Last year at this time, I was wrapping up plans for my book launch to be held on the 13th anniversary of my go-kart racing accident. Connie Hurn and I worked hard for seven years to write The Gift Is You, and it was finally time for people to read our story of hope in the face of tragedy. Like most authors, we weren’t sure if the book would be well received, or if readers would find the story a help in dealing with their own personal struggles.
The Michigan book launch, however, held on July 29, 2014, turned out to be a night to remember. Nearly 300 people attended, and 200 books were sold. Connie was there, along with Lauren Cleveland, my marketing manager. My friend, Chuck Rossi, was master of ceremonies. God, too, was present.
The next day, I gave a presentation and held a book signing at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, the rehab hospital I lived in for six weeks after my accident. Most rewarding was my visit to the Institute’s spinal cord unit. I went into every room, talked to every patient and handed out signed copies of my book. I had tears in my eyes after leaving most rooms; it was a very special time.
Earlier in July, I gave a talk at my church, First Presbyterian Church of Trenton, followed by another book signing. This was the church where I gave my first testimony over a dozen years earlier, so it was very special. The sanctuary was full, and the event left me full of memories.
Then on Sunday, August 14th, my wife, Anita, and I went to Fort Worth, Texas, to do a book launch at Connie’s church. This event was also special. So many friends of Connie’s in attendance were members of my Prayer Team, though I had not yet met most of them. I left Texas with many new and fond friendships.
In addition to these special events, I have given many talks and been interviewed on radio and TV. While the goal of our book was to help others, experiencing all these events had made me a better person. How could it not? God was with me always. I repeatedly heard that my talk was powerful, or how it helped people face their own tragedies. I also received many emails and letters from strangers expressing the importance of The Gift Is You in their lives, how it helped them feel closer to God and how God’s Grace was also helping them.
However rewarding, this past year has not been easy. So many times I wanted to do it my way, but God had a different plan. I do not know what God has in store for me, or for The Gift Is You, for the coming year. I hope He wants me to continue to speak about HOPE and now (my new speaking topic) CHANGE. If you know of an organization, group or church that may be interested in having me speak and, possibly, doing a book signing, please click here.
Thank you for allowing me to share my special journey with you. I wish you could have been in my heart with me over the past year; you would have been “changed”, as well.