Last week, we began our journey of sharing One Thousand Gifts together. Nine ladies (including myself) gathered in my home to share why they were excited to begin discussing Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts. Few reasons were focused on the book's theme of daring to live "an emptier, fuller life" (p. 23), but that is the beauty of it. The beauty lies within women's hearts gathered to fellowship, all while opening a book, that I believe will encourage, if not force, change, transformation of their every day living.
The first chapter, only 14 pages, contains words from a wounded heart that forces you to ask, "Is it possible to live life 'full of grace and joy and all that is beauty eternal' (p.23)?"
"Really, when you bury a child--or when you just simply get up every day and live life raw--you murmur the question soundlessly. No one hears. Can there be a good God? A God who graces with good gifts when a crib lies empty through long nights, and bugs burrow through coffins? Where is God, really? How can He be good when babies die, and marriages implode, and dreams blow away, dust in the wind? Where is grace bestowed when cancer gnaws and loneliness aches and nameless places in us soundlessly die, break off without reason, erode away. Where hides this joy of the Lord, this God who fills the earth with good things, and how do I fully live when life is full of hurt? How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all the empties my out?" (p. 12)
Have you been there? Are you there now?
The raw, honest testimony poured forth is something, I believe, every human being craves, particularly when their life has been full of pain and/or disappointment.
"I wonder too...if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually become places to see.
To see through to God.
That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyoned. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.
But how? How do we choose to allow the holes to become seeing-through-to God places? To more-God places? How do I give up resentment for gratitude, gnawing anger for spilling joy? Self-focus for God-communion." (p.22)
And so the journey begins....or continues
*All excerpts taken from Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts
You can read previous Journey of Faith posts HERE.
Every Friday, I post about the work God is doing or has done in my life, as I journey on this road of faith.
How is God working in your life as you journey with Him?
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