Karen Kingsbury tackles faith, embryo adoption in new film: 'Questions only God can answer'

Karen Kingsbury
Karen Kingsbury | Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury is one of today's most beloved Christian fiction authors. Her award-winning books have more than 25 million copies in print, and many have been turned into TV series or major motion pictures. 

But despite her literary success, the 60-year-old Tennessee native believes that her primary calling is that of an "evangelist."

"If you break away my love for writing, … I'm an evangelist," she told The Christian Post.

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"At the end of the day, I'm the person who cares that people are hurting. I was not a believer until I was in my mid-20s. I know what that feels like to have lived a life without walking with Jesus. What is my best, most carefully crafted way to be able to show people that, even though there's loss, there's still hope when you have faith?"

"I think part of that is going straight toward the hard things; 'I prayed, and my daughter didn't get healed,' or 'I asked God for this, and He didn't bring that to me.' I want to go straight toward it, not steer away from that, so that you can see that He is not the reason for the bad things that happened, but He is the rescue, and there's no way to walk with hope without Him."

This desire to highlight the hope found in God — and not water down the Gospel message — compelled Kingsbury to self-fund the film adaptation of her 2020 novel of the same name, "Someone Like You," which hit 1,800 theaters in the United States and Canada on Tuesday.

The film, the first movie from Karen Kingsbury Productions, is a redemptive love story about a young architect who suffers heartbreaking loss when his best friend dies but finds love again in an unexpected way as he sets out to search for her secret twin sister.

"We've seen several films made on my books and Hallmark movies and TV shows, and it's been great and we feel very blessed and thankful, but it was never quite the movie that God put on my heart when He gave me the story in the first place," Kingsbury said.

"So, it was like, 'Could we find a way to make this really what I saw when I wrote the book?' And, two, it's kind of a challenge — you have the savings, and you can't take them with you. ... God has given us just one life; it's not a dress rehearsal. So, could we do this? Can we make a difference? Can we create a film that might truly speak to people and change culture for the good?"

Karen Kingsbury
Karen Kingsbury

Kinsbury's son Austin Robert Russell appears in the movie, while her other son Tyler Russell co-wrote the screenplay with her and directed the film. Kingsbury said that through the film, she aimed to create an organically redemptive narrative that encourages viewers to reflect on deeper spiritual truths.

This approach, she said, mirrors the storytelling technique of Jesus Christ, who used parables to touch hearts and minds. 

"How I feel about a story is that when Jesus wanted to tell you something straight, He just told you straight," she said. "And when He wanted to make a point, He might turn over a table. But when He wanted to touch your heart, He told a story. And in that story, you had to lean in and figure out what He was saying and understand the parallels and the allegory of what that parable meant. And that's what I want to do by telling the stories God gives me."

In "Someone Like You," Kingsbury also delves into sensitive topics such as IVF, embryo adoption and the sanctity of life. She wants to, she said, foster a conversation about the broader societal and ethical considerations surrounding IVF practices, advocating for a more regulated approach to the creation of embryos. 

"Someone Like You" presents the story of Louise, a character who, unable to have more children, decides against discarding her remaining embryos, choosing instead to give them a chance at life through embryo adoption. This decision, Kingsbury said, is meant to illuminate the sanctity of life at its earliest stages and the beauty of giving such life a chance to flourish.

"Science has raised questions that only God can answer," Kingsbury said. "We're in that place; we're living in it, and it gets more so that way all the time. … I didn't have any kind of heavy-handed, moral message to take away. [It was] more just, 'This family believed strongly, and I believe strongly as well, that an embryo is a life, it's not a sperm or an egg.'"

Kingsbury's passion for the subject is further evidenced by her family's foundation, The One Chance Foundation, which provides grants for families pursuing embryo adoption.

The film also touches on the importance of transparency within families about their origins: "Don't keep secrets from your kids; they're going to find out anyway," Kingsbury said.

Despite the sensitive nature of the topic, feedback from readers and viewers has been profoundly positive, Kingsbury said, with many finding healing and new perspectives on the complexities of IVF and adoption.

"I've heard a lot from people. ... They're finding healing, and that might be healing from a loss that they had, or it might be these complicated adoptive issues," Kingsbury reflected. 

Her goal for "Someone Like You" is to offer a message of hope and redemption that reaches people at their core, encouraging them to find solace and strength in faith. Determined to spread hope, Kingsbury's family also started the Share the Hope campaign, allowing individuals to purchase tickets for others who can't afford them.

"My prayer is that people will come … and be entertained, but also get the message of hope that, even in the hardest time of your life, you're going to be OK if you can turn to God. Don't blame Him, look to Him, He's the rescue, He's not the reason for the bad things.

 "If you can get to that place and you can watch someone else do it, it's coming in through the back door of your heart," she added. "I see people leaving an early screening, and they're crying, but they're not sad. They're radiant. And I have had several people come up to me and say, 'I was healed while I was watching that movie.' This is the kind of hope that we need, and it's a hope that's contagious. Especially for such a time as this, we desperately need it."

"Someone Like You" also stars Scott Reeves, Sarah Fisher, Jake Allyn and Lynn Collins. Tickets can be purchased online at

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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