#interview with @ColleenMeissner author of “Through a Broken Heart” | @iReadBookTours
Book Title: Through a Broken Heart: Finding Hope and Healing After a Breakup
Author: Colleen Meissner
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 144 pages
Genre: Christian non-fiction, self-help, devotional
Publisher: A Book’s Mind
Release date: April 19, 2018
Tour dates: June 18 to July 13, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13
Dear Broken Heart ~
You must be hurting deeply. Perhaps you’re also feeling overwhelmed and completely alone in this place of emptiness and grief. I’ve been where you are and my heart aches with yours. I want you to know there is someone who sees and someone who cares. His name is Jesus. The journey right now is dark and painful, but if you will travel with me using God’s word as our guide, it will eventually lead to a place of hope and restoration. A destination where God’s love ushers you into wholeness. Where His healing hand won’t just repair your shattered soul, but will establish you in the truth that you are deeply loved and understood. In contrast to your current sorrow, this may seem too good to be true. I get that, I’ve been there. At this point, I’m only asking you to trust that He is able. I invite you to spend these next six weeks at the feet of Jesus and allow Him to enter into your wounded heart through this very place of brokenness. Will you give Him permission to transform you in a way that far exceeds your own expectations?
~ Colleen Meissner Married for the first time at 42. Colleen knows firsthand the pain of heartbreak, being single longer than expected, and the battle against fear and insecurity. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and has spent over 10 years sharing her own experience and knowledge as a coach and mentor. She now has a vision to share the wisdom she’s been given with you.
To follow the tour, please visit Colleen Meissner’s page on iRead Book Tours.
I consider there to be no greater privilege than to have women trust me with their deepest struggles and fears and to travel along side of them on their journey from a place of being held in bondage by lies (“I am fat, ugly, a loser, unlovable…”) to a place of freedom and victory. I know this journey well, I have traveled it; it is hard and it is long, and you cannot do it alone. There are seemingly impossible hills to climb, valleys to crawl out of and side-roads leading to nowhere. Perhaps more than a mentor, I am a tour-guide, leading you as you navigate your way to healing and overcoming those things that have kept you from embracing the fullness of life that the Lord came to give you (John 10:10).
Name / Pen name & little about yourself:
I wrote Through A Broken Heart for women like me who have a tendency to get stuck for a bit longer than what may be considered normal when healing from a breakup. I am embarrassed to say that one breakup took me almost two years to fully get over – for the record, he wasn’t the “one that got away” either; he didn’t even treat me that great. I didn’t have a relationship with the Lord at the time, and I was lost in this idea that a relationship with a man who loved me would heal the emptiness I felt inside. It was a painful and intrusive emptiness in the pit of my stomach that I couldn’t shake – even on days when life was going great, that emptiness lurked beneath the surface casting a shadow over everything.
This devotion was borne in part from my own journey of healing and restoration that finally filled the void – that journey began with a breakup. But the catalyst to write was when one of the women I work with went through a breakup of her own and she was unable to push through it – like me, she was stuck. Also, like me – the guy wasn’t “Mr. Right.” He didn’t treat her well at all, in fact he was manipulative and demeaning to her; She certainly didn’t lose the “one.”
Having walked the journey myself, I was able to help her. We would meet for lunch or coffee and talk and cry. On one of those occasions, another beautiful woman approached us and confessed that she listened in on our conversation for over 45 minutes. She was also struggling in the exact same way and needed to hear everything I was saying; she thanked me for helping her indirectly and asked if I had a website or business – at the time, that answer was no. However, that’s when I realized that I wasn’t alone and that there many women out there that may benefit from my own story and lessons learned. And so, the writing began!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have two other professions other than writing, in fact I would say that writing isn’t my primary professional all – but rather a way for me to share the wisdom and experiences I have gained with a broader audience than the women I work with.
I am a Coach and Mentor, this is my true passion. Even though my journey never led me to become a licensed therapist, I have a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling. I use the knowledge gained as a Coach and Mentor. I love mentoring women one on one and I honestly consider it a privilege when these women allow me into their journeys and trust me enough to serve almost as a tour guide who has walked the path already and knows what it takes to get to that change of scenery – it isn’t always going to be dark and difficult. It’s so much fun for me to watch them step out of their comfort zones and take risks. I’m selective in who I work with, and most have therapists. My job isn’t to fix what is broken, it’s to build on what is true. I help women become who they were meant to be before their own limiting beliefs and bad patterns took them off course.
It might surprise many that I have a successful career in the business world. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business with an emphasis in Finance and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. I have worked for the same organization as a Financial Analyst for over 17 years. This experience helps me be a better coach and mentor – I know what the day to day grind of a job is like, both the frustrations and the benefits of it. I often coach women not just in relationships, but also with their careers.
What genre are your books? and what made you write in that genre?
I’m not a fan of the question: “what genre do you write” because that to me is being asked to label myself and my style, and I’m even less of a fan of labels, I steer clear of them as much as possible.
That may sound a bit extreme, but the best description I’ve heard is that labels are like a straightjacket. They restrict us and limit our ability to stretch and grow beyond the limits dictated by the labels we use. In fact, studies have proven that once a person is labeled (by self or others), not only will that person conform to the label, others will struggle to see them as anything else. This is why I always instruct the women I work with to focus on what they say about themselves and to take their words – especially about themselves- very seriously. A seemingly silly example is the common phrase, “I’m single.” I encourage my ladies to say, “I’m not married yet.” Why? Because labels can become our identity when worn too long; if your identity is “single” for a long time, then you may likely find yourself single… even though your heart desires to be married.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I have been writing for years, but really got serious in 2011 when I hired a writing coach, but what I wasn’t expecting was how vulnerable the process was! I have written thousands of words, I even have two written books (in draft form) that sit on my lap top. I could write, but truthfully, I was to scared to publish.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
The inspiration for my daily content came from my own lessons learned when I was healing from a couple of devastating heart breaks. I am an avid reader and would read just about everything I could get my hands on if I felt it would give me the “cure.” My education and training in clinical counseling helped give me a different perspective or lens because I was able to piece together the “why” – “why” I was acting the way I was, why I seemed to keep repeating the same patterns over and over again or why I felt so “down” all the time – like something was missing. The content reflects what the Lord taught me through the scriptures I included when I was healing. It is my hope that it helps other women too.
How long does it typically take you to write a book?
The first draft of Through A Broken Heart was completed in 2015 – it’s not an exaggeration when I say it took me 4 days to write, 3 years to edit.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I think that Through A Broken Heart is unique; I haven’t seen too many devotions that focus on the specific issues that can often come up when overcoming a breakup. In fact, that’s why I wrote it. There are a lot of books and devotions about dating, healing and the love of God – but there are very few that tackle the breakup – at least that I am aware of.
I think the fact that this book is written by someone who simply has been there and done that makes this book special as well. Yes, I do have training in psychology and hold a Master’s degree but sometimes I think that when we feel like our heart is being ripped out of our chest, we aren’t looking for knowledge as much as we are looking for someone who can say – I’ve been where you are, I get it.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
I get writers block seemingly every day. I can write for about 1200 words, then my brain literally goes blank. If I’m not working against a deadline, I will step away from my keyboard at that point and return to it the next morning. If I have to get something done, then I try to do something that gets me “out of my head” like working out, cooking, cleaning my bathroom (honestly, my house is never cleaner than when I’m writing and have writers block!) or just hanging out with my husband and dog, Molly.
Have you done any collaborations with other writers?
Technically, I have written three books, but Through a Broken Heart is the first one I have published. The other two are patiently sitting on my laptop waiting for the inspiration (and perspiration!) needed to finish them. One day, they will make it (in one form or another) into print.
Through A Broken Heart (or TBH for short) is a 6-week, 7-day devotion written to women who find themselves stuck after a particularly difficult breakup. The title was taken from a quote by Oscar Wilde: “How else but through a broken heart can Lord Christ enter in?”
What do you think of reviews?
To put it simply, this devotion is meant to draw you to the One who created you and knows what you need and who you were meant to become. It will encourage you to be brave and to move forward – whatever that looks like for you. Will you date again? Go back to school? Change careers? Follow the Lord’s leading? That’s between you and Him. My job is to simply bring you to Him.