When Kerry and Chris Shook picked up the phone, I could tell they had been up for hours and had already jumped started their day.
The Shook’s are the founding leaders of the Woodlands Church outside of Houston, Texas.
Woodlands Church has been deemed one of the top 100 fastest growing churches in America.
Although the Shooks love their church and love talking about church growth, what brings them to the call is the love of their children and grandchildren. You can tell from the excitement in their voices as the topic of family came up that they have a tremendous amount of love for their kin especially their grandchildren.
Kerry and Chris can still remember when their son Josh and daughter in law Kelly told them that they would become grandparents. Everything about their grandson Jude, looked promising. "I can remember getting the call to head to the hospital because something was wrong with Jude,” Kerry recalled.
After arriving at the hospital, the Shooks would learn that their grandson was going to be delivered prematurely and would only be granted life for just one day (January 7 to January 8, 2017).
For them, this was devastating news. They have authored books on living life to the fullest so hearing the news that their grandchild would just be given one day to live was more than unbearable.
"I wanted to fix the situation for our children,” Kerry shared before adding, "When your children are preschoolers, you know how things are going to unfold. But when they are adults there was no rule book to guide them through situations like what Josh and Kelly were facing.”
When asked what guided them, the Kerry's were quick to point to their faith. However, it didn't mean that life was going to be easy.
"We decided that we were going to talk about it and journal about it," Kerry noted. The Shooks decided that through the storm they were going to journal the miracles that were around them. It was a simple moleskin Journal book where they decided to write down their thoughts and feelings.
According to Chris, the miracle journal would end up becoming what is now their new release, The Gift of One Day.
“We never intended to write a book on this topic but, out of the miracle journal came the book,” Kerry stated.
Chris and Kerry both are clear in making it known that what they were up against wasn't easy. Both stated, "It was really hard for us to write down what we were facing and then to read back over it was challenging."
When asked why they chose to write a book about what they went through they shared, "We wanted to share what we were going through to help others and to share what God did in our life."
Although the Shooks have a gift of leading and shepherding, they want it to be known that through the process of losing Jude, they couldn't have made it on their own without their church body. "We are usually the ones who are on the giving side when it comes to ministry. At times it was awkward being on the receiving side of people ministering to us,” Kerry stated.
However, the Shooks decided early on, along with Josh and Kelly, that they were going to include their church along the journey.
"We love our church, they held us up," Chris shared.
This may explain why they are hoping their story will hold others up in living out hard days.
Photo courtesy: Kerry and Chris Shook Facebook