Today, I'm tickled pink to share an interview with a man I've come to know and admire, Randy Hain, who’s up before some people are in bed.
Randy is dad to two boys, author of two books, co-founder and senior editor at Integrated Catholic Life, managing partner at Bell Oaks Executive Search, founder of conferences, speaker, presenter, and inventor of time multiplication. That, or he has a DeLorean in his garage.
His latest book, Along the Way: Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith (2012, Liguori Publications), is simply great. Randy's generously shared an excerpt from Chapter One at after the interview.
Tell us a little about yourself, Randy.
Well, I am a husband, father and a small business owner. My wife Sandra and I came into the Church with our sons, Alex and Ryan, in 2006.
I grew up as a Southern Baptist, but stopped going to church at the age of 16. I spent the next 23 years in what I call the “spiritual wilderness” with no faith or relationship with God.
I went through a profound personal conversion in 2005 after a long journey to find the Truth and fill what was missing inside me. Since that conversion I have worked to integrate my faith, family and work into a life centered on serving Christ and His Church.
My work with the Integrated Catholic Life eMagazine, the books and articles I have written, and the other ministries I lead are all part of this desire to serve Him. It is amazing what can happen when you stop saying “no” to God and start saying “YES”!
What's the inspiration for your new book?
I have long recognized from my own faith journey that I could have used a “road map” or guide along the way from someone with similar experiences.
I wrote the book for all Catholics-cradle Catholics, returning Catholics and converts as a way to read about a transparent and honest account of what I have seen and observed in every aspect of my Catholic journey and desire to reach Heaven with my family.
I also think the book will be an excellent companion for Catholics during the Year of Faith.
What's the premise behind Along the Way? What do you hope your readers take away from it?
The book is not simply my faith journey into the Church, although I cover that in the first section. The book is actually broken into four sections with each dealing with some aspect of my journey and what I have observed.
For instance, the second section addresses all that I had to learn as a new Catholic. The third section addresses the challenges and struggles I have encountered as a Catholic and the last section deals with a call for authenticity and courage…where I want my faith life to ultimately be.
I hope readers connect with the transparent and honest writing in the book and the practical nature of the chapters. It would be wonderful if they take away encouragement and help to make their own journeys more meaningful.
Randy, what was the greatest challenge you faced as you worked on Along the Way?
Ha! As a father with a busy family life and a business to run, the simple answer is TIME!
I write very early in the morning and will take an occasional vacation day away by myself to get some writing done. Writing is a labor of love for me and I am grateful that I have an opportunity to live and work in the secular world, but am also able to contribute through ministry work and writing to building up the Church and serving Christ.
What has been the greatest blessing in all of this, for you? In all this work you do in the new evangelization, at the end of the day, what do you count as your greatest success?
The greatest blessing is knowing that I am serving Christ and this is all for His greater glory, not mine. I am grateful after 23 years of saying “no” to Him that I am now able to give back in some small way to serve Him and help others.
I also love that this sets a good example for my children and others that we are not only called to give when it is convenient and comfortable, but also when it is inconvenient and stretches us to the breaking point.
The greatest success has come in the encouraging emails I receive from around the country or the Catholics I have never met before who approach me after I give a talk to say that something I said was helpful to them. That is when I know the Holy Spirit is working through me and I am truly serving Him.
Excerpt from Chapter One, “Out of the Spiritual Wilderness”:
Just when things seemed to be going well, the roof caved in. Our son had not been hitting the developmental milestones and was still not talking at age two. When he was twenty-seven months old, we received the diagnosis that our firstborn had autism. We were devastated. We both went into an emotional tailspin for a month as we tried to make sense of the diagnosis and understand how this could have happened. Many parents likely have an idealistic vision of what their lives should be like, but we never considered what it would mean to raise a child with special needs. I wish we had known how to pray back then, because we desperately needed God during those dark days.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair.” 2 Corinthians 4:8
We pulled ourselves together as we realized that this was not about us. It was about our son. He needed our love, our focus and the best medical care we could provide for him. As my wife and I were learning to give him what he needed, we began to talk more seriously about a church home. But still nothing happened. We desperately needed God, but we were lost and didn’t know how to find him.”
So, whether you're looking for a great read to start your new year, a last-minute gift idea, or just inspiration in the form of a great book, don't pass this book.
(And remember, purchasing through our Amazon links helps with the work we do here at CatholicMom.com.)
Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive for more great reads!
Copyright 2012, Sarah Reinhard
About the Author
When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.