Why I Wrote Goodnight

Goodnight To My Thoughts of You is dedicated to all the girls in my small group at church, but particularly one girl who was going through a hard time a few years ago. We met weekly at Starbucks, and she told the group about how she was in love with a guy at church, and she didn’t know why, but her desire to be with him was tormenting her day and night. It sounded so familiar. I knew exactly how she felt, and I knew exactly how to pray for her. I told her my own story, and I promised her that I would write it out so I could read it to her.

Andy and Chelsea

Week after week we met, and I read to my group of high school girls chapter by chapter as I wrote the book. Soon they were bringing their friends, and we took up a third of the seats at Starbucks, reading this story out loud. Other customers would interject tidbits about their own life when they heard what we were doing. It was exciting to see the girls hanging on to every word, gasping at the details, squealing in delight, sharing their own sorrows, and praying for each other. Their fascination with my story prompted a new idea: to write some discussion questions to go along with the book, so small groups could get to know each other better and have an open dialogue about what was really going on in their lives. You can access the discussion questions for free here.

I realized after I wrote Part One of the book, that Part Two was really the best and most important part of the story, so I continued to write. While Part One is about falling in love with an older guy at church, a leader, and how the character of Miriam feels rejected and humbled when he marries someone else, Part Two is based on the love story between my husband and me, the true love story. It is about how God brought Andy into my life. Andy Rotunno: those of you who know him know that he is truly an amazing man of God, upright and devoted to following Jesus. I was not attracted to Andy at first, which you find out in the story. But as our friendship progressed, and his love for me became real to me, I discovered that I had true love and a best friend in Andy. All of my readers love Part One, but agree that Part Two is the best part of the book.

My husband and I pray, and all my girls pray, that the right message will come across as I take the step to publish this raw and revealing coming of age story, Goodnight To My Thoughts of You.

My next project, the sequel to Goodnight To My Thoughts of You, is about the ups and downs of married life, and the lessons I have learned from birthing and parenting our four children. It is called Heavenly Here With You. 

Please feel free to contact me at chelsearotunno@gmail.com if you have any questions as you are reading the book or using the discussion guide. I am so happy to share my story, hear your story, and pray for you in your journey.

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