Life doesn’t always turn out as we hoped. Sometimes beauty turns to ashes. Triumph turns into tragedy. When that happens, we need a strategy not only to help us survive, but to thrive in the midst of the difficult times. This is the theme of Jeff Kemp’s book, Facing the Blitz: Three Strategies for Turning Trials into Triumphs.
Having known Jeff and Stacy during our time in Seattle, I bought the book as soon as it was released and looked to reading it. I was not disappointed. Jeff has crafted a well written, insightful, and encouraging volume. He is honest and transparent about his successes and failures, humorous in his stories, and practical and helpful in his suggestions.
As Jeff explains in the Introduction,
The purpose of this book is to share the lessons I learned (and keep learning) from dealing with blitzes, so that you can avoid unnecessary fear, setback, and misery when circumstances fall short of what you want them to be, and instead experience courage, growth, gratitude, and joy.
If you’ll take a long-term perspective, if you’re willing to change, and if you adopt an others-centered approach to everyday living, then life’s problems, attacks, and trials will serve to grow you. They will grow your humility, your honesty, your relationships, your faith, and your joy. They will open up your eyes to the pain that others are feeling because of their blitzes and help you be a better team player and support person for them. These are all good things that can come out of your blitzes.
You’ll learn that overcoming is not about bouncing back so much as bouncing UP. No matter how near or how far you are from your blitz, this is not a book about the past. It’s about the present and future. This is a message about recovering, about coming back from, about transforming—and then getting better and going further than you ever dreamed possible.
But to do that, you’ll need the courage to embrace three simple practices—strategies, if you will—which are as easy to understand as they are difficult to follow:
Take a long-term view.
Be willing to change.
Reach out to others.
While Jeff enjoyed an 11-year career as a quarterback in the NFL, he doesn’t just tell stories about football. His examples and illustrations come from a wide variety of sources—business, church, marriage, parenting, and other areas of life. He shares the legacy passed on to him by his own parents.
Though he might have wished otherwise, I believe people can understand and identify with what Jeff shares because he wasn’t a star. During his career, while he threw touchdown passes and received cheers and acclaim, he also went undrafted, and was booed, benched, traded, and released. He spent most of his career as a backup quarterback for four different teams. His setbacks help the reader know that Jeff understands full well how to handle blitzes in life as well as in football.
This is a book you will want to read and then share with others.