The captivating story behind the bestselling single in the history of Christian music—and the man who wrote it. MercyMe’s crossover hit, “I Can Only Imagine,” has touched millions of people around the world. But few know about the pain, redemption, and healing that inspired it. Now Bart Millard, award-winning recording artist and lead singer of MercyMe, shares how his dad’s transformation from abusive father to man of God sparked a divine moment in music history. Go behind the scenes of Bart’s life—and the movie based on it—to discover how God repaired a broken family, prepared Bart for ministry through music, and wrote the words on his heart that would change his life forever. I Can Only Imagine is a front-row seat to witnessing God’s presence throughout Bart’s life. Whether falling in love with his childhood sweetheart or mourning his father’s death, founding MercyMe or flailing in the midst of its success, Bart continues to place his trust in God’s plans—plans that continue to surprise and surpass what Bart could have ever imagined.
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About the Author
Bart Millard is a founding member and lead singer of the multi-platinum selling contemporary Christian band MercyMe. He is married to his childhood sweetheart, Shannon. They reside in Franklin, TN along with their children Sam, Gracie, Charlie, Sophie and Miles.
Read an Excerpt
DEAR YOUNGER ME
Of all the painful memories still running through my head, I wonder how much different things would be, Dear younger me.
— MercyMe, "Dear Younger Me," from Welcome to the New (2014)
My dad was Arthur Millard Jr., son of Arthur Millard Sr. When Dad was around ten years old, and his brother, Mike, was about seven, my grandfather left the family, divorced my grandmother, and quickly remarried. Because of Arthur Sr.'s devastating choices, my dad took on the immense pressure of suddenly being head of the household, a horribly premature responsibility that birthed an anger and bitterness in his heart that would affect him throughout his life.
As a young man, my father was a star football player at Greenville High School. Greenville is a small town in Texas, about forty-five miles northeast of Dallas. He became an All-American at the position of center. For you non-sports folks, that is the player in the middle of the offensive line who snaps the football to the quarterback, then blocks the defense away from the man with the ball. Needless to say, guys who play center are big, tough dudes, brutes you do not want to mess with or make angry. My dad was no exception.
He was offered football scholarships to several schools, but by the time Dad graduated from high school in 1961, he chose Southern Methodist University in Dallas so he could stay close to home. Another important factor in this decision was that he was dating a young lady named Adele. Adele, known to her family and friends as Dell, would eventually become my mom. She was the daughter of a pastor who had planted a new church in Greenville.
When a Dream Dies
By his sophomore year in college, Dad was playing center for the SMU Mustangs and had dreams of going on to play pro football. But with all the time and energy demanded by his sports schedule, coupled with a full slate of classes, he deeply missed his sweetheart, Dell. He also struggled with a strong sense of responsibility to take care of his mom, so Dad made the difficult decision to let go of his dream, leave school, and move back home.
From that day when he drove away from SMU's campus back into Greenville's city limits, Dad never lived anywhere else and rarely ever left town. He and my mom soon married, and, in 1968, they welcomed their first child, Stephen. Once again, Dad had the responsibility of supporting a family.
The decision to walk away from his opportunity to play football would haunt my dad for a very long time, and a deep regret festered in him, eventually turning into a cancerous case of the what-ifs. As a result, sports were a constant focus in our family, and soon that near-obsession demanded that my brother and I get involved too. Whenever Stephen and I were playing sports, things were always a little better at home.
Several years after leaving SMU, Dad got together with some of his old teammates. They told him that the Green Bay Packers and the Baltimore Colts had been considering him in the draft, but when he quit college ball, he fell off both teams' radars. Evidently, he had never known that possibility was forming behind the scenes. That kind of information can be hard for any man to take, especially when disappointment is already a constant companion. This was one of many little slices of life that caused my dad to become a realist, always insisting that people have to give up their dreams to have any sort of family stability.
So many people have told me over the years how in that season of his life, when he had just come home from college, Dad was a "big ol' teddy bear." Everybody liked Arthur and wanted to be his friend. In the Greenville area, he was the local sports hero, popular everywhere he went. Dad was the proverbial "big fish in a small pond," which can be a blessing but also a curse, because fish live in glass houses.
My mom tells me that back then, he was the greatest guy you could ever know. But that was before I was born.
Waking Up in a Different World
In order to make a dependable living for his new family, Dad got a job with the Texas Highway Department. The Lone Star State has long been fiscally solid, so stability, pay, and benefits were all available for their workers, from new hires straight up the steps of the organizational ladder to retirement. When he first started, Dad was a flagman, directing traffic in construction zones. While this job may look like a boring one, it is actually quite dangerous because of the necessity of being in such close proximity to the traffic.
One particular day in 1969, as he was flagging cars, a driver in a diesel truck struck Dad, launching him at least fifty feet into the air and knocking him unconscious. After the ambulance took him to the hospital and the doctors had run a gamut of tests, they told Mom that, miraculously, he had no broken bones, but he was in a coma and the prognosis was uncertain.
There were many days when Mom prepared herself that he would not make it through. But to say my father was tough would be an understatement. He was always a fighter.
It's likely that he had some sort of brain trauma, possibly a major frontal lobe injury. No one has ever been completely certain. And, of course, he'd played at a high level of football for years, likely suffering repeated concussions, way before these issues were ever on the radar of coaches and trainers. This was also before the invention of MRIs and the sophisticated equipment available today, so the exact details and state of Dad's medical issues went undetected and untreated.
To everyone's surprise, Dad regained consciousness eight weeks after the accident. But he woke up in a different world and in a different life, with a new personality, an altered state of thinking. He was not the same man who'd been Greenville's favorite son.
Family members and a few friends told me that when my dad woke from the coma, he was a monster. The teddy bear of days past had become a grizzly. He had to be restrained in the hospital bed. It took several orderlies to hold him down. He was incredibly strong, which gave his anger so much more to work with. A guy who could manhandle college varsity linebackers had no problem overpowering a few nurses, regardless of their gender or size. Even his attitude and mouth were affected. He was crude and rude with the nurses, something he would never have done before.
Mom said my dad never showed any temper before the accident, except for occasionally on the football field. He never even raised his voice. The family doctor who delivered me was the physician treating him, and to this day he tells me how different Dad was before the accident.
But the new Arthur Millard Jr. was the only one I would know for the first fifteen years of my life.
The husband my mom took home from the hospital was not the one who had left for work on that fateful morning just two months prior, and the day he was discharged began the countdown to Mom leaving him. Anger and rage moved into their home and became permanent residents. But, oddly, when Dad was out in public, he managed to keep it all in check and hide it from everyone who loved the local football hero. Who knows? Maybe people did see the change in him but just looked the other way to not get involved. After all, that's the small-town way — mind your own business while staying in everyone else's.
Our house had that classic 1960s front sitting room, the place you kept immaculate and never touched, just in case the pastor or some other local VIP dropped by. It was the one room that looked like June Cleaver's or Aunt Bea's entire house, and Mom would do everything in her power to keep visitors there so as to not see that the rest of our home was a wreck. That space was a metaphor for my family's life: the immaculate and perfect setting we allowed everyone to see, while the rest of the house was kept private and isolated from view. Where we actually lived became a mess that none of us knew how to clean up. So no one ever did, and then it was too late.
For example, Mom said that one day she came home from shopping alone and Dad asked her who she had been with. She told him no one. But possessive paranoia got the best of him, and he launched into a rant and berated her, accusing her of lying and cheating.
Now, my mom was what I would call a lady's lady. She always looked her absolute best and enjoyed nice dresses and jewelry. In moments like this, while Dad wouldn't touch her, he would go get one of her best necklaces — anything he knew she enjoyed or was precious to Mom — and rip it apart right in front of her as a form of punishment. Then he'd leave the pieces on the floor and walk away in a huff.
Jealous rage became a regular event at our house. My mom stayed afraid for her life until the day she left — and even some days afterward. It was definitely a Jekyll-and-Hyde story. Was Dad's behavior due to a brain injury or chemical imbalance caused by the accident, or was he just a tortured soul because of his own family's broken past? We'll never know.
By the way, just to be clear, he never drank alcohol. No drugs. The fire of Dad's anger never needed any such fuel. Who knows what may have happened if he had resorted to any of those vices?
Those closest to Mom would have understood if she had left Dad much sooner, though back in that day such a decision was not at all common. I think she stuck around as long as she did and endured all she could because she truly believed the man she fell in love with and married was still in there ... somewhere.
Years ago I saw the movie Regarding Henry, starring Harrison Ford. It's the fictional tale of a narcissistic, wealthy surgeon who gets shot in the head during a robbery and, due to the injury, becomes very childlike and loving — the opposite of who he had been before. The point of the movie was that the tragedy actually saved his personal life. I remember thinking how the truck that hit Dad was like that movie gunshot, except the plot was flipped. Dad's tragedy devastated his life.
But my father's script was still being written, and there was much more plot in God's pen.
Ready or Not, Here I Come!
In the midst of all this madness, Mom became pregnant with me. On December 1, 1972, I came into the world: Bart Marshall Millard, named after the legendary Packers quarterback, Bart Starr. (So why isn't my middle name Starr?) Likely my dad was hoping I would be the football savior of the family, so he decided to kick this kid off right with a proper namesake.
In spite of my name, Dad decided he already had the sports-buddy son in Stephen, and he didn't need another one. Plus, it didn't help that I was a mama's boy who often cried when she wasn't around. As I became a mischievous toddler, my spankings slowly escalated from normal discipline to verbal and physical abuse. I would eventually become his only target.
One day, in a single conversation, everything changed for my family. Not in any sort of heated argument at all, out of nowhere Dad popped off with, "Dell, why don't you just get the hell out?" Mom saw that backhanded question as his permission for her to leave. So she told him she would do just that. And she followed through with Dad's hateful suggestion.
I often wonder how many times she had decided to leave, only to break down and give him another shot. All too often, you hear of women in these circumstances being horribly hurt or even dying because of the just-one-more-chance syndrome. Regardless, this time she told my dad that she was leaving and taking Stephen and me with her. I was three years old.
One of the first vivid childhood memories I have is of the day we moved out. Not at all understanding the depth of what was actually happening, I helped Mom carry whatever I could manage at my young age out to the car. Dad just sat in his living room chair the entire time, staring forward, prideful, acting stoic, appearing to ignore that his life was coming apart at the seams. It's so strange how arrogance can convince people not to lift a finger to try to stop the reality that they are losing everything.
I remember him asking me in a sarcastic tone, "Where are you going with my stuff, boy?" That's a confusing question for a toddler, especially when you're just carrying your toys to the car.
Broken Home, Broken Hearts
Very few people knew how much my dad had changed after his accident, because our family kept this intense and volatile fact a secret. So when Mom left my dad, she became the one at whom everyone would point the finger. Everyone loved Arthur Millard Jr., and this was small-town USA. Public opinion was that my mom was the problem. People assumed she had done something wrong or had chosen to leave for no good reason, which of course was not true. Everyone thought if Arthur had been at fault, then he would have been the one to go. But he was staying in the house, and she was apparently moving out on her own accord. Folks said, "How bad can it be, Dell? Why don't you just grin and bear it? Just stick it out."
Often when private problems become public knowledge, people make a lot of poor assumptions and ask all the wrong questions. The age-old clichés and social lessons that we all must be reminded of, even today, is to never judge a book by its cover and also not to speak ill against others until you have walked a mile in their shoes. My mom didn't speak up to defend herself because she felt no one would believe her.
At some point in all this drama, Mom filed for divorce. When we left Dad and moved into a rental house, a deep depression overcame her. She may have escaped the fear, but she walked right into a hopeless life. She still loved Dad and wanted so badly for her marriage to work. Mom just wanted back the man she'd married, the husband she'd had before the accident.
Struggling with her new life, Mom often wouldn't get out of bed when she didn't have to be at work. My brother and I had to fend for and feed ourselves, as well as take care of each other the best we could. We would even tuck her in at night and then be on our own. She rarely cooked, so she would bring home fast food. I have distinct memories of sitting in the living room, eating Taco Bell, and watching the evening sitcoms on TV.
While that may sound awesome for an occasional binge, believe me, it's not that great on a regular basis. But it was the best Mom could do under the circumstances. Stephen and I ate a lot of toast, one of the only "meals" a little kid can fix. We also figured out that if we could get canned food open, we could eat it as is.
This was our new reality: a single mom who felt forced out into life with two young boys, struggling to survive. Life was tough for us all.
Sometimes when Mom was gone to work, out running errands, or still in bed, Stephen and I would get hungry with no food in the house, and we would call our grandmothers, who lived nearby. One of them would either bring us a meal or come get us and take us to her house. During this season we spent a lot of nights at one of their homes. Both were strong Christian women who provided stability for us when we needed it most.
When I was just beginning to talk, I started calling both of my grandmothers by the name of Mammaw. I wasn't yet able to distinguish them by different names, so, as is often the case with grandkids and their grandparents, their new names were at the mercy of the strange pronunciation of a toddler. So there was Mammaw Lindsey, Mom's mom, who was the godliest woman I ever knew, and then Mammaw Millard, Dad's mom, who was the funniest woman I ever knew. (She was godly, too, but super comical.) Thank the Lord for the prayers and provision of grandmas! I'm not sure what would have happened to Stephen and me without those two sweet saints being the constants in our lives.
Even though we saw my dad and he had custody of us every other weekend, he would sometimes drive by Mom's house, yell out, and ridicule her for leaving him. He would call our home phone and do the same. This only increased the fear.
Anytime Dad would upset or scare me, I would cry and ask for Mom, especially when we were with him for the entire weekend. One time when I was in third grade, I started bawling and calling for her. Dad would normally just yell at me and tell me to stop. But on this one occasion, he started crying and told me that he missed her too. In later years, I would see this was much more of the deep truth in Dad's heart than any of us ever realized.
Eventually, Mom started dating again. I have an early memory of the explosive level of my dad's violent temper from around the time when she was just starting to date Gary, her first boyfriend after the divorce. Gary had spanked me once, and when Dad found out, he filed that little detail away for when he saw him again.
Dad came to pick Stephen and me up from Mom's house, and Gary arrived around the same time. As Mom's new guy came up the stairs to her house, Dad grabbed him, threw him onto the hood of Gary's own car, and said, "If you ever lay a hand on either of my boys again, I will rip your throat out." I remember the shock of watching that happen. As we drove away, Gary just lay there on the hood. I didn't think he was dead, but I never saw him move either.
Excerpted from "I Can Only Imagine"
Copyright © 2018 Bart Millard.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Author's Note: MercyMe! A Movie and Memoir xi
Introduction: How Great Is Your Love xiii
1 Dear Younger Me 1
2 The Hurt and the Healer 15
3 Hold Fast 35
4 New Lease on Life 49
Life Lessons from My Movie Dad 69
5 In the Blink of an Eye 71
6 Finish What He Started 81
7 Bring the Rain 93
8 Beautiful 115
9 Everything Impossible 127
Small World Big God 141
10 Keep Singing 143
Conclusion: Even If 155
Appendix 1 Your Identity in Christ 175
Appendix 2 MercyMe Career Overview 181
About the Authors 193
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Bart did a wonderful job. I cried, laughed, and was spiritually moved. Thank you Bart for sharing your story. I highly recommend this book.
I couldn't stop reading from page to page. I read the book in one day, I couldn't put it down. The book really made me think of my trials I have had through life. I had a monster of a dad but unfortunately, I didn't get to witness the same outcome that Bart did with his dad. The movie & this book has really made me think more about my relationship with God. Thank you Bart for sharing your story through the movie & book. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. My 11 year old son is hooked & loves the music of Mercyme now. I have been listening to Mercyme since 2002 & love their music.
Beautiful story of love, forgiveness, and redemption.
Very easy read and so inspirational! Never give up on your dreams! God is bigger, he can and will take you places you never dreamed of! Thank you Bart Millard for sharing your story with the world!
I read this after I saw the movie and I was as touched by the book as I was by the movie. In my humble opinion this is a must read!
Bart Millard, the lead vocal of MercyMe, opens up in an intimate revealing of life in an abusive home. He's honest about his thoughts and feelings from then, how he would have been relieved if his father had passed away. How music and creative play were his escapes. Some might ask, "Did Got allow for Bart to be abused so he'd end up starting MercyMe?" I believe God can uses unfortunate circumstances for good. "He never drank or did drugs. He didn't need any help to fuel the rage." This surprised me. I'd always figured his rage and abuse was due to being an alcoholic. I guess even bitterness and regret can be just as much of a fuel as substances. "Thank the Lord for the prayers and provision of grandmas!" This is a phrase I've heard from my own mother. She's noted more than once that it was the influence and fervent prayers of her grandmother that saved her and drew her to a life in Christ. That doesn't mean she didn't have moments of straying far from Him, but ultimately, circumstances led her back and she's been serving him ever since. So when I saw that sentence from Bart that said, "Thank the Lord for the prayers and provision of grandmas" I immediately thought not only of my mom's testimony but also how she's helped guide and prayer for my kids as well. In fact, she's even praying for their kids in the future. "While I'm here on Earth, I am both a work in progress and already made whole because of the cross." Over half of the book focuses on Bart's life growing up with an abusive father and the eventual change that took place which provided much-needed emotional healing. The last part of the book is about the start of MercyMe, the inspiration of the song, I Can Only Imagine, and Bart's relationship with Shannon, all of which he could now see how God used certain circumstances in his life to lead him to where he was meant to be. Bart includes an appendix of 75 verses given to him by his youth pastor, Rusty Kennedy, one who was important in his walk with Christ. And now, he offers those same verses he carries close to his heart to the reader. This was an excellent read and intimate look into Bart's life, his struggles with growing up in an abusive home, the eventual healing that took place when his dad turned to Christ, and ultimately his trust in God through his life. Not just for MercyMe fans, this book is an important read for those that have struggled with bitterness and regret, anyone who's experienced verbal or physical abuse. It's a really encouraging and uplifting book with a little humor sprinkled here and here. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest opinion. And personally, I really enjoyed reading it!
Excellent book!! Read in only a few days.
Having heard the song by this title a number of times and having viewed the movie twice, I was drawn to the book. I was expecting to get a much more complete story than was portrayed in the movie and was definitely not disappointed. Bart Millard’s award-winning song was first received in radio stations on October 12, 2001. When I read that date in the book, I was amazed to realize that such a powerful worship song hit the airwaves one month and a day after 9/11. Obviously, the message of the book is far more important than a date, but the thought came to mind that God knew what was going to happen on 9/11 and had given Bart a song of hope and redemption that would minister to millions of people needing to hear a positive message at that moment in history. Did the events in the world help trigger the rapid rise in popularity of the song? To be honest the book doesn’t go there. These are just some meanderings of my own mind. As you will learn as you read, to say he had a rough childhood would probably be a gross understatement. Without the terrible events of his childhood and early teen years, would his life have taken the course that it did? Only God knows the answer to that. I imagine if you asked Bart about it, he just might give a similar answer. If you have never seen the movie, I recommend you view it first and then read the book to fill in some gaps.
Loved being able to read the full story not shown in the movie.
I appreciated Bart's transparency about his life.
so much more detail than in the movie
What an amazing true story.
As I write this review I am listening to "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me. This is a wonderful song and this book is a great way to bring this message to children. It has a young boy wondering what Heaven is like from a child's perspective. From playing, to eating ice cream and of course spending time with animals, this makes Heaven a less scary place for children, especially if they have recently lost a loved one. Of course the message that we can have a relationship with our father God and his son Jesus here on earth and they are with us always is also communicated. The book started with the first part of the song and then was written in a rhyming text with an easy cadence. The colorful illustrations match what the child is thinking and talking about, such as eating ice cream, playing outside, or singing together over a campfire. This would make a great book for a family library or a Sunday School class or church library.
I Can Only Imagine Is an amazing book. I was humbled just reading it, Mr. Millard's story is fantastic to read. To know all that he is gone through in his life and how GOD fit exclusively into it. It shows how GOD can truly heal a man. This story is so touching, and since listening to, and have all the CD's of- Mercy Me - it is a story I have been curious to read. Do not miss out on his story you will not regret it. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to christianlybookreviewers.blogspot.com
My girls and I found this book to be a delight to read together. Every page had us looking for the puppy and seeing the funny thing that would come next. The full-colored pages are illustrated well and we enjoyed the storyline. Of course, the song is one of our favorites and that drew us into wanting to be sure to read this one. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Bart Millard is now the lead singer for the band MercyMe. He is probably most famous for his song “I Can Only Imagine” and now for the movie about his life. But in the book, I Can Only Imagine, a memoir by Bart Millard with Robert Noland, readers get to take a deeper look into Bart’s life, beginning with the abuse from his father. As Bart grows up, his father still abuses him, but Bart also takes an interest in Christianity and music. Later, he decides to pursue music as a career and comes to write his most famous song for his father that had recently died. If you have seen the movie, then this book is perfect for behind the scenes events that took place in Bart’s life. However, this book is not based on the movie. Basically, it contains events from his life that did not make it into the movie. This book is absolutely wonderful though. It is filled with the message that God has huge plans for each one of us that do not always make sense at first. I received this book free from Book Look Bloggers. All ideas are my own.
I seen the movie first and knew I had to read the book! It was nice to read about the things that weren't able to make it into the movie. This is an incredible story that keeps your attention the whole book. This is definitely worth the read even if you have already seen the movie.
Pretty much everyone that listens to worship music, and probably a good number of Americans who don’t, are familiar with the song I Can Only Imagine. But where did the inspiration for the song come from? I knew from watching the concept music video many years ago that it was a tribute. But despite the fact that I’d seen Mercy Me play many times when I was younger, including a week long retreat to Glorietta, New Mexico for college week with Mercy Me providing worship, I wasn’t aware of all the pain and providence that led up to those words being penned. The movie gives the story in a nutshell, but on the pages of this book, Bart Millard takes the time to get a more complete version of the story out in the form of his memoirs. Wow. What a story. Bart went though some difficult times as a youth, particularly where it involved his father. But ultimately this is a story of the power of God and His redemption, as well as how God prepares His followers for years before His plan can be seen by us. I really think that everyone can connect with at least one part of this story. His collection of experiences is unique but there are those little parts here and there that everyone can read and just cry over. For me, it was the part where he mentions that after his Dad’s funeral was the hard part. Everyone else moves on with life and the support drops out when you need it the most. I experienced this when I lost my brother and I’ve said it to grieving friends for years. I’m not going to spoil it by getting into the details of the book, but I will say this is a worthwhile read for everyone. Read the book, watch the movie, and share it! Bart’s story is touching, real, and a clear case of God’s purpose despite the pain of living in a sinful world. I received this book for free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions and thoughts I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Several years back, I was driving down the road. I was listening to a Christian radio station, loving the songs that were there. Then I hear the words, "I can only imagine...." and proceed to listen to the song. By the second verse, I had to pull over and listen closely. By the end of the second verse, I was bawling my eyes out, had my hands raised and was "praying" the song to the Lord. It was emotional and moving, and I knew that there had to be a story behind. This was the start of my love of MercyMe's work. Flash foward several years, now there's a movie called "I Can Only Imagine". I watch the trailer. I cry, yet again. from the feelings I get. Now, I have the chance to review the memoir about the story behind the song and movie. And, oh my. What. A. Story. It's raw. It's moving. It will leave you smiling, it will leave you crying, it may even leave you angry. But, it will bring you closer to God. It will make you fall to your knees once again, and really imagine what that moment would be like when you stand before your Creator. This is not a book I normally would pick up, as I'm not fond of memoirs, but this book, with it's pictures to coincide with Bart Millard's life, is beautifully, poignantly written and really brings forth the pain, the hurt, the anger and the redemption and forgiveness he went through. This is definitely one I recommend, with 5 stars and lots of praises! I can't wait to see the movie next! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
I Can Only Imagine (Picture Book) A Friendship with Jesus Now and Forever By Bart Millard with Laura Neutzling Illustrated by Sumiti Collina What is Heaven like? What does God do? Have you ever wondered this? With natural curiosity, most have at one time or another wondered about that which cannot be seen. I Can Only Imagine is just such a wondering. I Can Only Imagine has a wonderful flowing rhythm that paired with the illustrations offers the reader a soothing and peaceful story that allows the message of the book to be absorbed more fully. When reading this book I was reminded of the passage from John 14, specifically verse 3, "I go to prepare a place for you..." And this wondering and imagining of just what this place in Heaven is like is expressed here. This book is the perfect read for bedtime or just a snuggle time together in a favorite chair. There are 21 pages of text with a few additional pages that are just illustrations so it is a good length for shorter attention spans and yet not too short. The illustrations are colorful and cover an array of settings both indoors and out, day and night. I Can Only Imagine is one book you will want to share with all the young readers in your life opening up their minds to their own imaginings. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Beautifully written with colorful illustrations. The message is well written for children, reassuring we can all have a relationship with God, He is our friend for always.