December, 1985 Dear Father, Thank you, Father, for helping me through what has been both a challenge and a struggle. Writing by hand has been difficult for me and for those who have helped me translate my writing to book form. Because of problems with my speech, it has been hard to deal with the many details of editing and printing. Thank you also, Father, for allowing my employment to continue, for helping me to overcome the daily problems of working and living, and for allowing me to find some pleasures, too, even some girls and their love. Thank you for the many friends you have helped me make, in my church and in others, in high school, in college, at workand for the help they have given me. And finally, thank you for my wonderful family, and for the strength you have given them in helping me survive. Mike Straights diary spans seven and one-half years. It is a story of early teens, triumphs in football, tragedy, and striving to become whole again after an automobile accident at age 16. While it was a tremendous blow to be denied his beloved sport of football, he fought his way upward to many accomplishments though confined, for the most part, to a wheelchair. Since his accident he has learned how to drive again, owned several cars, bought (and sold) his own home, gone to three colleges, and has held a manufacturing assembly job for the last several years. Now, in addition to his job, he lifts weights, exercises daily, and goes dancing. Mike has had, for him, great success (that most of us enjoy as normal). Yet love has eluded him; not having the true love of a woman returned to him has been his ongoing trial, as his diary will tell you. Only through a deep love for God, and a sometimes wavering and often challenged faith in Him, has Michael sustained his determination to be good, better, best. That he has been able to write and publish this book is a tremendous tribute to both his faith and his determination, as you will see.