Monday, February 11, 2013

My love letter to Ann Voskamp

I am writing a love letter to Ann Voskamp. I know what you're thinking.... no I don't and nor do I care. I am still writing it. 

Dear Ann,

A year ago January, I was so anxious and panicked and distraught about so many things in my life, I started waking at 4:00 am, every morning. I could not sleep. No pill could help me sleep through the night. I would wake in a panic, and so as I would not disturb my then fiance, I would go downstairs, to my daughter Rebecca's bedroom, sit by the heater and think. Sometimes, lots of times, I would call my best friend, and we would talk for two hours, 'cause that's what best friends do. They listen, and talk to you even in the earliest of mornings.  

One morning I was so upset, with so many things I knelt at the end of Rebecca's bed, (oh did I mention she's away at college and hasn't slept in her bed in almost 4 years), anyway, I knelt and started to pray. I haven't prayed in this child-like manner since I was a child. I felt like George Bailey, just talking to God, pleading for His help. I was so lost.

I don't why but I glanced at Rebecca's bookcase, it had so many religious books on the shelves. At least 4 different Bibles. All types of Christian literature, I did not know then who these authors were, Max Lucado, Tim Keller, Jon Courson, whoever, but I pulled a book out randomly. No thought whatsoever. It had a beautiful picture of a young girl's hands holding a bird's nest with two robin's eggs. That book was 1000 Gifts, written by you, Ann Voskamp. 

The hand written inscription was not meant for Rebecca but for our mutual friend, Jess, a woman I adore, and the inscription Jess' friend had written, intrigued me so much I started reading 1000 Gifts.
Well, it changed my life. At first I admit, your style of writing, poetic prose, different and liquid and a little hard to digest. No self-deprecating jokes, no sarcastic, wry quips. Just unabashed love. Wow. What was I reading? A biography, a memoir, fiction, it didn't matter, 'cause I couldn't stop reading it.  You, Ann Voskamp, brought me to God. Actually, God came and clumped me on the head through your words.

I tried telling my friends about it, and well, last year, the book hadn't blown up yet. It was on the New York Times' Bestseller List, and still everyone I told, they hadn't heard of it.  I would email sentences to my daughters, paragraphs even, I was so moved. I even emailed my Pastor, so engorged with the passion of this book and my newfound passion and love for God, I was gonna teach him somethin'.

Delusion and inspiration walk a paralled path. 

But Ann Voskamp, thank you. Thank you for getting me through last winter, this winter, and  those lonely moments in work, when tears began to run down my cheeks, I would pick up your book and start reading. And I would pick up my steno pad and start writing. All the little things I am so grateful for. Grateful to Him. Grateful to you.

I try to live by "Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle".  And in fact, I count you Ann, as one of my 1000 gifts. 

Love, Maria.

Ann's website:

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