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The Journey

It is important for you, the reader, to realize that heartache and tragedy set us on a journey. That journey is from loss, through grief, and to recovery. Consider a map of the United States. For the sake of illustration, we will say the state of Florida is loss. Having experienced a loss in our lives sets us on a journey seeking recovery. For the sake of illustration,

we will say that California is recovery. There are many states that separate Florida and California. There are mountain ranges and bodies of water that present obstacles to

the traveler. There are heavily populated areas as well as sparsely populated areas. Likewise there is distance between loss and recovery. We will let all of the states in between Florida and California represent grief. It is an unavoidable fact that you must travel through grief to get to recovery.

This book will show you how to make the journey from loss to recovery by traveling through grief. You must complete this journey. At times it will be very hard, but keep your destination in mind. Use this book as your guide along the journey, and may it be a help along the way.

Chapter Titles Include

Grief Defined

How Loss Affects You Spiritually

Three reasons Why Grief Destroys Lives

Understanding Grief

Why Some Can Not Deal With Grief

How Grief Affects Relationships

Signs of Grief

Obstacles You Face On the Road to Recovery

Life is Fragile

Sufficient Grace

Charging Not God Foolishly

Little By Little, the Secret to Overcoming Heartache

...and many more!

Take Action

Every so often you hear someone make a statement or you read something in a book that changes you. It is perhaps a quote or a principle that inspires you. This eventually becomes a driving force in your life. I had an experience like this a few months before my daughter, Amanda, died. I was having a conversation with a man by the name of Barry Fuller. Barry is an attorney and has been a good friend for many years. In the course of our conversation, he made a statement. When I heard it, the words bounced around my head for a moment before finally settling in my heart. “People who make a difference take action.” These words may not have been significant to Barry, but from that day forward those words have compelled me to accomplish many things.

Allow me to use myself as an example. I watched my daughter suffer for eight months. After twelve days on a ventilator, she was forced to endure spinal taps, daily shots, high fevers, and seizures. Only someone who has watched his child deal with physical pain and suffering understands the horror that I am talking about. Holding her in my arms and listening to her whimper in painand discomfort is not something I will soon forget. After months of daily struggle, Amanda passed away. Even though the doctors had told us she would likely not live past the age of two, I was not prepared for my daughter to be taken from me. I knew this would cause much pain, but I could not have anticipated the magnitude of the hurt I felt. It was also extremely difficult to see my wife hurt as well. I knew that there was nothing that I could say or do to ease her pain. Perhaps the most difficult thing I have ever had to do was explain to my oldest daughter that Amanda would not be coming home again. I will never forget the puzzled look on her face when she came home the day Amanda died. She ran into our living room where Amanda normally was only to find the portable crib where Amanda normally lay put away. She asked why Amanda had not come home from the hospital. I tried to explain to her that Amanda was with Jesus now. Of course, being only three years old at the time, Alyssa did not understand; and she told me that she wanted her sister to stay with her.

We were obviously devastated over the loss of Amanda. The funeral was especially hard. The void that is left by the loss of a loved one is not easy to get used to. So many things such as sounds,

smiles, and pictures reminded us of what we had been through.

I am not writing of this experience so that you might have sympathy for me. I am sharing some of my experiences with you in this book to send a message of hope. During this low point ofmy life, these words rang in my ears—Take Action. I determined that my heartache would not defeat me. I would not recover from this on my own. Time would not heal these wounds. My life could essentially be over, or I could decide to do something about my circumstances. From that point, I determined to recover.I determined to trust God and depend completely on Him. I determined to help others as the Lord allowed. My prayer is that this book will help you Take Action as you travel through your journey through heartache