Seeing that the entire idea for my summer release It's Better This Way came from a sermon, I felt it was only fitting that I dedicate the book to Rick Enloe, who, you will recognize from the column Low Hanging Truth, where he contributes to the Welcome Home Magazine. Gino Grunberg is co-pastor with Rick. Both are dear friends who have inspired me in my faith. Ideas come from everywhere, and I believe this is one of my best, so thank you Rick.
*(Left) Rick Enloe (right) Gino Grunberg
Rick is also going to share where "It's Better This Way" came from and how he uses the phrase to change his outlook in his life.
I am an optimist, thanks to my mostly carefree family of origin. My loving parents and happy siblings have contributed to my ability to see the "glass half full."
This doesn't mean I never have bouts of negativity or walk around with a dazed grin. My optimism gets tested. Often.
But over time, I have developed an expression that reflects the attitude that sums up my outlook: "It's better this way."
I've uttered this short sentence so often that my family and friends have credited me with the phrase, even though I'm most certainly not the first. I have a plaque in my home office that my wife gave me, reflecting my optimistic philosophy.
I am willing to admit that the idea "It's better this way" is not always applicable. There are tragic outcomes, like the death of a child or other catastrophic traumas that defy this expression. But, outside of those inexplicable losses, this outlook has benefitted me in many ways.
I remember waiting for a flight home after a long week, only to look up at the flight status screen and see the word "CANCELLED." It's at this level of disappointment that my optimistic phrase works so well.
When the restaurant is out of what you ordered, when you can't afford your first choice, when you fail the admission test, anytime the news seems bad. Any time your plans are interrupted by an unforeseen event, my catchphrase, "It's better this way" works wonders.
To me it means something beyond what you were expecting is about to happen. It means a coincidence that unfolds to your benefit. If the road had been open, you would never have taken the detour and seen the property for sale where house now stands. If the flight had not been cancelled, you would never have met your new business partner. Mostly, when something happens that disrupts an agenda, an important lesson about yourself emerges.
Most of us have heard others say, "I wouldn't want to go through that again, but I'd never trade it for anything." Aren't they saying, through the pain and disruption, something better emerged? That's another version of "it' better this way."
My friend was diagnosed with final stage kidney disease that landed him in dialysis for five hours a day, three days a week. I asked him how we was going to handle it and he said, "Apparently somebody at the dialysis clinic needs some encouragement." That is an extreme version of the "It's better this way" attitude.
All of this brings me to New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber's newest book titled, It's Better This Way. I am mentioned in the dedication. Wow. I originally met Debbie by asking her to forgive me for making fun of her books. In her gracious and forgiving manner, she befriended me and has included me in her success. This book is special because Debbie is special. She is living proof to me that there is always something better ahead. I hope this brief backdrop enriches your enjoyment of Debbie's newest novel: It's Better This Way.