beginning in September. My husband, Jim, and I enjoy traveling, encouraging our three beautiful grandchildren, occasionally keeping our two grand-dogs, Lilly and Daisy, brown and white dappled dachshunds. They are so much fun! Jim and I were downhill skiers and sailors in the past but now are mainly sightseeing and hiking. I enjoy homemaking, decorating, flower arranging, and baking. I grew up on a farm where my mother and grandmother taught me everyday skills. God has blessed me with many opportunities, and I am grateful and thankful..
How did your writing career begin?
Before the days of the bacterial meningitis vaccine, our youngest son, Jeffrey, succumbed to the dreaded disease. Our 17 month-old became ill on a Sunday, required life-support on Wednesday, and passed away on Thursday of the same week. As a registered nurse I had attended families whose loved ones passed away, but when Jeffrey suddenly died, I pondered many questions. Is God punishing me? Does God answer prayer? How can I conquer fear? Am I becoming bitter? Will I ever get over this? Unable to find a book that dealt with these and other issues, I began writing what I had learned. Realizing that other grieving parents were asking the same questions, I felt compassion. After four years, I checked out a library book on how to prepare a manuscript. After 25 submissions and returns I attended a Christian Writer's Conference for suggestions.and rewrote the manuscript. Eleven years after I began writing and on the 27th submission, See You Later, Jeffrey was published by Tyndale. It has since been translated into Russian and widely distributed in the Ukraine, and in Germany. A free Russian translation of this book is available for download on my website--www.fransandin.com
What is your book, Touching the Clouds, about?
In addition to sharing my own experiences, I wanted to let others know about some women who had touched my life. I saw how their faith had strengthened them through some of the toughest situations such as: a child with bulimia, Down syndrome, still-born baby, drug and alcohol abuse, homosexuality and AIDS, chronic illness, suicide, robbery, husband's loss of job, and other situations. At the close of each chapter I included a brief explanation: In Her Shoes, In His Word, and In Your Life. I identified the element of faith each woman demonstrated in her story and wanted to help the reader apply that in his or her own life to show that God reaches down and meets us at our point of need. The book was originally published by NavPress, but when it went out of print I regained the copyright and reproduced it for Amazon and Kindle.
What are some principles of faith?
One principle we can all relate to is in regard to exercise. If we exercise our bodies, our muscles stay firm and healthy, but if we don't stretch those muscles and stay active, they become flabby and weak. In the same way, if we just profess our faith but do not possess our faith and make it an integral part of our daily lives, we will not be steadfast when the crisis comes. Exercising faith is like oxygen for the soul. One of the main principles of faith is learning God's Word and growing in fellowship with Him, so that when the crisis hits, we know we are not alone--God is with us. He strengthens us, comforts us, and He even prompts others to come alongside and encourage us. One of the greatest joys of life is to be a part of the family of God--and that is most evident when trials come.
What can I do when I want to give up on faith--when life gets tough and I'm between a rock and a hard place?
Great question! Don't give up. Sometimes life takes courage and perseverance when we can't see what the future holds. As humans we can all identify with tough times and the temptation to throw in the towel. Even Jesus called out to God--My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Remember that Jesus identifies with us, and He understands our pain and sorrow. We can be sure He is there, even if we don't feel like it. Even though we are in the midst of a painful experience, God is there. He knows, He cares. We must simply take refuge under His wings of grace. After experiencing the trials of miscarriage, the loss of a 17 month-old son and a 43 year-old son, plus the suicide death of my father, and other trials, I can testify that God's grace is sufficient. He meets us at our point of need if we place our trust in Him.
What are 3 possible faith responses in difficult times?
I love a quote by D.L. Moody in which he describes three responses:

"Struggling faith---which is like a man in deep water
Clinging faith---which is like a man hanging to the side of the boat
Resting faith---which finds a man safely within the boat and able moreover to reach out with a hand to help someone
else."
Published 2017-06-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Touching The Clouds: True Stories to Strengthen Your Faith
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 48,680. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christian Life / Spiritual Growth, Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Emotions
Author Fran Sandin interviewed fifteen women who discovered God’s presence during their life-altering situations. She included two chapters of her own. At the close of each true story is a deeper discussion of the situation, related Scriptures, and practical suggestions for ways to incorporate the element of faith represented in the story.
See You Later, Jeffrey
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 20,410. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Family relationships, Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christian Life / Death, Grief, Bereavement
When her seventeen-month-old son died, Fran grieved and wrestled with many unanswered questions such as: Is God punishing me? Does God answer prayer? Will I ever get over this? Her book exposes her heartfelt, honest search for answers and shares a moving account of how God brought comfort and hope back into her shattered life, turning tragedy into greater good.