It has been awhile since I read some of her writings from her first book or from her blog. I should have known right off that her words would affect me in the same way that they did when I read them then. Yes, I'm talking about Ann Voskamp.
Last week I wrote about her new advent book, "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift." All week, I have been reading each day's Scripture and story, as well as the application of the story to us (or, as I eerily felt, applied directly to me) today.
All I can say is, "Wow, Wow, Wow!" I found myself shedding tears as I read just about every message she shared. She seems to pierce right into my deepest sorrows and life experiences and expresses where God stands with it. He is a God of so much love that, as she wrote in Day 4, "He feels what we feel and He's written our names on His hand."
Here are some quotes from her book that literally took my breath away.
"The miracle no one dreamed of, the one He dreamed right from the very beginning, because love never stops dreaming of a way to draw close again. Jesus would go to impossible lengths to rescue you."
"Miracles happen on the drawing close to the little people, the least people, the lonely people, the lost people - because this is drawing close to Jesus.'
"The whole world was made by God's word(when God spoke), but God's children alone were made by ALL of God's love. You were formed by a huddle of holy hearts!"
"When you trip you can fall and end up such a bloodied mess that you go hide. When we've fallen and when we're lost, God comes with one question: Not, "Why did you do that?" Not, What did you do wrong?" But a love question: "Where are you?" God's love never stops looking for you, trying to find you, and drawing you gently back close to Him."
"God's heart hurts, not just with a few teardrops of ache, not with just a slow drip of sadness - no, the whole gigantic enormity of God's heart swells sore with what hurts your heart - and His tears of sadness flooded the world."
"God leans to us, who are falling in a hurting world, and He catches us. He whispers, "I love you!" It's almost like how your mother ties her heart to your heart so that she feels what you feel. So it's almost impossible for her to forget you, even for just one second. Remember this down to the deepest part of you: It's absolutely impossible for your Father God to ever forget you, for even just one fraction of a second, because "I've tied My heart to your heart even closer, and I feel what you feel, and I've written your name right here on My hand. No matter how much your earthly mother love you - more than to the moon and back - your Heavenly Father loves you infinitely more."
"And God promises: I will make you a blessing to others. I will do more than give you a gift of love - I will make you into a gift of love! You will get to be the gift - and smile for someone, laugh for someone, and love someone who is needing a gentle touch."Day 6:
" God said, "Everything is more than it seems, more than you can see. I am doing unexpected things."
"Sometimes you use laughter like a shield to protect your heart. Sometimes when your heart hurts, your head hurts to believe."
"Joy is the gigantic secret gift that God gives us and we never stop unwrapping it. God brings us the gift of laughter like bubbly. fizzy, soda-pop joy for our hearts. "
"Because of Jesus, sadness is not the end of the story."
Needless to say, last week was a rough one. This week is looking like a repeat of last week. Work is stressful, family issues keep popping up, and because we are smack dab in the middle of remodeling our main bathroom, the house is in shambles. So, of course, my hubby hasn't even pulled any of the Christmas decor out of the attic. No matter what, I'm committed to reading through each day's writing in the advent book! Already, her words have pierced my soul and brought comfort on those hard days.
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