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I’m so very encouraged by the response we’ve gotten so far in regards to my book. I wrote in detail about how things have gone so far in my post “Behind the book” but today I’d like to go further back (and forward) to the motivation(s) for writing it.

I knew early on in Trey’s illness that this was a spiritual battle. Yes, Trey’s life was on the line but so were many other important things as well. Joe and Bella were going to be impacted by this no matter how it turned out and the worst case scenario could leave them traumatized for the rest of their lives. My marriage to Rachel would be stressed more than it ever had been. Many marriages do not survive a life threatening diagnoses to a child. I was in ministry and people would take note of how I responded to this trial. There was a lot, an awful lot, on the line. It wasn’t just about me, my son, my kids, my wife, but an opportunity to represent Christ well. We set out to do just that.

But why the book? Two initial reasons why I wrote it. First, at Trey’s funeral I clearly pointed out that God provided for us the love, faith, strength, and stamina to get through this entire time. He was the one who should get the glory. Ever since then, many if not most people have given us the glory. They say that we are amazing but don’t think (and I have thoughts on why) to look more into the fact that it was God who did it through us. All I wanted to do was represent God well and give Him the credit. Instead, people give me/us the credit. Am I whining? Do I want people to criticize us? Am I being ungrateful? No, no , and no. I just felt like I didn’t do a good enough job of pointing to Him. In this book, I get the chance again for God to get the glory.

Secondly, because of Him, we did an amazing job of navigating these horrific waters. Often people have asked me, “How did you know how to do x,y,z?” The answer is always, “I don’t know. I just did.” The answer is God gave me/us that wisdom as we asked for it. Should that expertise just sit idle within us? I think not. The problem is, and this just happened LAST week, when someone is in their battle (with a child having a life threatening diagnosis) we are the face of death. They don’t want to talk to us as we remind them of what might happen. I can’t think of someone who heard of our story, heard how it ended, and still reached out to us for help. I have all of this experience and no one to share it with. Satan already took my son, I’m not letting him steal my purpose. So, I wrote the book.

A quick aside. Whenever I do the right thing in ministry (bigger projects/plans etc.) it’s almost always a bit of a mistake or mistaken aim. We converted a room in our church into a coffee shop because I thought my old Young Life kids who came to know the Lord but don’t go to church would come there since it didn’t feel like church. In seven years I believe one former Young Life student has attended our 9am service in that room. However, many many people have filled that room week after week. A large percentage of them had given up on church because they had been hurt, abused, burned out at other churches. Church in this room in this style felt different enough that they gave it a shot and stayed. Right thing, wrong motivation.

I know in my heart that God wanted me to write this book. Of course I believe that parents or someone near the parents will read it and be impacted by it. However, as I mentioned in my “Behind the Book” post, something I never even thought of came up in the editing process. Janet, my amazing content editor suggested I write a section of each chapter to equip, direct, and guide the people who want to help a family going through a trial like this. What an amazing observation she made! This will not only bless the families but it will give those helping so much more validation and impact on their attempts to come alongside them. I’m starting to wonder if this will have the greater impact. I’m so passionate about teaching people how to be loving that it makes perfect sense. However, the fact that I think that this is going to have a huge impact makes me think that it’s probably something else all together. Nonetheless, it’s a motivating factor.

What I’m saying is this, if one mother/father reads my book and it helps them at all during the most challenging trial of their lives, how could I not write it? If one person reads the “How to Help Them Stand” sections and doesn’t make the mistakes that so many people make, it’s incredibly worth it. How could I not write it?

Lastly, writing it has been an incredible journey. I have wept, praised God, laughed at memories of my boy and continued to heal. If that’s all that ever comes of it, it was worth it. The blessing it has been to work with the folks at Christian Editing and Design has been so rewarding. If that’s all that ever comes of it, it was worth it. You have all been so kind and encouraging and we haven’t released a word of the book yet. If that’s all that ever comes out of this, it was worth it. I have worked with my niece Mia on the social media reels (she’s a film major after all). If that’s all that comes out of this, it was worth it.

I thank God for the entire process. I don’t think that He’s done yet. Whatever comes next, will be worth it.

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