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Made For Today and Terrified

Updated: Sep 11, 2018

It’s one thing to write a book. It’s another thing to release it.

I need to confess something to you. Maybe you feel the same way. Here goes...

I desperately want you to like me. I so badly want you to respect me and approve of what I do.

In a personal situation or on social media this is far easier to navigate. I can tone down one part of myself to amplify another. Blend in.

But with this book, there is only one narrative. It’s just me, opened up. All you get is what’s on the page in black and white. The book has gone to print. It can’t be enhanced or edited - tweaked for one audience or another.

As a result, I feel completely exposed.

The truth is this - Not only does Made For These Times highlight my deepest pain and insecurities, it’s also a very “Christian” book. At its core, it’s the story of broken people who become co-workers with God to walk alongside other broken people. I couldn’t NOT write it that way. Believe me, I tried at first.

But in the end, I had to express who I am and what has brought me here. To get there I had to pry open the door to my authentic self.

I’m coming to grips with the fact that there will be friends of mine, people I love, who will buy this book and not like it. They will read one or two chapters, get turned off, and you’ll see it at Goodwill a year later for $0.99.

My atheist friends may find it too Christian. My evangelical friends may find it not Christian enough. My conservative friends could think it’s too liberal. My progressive friends may decide it’s not nearly as radical as they had hoped. And there will be a whole host of others who will be bored or determine the writing sucks. There will be one star reviews on Amazon.

I’ve learned this is just another step on the path toward bravery. Knees wobbling, shakily rising up to bare my soul. Having the audacity to say, in print, “This is where I stand.”

If you read the book, you’ll see my goal isn’t to be the hero of the story. Rather, it’s to be your guide on your quest for meaning and purpose.

It may not be today or tomorrow, but I hope one day you’ll have the opportunity to bare your soul as well. To stand with courage while the fiery arrows of criticism and self doubt rain down. Some will stick, but most will deflect, and you’ll live to see another day. Stronger.

Today, I’m reminded of the impactful words of Clarissa Pinkola Estes,

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Thanks to all of you who have been with me on this journey.

- Justin

Photo Credit: Martin Sattler

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