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Tuesday, June 30, 2015
WHAT IS THE GOAL?
I was at a meeting with a few hundred folks last weekend, where I met a friend of my wife’s from a distant state. I don’t know if she knew I was going to be there, or if she just happened to see me across the room. She came up to me, introduced herself and told me that she didn’t want to visit long, but that she wanted to tell me how much Finding God in the Seasons of Divorce had been helping her deal with a tough divorce. I was humbled and touched by the fact that a person I didn’t even know made a point to find me to tell me thanks for writing something that made a difference in her life.
A friend of mine gave the books to her friend, who thought, “Great, another book to read…ugh!” But when she saw that my friend had me personalize them to her, she figured she had to at least look at them. Later she called my friend and told her the story, then said that she had been drawn in and was reading them and that “This guy knows exactly what I’m thinking,” then thanked my friend for caring enough to provide her the book which had been such a help.
A lady whom I do not know posted a note that the book was helping her keep her focus on God during a tremendously difficult time of life, and recommended them to anybody going through a divorce.
A man I know got the first book and finished it in a month. When I pointed out it was supposed to be daily readings for six months, he simply replied, “It’s hard to put it down.”
I have individuals I have never met with whom I have offered email support as they struggle their way through their divorce. I have read reviews posted in a variety of places by people who have been touched and encouraged by what they have read in the books.
I have had others who have expressed to me their appreciation at having something they could offer a divorcing friend when they did not even know what to say. I met a lady in tears once, who did not have the funds to buy the book, and we were able to help her get one. I have had individuals who purchased books to give away because they said, “we believe in your ministry.”
After I met that woman the other day, my heart was so touched I decided I had to just say thanks to those of you who have read and benefited by what you have read, then taken the time to let me or others know that it had made a difference. I had wanted to offer people something that I didn’t have when I was going through my divorce, but sure would have liked to have had, and it is encouraging to hear these books do just that. I don’t want to just to say thanks, but thanks because you are part of my dream. Let me tell you why.
After a number of years of writing, reflecting, rewriting (not to mention my own personal healing) and doing all the tedious preparation required to get my devotional books for divorcing folks ready to go, it was finally at the publishers in the final steps before press. A woman at the publisher’s asked me some simple questions: “What is your goal for this book? Is it for a few friends? Is it for a wider audience out there?” After some reflection, I responded that while it would be great to sell lots of books and make some money out of all the hard work, ultimately the goal was that one day I would have a stack of emails or letters of individuals thanking me because the book had helped them get through their divorce.
The first time I heard from somebody that it had helped them, and especially the first time I heard it from somebody I never met, I realized that something I believed had come to pass. I believed that if it made a difference in one person’s life, then it was worth everything it took to get them out there. Better than that, I have started to grow the stack of emails, notes and quotes that remind me of what it is all about. Not that they are perfect, but I am thrilled to know they have become a tool God is using in the lives of my friends and friends I have yet to meet, like the lady I saw last weekend. God bless you all, dear readers.