Acknowledgments (Breaking the Chains)

My whole life is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and redeeming love. I thank Him, first of all, for His amazing grace.

I thank my husband, John, for his love and devotion. I once heard a sermon using the love of a spouse to emphasize the power of our love and acceptance in Christ--how a spouse’s opinion can outweigh the opinions of all others. For instance, if my husband thinks I am beautiful, I will feel beautiful. While feeling beautiful has never been my great longing, I have always wanted to feel lovable. John makes me feel lovable and adored. And through the magnitude of John’s love for me, I have been blessed to experience the richness of God’s love; because as deep as John’s love is for me, I know that God loves me even more. My husband has been a rock of stability for me as I have struggled to heal from the many wounds of my past. Without his constant encouragement, support, and patience, I might never have written this book.

I thank my son, Danny, for consistently focusing me on God’s grace and the cross of Christ throughout the process of writing this book and for introducing me to the online sermons of Tim Keller. And I need to thank Tim Keller. Although I don’t know him personally, he has been instrumental in helping me to understand what the cross truly means in my life. Listening to his online sermons revealed to me how the entire Bible is the story of Jesus. As I struggled to break the chains of false doctrine, and before I could believe the simplicity of the Gospel, I had to be convinced that it was true. Tim Keller convinced me that God’s grace was true and real, and I could trust in Jesus for my complete salvation.

I thank my friend and pastor, Allen Jackson. He has been not only a teacher but an example to me of how to become a more fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. He has been patient and kind when I have needed gentle guidance and spiritual encouragement. His counsel helped me to overcome my unbelief in God’s promise of eternal life through faith in Christ. He ministers to our congregation from a posture of humility rather than superiority, which I have greatly appreciated. And he has cultivated a love for Israel in my heart that I never had before. I am indebted to the friends who devoted time and energy to reading this book as I wrote it, chapter by chapter, rewrite upon rewrite, offering their unique insight and feedback. They prayed for me. They propped me up when I occasionally succumbed to fear and anxiety anticipating the possibility of painful repercussions. Ann and Eric Brenton, Donna and Lee Synnott, Karen Jones, Robin Hanloh, Dr. Frank Scott, Andrew Osenga, and my husband, John: you have my heartfelt gratitude for your contribution to making this a better book.

Thank you, Jennifer, for telling me—in no uncertain terms—to stop apologizing for my convictions.

I thank my editor, Geoffrey Stone, not only for his skill and expertise in editing but for making the process less painful than I anticipated. After finishing the original manuscript, I didn’t imagine that I could think any more deeply about any of these past experiences. However, as a result of his thoughtful questions and comments, I gained even further insight into my past through the editing process of this book.

I don’t know how I could ever effectively convey in words my deep gratitude to my friend, Charlie Daniels, for agreeing to write the foreword to my book. We have only been friends for a short time, but he and his wife, Hazel, have so impressed me in their love for Jesus, their humility and their boundless generosity. When I asked Charlie if he would consider writing the foreword, I never dreamed he would respond, “I would be honored to write your foreword.” Charlie, the honor is truly mine.

Terra Mears, I want to acknowledge you and thank you for the beautiful cover you created for me. I have always admired your artistic talent. However, considering the subject matter and content of this book, as the granddaughter of Cornelius Mears, your involvement and contribution to this effort are extremely meaningful to me far beyond the blessing of your obvious talent.

I want to thank my sister-in-law, Cheryl, and the many friends who gave me permission to tell their very personal stories in this book, using real names. I am thankful that I have not been alone on this journey of deliverance and I do not stand alone in proclaiming the truth of our shared past because of your willingness to go on record in this book.


Danny Bryant said…
thank you.

it's getting close. i'm excited for you. now organize the party and get everybody in the list to come.
Unknown said…
Shari - put me down for a copy. I can't wait to read, and bet I relate to so much of what you share. My thoughts and prayers are with you and John. Take care brave one - Michele
Shari said…
Thank you, Michele, for your prayers and sweet words. What would we do without our friends?

If you want me to send you a book as soon as I have the first shipment, you can order one on my website ( Or we can set a lunch date and I can just hand-deliver your copy.