[Today’s post is by Glenn]
What struggles have we encountered during the process of writing this book?
When answering this frequent question, I first determine the questioner’s level of interest. The easy and obvious answer was our continual striving for creating good literary value coupled with the patience needed to develop the book’s overall timeline.
Patience is the key. Stories may bubble and fester within one’s heart for many years, but sharing them in their fullest takes committed tenacity while trying to stay true to their reality.
But what do I know?
The deeper answer to this question is far more personal. The power of print on paper is that once the story is out there, it never goes away. The telling is one thing. Public viewing and its ripple effect of the words written is what lasts for a lifetime.
God spoke the title, And Then Came Life, into my heart more than 20 years ago. I was certain the story would be told and there would be additional books that would follow, but I could never imagine how this literary project would occur or when.
Years passed as I sat on the title waiting for godly doors to open. Pages stayed blank longer than they may be printed. There were false starts and failures through well-intentioned persons. Many loving people believed the story’s telling should have begun long before God intended. Three times I followed potential writers until the disappointment of failed starts was more than I could bear.
Finally, I shelved the book and waited, content with the knowledge God had said, “it would be one day.” This was very difficult. The pains I had experienced and the worsening climate in our world’s immorality pricked at my heart daily.
Frequently I was confronted by persons searching for Christ’s hope while trying to escape alternative lifestyles. Growing frustrations came upon me as I could not hand them a book about my personal victories over homosexuality and other mountains of despair.
I learned early on that the most read book is the one we live before our fellow men. The world insists on a daily watch over Christian actions; it demands that the words we say reflect what we do in real life. Intelligence and revelation must be evident in how we act and love others before our smarts can be considered viable information. A book by itself is not the total story, but should reflect the one being shared by a life walked in His truth, love and freedom from sin.
Finally, after many years, Robert came into my life like a wind. Together, God enabled us to develop a story that is already written and a timeline that is already created. Facts and scenarios simply had to be aligned like pearls on a string. The events are real, the persons are real, and the trials are real. The pages were forged together as a team – Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Glenn and Robert.
Through this waiting, through this divinely arranged togetherness, a book has emerged and will soon be printed. While recounting those tales which have survived the editing process, I experienced many emotions. Sometimes after the typing stopped, I would lie awake for hours weeping. There was healing for me, both inwardly and outwardly. I soon realized that even if the book was never presented for the world to read, I had achieved a healing I had not considered prior to the book’s conception.
The hours passed as the keyboard flamed and when all was done, I was emptied more than ever. The story is personal – there is no arguing this fact. Now, however, it is available for all the world to read. The kindness of people falls short where they hurt and their attitudes can creep into their responses when they are confronted by another person’s life truths. It is my personal story for your personal review, and it is not intended to sugar-coat anyone’s feelings.
As I said above, there has always been a certainty this book would be birthed. While the telling of it has been extremely difficult, it has also been an honor. Not everyone could tell this story, and not everyone is required to do so. For me, however, telling or not telling this story has never been an option. Even at this very moment, I hope its sharing will bring Heaven’s hope to those who were as lost as I once was, or to those who pray for and care for others lost in lives of sexual debauchery, chaotic fantasies, and abuse at the hands of those they look to for comfort and guidance.
Whether what lies ahead is daunting or exciting is what readers will decide for themselves. This story is mine. It is also another person’s story. Like myself many years ago, this person is also looking for ways out of what has become poisonous to his or her heart and eternal welfare. Today that person continues to live under the spyglass of judgment, ridicule and oppressive opinions.
I will never be a Marlboro Man, but today I am a free man – free from that judgment, ridicule and oppression – because of the embrace of a Heavenly Father’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.
It is that simple and wonderfully glorious. So I tell this story as unto Him!
I call this book my difficult blessing. Like all births, it has had both its pains and its joys.