At some point in my 20’s I started having weird dreams about getting thrown into jail. I would wake up in a cold sweat wondering what the dreams were all about. I never broke the law and though I fantasized about cheating the government of some tax money, never did.
Have you ever wondered or thought about being thrown into jail? I love Auri Jones story because it actually happened to him. Something went all wrong. He decided to ask for help to fix it. Here is his inspiring story and the book he wrote because of his experience.
Melanie Rockett: Due to your parents you got involved in Christian ministries at an early age. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
Auri Jones: One thing that always stands out to me is that we were always “involved”. I mean, we didn’t just sit on the sidelines, we were in the game. My parents were always seen as leaders in ministry and looked up to by so many; so, their kids were, too. For me as a kid, that meant being active in youth choirs, leadership teams, clubs at school, counseling friends, and being a counselor at camps. I did a lot, and that transitioned into college and beyond as well. I’ve held jobs as a youth director, worship leader, motivational speaker, rap/hip hop artist, and the list goes on. My life has never been one of watching others do what I knew that I could. If I could get involved in something and make an impact, I wanted to do it.
Melanie Rockett: At at least one point you encountered personal failure and began to question and doubt the plan God had for you. Can you share what happened?
Auri Jones: About four years ago, I was riding pretty high on life. I had a comfortable position as a youth director, college professor, and public speaker. For me, it was now more than just about making an impact. I was addicted to being people’s hero. So addicted, that I ignored my own issues. That lead to me getting involved with some illegal actions that cost me my jobs, my reputation, and a lot of my friends. I went to jail for a few months. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t the hero; I was considered the villain. For months, I let the guilt and shame take a hold of me, I contemplated suicide, and I thought my failure would determine my future. It broke me. When you’re broken; you have some choices. You can stay broken, you can try to fix yourself, or you can realize that you need someone skilled in fixing broken things and making them whole again. So, I told God that I wanted Him to start from scratch. Instead of people seeing me as a hero; I wanted them to see my failure and see God. Slowly, but surely, that’s what started happening. It was also during this time that I started to focus again on my passion for writing.
Melanie Rockett: This struggle let to your writing the book, God, Make Me Uncomfortable: Book One of the Abandoned Prayer Series. In a nutshell, what is your book about?
Auri Jones: “God, Make Me Uncomfortable tells the story of the Comfurt family who has been fighting to be the picture perfect people that everyone sees them as. They’ve worked hard at this, but as the family takes a good look at themselves, they realize that the “perfect” life they lead isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. So, they seek help from a pastor and his wife, who challenge them to pray and live out this prayer—the title of the book. Through this story, you’ll get to see how each member of the family deals with the challenge and how their lives change.
Melanie Rockett: How will your book help readers with their own personal struggles?
Auri Jones: One of the biggest reasons for writing this book was for people to understand the concept of prayer. It’s not about the ‘Dear God’s and the ‘Amen’s. It’s about brutal honesty and vulnerability with God and ourselves. Secondly, I believe this book helps people understand the beauty of an imperfect life. Coming to grips with the fact that it’s okay for us to have cracks and bruises and that struggles and chaotic times are just part of the growing helps us take that step closer to a God who wants to be our comfort in light of that. For anyone one struggling with this, you’ll see God in a new way, too. He’s not looking for perfect. He’s looking for you.
Melanie Rockett: Is the label “Volume 1” a clue that your readers will see more from you? When?
Yes! This book is just the introduction. You’re going to see more of the Comfurt’s journey in three more books for this series. I wanted characters that people could grow with, and you are going to see some amazing things happen to them in the years to come. Volume 2, “God, Make Me Broken” will surface in late Spring 2017, and “God, Make Me Weak” in 2018. The fourth book is still not on paper yet, but it’s going to be a wild conclusion.
Melanie Rockett: Are you working on any other projects now?
Right now on Kindle, you can grab another work of mine. “Seeking God: A Summer at Camp Quest” is a totally different book. It’s a hilarious account of one guy’s summer as a camp counselor and the crazy adventures with that. It’s a humorous read with some romance and heart-warming in there, too. I also just started my first futuristic thriller. I don’t want to spill too much about that one, but I’m going to tap into some wild concepts in that one. Also, my website has two free e-books called “Dr. Love” and “Hello, Hope” that I consider my “Hallmark/Fox Family” style stories. Great for an afternoon read with some iced tea or lemonade.
Be sure to read God, Make Me Uncomfortable it has an undeniably inspirational message!
Keep in touch with Auri Jones:
Auri’s website: tbhministries.org
connect with Auri on Facebook