Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Hi Tennis Shoes Fans!
Last summer he told me about a remarkable experience that occurred in his family and particularly with his ailing mother, Mary Lou Asay, who was in the hospital during her last months of life. Her body had slipped into a deep coma. Doctors told the family it was unlikely that she'd ever reawaken. But she DID awaken, very animated, lucid, and describing what she had seen "beyond the veil." Her experience was similar, I suppose, to many others who've been blessed with a glimpse of "heaven", and then allowed to return--except for one (or two) very unique elements. You see, Mary Lou had had nine children. Decades earlier, however, she'd lost one child to stillbirth in her sixth month of pregnancy. It was a devastating event, as it would be for any mother. Dave's sister had also had a stillborn son a few years earlier. The grief and sorrow experienced by such an event is something I believe only a mother can fully appreciate. Dave's sister always believed she'd one day meet her child again. Mary Lou believed no such thing. She even told her daughter the idea was nonsense and said a child had to be alive, breathing, and held in your arms before you could think of it as "eternally yours." That strong opinion changed on that monumental day in the hospital. During her visit to the afterlife, Mary Lou was greeted by several family members and loved ones. And then a young man embraced her and said, "My name is Shawn. I'm the son who died in your womb before I could ever be born." Shawn thanked her so much for everything she'd done for him. A bit confused, Mary Lou replied, "I don't understand. What did I do?" Shawn replied, "Everything." An odd answer from a child who'd never breathed a breath of life.
This sacred story has many other details and nuances. I was enrapt when Dave first told it to me. Mary Lou, against the urging of loving family members, including Shawn and her grandson, Michael, her stillborn grandson, felt compelled to return to earth to finish something. However, after coming back, she couldn't remember what that was. Dave believed it was to share her story. Dave knew it could be an incredible source of comfort for any woman who has lost a stillborn child or experienced the pain of miscarriage. Trouble was, Dave had never written a book before. That's where our friendship came in. In the process, I convinced Dave to also include some important, difficult themes about dramatic events that had taken place in his family. My object, I felt very strongly, was to reveal how all of us--all of God's children--are connected together by a great unbroken chain. To me this includes not only children miscarried or stillborn, but our children who have gone wayward, but who are nevertheless loved by God more deeply than we can possibly imagine.
I'm very proud to have been involved in this book. It's not that heavy on doctrine. It doesn't claim to fully understand how everything works with families in the eternities, but it does address some fascinating questions. The book is more about the events and characters who were affected by this miracle. We treated only lightly on the tragedy of abortion and its ramifications. But for me, privately, I couldn't help but feel that if even one child was saved from such a fate because an expectant mother had read this book, the effort was worth it. So that's my hope. For more details and a beautiful video that Dave has put together, go to: extraordinarycomfort.com.
For now it's only available as an ebook here. In a few weeks it will also be in print. It's one of the most powerful covers of any book I've ever been involved with. The print book can be preordered from me by calling the number at the top of this blog.
Anyway, I know my readers are looking forward to Tennis Shoes 12: Drums of Desolation, which is definitely on the docket for this fall. But Dave's story was something very sacred, and I was proud to play a small role. Normally, I would shy away from NDE (near-death-experience) books because I believe only a Prophet should reveal new information about the afterlife. But this book was merely a reaffirmation of promises that are already part of our doctrine. And you can't help but fall in love with Dave Asay and his family. Dave is one of the most gentle and humble human beings I've ever met. I hope readers have an opportunity to enjoy this book and allow it change their lives, and mostly the life of someone who is experiencing the kind of grief that this book discusses. I came up with the title, Extraordinary Comfort, because that's what Dave's story said to me, personally.
Dave is also trying to raise funds so that he can promote the book and get it out across the country. To help in this effort, visit his Kickstarter Page.
Stay close to the Lord,
Posted by Chris Heimerdinger at 11:16 AM