Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts" - My thoughts from the first chapter

This chapter has been hard for me to start writing my thoughts.  It was so emotionally charged with her experiences and it had one of the heaviest questions that all human kind has asked or is still asking about God..."Is God really Good?".  Both of these elements brought up within me a wellspring of emotion.  Emotions that I experienced with rawness and tenderness....they hurt.  But I then knew I needed to go back and read it again...and I even read it a third time.  Each time, I knew that God had been there in all my wounding...putting His arms around me and tenderly and sweetly comforting and healing me... emptying me out so that i could enjoy the fullness that only He can give for my life.   Sara at Riverside Reflections blog helped me understand this a bit more when she wrote: 

“Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” 

Eugene Peterson’s The Message makes it so clear, 

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. 
Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” 

To feel the embrace, we just have to remember to mourn…" 

And here was my response: 
After reading the first chapter of Ann’s book, I wept because I too have experienced pain down deep. But your post made it clear to me as to why I love that chapter and went back and cried again. Why I allowed myself to be torn apart again. Because God takes me in His 
arms and comforts me as only He can. Do we accept God’s comfort or do we push him away? If only we would all say yes to the tenderness of Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Father above. It has been a few days since the tender moments with God and my wounds. It is true, He has comforted, but He has has also started to heal me." 

So - In regards to the seed?  Yes, I believe there were many planted of God and His goodness while I was a child.  Unlike Ann, I saw 
rainbows and kittens and communed with God with an innocence of childhood.  In so many ways, I had a great childhood...God let me 
experience goodness and happiness and somehow I knew it was from God. I am so thankful for that.  Of course, that was when I thought I was good as well.  It took sin and its staining affects to make me realize how unclean and dirty my life was and how I soiled those people who came in contact with me.  To realize that I was actually evil and caused great harm to others?  Wow...that got my attention.  I had lost what was most dear to me...my own righteousness.  Without details...the hurt I have inflicted and the infliction I have received have really been the start of it all for me.  Crying out to God when I knew things weren't all rainbows and kittens was the time when I truly began to feel the embrace of God.  Yes - I thank Him for the pain...for without it, I would have never been comforted by the most powerful, loving, fulfilling, awe inspiring God of the universe.

My goal is to wake each morning and really give God the authority in my life.  To live with His Spirit guiding me.  His Spirit Gives 
life...while mine kills and brings destruction.  I must always remember.  Dear Lord Jesus help us all to turn to you...to give you 
all authority!