Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts, discusses the day her entire family “snapped shut to grace” in Chapter 1. Ann, whose name means “full of grace”, was only 4 years old at the time. Ann vividly remembers her younger sister toddling into the farm lane, wandering after a cat. The delivery truck driver never saw her. Compounding the family’s grief at her sister’s tragic accidental death, Ann’s mother had given birth only 3 weeks earlier. The author says that with the laying of the gravestone, all their lives became closed to the notion of grace.
Traumatic, life-altering events may shake the very foundations of our faith. Ann poignantly describes the feeling:
“No, God, we won’t take what You give. No, God. Your plans are a gutted, bleeding mess and I didn’t sign up for this and you really thought I’d go for this? No, God, this is ugly and this is a mess and can’t you get anything right and just haul all this pain out of here and I’ll take it from here, thanks. And God? Thanks for nothing!”
Have you experienced emotions similar or identical to Ann’s? The truth, Ann notes, is that such thoughts are our human inheritance from the Garden of Eden, a manifestation of the Serpent’s hissing lies. Our choice, she states, is to live as one filling with God’s grace, to freely receive whatever God gives- or choosing not to. We are invited to live fully- right where we are!