I thought I was done crying.
Although we miss Juliette and certain things will catch my heart in my throat, I thought I had endured the depths of mourning and wouldn’t have to cry again, at least not for a while. Then, I read Chapter 1 of Ann’s One Thousand Gifts. When I lay my head on my pillow that night, my prayers circled around what I had read. I knew what I needed to say to Him.
While my words took their time coming out, His words kept rolling through my spirit, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Godâ€™s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
Though I had blessed His name, thanked Him for sustaining us, and praised Him for providing for us, I had not yet thanked Him.
So, in a very practical and obedient way, my mouth spoke the words: Thank you for taking Juliette when you did.
I wasn’t prepared for the way in which this small, quiet sentence was waiting to shake and burst open an entirely different well of emotions. From somewhere deep inside, I sobbed. Like King David’s, my pillow was wet with tears. I don’t even really know what I meant by that “thank you”, but my spirit somehow knew that it helped me to let go of fear, and to rest my weary maternal soul in our Father’s hands.
I hesitate to pull a quotation from Ann’s book, because the whole piece – word by word – works together to establish a relationship with the reader, but the first chapter passage that spoke directly to my heart was:
“Losses do that. One life-loss can infect the whole of a life. Like a rash that wears through our days, our sight becomes peppered with black voids. Now everywhere we look, we only see all that isn’t: holes, lack, deficiency.”
When I read her description, I knew that loss has injured my vision. My heart has felt so very low, so very guarded since May, when we said good-bye to Juliette. Even with our new gift of pregnancy, I’ve been squinting and straining to see with my former wide-eyed, hope-filled mommy eyes, but they’ve been infected with doubt, wariness, and cynicism. Through Ann’s words and her gentle application of Scripture, the Holy Spirit is healing my soul’s eyes; and the prescription is gratitude.
That is what Ann Voskamp celebrates and teaches in One Thousand Gifts: gratitude to God.
If you already read her blog, A Holy Experience, you know that her writing and her heart are exquisite, daily gifts.
Not surprisingly, her first book is brilliant…
I won’t be able to wait long enough to read along with the Bloom book club, but I will certainly be tuning in for the weekly updates with Angie, Jess, and Ann herself. Consider joining us?