A couple of years ago, I sat on the sofa listening to two friends making the case why I should write a book. They said things like, “As the new president of Focus, there will be tons of interest from folks wanting to learn about the man God called to lead the ministry” and “You’ve got such a compelling life story that could help so many people.”
I remained unsure.
While I understood their reasoning and their passion to see me talk openly about the insanity that was my life for so many years, I just didn’t think writing a book – at least not a book about my story – was the way to go. Don’t get me wrong. I had no problem being transparent about the dysfunctional mess that was my childhood. My family put the “D” in dysfunction. However, I just didn’t think talking about my life was that big of a deal.
In hindsight, I’d say writing FINDING HOME was exactly what I was supposed to do. Everywhere I travel, I meet people who have been deeply moved by the story of my coming to faith in God in spite of my turbulent journey. It’s as if God put me through those taumatic years of brokenness so that He could use my experieinces to touch the lives of others who have tasted similar hardships.
Case in point. Here’s a letter we just received:
I recently picked up Jim Daly’s book FINDING HOME without knowing any of the details behind his story. What caught my eye was the description of Jim growing up in a dysfunctional family. I read the book in one sitting – it could have been an account of my own childhood.
I held on to my faith until about five years ago when, at age fifty, various events led me to seriously question what I believed. Indeed, I even cursed our God, His Son, and all that I had ever known from scripture to be good and true and right.
I want Jim Daly to know that his ministry caught me with his book; his words about the Lord’s grace and direction have made a significant difference in my life. Thank you, Jim, from the bottom of my heart, for pointing me back to the Source of hope. I am once again willing to let God drive my life plan.
I share that letter not to toot my own horn. Far from it. Rather, I’d like to encourage you to consider using your story to touch the lives of those in your world. No, you don’t have to write a book before God can use you.
If, for example, you’ve experienced restoration in your marriage, or watched a prodigal child return home, why not share that good news with others. Public speaking isn’t your thing? Then what about calling or arranging lunch with a friend who’s struggling in their marriage or who’s been through the wringer with a wayward teen and visit with them one-on-one?
Bottom line: I believe God wants you and me to be open about our brokenness. Being real with each other about our struggles, our failures, and our breakthroughs is one of the best ways to spread the good news that God still changes lives. Why not make the call to someone today?