- Sonya Leigh Anderson
Tale of Two Stories
Updated: May 25, 2022
If any of you follow Ann Voskamp, and you have read her newest book, Waymaker—and if you have also been reading my blog for any length of time—maybe you’ve made the connection. I realize this is already a lofty assumption. That readers of Ann, are also readers of mine. But I’m thinking right now of my longtime friend, Jill Discher. Certainly Jill knows the details of my own unfolding story, and my family’s, and if she were to pick up this book, Waymaker, and begin to read it, she would certainly think of us, and even laugh out loud.
Ann in her musical, poetic, way, weaves her way through her story, telling her tale of hesed. And right away my husband says, “She’s using your word.” And I have to remind him, “Well, the word has always belonged to God.” God’s word telling The Covenant Story. This steadfast love, which is the heart of the story of God’s covenant promises, is the same word Ann translates, “attachment love.” Turns out, Ann and I are attached to the same Hebrew word.
But it only gets better. Ann’s attachment turns into an adoption story, and two daughters, both who are named Shalom. “You will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3). Shalom, shalom. The Voskamp story parallels the Anderson story in the most hilarious ways. This almost prophetic word reoccurring in songs and prayers and dreams and greetings. Like maybe parents crazy enough to step out onto The Water, need an audible word from God. And he gives it—
Here are a few reminder-links to my own
I could go on, but you get the idea. From beginning to end, mine and Ann’s are stories of shalom.
The first manuscript I submitted to Redemption Press had the working title: He Is For You and my editor would tell me in no uncertain terms, “You have written two books.” Which I clearly had. And if somehow someday God opens the way for me to write the second book, there will be absolutely no need for middle-of-the-night tossing and turning over a perfect title. Because much of The Shalom Story has already been written.
First, The Covenant Story. God’s hesed-story of the Bible, and my story, too.
Perhaps someday The Shalom Story. A word transforming families—the family of God, and this family that is my own. And even if that book never happens, the story will continue to be told.
Ann tells a story in her book about the days leading up to their adoption, when life was unbearably overwhelming and she felt sure there was no way through…
“Look…” I turn to Darryl sitting there in his threadbare Wranglers behind the worn steering wheel of his white Ford pickup truck, his grease-etched hands gently cupping the wheel’s surrendered curve…“There’s just absolutely no way right now we can think about adopting because, if you haven’t noticed, we are already facing our own kind of impossible…” (page 140)
And then, minutes later, Ann’s friend Ellie Halcomb just happens to text them a song.
I’m reading Ann’s story on a Tuesday morning, and I’m laughing out loud, again and again. My own husband sits with his coffee on the couch nearby, and asks me what’s so funny?
“You have got to read this.” I hand him the book.
The Red Sea Road is Ellie’s song about Ann’s story, and wouldn’t you know it, this is our story, too. When we faced the waters, God made us a way—whispering to my husband in the predawn light:
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).
Be Still…our way through.
He is our Waymaker, too.