This is easily the most difficult thing I have ever written…
This was the thought that kept cropping up as I was writing the first drafts for what would eventually become this book. I also came to embrace the oxymoronic quality of that sentiment, “easily the most difficult.”
These pages aren’t filled with a random array of made-up characters. This is me. These are my thoughts, my experiences, and my feelings, written under the umbrella of God’s story. This is authentic and real stuff here, and being this transparent has definitely been a challenge.
Let’s face it, none of us have our s**t together. I’ve raised my share of hell in the past. But, this is not some “I’m not perfect, I’m just forgiven” bumper sticker ideology that I’m spewing (and which I can’t stand anyway). Being a Christ follower has simply become a vital part of who I am, and at this point in my life, I can’t imagine what or who I might be without Him. And no, it’s not a case that I would be off-the-rails crazy or down-the-cesspool evil. It’s more like I can’t imagine who I would be without my wife, or my kids, or the friends I have coffee with every Saturday morning. My relationship with Christ is one that I value and cherish, one that I’ve learned and grown from, and one that I’ve come to honor and respect.
But how do I put all that into words? Into something that someone else may read, and say, “Yeah, me too,” which is my ultimate goal in writing this book? Why would I bother to put so much of myself out there, laying bare a few of my more personal stories, opening myself up for criticism and judgment by attempting to explain myself, my journey, and my beliefs?
Well, one answer came from the most unlikely of places, summed up by an uncredited meme I saw on Facebook: I don’t share my thoughts because I think it will change the minds of those who think differently. I share my thoughts to show the people who already think like me that they’re not alone.
This book is my attempt to share my thoughts, to tell you that you’re not alone, to possibly give you an answer to an unasked question by giving you an understanding of who I am, why I believe as I do, and how I identify with this banner I live under called Christianity. All in the hope that it might help you understand yourself a little better, your beliefs, and, above all, these amazing things called faith and grace that we so often miss through the convoluted haze of religion.
Fair warning, though: It also may open up an entirely new Pandora’s box of other questions!
I can’t help but think that might be a good thing.