by Don Jacobson

I didn’t originally want my name on God Makes Lemonade. I even tried putting someone else’s name on the cover, and I tried to squeeze the project into someone else’s story. But it just didn’t work. I was forced to accept that God has put me here intentionally and given me this message of hope to share.

You see, I’m a walking, talking lemonade story.

I was a happily married twenty-four-year-old who enjoyed a physically demanding job in commercial construction. Then, one winter night, a shooting accident changed everything.

I nearly died as I lay for hours in a freezing field. I spent nine agonizing days in critical condition, and nearly a month in the hospital. When I left, things looked bleak, and I could no longer physically provide for my family. Could I still be a good husband and father?

It took a while for that lemon to become lemonade, but in the end it was wonderfully sweet. I began to work in publishing, and the shape of my life changed forever, both at my job and at home. Now, twenty-five years later, I see that not being able to work with my hands forced me to work with my head and heart, and both my family and my career became better than I could ever have imagined.

My wife, Brenda, and I know that the hardships of life have molded our characters and turned us into people we would never have been apart from the pain. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade the hardest times of my life for anything, because they led me toward something better. My kids will tell you that I can understand their pain and frustration because I’ve been there myself.

When I share my lemonade story with friends, two amazing things happen. My story inspires others and gives them hope. Then, almost without fail, my friends excitedly tell me their lemonade story, and I’m filled with inspiration and hope in return.

We all have lemonade stories, whether we’re professionals or parents or both at the same time! We don’t become better parents when life is easy and fun, but rather when the road gets rough. But like the band Caedmon’s Call sings in their powerful song “Lead of Love,” sometimes you have to “walk the rocks to see the mountain view.”

I want to know your story. What would happen if we could share the stories God gives us with the people around the world who need them most? Lemonade stories can help heal hearts and transform lives. That’s the dream of God Makes Lemonade.

Will you share your true stories about being surprised by unexpected sweetness in the midst of sour circumstances? We could all use a drink of hope.

Don Jacobson is the creator of Lemonade Books, a series of books that tell true stories about everyday folks discovering something sweet amidst sour circumstances. He’d love to hear your story and he pays for stories approved to be published in future books. Find out how to purchase a copy of God Makes Lemonade or submit your story at their website. Also, follow God Makes Lemonade on Facebook and Twitter.