I was stuck.
Mired in regret, frozen in my faith, I was afraid of the future, and feeling so very alone.
I should have been excited about a new season of life: my kids were grown and doing well. I had accomplished a dream of writing a book. My marriage was solid.
Instead, I found myself unable to move past one huge mistake I'd made that had had devastating consequences. Simultaneously, the faith I'd grown up with didn't seem to answer new questions and doubts that arrived out of the blue.
To make matters worse, after a lifetime of easy conversations with God, I no longer had any words to pray.
I didn't know what to do.
That's when Henry, the adorable miniature rescue donkey, arrived in my life.
Henry was brought in to our farm to be Flash's wing man. Flash was the "star of the show," my original donkey who had been instrumental in so many life lessons, and whose story inspired my book. Now Flash needed a companion...especially after my awful mistake.
When we picked Henry up from the donkey rescue facility in west Texas, I hoped that somehow he would help fix everything, including the spiritual fog that had me at a standstill.
I knew it was a lot to ask of such a little guy, but I was desperate and obviously not thinking clearly.
However, Henry -- "Henderson Number Ten," is his official name -- came with his own ideas.
He was not about to be anybody's wing man. He wanted to be the top banana, the boss, the lord of the pasture.
And Flash? Well, he was none to pleased with having his well-ordered life upset by a diminutive know-it-all.
Worst of all, it seemed that neither one of them was interested in helping me with any of my other problems.
Walking with Henry is a very personal story.
It's a story of learning how to let go of regrets, and journey forward with hope.
It's a story of coming to terms with doubts, facing tough questions about my faith, and finding comfort in new forms of prayer and practice.
It's a story of how God used a tiny donkey to create an open space in my heart for wonder, and mystery, and joy.
Walking with Henry releases on March 5.
I'm both excited and nervous about it. I'm excited because I love how the story turned out...but nervous because I have taken a huge risk in being so vulnerable.
It's not easy for me to share my struggles. I'm a very private Norwegian, after all. But faced with a choice to pretend I've had it all together all along, or allow my authentic journey to be seen and known, I swallowed hard and wrote my truest story. I couldn't NOT be honest...and it's my hope that you'll find encouragement and comfort in the pages of this book.
March 5 is just around the corner....
Which brings me to this question:
Would you consider being part of my launch team?
Book babies need help getting out into the world, and this one is no different.
I need people who will be willing to read advance copies, and share reviews and promotions on their blogs and social media spheres.
If you are active on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and (preferably) if you have a blog, would you be part of Team Henry?
I need you. I really do.
To thank you for your help, Team Henry members will receive a free SIGNED HARDCOVER COPY of Walking with Henry, some personal time with Henry and me via Skype, premier access to a prayer devotional, and the undying love of an adorable miniature donkey in Texas!
If this sounds like something you want to be part of and can commit to, simply send me an email with "Team Henry" in the subject line and I'll give you more information. The official team will be limited to 25, but everyone will be welcome to help in whatever way they can.
In the meantime, Walking with Henry is already available for pre-order at places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Tyndale.
I'm looking forward to sharing more of my journey here on the blog, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I hope you'll follow along and be part of the experience. As always, I am deeply appreciative of your friendship, readership, and encouragement.
You bless me.
PS Did you know that Flash and Henry have their own Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram? I mean, of course they do. :)