Heroine Interview for When Dogwoods Bloom by Myra Johnson

» Posted on Jul 23, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Heroine Interview for When Dogwoods Bloom by Myra Johnson

This week I’m hosting Gail Martin with Bride in Training, Ronie Kendig with Nightshade and Myra Johnson with Where the Dogwoods Bloom. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (July 25th) evening.

Interview with the heroine of Where the Dogwoods Bloom, by Myra Johnson:

1. Jilly Gardner, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

The most interesting thing? Hmmm. Guess it would be that back in my prime, I lost to Serena Williams one round short of making the U.S. Open quarterfinals. That was the closest I ever came to a tennis title before I broke my ankle and brought my tennis career to a screeching halt.

2. What do you do for fun?

These days I enjoy hanging out with this really cute guy named Cam Lane. I’ve had a crush on him since I was 13 and he rescued me from his annoying little brother, who had way too much fun tormenting me. Our favorite thing is sharing a pizza and watching Mel Gibson movies. Or sometimes we take the rowboat out on the lake and enjoy the scenery around Lake of the Ozarks.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?

For a long time I put off contacting my former foster parents, Harvey and Alice Nelson. I didn’t understand why they made certain decisions about my life, and it hurt too much even thinking about them. Then I broke my ankle at the same time Alice needed bypass surgery, so when Harvey needed help managing Dogwood Blossom Inn, I had no excuse for not returning to Missouri to help out. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Cam would be around, since he was hosting several prayer retreats at the inn. The Lord works in mysterious ways. . . .

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

Losing my identity, what makes me “me.” I devoted my life to tennis. After I broke my ankle, I had to face the very real possibility that I’d never be able to return to the pro circuit, and that scared me to death.

5. What do you want out of life?

What I want more than anything is to have a real family, to belong somewhere. Alice has an embroidered sampler hanging in the inn office, a verse from Psalm 68: “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing.” That was my dream. And that’s why it hurt so badly when the Nelsons and I had our falling-out. They were my last foster parents, my last chance at a “forever family.”

6. What is the most important thing to you?

Today the most important thing to me is to face the future bravely and trust that God knows exactly what He’s doing in my life. So many things have gone wrong for me, so many disappointments I didn’t think I deserved. I guess it’s kind of like that metaphor about the tapestry, where God sees the finished picture but all we see is the back side and all the knots and dangling threads.

7. Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

Tennis used to be my usual choice of reading material, when I read at all. The hours and hours of practice it took to make it this far didn’t allow much time for other types of reading. On the other hand, I’ll take a good Mel Gibson movie any day! Oh, and these days I’m spending a lot more time reading my Bible. I neglected it for far too long.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My allergies. Oh, my. They follow me everywhere. And I’m deathly allergic to macadamia nuts. I never go anywhere without my EpiPen.

9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

I don’t, but Cam does. He has this big old cat named Bart, a real pro at stinking up the litter box. And good thing for both Cam and me, cats are one of the few things on the planet I am NOT allergic to!

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’d go back to the day I mistakenly walked into the men’s locker room at Silverheels Country Club and interrupted that kid doing some kind of deal. If I knew then what I know now, I’d have confronted my friend Paul, the other tennis coach at Silverheels, and made him go to the police. And then maybe I’d never have broken my ankle. On the other hand, if I hadn’t broken my ankle, I’d never have gone back to Missouri. Which means I’d probably never have reconnected with Cam. So I guess it’s true—all things work together for good for those who love the Lord.