"As an editor on the project, I expected to be dealing with lots of words on paper. I was unsure if I was good enough of a writer myself to tell others how to write their stories. In reality, I was dealing with people, their own insecurities and their vulnerability. My role turned out to be so much more about listening to the authors, encouraging them, sharing their struggles and celebrating their victories than about editing text. They didn't need to hear how to write, all they really needed was to hear that they should write, that their stories matter, that they matter! I feel humbled and honored to have been allowed to witness the raw state of the stories God has written in the authors' lives. Through these close encounters, I have not only gotten to know people around me better but I have also experienced God's powerful touch on their lives first hand."
"I wrote this piece in hopes that it might benefit others, but I also sensed that the process might somehow be good for me. I didn’t gain any new insights into my past, but perhaps inner healing has taken place at a deeper level. One Sunday as we were leaving home for a church service, my son (age 15) responded to me defiantly. In the past, such behavior often prompted me to feel that I wasn’t worth respecting as a father. But this time I didn’t go down that path. I realized that his behavior was his issue, not mine. A few minutes later I found out that several men from my church were at an annual weekend get-away to which I had not been invited. I could easily have brooded over that, telling myself that I didn’t rate being included. Again, though, I chose not to go there. It was as if twice that morning I got bumped on a place that had once been bruised. I could feel that the spot was still a bit tender, but it didn’t really hurt. By the grace of God in those moments I made a conscious choice to reject old patterns of self-focused thinking, and I felt peace and joy!" Author's comment for 39 Stories, [...]
"I have kept journals of my prayers and God's faithful answers for the past twelve years. I have recently wanted to be more intentional to write out stories of my journey with God as an encouragement to others and have several journal entries recording my prayers for an opportunity to share my experiences. I needed a specific assignment and deadline to get back into writing and the invitation from 39-Stories came at the perfect time. It has been the inspiration and catalyst I have needed to start telling my stories and has served as a beautiful reminder of God's faithful hand in my life."