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Q&A with Sonja Corbitt, Author of Unleashed

April 23, 2015

Sonja Corbitt has been captivating women across the country with a message that prayerful and regular study of the scriptures is the key to hear the voice of God, to see the Holy Spirit at work even in times of suffering, and to receive all the graces God wants to give.

In her new book Unleashed, Corbitt--a Southern Baptist who converted to Catholicism--shares her passion for the scriptures by weaving the Word of God with her own experiences to show readers how the Holy Spirit flows through their lives in relationships, prayer, and even in times of suffering.

We caught up with Corbitt just before the launch of Unleashed to find out more about her.

Ave Maria Press: What led you to convert from being an evangelical Baptist to Catholicism?

Sonja Corbitt: My church experienced two contentious, painful, back-to-back splits. Because God had been dealing with a deep father wound in me that provoked my own pattern of anger and rebellion against authority, I knew that disunity in the Church, denominationalism, and rebellion against authority are flatly condemned in the scriptures. Through a sort of circumstantial perfect storm, the Holy Spirit showed me the parallel patterns. So I began investigating early Church teachings through the writings of the ante-Nicene Christians. That led to research on Catholicism from an historical and biblical, rather than denominational, point of view. The last piece of the puzzle was connecting Catholic worship and teachings with all I knew of the Old Testament tabernacle and the temples in Ezekiel and Revelation that predict and prescribe proper worship in the New Testament Church. Since that type of worship is found, fully, only in the Catholic Church, the rest is history, as they say.

Ave Maria Press: What do you tell people who find it hard to accept that God is with them during difficult times?

Sonja Corbitt: Two things: First, I have found it deeply comforting and helpful to enter prayerfully into the Book of Job. Second, part of our human difficulty is we mostly allow emotion to be the engine of the train and drag us off track, rather than the will. Emotion is sometimes unreliable. Can’t you sit through a movie and experience your emotions being manipulated by what is not real? When the will is the engine, we cling to what God says in His word, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Our lives remain on track in faith. Emotion is the caboose. Just because we suffer and don’t feel Him doesn’t mean He’s not there. We might say He’s like Scotch tape; you may not see Him, but He’s there. When we suffer, we should cling to His word, cry out to Him, and wait and search until He answers in His word.

Ave Maria Press: How can people better come to know the Holy Spirit?

Sonja Corbitt: Obedience.

Ave Maria Press: Which Biblical character do you most connect with and why?

Sonja Corbitt: Abraham: God promised Him an “vehemently multiplying” reward, made him wait 25 years for it, allowed Abraham to monumentally screw up in pursuing it for himself, involved his spouse in its fulfillment, and then asked him to sacrifice it to Him. What Abraham may have suspected was a renege turned out to be the evidence that Abraham’s heart had become so one with God’s that the spiritual fulfillment of God’s promise would be exponentially greater than the literal one.      

Ave Maria Press: Do you have a favorite prayer?

Sonja Corbitt: I love You.

Ave Maria Press: If someone wants to really dig into the Bible for the first time, how would you recommend they start so that they don’t end up feeling overwhelmed?

Sonja Corbitt: Begin with a Catholic Bible that includes study notes and one or two other Catholic translations. Follow your interests, reading the study notes and comparing verses in different translations as you go and when you have questions. Then proceed to a Bible study written especially for beginners, like my DVD-driven Ignite: The Word. Your Faith. Your Life. series with Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers.

Ave Maria Press: What’s the number one thing we can do every day for our spiritual health?

Sonja Corbitt: Spend 15 minutes, first thing in the morning if possible, with God in the Bible. Then increase the time in five minute increments to one hour.

About Sonja Corbitt

Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic author and speaker who has produced several multimedia Bible studies, including Unleashed, Fearless, Ignite, and Fulfilled. She also created LOVE the Word Bible study method.

A Carolina native who was raised as a Southern Baptist, Corbitt attended Mitchell College and the Southern Baptist Seminary Extension and before converting to Catholicism. She has since served as director of religious education at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Gallatin, Tennessee, and as executive director of Risen Radio in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Corbitt is the host of Bible Study Evangelista Show on radio and podcast. She is in formation as a Third Order Carmelite. Corbitt is a columnist at The Great Adventure Bible Study blog and a contributor to Magnificat. Her book/Bible study Unleashed was featured as a thirteen-part series on CatholicTV.

She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Bob, and two sons. 


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