Monday, February 01, 2010

Book of the Month: WHY I STAYED, by Gayle Haggard

This month we do have a new release, but it's not a novel--it's one of the collaboration projects I've been involved in. It's Gayle Haggard's story, WHY I STAYED.

Whenever these collaborative books come out, I always receive a flurry of emails from people who want me to tell their story in a book, but it doesn't work that way. I don't meet the people who have the story until after they've contracted with a publisher; then it's the publisher who contacts me to see if I'm interested in working alongside.

When my agent first contacted me with news of Gayle's forthcoming book, I was a little hesitant--first of all, I hadn't kept tabs on the Ted Haggard story, and I didn't even know they were still together. I assumed not--after all, if any woman had a biblical reason for divorce, Gayle Haggard did. When I heard that Gayle was still with Ted, my thoughts jumped onto the same assumption that I've heard coming from several major newscasters--Gayle Haggard must be one of those women who simply can't imagine herself without the powerful man she married. Still, I was intrigued, so I agreed to do the project.

When I met Gayle (we were cloistered in a lovely bed and breakfast to work for three days), I soon found out that my assumption couldn't be more wrong. Gayle is a VERY strong woman, a leader in her own right, the mother of five children, and anything but a powerful man's doormat. She's very bright, extremely articulate, and quite brave . . . and I found myself caught up in her story. I learned a lot through the writing of it, and I've learned that just because God allows us a way out of a tough situation doesn't mean we should automatically take it. Instead the best thing--the godly thing--is to choose to stay and tough it out through the hard times.

Whenever I think of Gayle's story, I think of my book, THE PEARL, in which I wanted to explore what happens when God calls us through the valley of the shadow and we don't want to go. Or we go (because we have no choice), but we go kicking and screaming. I've done that . . . how about you?

In any case, I soon discovered that working on WHY I STAYED was a blessing for me. Gayle is a treasure, Ted is a gem, and I love them both. And this book is more than a story--it's a life lesson for all who believe. A lesson wrapped in love.

Pick up a copy today (and no, I don't get royalties). :-) I promise you'll be blessed.



Unknown said...

I saw Gayle and Ted on Oprah and was kind of disappointed. I wanted to hear more about the healing of their marriage and what they are doing now. None of that was discussed. It was actually a quite shallow interview. Typical for Oprah, I guess. I probably should not have expected more.

Mocha with Linda said...

I'm glad to see this BOM and I love seeing your perspective. I don't care for the mega-church popular pastor personna, so I would not have given this a second look if you hadn't been the one to write it with her. Now I'm intrigued.