18
May

Finding Grace

   Posted by: Lynne   in eBooks/Print Books, Nonfiction

 

Book Details
Title: Finding Grace: A true story about losing your way in life…and finding it again
Author: Donna VanLiere
Format: Hardcover Print
Number of Pages: 224
Summary: Finding Grace is the powerful, often humorous, and deeply moving story of one woman’s journey of broken dreams. It is the story of how a painful legacy of the past is confronted and met with peace. This book is for anyone who has struggled to understand why our desires—even the simplest ones—are sometimes denied or who has questioned where God is when we need him most. This story is about one woman’s unlikely road to motherhood. Finally, it’s a book about the “undeserved gift which is life itself.” It’s the story of “Finding Grace.”
Price: $21.95
Author Bio: Donna VanLiere is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Christmas Hope series and Angels of Morgan Hill. She lives in Franklin, Tennessee with her husband and three children. 

Finding Grace: A True Story About Losing Your Way In Life…And Finding It Again

***

I recently saw an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in which a young boy is left an orphan after his mother is killed by a stray land mine from a long forgotten war on a seemingly uninhabited planet. It’s a senseless, shocking death that the Starship crew didn’t see coming. Then, an energy life form remaining on the planet attempts to make amends to the orphaned boy by creating a comfortingly familiar, but illusionary, “home” for him, a home that includes a recreation of his mother. The Starship crew is presented with the difficult task of convincing the alien (and the boy) that this illusionary world is ultimately not preferable to the cold, hard reality of life–and death.

I was reminded of that episode as I sat down to write this review of Finding Grace. After all, who among us hasn’t wished for God to put our life back to how it was; back before the pain, the loss, the confusion? Who hasn’t felt anger that He didn’t spare us from the hurt in the first place? And yet we instinctively know that reality, with all it’s hardships, is better for us in the long run than the most comforting fantasy world.

But we constantly ignore this. Over and over again we believe that if we only plan more carefully next time, if only we pick the right road, if only we read all the important signs, we’ll end up exactly where we wanted, feeling refreshed and ahead of schedule. Certainly life would be simpler if it was a straight, smooth road, with detailed maps and clear visibility. But it isn’t. It’s filled with sharp curves, rocky cliffs, roadblocks, detours, and lots and lots of fog. Our perfect life plans get sideswiped by other blinded and lost travelers. Death. Betrayal. Heartache. Illness. Shattered dreams. We break down and think we can no longer go on. And that probably there really aren’t any destinations worth getting to anyway.

Finding Grace is the true story of Donna VanLiere’s journey of being hit early on by one of those hidden land mines of life, and how she stumbled around in the fog trying to find her way back on the path she lost. It’s about how over the years she began to notice the light which illuminated a different path through the fog, and that this path, though not the one she had envisioned, was in fact better than the one she was trying to find.

“Perhaps you’ll recognize part of your own life,” VanLiere writes about her book, and I did. I found myself seeing a lot of my own life’s struggles echoing her frustrations and disappointments, and the same glimpses of God’s grace touching me as it did her. VanLiere describes God’s grace as a undeserved gift that we’re often unaware of having received. In Finding Grace she shows us the times she received God’s grace without recognizing it as such until years later. By doing so, it helped me to realize times when I, too, received this gift.

One of the most difficult Christian concepts to put into practice is letting go of self-made plans and allowing God to take control. At times we even believe that our goals are better than God’s will for us; that if we let Him “take the wheel” we’ll end up miserable and unhappy and doing something we absolutely hate. I’ve fallen into that trap myself. Whenever someone tells me to put my life into God’s hands and follow His path for me, I think to myself, “If I go down God’s path, I’ll end up a missionary in Botswana.” Now, you have to understand that I live in the same small town I grew up in. I’ve never really wanted to leave. My husband and I bought a house half a block from my parents. I’ve known most of my neighbors my entire life; some of my ancestors knew their ancestors. So the worst imaginable thing for me would be to end up in some far-flung country surrounded by strangers speaking a bizarre language–who I’m supposed to teach about God!

But why do I think God’s will for my life involves such a drastic change? Why do I think His goals for me can only be worse than the happy dreams I have for myself? In Finding Grace VanLiere shows us that God’s special plans for us include peace and hope, not misery and drudgery. He wants us to thrive and be joyful, and have a life of love, inspiration, and grace. This doesn’t mean he’ll create a familiar, illusionary world of empty bliss around us. And it doesn’t mean we won’t have pain and sorrow. VanLiere suggests God sometimes lets us get derailed off our path so we can finally see the one He’s laid out for us. God has a higher purpose for us than we can even envision for ourselves. It’s our journey to discover that purpose by choosing to follow His path, not ours. And that the crashes and injuries and wrong choices we suffer along the way doesn’t change His destination for us.

Finding Grace is a well written, poignant, yet humorous look back on a life spent searching for answers to all the wrong questions and discovering God’s grace in the process. It’s an entertaining, thought-provoking book that will make you examine the path your own life is on. At least it certainly did that for me. I absolutely loved Finding Grace and am recommending it to all my family and friends. When I finished it, I immediately wanted to read it again. I’d never read anything by Donna VanLiere, but now I want to read everything she’s written. I can’t give any higher praise than this.

For more information about Donna VanLiere and her books, visit http://www.donnavanliere.com
To order Finding Graceclick here.
For more books by Donna VanLiere, visit her online store.

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 7:30 pm and is filed under eBooks/Print Books, Nonfiction. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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