When I turned 40 years old I scribbled down several goals I wanted to accomplish before I turned 50. I wrote them in my journal and made a plan on how I would accomplish them over a ten-year period. My goals were….
- Lose Weight
- Grow Closer to God
- Write My First Book
While I lost about 500 lbs over those ten years, I always seemed to find most of them again—but I did end up in better shape along the way. There was no doubt each year brought another depth of my devotion to my Heavenly Father. That decade was a great journey of learning to hear His voice and realizing I could depend on Him for everything I need.
The truth is, I experienced change in every area except my goal to write my first book. I still remember turning 50, realizing that I was no closer to published a book than when I first jotted that goal in my journal. It was disappointing and frustrating.
While I was disappointed, I didn’t give up. I continued to pursue my goal by writing throughout some of the most challenging times of my life. Those challenges and obstacles, as hard as they were, actually became the storyline and content for my first book Respond Up, out on October 25th.
In Respond Up, I detail how heartache and difficulty can actually become the bridge to greatness. We just have to learn how to respond to challenges instead of choosing a knee-jerk reaction. As I detail in the book, I found there are seven types of difficulty almost all of us will respond to as some point in our life—and our response to these determines whether we emerge a leader, or a victim reduced to a smaller version of ourselves.
- Responding to a Dream
- Responding to Rejection
- Responding to Unwanted Change
- Responding to Temptation
- Responding to the Wait
- Responding to Promotion
- Responding to Offense
I would never have dreamed how this year has turned out. From political and social division as bad as anyone can remember, to the onslaught of several natural disasters. Even as I write this, we’ve just experienced the worst mass shooting in US history. We have woken up to a world that is hurting. We need leaders who know how to respond to times like these. We have enough reactors, you only have to watch the news to see this. Who will step up and make a difference in our nation?
I would have never guessed, years ago when I began this book, that I would be publishing it for such a time as this. God not only knew what hardships I needed to endure to learn how to respond to the difficulties of life, but He knew we would need this message in 2017. A message that directs us to take time and filter our response through Him, instead of letting anger, frustration or disappointment cause us to lash out. A message of hope, teaching us to see that our most difficult hours can lead to greatness and purpose if we will learn how to respond correctly.