The book is here!

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December 5, 2016

Dear friends and family of the quadriplegic,

I am excited to share that a book about our story is finally available!  Forty: The Year My Husband Became a Quadriplegic tells the story of Steve’s catastrophic motorcycle accident and resulting paralysis through forty short reflections.   It is as much an offering of love and gratitude to God and to so many of you who walked alongside us, as it is a re-telling of the circumstances that so unexpectedly dropped us into an entirely different life.

As I prepared to announce the book, it occurred to me to read once more the account of Jesus healing the paralytic in Luke 5:17-26.  This story has powerfully connected with our own, a common scaffolding upon which we can hang the particular details of Steve’s experience with quadriplegia alongside that of a first century Israelite.  With each day and month and year, we add to our experience and understanding of what it means to be carried to the feet of Jesus, again and again, for that deepest healing of all: “Your sins are forgiven you,” as well as for that other healing, “Rise and walk.”  Each are miraculous, the latter only a foretaste of the fullness of the former.  Six years further on, as we continue to live in the unfolding of both the miracle of healing and the reality of paralysis, it is the forgiveness of our sins, allowing us access to the living God, that continues to germinate most powerfully in our souls, even as we also continue to long and groan for that more visceral taste of God’s goodness in Steve’s body through further physical healing.

Many of you followed this blog, which I wrote in stolen moments, as the circumstances of Steve’s accident evolved. I wrote, then, to gather prayers and support at a time when we desperately needed to borrow the faith and endurance of others. Steve has preached often on this subject through Luke’s account of the paralytic and yet the truth of it remains fresh with me: we simply cannot heal from grief and loss without the faith and help of others.  I will always maintain that the prayers and support we received then from so many of you had much to do with the healing we also received, though no formula exists to either prove or replicate that experience. Six years further on, we still need our friends and family so much.

Six years further on, we are also still telling the story.  We tell it not because we want it to be heard, but because the telling builds bridges into the experiences of others in ways that continue to connect us in faith and hope and love.  I believe so deeply that we need each other’s stories of suffering and hope in order to heal.  As Steve says in his sermon, we all suffer paralysis in one way or another.  In telling this story one more time, I hope that I might somehow help carry someone else’s mat to the feet of Jesus, as Steve and I were once carried there.

The passage in Luke ends with this line: “We have seen extraordinary things today.”  In our own story, but also in the stories others have shared with us, we too have witnessed extraordinary things.  There are miracles, both tangible and intangible.  There is life in the desert.  It is my hope that this book brings that life, through the Giver of Life Himself, to all who read it.

Today it is available on Amazon kindle here:  You can also gift the ebook by simply clicking on the Give as a Gift button on the lower right hand side of the page.  For those in the Philippines, the print copy of the book will be available in selected book stores from December 11 onward.  Unfortunately, the print version is not yet available in the US.  Please pray with me for the right opportunity to print it there soon!

We are so grateful for each and every one of you,

Michelle (& Steve)




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