It's here! It's officially launch day for Jenny Simmons and her incredible book, The Road to Becoming. I wanted my readers to know why this day is so important to me.
In the fall of 2013 I begrudgingly agreed to accompany teenagers on a weekend trip to Lives Ablaze in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Honestly, I was pretty ticked that I volunteered in the first place. What exactly made me think that sleeping on the floor of a church, with a group of teenagers, was a good idea? My attitude when I arrived at Hoffmantown Church was incredibly bad. Basically I had decided that I would go, I would even smile, but I wasn't going to enjoy it.
About an hour into the program, they introduced this lady who was "the former lead singer" of Addison Road. My attitude did not improve. My judgmental nature started to manifest itself. "Former lead singer? Does that just mean that she wasn't good enough to stay the lead singer? Why would someone of that level of importance be performing for teenagers in New Mexico?" Horrible - but true.
Then this astonishingly beautiful woman came out and spoke words of truth. She was so real with us. Like we were sitting in a coffee shop hanging out - instead of her being this huge star and there being a ton of teenagers in between us. She told of how her band, Addison Road had suffered through difficulty after difficulty and finally had no choice but to stop touring because you can only replace a van/RV full of your belongings so many times. She spoke of being broken, and scared, and at the end of herself. It all made sense to me. I felt like she was one of my people.
Then, she started to sing. Oh. My. Goodness. After the first song, my husband looked at me and said, "We are buying this CD, aren't we?" "Yes, and the bracelets and the anything else she is selling," was my response. Through her music and her testimony, my heart was changed. Rather than being angry and judgy, I worshiped, and prayed, and found joy.
Immediately upon arriving home, I followed her fan page, her blog, and eagerly awaited the next album. Each post drew me further in. She has a way of weaving words that cause a person to laugh, understand, and cry. And then laugh again. I read every thing she posted - because it mattered.
2013 was a very difficult fall for me and lead into an unspeakably bad 2014. Jenny Simmons helped me through that - and she didn't even know it. I can sing every word to every song on her last two albums because I listen it that often. When she announced that she was writing a book, I was overjoyed! I had personally experienced the overwhelming power of her words. To be a part of launching this book is my way of giving back. My way of showing her how powerful her honesty, raw emotion, and passion for God touched and changed me. My goal is to make this book more successful than she could have ever imagined. After reading it, I don't feel that way just to help her. I feel that way because it is just that good. It is the story of her season spent in a desert. She writes about her fears, her doubts, her anger at the almost unbelievable series of tragedies in her life. Naturally, she doesn't leave the reader in that place, but she takes us on the journey with her.
Yes, I am a part of a "team". Yes, it is part of our job to help sell books. No, those are not the reasons that I tell you to read the book. I tell you to read the book because even in our small launch team people have been forever, positively changed by the words contained in this book.