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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009
I don't do what I do for awards. Never have. Colossians 3 talks about working with all your heart at whatever you do because you are serving Christ. So whether I am recognized by others is not the point.

When an award is given, it's icing on life's cake. That happened Saturday night at the Christy Awards in Denver. My daughter, Erin, drove up from Colorado Springs and joined me. She even had her picture taken with Robin Jones Gunn! Robin wrote the Christy Miller series which Erin read. It had such a great impact on her that she went to college in Hawaii. Thanks Robin. I think. :)

Richard Foster spoke about the spiritual formation of the writer and he was fascinating. He'll be featured on a future Chris Fabry Live! Then it was time for the awards. There were 9 categories and the first sentence of each novel was read as they announced the winner. I worked on that first sentence a long time. Years, actually. But I suddenly blanked. I couldn't remember the first sentence of my novel. Only when the presenter said, "Ruthie Bowles once said I would wind up hating her," did I recall it.

Now, let me tell you the rest of the story.

You get one minute to make a speech if you win. I accepted the award and looked out at those faces. I didn't write a thing down, but I knew what I wanted to say. However, as I looked at my daughter, my friend and agent Kathryn Helmers, my friend and editor Karen Watson, and my friend Jerry Jenkins, a wave of emotion hit that I wasn't prepared for. I've learned something valuable through the process of the last year. When genuine emotion rears its head, don't fight it. My pride says otherwise, of course.

I have learned that feeling things deeply informs my writing and radio work. Instead of pushing that down and trying to be more "professional," the better path is to follow the emotion and lean into the pain or joy or struggle that it springs from.

Here is what I tried to say.

I remember the very spot on the Interstate between Indianapolis and Denver where I got the call from Kathryn Helmers that said at least one publisher had made an offer on my book, Dogwood. Kathy believed in me when no one else did. She called it a beautiful story and so redemptive in its theme. I remember the conversation with Karen Watson at Tyndale and how she hoped they would be the one to publish it. She was as excited as I was about the story.

I also remember sending short stories and book ideas to Jerry Jenkins at Moody and his statement to me, "I can help you do this if you'd like, but it's gonna be painful." He was right. It was a painful process. But I wouldn't have had Dogwood published--or any other book--without Jerry's mentoring.

Some of you know the difficulties my family and I have faced in the last year or two. I'm so glad Erin was able to be there to represent my family. But in the difficulties, we have heard the whisper of God many times saying to keep going, I am with you, I won't forsake you. And sometimes his encouragement comes with a shout, like this Christy Award.

That's what I tried to say. It didn't come out as coherent as that, but it did come from the heart. Thanks to everyone who has read Dogwood--I hope more will read it in the coming year.

10 comments:

Glynn said...

It's an outstanding novel -- and is fully worthy of the Christy. Congratulations!

P.S. I pre-ordered June Bug from Amazon yesterday.

wvdiane said...

Hey Chris (or Howdy as we say in West Virginia):
Just wanted to stop by and say how excited I am for you, your family and your book. A Christy! Wow! What a mountaintop experience it must be.
I enjoyed the book very much, especially since the setting was where I grew up. My mom's reading it now. Then it's promised to my oldest brother and after that, who knows?
Well done!

Nicole said...

Dogwood is some of the best writing I've ever read, Chris.

Marilyn Hontz said...

Hi Chris, Just wanted you to know I am praising the Lord that He blessed you with the Christy Award last night! Congratulations! I'm looking forward to reading Dogwood. Thanks again for having me on your radio show. You and your wife have encouraged many, many listeners.
May God continue to bless you!
Marilyn Hontz

Marilyn Hontz said...

Hi Chris, Just wanted you to know I was thanking the Lord that you were a recipient of the Christy Award for Dogwood. Congratulations!
Thanks again for hosting me on your radio program. You and your wife have encouraged many, many listeners.
God bless you!
Marilyn Hontz

Anonymous said...

Our sermon this morning was taken from Ecclesiastes 8:10-17. Life can seem unfair, but God says we don't/won't need to understand anything except that He promises to work ALL things together for good. He understands our pain and we only need to focus on Him. So "through it all, we learn to trust in Jesus, we learn to trust in God." Basically, life is tough, but God is good--so good.
Congratulations on winning the Christy Award.

Major Bloodnok said...

It's a well deserved award. When it comes time for me to thank folks, your name will be among them.

What an awesome God we serve, who allows us to do the things we love, and hopefully pay the blessings forward. Keep it up, brother.

Donnamo said...

Dogwood and you so deserve this award; can't wait to read Junebug.

jdhetzel said...

Congrats on the Christy. I read Dogwood a few months back and loved it. Definitely one I'm going to add to my shelf. Thanks for sharing your gift with me.

Leah Fox said...

Congrats on the award! Well deserved! I just gave my grandma a copy of Dogwood to read, and I hope she will take it to her book club so they can all read it- I loved the story, especially the end! I gave copies to friends and family this past year as gifts and hope to do the same with June Bug at Christmas!