Mom Writes Book for Parents with Broken Hearts

Our door bell rang unexpectedly late one afternoon last week. Tom, my husband, went to see who it was and there FullSizeRender (1)stood the UPS man with a rather heavy box. To my surprise, it was addressed to me! “What? I’m not expecting a package. I wonder what it could be?” Then Tom noticed the return address. “It’s from WaterBrook Multnomah!” he exclaimed. Wait! That’s my publisher! Could it be?  Yes, it was. The weighty box held seventy-five advanced copies of my book! The first one I’ve ever written! I still can’t believe I’m almost a published author!

This book was written for you, dear brokenhearted mom or dad (or grandparent). It took three years and felt a little like giving birth – an intensive labor of love.  It required huge amounts of endurance and strength – emotional, mental and spiritual – much more than I imagined it would.

The title is You are Not Alone: Hope for Hurting Parents of Troubled Kids. It’s for parents of teen to adult children of any age who are in emotional pain due to the behaviors or choices they’re off-spring are making. My daughter, Renee (whose story – click here to read it – began the global non-profit To Write Love on Her Arms, has struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, self-injury, mental health issues, suicidal tendencies, and the sexual assaults that commonly accompany a reckless lifestyle. I understand the heartbreak of my readers.

The last ten years have been rough and our story began even before then. We’ve all learned and grown a lot. We’re fortunate that today Renee’s doing well, working hard on her recovery, fully reconciled to us – many parents aren’t so fortunate. Our hearts are heavy for them.

We’re proud of Renee and she’s proud of us. We’ve all gleaned a lot of wisdom from our many mistakes. Each of us has banged our heads against a wall many times not knowing how to help ourselves. However, Tom and I never gave up – on her or on ourselves. And Renee didn’t give up, either. All of us almost lost hope – BUT God intervened.

Now Tom and I know that we must live one day at a time, constantly give Renee back to God, and focus on our own recovery. In my book I share our story, how I coped, where I found help and how God intervened. Renee also shares unique insights for parents from her perspective. (She’s also published a collection of journal entries that offer more insights from a hurting teen’s viewpoint. Click here to order Purpose for the Pain.) In her comments you may discover some fresh insights into your own child. That’s’ our hope.

If you’re struggling to hold on to hope in a painful situation with your child this word from the Scriptures is for you:

“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word (Ps. 119:28).”


You are Not Alone will be published in July 2016. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and tell your friends about it. I’ll be telling you more as the time gets closer. For now I’m off to finish the final edits before it goes to the printer. I appreciate your prayers.

AYohephoto_TomandDena_2015-1Tom and I are available to book for speaking engagements to share our story (with my husband) and promote my book. We also speak on the topic of marriage. Check out a video of me sharing a portion of our story and why we started this Hope for Hurting Parents ministry under the Our Story tab of our website – click here if you’re reading this blog from another social media source.



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