There were many times I wanted to quit. I was worried that I wouldn’t do justice to the countless stories people shared with me about their trials and how people were helpful, or even not-so-helpful, when they were facing hardship. It seemed like such a tall order to compile their hard-won insights in a meaningful way, to honor them, and to encourage others. How would I get it all right? Would it be practical and usable for anyone?
Many authors worry about the success of their book, but I felt an added responsibility. I, of course, had lots of experience of my own, between bed rest during pregnancy and four back surgeries, not to mention the intimate experience walking through terminal illness with three close family and friends. But I wasn’t telling only my story.
Thankfully, I kept coming back to the core truth. We can do better. We can be better “neighbors” to the people around us who are facing trial. After all, who of us doesn’t know someone at this very moment who is struggling? Whether it’s terminal illness, death of a loved one, cancer, divorce, unemployment, foreclosure, infertility, wayward children, aging parents—the list is endless.
That’s why I wrote Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial.
At the heart of it, we are a people who want to care. But life gets busy, and time passes and we haven’t reached out to that friend who’s sick, and then we don’t reach out because it’s been too long. And we feel guilty. (This is not God’s best for us, people, I promise you!)
Or conversely, we go into overdrive and end up overwhelming our friends and loved ones with our offers to “let me know what I can do.” Which you’ll discover, is not very helpful at all.
The topic of loving our neighbor through life’s most difficult journeys is an important one. It’s what Jesus was referring to when he commanded us to “Love our Neighbors as Ourselves.” And I believe to my core that people want to follow God’s call to love people well—especially in challenging circumstances—but they often don’t have the right tools to do so.
I have said I had a holy burden to write this book—that I couldn’t not write it. At times the weight of getting it right was heavy. But I’m so glad I didn’t quit, because I know people will benefit from the stories, wisdom and advice found in its pages.
It was worth every long hour spent carrying its weight. And now I hope you’ll help carry it, too.
You’ll hear more about Alongside in the coming weeks. But today, I have a request:
Will you join us? Will you be a part of the Alongside Launch Team?
You matter. Your help in reading and sharing this book might expose someone to the answers they are looking for when they first get “the news” that a friend or loved one is in need. Would you be willing to read it for yourself and then spread the word to others? Imagine if someone ends up better equipped to walk alongside their loved ones through the darkest valleys of life because you told them about this book. You could be that kind of difference maker!
As a launch team member, you will get an advance digital copy of the book, Alongside: A Practical Guide to Loving Your Neighbor in their Time of Trial, access to a private Q&A call with me just for launch team members, access to a private Facebook group and other surprises!
As a member of the launch team, we ask that you:
- Read the digital copy of the book in advance & send us a review
- Spread the word on your social media channels, and tag Sarah whenever possible
- Write and share a blog post about your Alongside experience, if you’re a blogger
- Leave a review on at least one book seller’s website (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM, etc)
- Interact with the launch team community
Interested? Simply complete this form by Friday, January 13th. We are only accepting launch team members for one week, so please don’t delay. We want to make sure that the group is large enough to make an impact, but small enough that my team and I can interact with you on a personal level.
Feel free to share this post with others. We’d love to fill the launch team to overflowing!