As a minister’s daughter, did you ever rebel? Were your parents strict?
I begin the book with this telling statement: “I am a direct descendant of what is sometimes called “American Spiritual Royalty.” It is an elite subculture of individuals chosen to help God’s people down the centuries’-worn trail toward human salvation. Specifically, my father was a Christian minister and I was what others tag as a “preacher’s kid.”
Preacher’s families are held to high standards of social, physical and above all, spiritual expectations. My parents were not strict, per say. The word for me was “all inclusive.” My social life was the church. The church, my father’s career and family were one in the same. As a result, the delineation between private and public life become blurred.
In Chapter 10, I address this very issue. From my own experience I have seen tendencies for “preacher’s kids” to go in one of two distinct directions. Either assume role of their parental career, becoming the next wave of ministers OR go the opposite direction and engage in appropriate behavior including drugs and alcohol to prove to the world we are normal people.
I never felt the need to follow either path because my life’s curicities were being fulfilled in other ways, with friends one can rarely see with a naked eye, the angel connection. “My personal intuition–a God-given talent for receiving symbolic communications.”
Was your family supportive in your decision to write and publish your book?
This has been the number one question everyone keeps asking.
Although I was never a rebellious child growing up, I did follow through on actions that felt “right” within my soul. Keep in mind I have been in constant contact with the other side since childhood. When you keep this kind of connection intact, you learn to follow a different path than those around you and separate your actions from the crowd. So, my family is accustomed to blazing my own spiritual trail.
My family has been supportive of the book. I actually had a projected out a different timeline to author the book because of their privacy. However, because of the crucial history we are going through right now, time was of the essenciance, and had to be publishing now. I made a promise years ago that I would do my best to share knowledge from the angelic side to assist the universe to traverse through the second awakening with love and grace.
My parents have read the book several times. Apparently this is one of those books that must be read over to “catch the meaning” to it all. I penned the book with this very goal in mind. It is meant to be “interactive.” Write in the margins, highlight the good stuff and ask internal questions like what does she mean by that? My minister father has taken this task to heart. He keeps coming back with more questions for clarification.
Has there ever been a moment (or moments) in your life when you have questioned your faith? Can you elaborate?
In chapter seven I go into detail about our move from the country “spiritual Eden to the church in the city. It was during this time in my life that tested “my faith,” as you referred to it. My connections to angelic messages and communication were occurring on a daily basis and had become a part of my religious and spiritual routine. Over time this connection has strengthened my unwavering trust in this process of God. I was old enough now to observe others in their ritualistic ways of praising God. There was no reference to anyone else seeing and experiencing what I was experiencing from the “other side.” Therefore, I did what I thought was necessary to stay in good graces with the flock and God; I abandon my special connection to the angelic force. Literally got on my knees asked “Take your spiritual intuitive language home with you to heaven or give this gift to someone else who truly wants it.
Slowly over time I emerged myself deeper into the religious and ritualistic parts of my chosen faith. I learned a very hard lesson during these moments in life. “I was feeding my head with religious bread but starving my soul to death.” It almost worked! Until an incident in church rescued me from my own religious ignorance.
I have to ask, seeing as how you are from Wisconsin, are you a Packer fan?
First of all, thank-you so much for asking a lighter question. My book is filled with quirky stories and funny one-liners. This subject matter can get so intense and people have deep convictions when you talk religion and spirituality. We should take in all of the universe’s loveliness and that includes FOOTBALL. I am a hugh football fan and always secretly wanted my son to play, but he went into other sports. I have come to love the others as well, but Football will always have my heart. It is funny you should pick this sport.
Church life is an all-inclusive family activity. There is very little “downtime” for just family activities. Sundays for us was very hectic until church services were over. One of my favorite family memories is on late Sunday afternoons. We would all gather around the television and watch football together. It was delightful! We could just be ourselves. Criticizing every wrong play, screaming at the TV and rejoicing when our favorite team won. I grew up rooting for another team, but have come to love the Packers with my own personal family.
Doing a radio show is an ambitious undertaking- do you enjoy it as much as writing.
Absolutely! I love growing and pushing myself to the limits. I am not an extremist by any means, but I do love to experience whatever is presented my way.
I had been dabbling in radio part-time while my kids were younger. It was important for me to be there for them as much as possible. Besides that, I was still formulating “my voice” in the world. I was going through a period when I did not know who I was and had no business on radio advising others to find their inner soul voice either.
“Experience surely has a way of seasoning your personal identity.”
When I was presented with the opportunity from the radio station to host my own program, I jumped at the chance.
My favorite part is the guests segments. There are so many wise teachers in the world with incredible expertise to share with the rest of us. My job is to ask the right questions to retrieve the right answers. I spend countless hours reviewing their stories to extract the right wisdom for us all. There are times I have forced myself through an interview with tears running down my face to get the information out. I understand the media world gets a bad rap for their sensationalism but where would we be without it. It serves to create discussions between all of us over coffee and bagel in the morning.
As far as picking a medium I prefer the most, radio or writing, that is a hard one. They are so unique in special ways. Radio is about working in short increments. Say what you have to say, precise and to the point. It has forced me to be concise in thoughts and presentation. No time for long-winded answers for anything. On the other hand, writing gives you the opportunity to go into detail and communicate intricate concepts with expanding poetry and expressive opinions. I have caught the writer’s fever and started another book already.
I had to take a hiatus from radio to finish the book and will be returning sometime at the end of this year. The book has forced me to come out of the “spiritual closet” and let it all out. The new and improved radio program is entitled: Change Already! With Jillian Maas Backman.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Telling secrets. We are meant to be a closed society from the outside world. Thousands cross your path as a minister’s kid. One of the first lessons you assimilate very early is to keep your mouth closed and not to repeat what you know about others to the outside world. Rightly, so, the church icon represents a place where all can gather and be themselves without repercussions of any kind.
I took this rule to heart. I did not repeat hardly anything to my friends or adults of what I knew about other church members. When I started writing the book I was tortured by this reality. I felt like I was betraying the number one rule of public engagement. Even though the book is written about my personal experiences with intuition, angels and spirituality, guilt was still lingering in the background. Needless to say, a chapter in, I let go of that childhood restraint, and the rest is written history now.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
The story needed to be told and shared with the world. I believe we all lose sight of how everyone’s story is important to the universal spiritual growth of this planet. Each one of us has thrived through human challenges that change who we are in the world. Although not every story has to be told in such a public forum such as a book, all human experiences lead us one step closer to loving and living in the process of God. Only when each one of us awakens to this understanding will this planet achieve spiritual peace.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes! I am blessed with published authors in my inner circle and have been supportive in my efforts to complete this project. Two standouts comments help propel me through the rough patches.
One: My friend Susan told me in order for this book to be what it is suppose to be in this world I would have delve deep into the crevices of both pain and passion for inspiration. Only then could I write from my own spiritual truth. She was so right. My first couple of attempts at the beginning chapters was surface dwelling at best. There were many days I spent pounding on the floor and asking God for the right words to come forth the world needed to hear. It was an exercise of both faith and trust for myself and those around me.
Two: Louise, who has a dozen books under her writer’s credit and advises new writers told me to commit to writing five complete pages a day. My first reaction was how hard that is! Easy work, no, quite the opposite. It served to create a sense of writing in my mind’s eye as a career, not a hobby. Very powerful exercise for anyone interested in taking his or her writing skills to the next level.
What books/authors have influenced your writing?
The bible of course. I have been a very blessed woman in this life and had the opportunity to meet and spend time with other incredible artist of all kinds. To read a book written by incredible talent is one thing to get to know them personally takes their written words to a completely different experience. Throughout the book I reference a pletera of authors that have inspired my soul to aspire to greater heights every day.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
First, I loved the questions. I believe there is always a back- story behind the story everyone writes in any book process. Hopefully, I was able to share with your audience a glimpse of my soul thoughts that went into constructing my book. Yes, the book is about angels, spirituality and my religious convictions but also a universal story of evolution of love and acceptance we all aspire to live.
In willing religious servitude we strive to advance along our personal sacred paths.
In willing spiritual servitude we strive to assist others to advance along their scared paths.
In willing pluralistic servitude we strive to assist the world to advance along its sacred path.
For more information about Jillian Maas Backman and BEYOND THE PEWS, please visit her website: www.jillianmaasbackman.com
To schedule Jillian for an event or book signing, please contact ImaginePublicity at 843.808.0859 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org