|Embrace GraceBy Liz Curtis Higgs|
It was first introduced to me through a women’s mentoring program at my Church. More on my personal journey involving this book a little later…
The back cover of the books shares:
Wherever you are spiritually, whatever you have been through emotionally, you are already enfolded in the arms of One who believes in you, supports you, treasures you. He is waiting for you to embrace him in return. To accept the gift he’s offering you. To listen for the whispered words you’ve longed a life-time to hear: You are loved. All is forgiven. ~from Embrace Grace
For those of us who have a hard time understanding Grace, (whether it be we are trapped in a perfectionist mindset, trapped in the guilt of previous sins, or simply have never had His Grace shared with us) I feel Liz does a wonderful job of gently lifting our downcast heads in her caring hand, and pointing us towards the truth of Christ centered Grace.
After the first Chapter, each Chapter invites us on a journey of “embracing”. She encourages us to Embrace Doubt, Faith, Truth, Sin, Forgiveness, and Repentance before bringing us to Grace.
Each Chapter focuses on the given subject and sprinkles Scripture throughout, helping the reader see how and why we are called to embrace it. She also sprinkles in statements shared from real life sisters. Statements from those who are struggling to Embrace His Grace and those who have learned how. I found these extremely encouraging as I saw I was not alone, and saw the process of learning how to Embrace His Grace.
Her writing style is welcoming to all readers, easy to read, and not all-time consuming. Because of the wonderful Bible versus and shared statements sprinkled throughout, the chapters are not extremely long and can be read well in one setting. It’s not a book that necessarily requires blocking out hours to read a chapter (unless you find yourself in need to spend that amount of time). I personally spent an average of 15 to 20 minutes reading with another 10 minutes or so reflecting on the questions she includes at the end of each chapter. It makes it a very realistic book to read for those of us who are busy in the chaos of life, and a special book for all as it points us to a Truer understanding of peace. Before the first chapter begins, we are met with the following:
We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
~Romans 5 1-2
I believe it’s a perfect opening verse as the book is a journey to guide us into understanding what this means in our personal relationship with God.
I also believe the questions in the book engage the reader to take those first steps towards embracing Him in a way that is personal. These questions can certainly be used in a group discussion setting, a one on one mentoring setting, or a very personal intimate setting between just the reader and Christ.
My personal journey involving this book…
When the book was first introduced to me, I was not spiritually where I needed to be. I read the words however I did not stop to truly “believe” the words. Some weeks the Chapter was simply squeezed in because “I was supposed to read it”. While it did speak to my heart, I was not allowing the words to Embrace my heart and therefore I was choosing to continue to not Embrace Him or His Grace. I didn’t even finish the full book and now can’t remember how far into it I went before I let it fall to the wayside.
A year or more later, I found myself in a different place. I was hungry for His Grace. I was hungry for His Word. I was Hungry for His Peace and His Will. I came across Liz’s website and discovered she was doing a series on Embrace Grace. After I read that first blog posting from her, I found myself digging through my book case to find the book I had not finished and purposefully read it.
I used Wednesday mornings to sit with my coffee and read the book out loud to myself. There were mornings I cried and mornings I laughed. I found myself drawn to slowly reading the scripture versus and re-reading them. This time was different because my heart was different. I really wanted to engage myself this time.
I highly recommend this book to women who struggle with understanding His Grace and are hungry for it. Women who know that Grace is there and are just uncertain how to allow it into their lives. Women who constantly live in a state of guilt and feel they are alone in their past or present. You are not alone, and His Grace is sufficient. I truly believe this book will help to begin to understand Grace in a beautiful, freeing, transforming way.
I also recommend if you are reading the book for the first time, take a moment to read the corresponding blog post from the Embrace Grace series on her website. (Actually, I recommend it for those who have already read the book as a refresher to continue Embracing His Grace)
I felt reading the two together was fabulous. I do recommend reading the actual book because while her blog posts on the series are worth the read alone, they really add value to each of the Chapters and do not replace reading the chapters.
After I finished the book this second time around, my friend (and mentor) and I watched the Embrace Grace DVD together. It was wonderful to see Liz come to life on the screen and put face and voice to the caring hand which wrote the book. Again, the DVD simply added to what I had read without becoming repetitive or subtracting. I found myself thinking “Ta-Da” in front of mirrors and one sentence she said really spoke to my heart on a number of levels “I know all about the far country”. So do I, and to hear her explain God’s love and His arms embracing us was comforting and peaceful to my spirit. While I watched the DVD after reading the book, I feel that one could watch it before or after and it will still add the same beautiful value to your journey.
|Embrace Grace: DVD EditionBy Liz Curtis Higgs|
I greatly enjoyed reading this book and feel the Lord placed it back in my hands at a time I needed it most and could learn from it most. I have tucked some of the truths and scriptures in my heart, and hope to someday share it in a one-on-one setting with a sister as it was shared with me.
In Love & Faith,