Sarah Sumpolec is a beautiful young woman who shines with the light of Jesus. But Sarah wasn’t always shining for Jesus. In fact, she once contemplated suicide as the only solution to the way her life had turned out. You see, Sarah was a witch all through her high school years. She thought that New Age philosophies and Wiccan rituals had all the answers she had been searching for. She couldn’t have been more wrong. To hear Sarah’s story in her own words, watch the attached video.
Sarah is also the author of six books for young adults. Five of the titles are part of the Becoming Beka series and one, Totally Unfamous is the story of Beka’s sister, Lucy. In addition to writing, Sarah is also involved with In Jesus’ Name Productions, a film company that searches out and produces movies that impact the entire world.
The Examiner recently had the opportunity to chat with Sarah about her books, her past, and what she is up to these days.
I noticed the header on your page states, “Instant writer…just add coffee.” What’s your favorite kind of coffee? Hot? Cold?
I’m a Starbucks girl –
Hot during the winter – white chocolate mocha
Cold during the summer – caramel frappacino
But when I make it myself I use flavored beans – chocolate raspberry:-) My dream is to one day get my own espresso machine…
What’s your favorite Bible verse?
That one’s tough because in general, it’s whatever God is speaking to me about during that time. But if I had to pick one I always go back to it would be Jeremiah 29:11-14. It’s the verse that spoke so deeply to me as a new Christian – who sometimes felt that I had wasted so many years apart from Him…
How have you grown and matured spiritually as “Beka” matured?
Yes – even though Beka isn’t based on me in particular, I feel like I was often working on similar things spiritually. When she was struggling to forgive, there was usually someone in my life I needed to forgive. God never wastes an opportunity:-) Beka’s spiritual decisions naturally affect her life – and I think that should be true for us all. If our spiritual life doesn’t impact and change our natural life – then something is wrong. I feel like God is always working with me on something. Always challenging me to draw closer, grow deeper and be more like Him.
Tell us about your upcoming releases, fiction and/or non-fiction.
Nothing coming up right now, unfortunately. I have a new YA that’s complete (and I absolutely adore) – but I am looking for a new agent so it’s not found a publishing home yet. And I have started another YA about a girl named Josie – I have fallen in love with this story even though it’s been challenging to write because of a story thread that is deeply personal. I continue to write because for me, telling stories is kind of like breathing. I just have to do it. But I really don’t know if God will open the door for something else to be published. And I’m okay with that. I am glad that the Beka books are still available – and I’m so grateful that they continue to impact lives.
Why do you think Satanism and “being a witch” is so more accepted in today’s society?
I think witchcraft is becoming more mainstream for a couple of reasons. One, the media has brought it into the center of the culture. Shows like Wizards of Waverly place – and the continuing trend of Harry Potter, Twilight and other supernatural books and movies make that supernatural world very appealing and not so “out there” as it might have been. The other reason is that witchcraft and satanism (which is really a worship of self – not satan) both fit the mold of ideas that the culture likes to embrace: the idea that truth is relative, that people should be able to do whatever makes them happy, that you can believe whatever you want to and that everyone should all just get along.
What do you think is the most important thing teens of today need to know?
That there really is a supernatural world – but that there are only two ways to connect to that supernatural world. Through God or through satan. There is no gray – it’s one or the other.
What do you say to people that tell you they aren’t a bad witch? They are just worshiping God in a different way? They aren’t hurting anyone?
I was once invited on the Tyra Banks Show to be on a panel of witches and satanists – I was the only one speaking against it. It was not an opportunity I sought – they called me and invited me to share my story. And the thing is – the person that says that they are a good witch, and that they aren’t doing anything wrong and aren’t hurting anyone – they really, truly believe that. That’s what I believed about myself. So I think arguing or debating it is usually pointless. So I simply share my story – but choose not to engage with those that hate me for saying what I’m saying. Just today I got an e-mail calling me a “hypocritical judging snob”. The irony is kind of funny actually. In general, I think understanding what witchcraft really is takes a true revelation from God. I still remember where I was standing on my college campus when God “showed” me what I had really been doing all those years. What witchcraft really was. And I was shocked. So I think most of the time, all we can do is speak the truth, in love, and let God work.
Do you have tips for parents/teachers on how to recognize if someone they love is dabbling in or becoming involved with paganism/witchcraft?
My first tip is that parents and teachers should assume that teens will have at least the opportunity to dabble in the occult. When I’ve had the chance to speak to teachers and parents my advice is usually – “Look – your teens WILL encounter this so you must engage in the conversation.” The problem is, most parents and teachers feel ill-equipped to have these supernatural discussions with teens. I find that the teens are hungry to learn and understand – and they have a ton of really good, really challenging questions – but few adults are talking to them about it. It’s a pretty serious problem in my opinion…
Have you written an autobiography?
No – but I can’t say that the thought hasn’t crossed my mind:-) The idea is not so much an autobiography – more a memoir. I have been writing a bit on one – but I pretty much approach it with the idea that no one will ever see it but me, my husband and kids:-)
Aside from the positive impact your books and testimony have and will have on those around you, what do you want to be remembered for by your ancestors?
What do I want to be remembered for? That I was a faithful servant and friend of God. If I manage to do that then I’ll consider my life well spent:-)
You can purchase all of Sarah’s books at a used or new bookstore near you. Some to try….
Tin Can Mailman
1000 H St., Arcata
Laughing Dog Books
14125 Hwy 128, Boonville
80 East Second St., Morgan Hill
Vine & Branches
110 W Oak St, Lodi
Serendipity Bible House
760 Madison St, Fairfield
1239 Noriega St, San Francisco