It began much like any other day in grade nine.
I grabbed a piece of toast on my way out the door and walked the mile to school. I went to history, math, English and then, at the end of the academic day, bolted out to the ball field for practice. The best part of my day.
And, the moment that permanently altered my life.
The faces looming over me are familiar, each with a knotted expression. Their lips are moving but they appear mute. Blackness. My eyelids press hard against the weight of unconsciousness. I am shaded from the shocking blue Arizona sky by the circle of tall bodies towering above. Where am I?
My left hand can’t clench. It just sweats in my baseball glove, limp by my side. My right hand claws at hot sand, grasping, dropping. I am on the ground. But where? The answer must be beyond the shins surrounding me. I turn my head. Aaahh. Searing hot jolts fire up my jawline, bursting through the joints, igniting my temples. I can only hear pain. Talk louder, people. Tell me how this happened!
This excerpt from But Pain Crept In reminds me that I began that particular day oblivious to what was to come in a few hours and echo for over forty years. For that I am grateful.
I have no desire to foresee the future. I could have agonized for years, worrying and anticipating pain, had I known at the time the implications that ball-to-jaw moment would have over the course of my life.
But I didn't know all that lay ahead. And when the days of intense pain arrived, I was buoyed to know the One who would walk through it with me.
People sometimes joke about me being a "famous author" or they will say "I guess you can retire soon now that you're published." Both are far from true.
My heart for this book is not fame or royalties. I wrote it with the prayer that anyone immersed in pain - physical, emotional, social, relational, spiritual - will find hope to press on.
If that's you, be assured that even in the depths of agony, you are not alone. There is One who can transcend loneliness and darkness and meet you, be with you. I've been there.
If you would like a copy of But Pain Crept In and feel you can't afford it, please message me. We'll find a way to get it into your hands.
With love and gratitude,
In The Midst