The first time I can remember enjoying the process of writing was in the 6th grade. Ms. Chancey, one my favorite teachers, asked us to write a poem.
At the time, my MeMe (my Mom's aunt), had recently had a stroke and I'd never experienced a family member being that sick. This was the first time I discovered the ability to express myself through writing.
I don't remember the poem exactly but I do remember it being very dark and grey - just the way I was feeling about all that was going on. But, afterwards there was something that clicked inside me.
When I write it helps me organize my thoughts and process through what I'm feeling or learning. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction to have created something from nothing. And, I like that others can connect with what I'm saying and possibly get something out of it.
I'm am excited to be able say that I'm writing a book. Although a contract isn't finalized yet, the plan is that I'll be working with the publisher Fortress Press. I'm going to write a book about dealing with the passing of my son, wrestling with God and my faith afterwards, and where I've come to at this point with my theology.
Here are some of the motivations I have in writing this book:
I want to be more at peace with God - I know that by writing, it's going to force me to study, think, and then form an opinion or position on some very important theological questions that I still have.
I want to bring Jacob forward in life - Writing this book gives me another opportunity to bring Jacob forward in this life with me and with our family. As difficult as it is sometimes, the more I'm able to weave him into my everyday life, the more "right" it seems. He's my son and always will be my son. Even though he's not here physically with us, he's continuing to make a difference and change the world for the better. I feel like we are working on this project together.
I'm able to help others - By sharing my story I hope that it connects with others who have doubts or questions about God in the face of so much suffering in the world. Also, I want to be able to provide hope to someone else who may be stuck in depression, fear, anger, or hopelessness after experiencing their own trauma or tragedy.
I'm able to redeem some of the suffering and pain - One of my main motivations, everyday, is to take the pain and suffering that came out of this tragedy and use it to do something good. There is something very healing about taking these negative feelings and using that energy to do something positive.
I can raise awareness and money for orphans - Through writing and speaking, I hope to continue to bring awareness and help to orphans in Uganda through our partnership with Children's Hopechest. All proceeds from the book and any speaking event I do, will go directly to the benefit of these kids.
Honestly, the biggest fear I have in writing this book and sharing my experiences is the perception of, or the unintentional act of; exploiting Jacob, my family, or our circumstance. It feels kind of weird to know that I'm going to have to promote a book and talk publicly about something that is so sacred to me. Brea and I have talked a lot about whether or not I should do this. In the end, we decided together that there are many more positive reasons to move forward with a book rather than succumb to the fear of potential negatives.
So, going forward, I'll share some of my thoughts on this blog, sample chapters, and give updates on progress. Please sign up for my updates on the contact page. I'd love for you to share this with other people. Again, the proceeds from this book are going to help orphans. So, share away and let's raise as much money as we can for them!