At 2:58 PM on July 14, 2009, Andy McQuitty entered the valley of the shadow of death. "Andy," his doctor said, "you have a massive tumor that has broken through the wall of your colon. It's cancer. It's serious. Get in here now."
Hearing you have cancer does more than warn you of death. It displaces you emotionally and spiritually, as it did for Andy and the roughly 1.7 million cancer patients diagnosed in America annually. Notes from the Valley gives you a window into their experience.
In the persona of a travel writer sending notes back from the desert, Andy recounts his journey through stage IV cancer, in which he discovered what King David did in his own valley: that in suffering, God's presence isn't diminished, but magnified.
Written with humor and sensitivity, Notes from the Valley is for anyone on this journey or traveling alongside a loved one who is. It provides words of wisdom, comfort as it addresses questions like:
Andy has given us all a wonderful gift—a comfort beyond human comfort, and a hope beyond earthly hope.
— John Ortberg, senior pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, author, Soul Keeping
This book is amazing. Andy shows us how God can be there—is there!—in the worst moments of life. This book is unflinchingly honest, rooted in eternal truth, filled with hope.
— Dr. Ray Pritchard, president, Keep Believing Ministries, author, Why Did This Happen to Me?
Andy has a wonderful story to tell—but don't expect to get the cymbals and trumpets out just yet. Let him take you into the dark depths of his pain and sorrow and concerns for his family and church and friends. Take this journey with Andy and your heart will swell with glory for the good work of God in our world today.
— Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary; author
Andy's foundation and framework is solidly scriptural but also very practical. You'll discover both classic and contemporary illustrations to help broaden any cancer victim's perspective on this dreaded disease. What a gift this book is to those who battle cancer, but also to the body of Christ to help all of us minister to those who are ill.
— Dr. Gene A. Getz, professor, pastor, author, Plano, TX
The only thing more terrifying than learning that one has cancer is the prospect of going through it alone. No one has to fear that any more. This book can be your companion and guide, pointing you to the hope and the peace that comes from knowing that God walks the pathway with you. Read it slowly. Read it carefully. Read it well.
— Mark Young, president, Dallas Theological Seminary
In this powerfully revealing book, my friend Andy McQuitty shares his own journey in a way that is at the same time transparent and transformational. If you are battling cancer (or have a loved one who is), you need to read this book. It will encourage you to continue your fight and empower you to strengthen your faith!
— Ed Young, pastor, author, You! The Journey to the Center of Your Worth
For all its darkness, Cancerland is no God-forsaken place. Those who have walked the Valley with Him find our Lord is more intimately present here than most places on our planet. Andy's writing is warmly personal, biblically insightful, greatly encouraging, and often humorous. The good news is that you don't have to walk this lonesome valley by yourself!
— Stu Weber, pastor and author
Having walked closely with Pastor Andy during his season of cancer, I asked, "Does this rock your faith?" His response "God is more real and closer to me than ever" is a sentiment that I hold close to my heart. Andy's friendship has always been a gift to me, but watching him accept his assignment to go through the Valley of cancer taught me much and has inspired me as I deal with my own life disappointments and struggles. Whatever season of life you find yourself in, I know Andy's wisdom and writing will deeply touch you.
— Ben Crane, PGA Tour golf professional
This book is raw and rugged, not only about the realities of cancer, but more importantly about the gritty side of ruthless trust in God. If you are fighting what appears to be a losing battle with cancer, I urge you to listen to and heed the insights of this veteran.
— Bill Hendricks, author, The Light That Never Dies: A Story of Hope in the Shadows of Grief
Perhaps you or someone you know is walking through the Valley and asking the "why me?" question. Andy McQuitty is your Travel Guide through Cancerland. He isn't just a pastor providing comfort and spiritual answers. He is a fellow traveler who has been there and can share his observations and relevant Scripture. Notes from the Valley provides hope from a personal and biblical perspective.
— Kerby Anderson, president, Probe Ministries' host, Point of View
It is so difficult for Christians to be transparent about the real life challenges they face. That is not the case for Andy McQuitty, an author and pastor who invites us into his experience with cancer. Andy serves as a reliable guide to readers for whom the topic of cancer has hit home. Notes from the Valley is honest and real.
— Mark A. Yarhouse, PsyD, professor of psychology and Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair, Regent University
No prepublication of a book have I felt more compelled to forward to friends and Andy McQuitty's fellow-travelers in the deep valley of the gloomy shadow of focused death. However, I shall wait to share its rich presentation of Scripture and theology from the most credible pulpit of a pastor and preacher—his ongoing experience of suffering.
— Ramesh Richard, president, RREACH; professor, Dallas Theological Seminary
My wife and I lost our youngest daughter to cancer, and we know that the desert is indeed part of the Valley. We can and must find healing for our broken hearts. May the words written in this book assure you that God's love is stronger than cancer or any valley you face.
— James Robison, president, LIFE Outreach International, Cohost, LIFE Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with cancer allow Andy to guide you through the Valley.
He lives there, he knows, and he's just a few feet ahead of you on the path.
— Pete Briscoe, senior pastor, Bent Tree Bible Fellowship
In the struggle of your life, you need a travel guide who's journeyed the terrain of pain. A cancer survivor, Andy McQuitty has walked through the valley of death while drinking deep from the fountain of life. Notes from the Valley is the rare book that addresses hard questions with hope and heart. With Andy as your guide, the quest for survival will lead to a biggerdiscovery—real LIFE.
— Allen Arnold, director of content and resources, Ransomed Heart Ministries
Have you been looking for a book to give a family fighting with cancer? You've found it! Andy's book is very personal, based on his own extended time in this deep, dark valley of cancer. It is the mixture of truth and inspiration he longed for during his many months of struggle. This is a deeply insightful gospel perspective of both life and death.
— Bobb Biehl, executive mentor, founder and president, Consulting Institute
Andy McQuitty pulls back the curtain on his journey of rediscovery of the goodness and faithfulness of God. One way that God has redeemed Andy's suffering is the insights that all of us gain from his notes from the valley.
— Steve Stroope, author, Tribal Church, lead pastor Lake Pointe Church, Texas
Andy recounts his honest emotions alongside humorous reflections while traversing the treacherous terrain of colon cancer treatment. If you find yourself in the valley, read this book. With Andy as your guide you will be anchored to divine Truth, and your journey together will be filled with healthy doses of hope and encouragement.
— John Nieder, LIVE THE WORD, Dallas, TX
In life, it is important to have a mentor who has experience in things positive and negative, and has the skill to communicate those experiences. I believe it is imperative that a mentor has great command of how to apply the Scriptures to our lives in all circumstances. Andy has all of these qualities mastered, and I hope you will rejoice in the wisdom he shares in these pages.
— Justin Leonard, PGA Tour player
Andy McQuitty accepted his "gift from God" so he can minister to so many others who live with this disease. As James 1:2 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds," Andy shares the joy that he received through God's love during his battle with cancer.
— Mark Teixeira, first baseman, New York Yankees
Andy is my friend, and I know that the words on these pages truly reflect the work God has done in his life and his heart through an extremely difficult season. This book is authentic, instructive, and full of hope.
— Rev. Toby Slough, senior pastor, Crosstimbers Community Church
I have engaged in dialogue with hundreds of people over the past 40 years about how a loving God could allow suffering. It is one thing to converse about this as an abstract intellectual problem, and it is incumbent on us to do so. Yet it is quite another to deal with the experience of deep personal pain. Amazingly, Andy does both in this wonderful book. You want intellectual answers? Find them here. You want comfort in the midst of deep personal pain? Find it here from the pen of a fellow traveller, no mere ivory tower theorizer.
— Bill Kraftson, The Search for Meaning