Last week I was speaking to a group of Focus on the Family friends in Michigan. At the end of most events I have the time to linger with the guests. I enjoy getting to meet and spend one-on-one time listening to their stories.
Among those in attendance was a women named Glenda who came over to shake my hand. Glenda told me how her husband, Fred, had read my autobiography Finding Home almost exactly one year ago to the day. At the time Fred was in the hospital receiving care for a terminal illness.
She explained there was something about my story and how God protected me through a very difficult childhood that connected with Fred’s heart. After finishing the book, Fred took great pleasure encouraging others to read it as well. Patients and visitors in the hospitals, his friends–just about anyone he came in contact with, Fred wanted them to see how God had worked through the events of my life to steer me to a relationship with Jesus.
Glenda said that after her husband was released from the hospital, Fred was quick to share my story with teenagers in the youth class which he taught at church. During his final six months, Fred wanted as many people as possible to know how God had changed my life. I have to admit I was deeply moved by Glenda’s story.
You see, when I was first encouraged to write Finding Home, I had real doubts whether or not anybody would care to read about the events of my life. Never mind the thought that it might impact someone’s life the way it obviously had impacted Fred. Which is why my eyes brimmed with tears as Glenda shared her story.
It turns out that Fred, his body weakened from its relentless battle with his illness, died this past April leaving Glenda a widow. God used our visit to touch and uplift her spirits. Apparently meeting me, someone whose book had energized her husband during his final days on earth, was a source of great encouragement to her. I had the privilege and honor of autographing a copy for her.
May God richly bless you, Glenda. Thank you for taking the time to share the story of your husband with me. I know you miss him. I, like you, look forward to meeting Fred one day in heaven.