On Writing The Last Breakup

I set out to write the book (writing my testimony and ghost-writing Rebecca’s) in November of 2017. Target audience? Anyone, regardless of background and Biblical aptitude. I figured three months tops. Not even close. I greatly underestimated the effort.

The first challenge was compacting both of our testimonies into a small book; the second–and greater–challenge was converting two life-changing spiritual experiences into simple, accessible prose that didn’t require knowledge of the Bible to read.

There were many other challenges along the 22-month journey, although “writer’s block” was not one of them. I had the exact opposite problem: overload. That is, the temptation to tangentially expand on every Biblical topic that arose. I wrote and deleted far more than what made the finally cut. Had I kept everything I wrote, the book would have been at least three times the size–and the story would have been lost. Good segue…

The book did not start out as a story. Our original idea was to publish something like a “Top 20 Things We’ve Learned About Marriage” type of thing. The impetus was couples whose weddings we shot (who told us they would be interested in reading it if we ever published it). So that’s what I started writing. But there was a problem: the list of “do’s” we came up with required desire on the part of the husband and wife, and without an explanation as to how we got our desire, it was useless information.

So after much ado (discussion) we decided it was best to just tell our story and embed our lessons into the prose. Sounded easy enough. But nope. It was very difficult–at least without sounding like we were trying to be teachers, which we had vowed not to do.

The next thing I know I am knee deep in our story and having long conversations with Rebecca. Someone asked if it was painful to have to relive that era of our lives. Yes, it was very painful at times. It forced us to confront several things that we had sort of swept under the rug… and that required getting to the truth… again… which required taking ownership… again.

So in a great twist of unforeseen paradox, writing the book about finding the truth forced us to find even more truth that we had not yet discovered, and that was the most painful part. We actually found ourselves apologizing to each other at times. So writing the book became just as valuable for us as it will hopefully be for others who have not heard our story.

So back to the story. Overall we loved telling our story. It was an amazing experience and we have reached a state of grace with it, thanks be to God. Of course God is the reason for everything good. How faithful He is.

That’s all for now.

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