I recently did a quick fundraiser to shoot a video trailer for our book launch. We raised over $1,000 from rock star friends and family, allowing me to get the ball rolling with a local production company. Dan and I sat in my living room last week as he asked fantastic questions I should have had answers to. “What are your hopes for this book?” Mmmmm….. “Why are you publishing this book?” Mmmmmm……I fumbled with words I assumed would eloquently stream out. My responses felt superficial and obvious and I realized quickly that I haven’t taken enough time to dig into these big picture questions. The concept for the video would stem from our goals and hopes for this quirky, one-of-a-kind book and I needed to deep dive before we could move forward. So I did what I do. I sat down, closed my eyes and started typing. Here’s where my fingers led me….
What are my goals for publishing this book? What message are we trying to convey? How do I want this book to be best utilized and what big picture concept is it that is driving me forward?
This book is a reflection of how clearly we can see people if we take the time to sit quietly and allow them to show us who they are. To use our senses rather than our impulses. To view people with the lens of learning their story rather than making assumptions or offering solutions or opinions. To ask careful, thoughtful questions and allow the people in our path to teach us through their experiences. This book is proof that when we stop trying to fix the struggles in our journeys, we just might find the beauty and wonder in the heart of the struggles themselves. We’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on therapy for Rylan and THIS act of asking him what it feels like to be him on a day to day basis, in the most simplest of situation, has taught me how to see him with more clarity and understanding than any therapy we’ve invested in This act of allowing him to draw and explain the contents of his brain has provided a community of support and understanding we couldn’t have expected or placed a value on.
My wish is that people who read this book will be touched at how beautifully intricate and surprisingly simple life is when we take the time to slow down, listen and learn from experiences different than our own. My hope is readers will be encouraged to view people they encounter day to day as adding immense value and meaning to the world, regardless of first impressions. And that before we assume that one fragment of our thoughts about others are true, we think back to Rylan’s words about how uniquely he walks through the same world we do.
And finally, God gave me this child because he knew I would love him fiercely, stubbornly and advocate for him with all my might. He knew that I needed to let go of control and accept the gift of not having all the answers or a tidy path. He gave me Rylan to force me to lean into Him, which I continue to fail at. But without God’s promise that HE is Rylan’s Main Man, Tim and I would have thrown our hands up a long time ago. And when we stop long enough to remind ourselves that the Kingdom doesn’t allow for labels or flaws, we move on with renewed hope and joy.
THAT is why I’m publishing this book. Thanks Dan. Shoot away.