Bennett is 14 years old. Fifteen years ago we had just found out we were pregnant with him. That is BANANAS. When given the opportunity to write a book by partnering with Ballast Books towards the end of 2020, we were THRILLED and flabbergasted. Our country was nine months into the Covid-19 nightmare, there was unrest in nearly every major city in America, and the heated 2020 election left emotions flaring. It was crystal clear that the world needed more HOPE, a message that unites, and we were HUMBLED at the opportunity to start writing our story.
It took six months to write our book, and then another six months to work through the editing process. Writing a book is NOT for the faint of heart – the analogy that writing a book is like birthing a baby is quite accurate. After re-living Bennett’s birth by putting the words on paper, and re-living the trauma of several of our life events, it took every ounce of emotional energy to get the manuscript across the finish line.
But we did it. The book goes to print any day, and will be distributed by mid-Spring of 2022. We are EXCITED. We are also acutely aware that we have a unique opportunity to share both our STORY and our FAITH with the world. Over the past fifteen years we have been on a daily roller coaster – and yet through it all there is still JOY, laughter, tenderness and HOPE in our home. We refuse to let the down days of life strip us of these necessities for life. Bitterness cannot take over.
When Travis and I got married – two of the most stubborn people on earth- we were each barely twenty-two years old and greener than the grass. We were optimistic, NAIVE, and frankly two control freaks who thought we had it all figured out. Fast forward seven years to the birth of Bennett, and everything we had “planned” was ripped from our fingertips. We were left SPINNING and unsure of what had hit us. If you or a loved one has experienced this, then you know the devastation and DEEP GRIEF that walks alongside broken dreams and re-alignment of one’s life.
We will never pretend to have all the answers to try to explain “why bad things happen” or “how could a loving God allow such suffering.” We do not have all the answers nor would we ever try and minimize the suffering of others. What we do know to be true is that in our rawest and most painful moments of watching our baby nearly die right in front of our eyes, we FELT the presence of God. We knew we were not alone. We were surrounded by both loved ones and complete strangers who were GOOD, KIND, GENEROUS, and STEADFAST. In our moments of raw, quiet moments of loneliness – when nothing could be said or done to alleviate the pain – the quiet whisper of a God who knew us echoed in our broken hearts.
Until we take our final breaths on earth, we will never stop telling our story and giving God the glory for what He has done – and CONTINUES to do – through the life of Bennett Mitchell Speck. Buckle up as we continue to share more behind the scenes of the past fifteen years and together take a deeper look into the concept:
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:10