For two years I fought like a wildcat to keep from writing this book.

pa030315Knowing that writing was one of my life-long hobbies, I had dozens of friends tell me that I should be the one to tell this amazing story. But all I wanted was for the public attention to go away; I didn’t want to create more by writing about it.

But the media just wouldn’t stop. First the shootings, then my son’s disappearance, followed by his arrest, leading to a huge media trial. It all culminated in a hour long program on CBS’s 48 Hours.

This attention kept forcing our family’s tragedy into the spotlight. I didn’t know it then, but Oprah, 20/20, Inside Story and two documentaries would also be filmed before long.

Eventually I became convinced that God wanted this story told (and that He wanted me to tell it) so that many would have their faith strengthened and learn to forgive. I told Him that if I did write it, I would give all my royalties to charity. Doors began to open and I received a contract from Simon & Schuster’s Howard Books. It ended up making the NY Times Best Seller list and was one of the top 50 trending books on Amazon.

I have tried to narrate this so the reader would experience all the feelings I went through, good and bad.

Since ultimately this is less a story about a terrible tragedy, and more about how God can work all things (even murder!) for good – and about how the hard decisions we make will pay off in the long run – it was vital that the reader experience everything I experienced. Only then could a stranger truly appreciate how God still works through life’s tragedies, including one this horrible. Only then would he or she be encouraged to look for His help within their own troubles, whatever they might be.

And only then would they realize just how important forgiveness is for their own healing.