Friday, April 17, 2009

'Finding Grace' by Donna VanLiere

I think that a lot of times people go through life without stopping to wonder where they are going, what their purpose on Earth is or whether there is any purpose at all. There are also those who do know that there is a deeper meaning to life but it’s out of their grasp and they catch themselves chasing that meaning. And then there are people like Donna VanLiere, who found the meaning, is living out the plan and through her experiences shows others how to find grace.

Finding Grace is Donna’s memoir of sorts, her portrayal of journey through life with many stumbling blocks on its way. Donna VanLiere, who is mostly known for her bestselling Christmas Hope series (at least she is to me), starts off her book with her childhood and dreams she had about her future adult life. They would perhaps have been normal had they not been broken in one abrupt and terrifying moment. That episode changed a girl with a head full of dreams into a prematurely grown-up woman, confused and disillusioned about her belief in God, in his Grace and her own worth. As time progresses, Donna’s life seems to be a self-fulfilled prophecy of despair, of hopelessness and of doubt. However, Ms. VanLiere is not one to give up and she struggles to find out what God’s plan for her is, as she never really surrendered the hope that there had to be more to life than what she got. And as she searches for the spiritual truth and fights the hardships, she slowly realizes that God has been giving her His Grace freely, without waiting for Donna to earn it and all she had to do is receive it.

I treasured Finding Grace from the first page to the last, mainly because I felt it carried a personal message to me. I would read Donna’s indignant and angry thoughts about and towards God, and think that she must have had some psychic powers because those were my exact thoughts. Her struggle seemed like my struggle and in the end it gave me tremendous hope that she found the Grace and that we all can because it is waiting for us. Personal feelings aside, Finding Grace is written beautifully and flawlessly. The author’s love for writing and conviction that that is exactly what she should be doing reflect on every page. It made me cry most unexpectedly and laugh when I didn’t think I could. Yes, Finding Grace is not a tear-jerker only, there is plenty of humor which, creates just the right balance required to leave a reader with a feeling of something heavy being lifted off the shoulders and a ray of hope that maybe we are also ready to find and receive the Grace shining through the harsh and grey days of our existence.

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Special Thanks for Julie H. from FSB Associates for sending me a copy of this book.
You also should check out this YouTube video Donna put together as an intro to the book.
Last but not least, visit Donna's website for more info.