An Outrageous and Merciful Love: The Friday Five with Sheila Walsh

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Sheila Walsh's best-selling memoir Honestly, was a Gold Medallion Award nominee. She's also written The Heartache No One Sees, Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God, and (my daughter's favorite) the Gigi, God's Little Princess series, which has won the National Retailer's Choice Award twice and is the most popular Christian brand for young girls in the U.S.

Sheila just recently released her newest book and DVD Bible study for women The Shelter of God's Promises.

Today she was kind enough to stop by for a chat on The Friday Five:

As you reflect on your ministry—4 million books sold, 3.5 million women encouraged through your speaking, award-winning musical albums—what fuels your ministry?

If I had to describe my heart's passion in one sentence it would be this, to tell as many people as I can, in as many ways as I can, as often as I can about the outrageous and merciful love of God. That is what motivates every word I write and every note I sing.

How does the Gabby, God's Little Angel series reflect that motivation?

As a parent I am so aware of the influences in our world that would seek to harm our children. I want through Gabby to reassure parents and children that their Father in heaven never takes His eyes off them. In Matthew's gospel, Christ's friends were asking him about who would be greatest in the Kingdom of God and Jesus answered by drawing a child to his side and saying, ""Beware that you don't look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father" (Mt. 18:10).

You've spoken openly about your struggles with depression. Is this a subject Christians are still hesitant to address or admit?

I think there is still a huge stigma attached to depression or any type of mental illness. Within the Church at large if you told people that you had a brain tumor people would rally groups to pray but if it's not something that shows up on an x-ray it's much harder to find support. I want people to understand that we live in a broken, fallen world and clinical depression is not about your spiritual life but rather about your brain chemistry and there is wonderful help available.

You recently released How to Be God's Little Princess. What is one piece of advice you would give the parents of young girls in raising them to be "God's Princesses"?

I would want young girls to know that they are treasured by God, made in His image with great value, daughters of the King of Kings, which should cause each one of us to live as those who are deeply loved.

Do you think it's harder to raise young girls in this culture?

I think culture has always been the enemy of the individual who wants to find out what God has uniquely called her to be. Today there are simply so many more ways of trying to squeeze our children into a mold that no child was designed for.

9/22/2011 4:00:00 AM
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  • Daniel Darling
    About Daniel Darling
    Daniel Darling is the Senior Pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and the author of Crash Course and iFaith. His columns appear at Follow him through Facebook, Twitter, or his personal website.