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Counting Grains of Sand: Learning to Delight in a Promise-Making God Paperback – January 11, 2017
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I've been a big fan of Natasha's writing for a while. I sat down and started reading this book with the intention of reading a chapter or two at at time. Well, I ended up reading most of it in one sitting because it was just that beautiful and just that good. As someone who struggled with infertility for a long time, I highly recommend it for anyone struggling to believe God's promises in light of the suffering in their lives. This book is a beautiful reminder of God’s all-knowing, incredible, lavish love for us- even during the driest and darkest seasons of our lives. It offers authentic hope, without cliche, for anyone weary and dry.
Okay, so what can a mother of nine learn from the story of one woman's journey to total surrender through infertility?
I don't know how to explain it really. I tried to start by defining Metzler's book into a genre and couldn't. It's not a memoir. But it is. It's not a devotional. But it is. It's not generic "Christian Life" on the Christian bookstore shelf. But it fits there--perfectly.
I'll go out on a limb here. I don't even think this book is just for women. This book touches on the deepest need of every Christian--that total surrender to the Lord. It reaches out from a woman who has been there in those deep, gut-wrenching trenches of pain and resistance and offers a Kleenex, a squeeze of the hand. A prayer with you instead of just for you.
The book takes you through the author's painful infertility journey and, in that journey, shows you the beautiful, heart-filling love of a doting Abba.
But it doesn't stop there. Metzler does this by showing us that God cares so much about these deep desires that not only does He make these enormous promises to us, He keeps those promises even when we make a mess of them.
This book is written in an approachable, conversational style that serves only to make the author and her message seem more approachable. Somehow, don't ask me to explain how she made it work, Metzler took the stories, shared them in and out of order, and still kept you from feeling lost. Instead, they wove a beautiful thread of hope, faith, and trust in the love and provision of a loving Father.
Do I recommend it? Completely. In fact, I encourage you to read it. I'll be reading this several times. I may not seem like the target audience for this book--a book that focuses on the grief that comes with infertility--but I promise you, I am. So are you.
Meanwhile, I'll be buying quite a few as gifts.
Counting Grains of Sand is a book I know I will read and re-read, and one that I will share and recommend freely. I wish I could buy copies for all my friends, because it's just that good! If you have appreciated Elisabeth Elliot's writings, this book will also speak to your heart: it comes from the same place of hard-won surrender to and acceptance of what God has allowed.
No matter what you are going through in life, you will find encouragement and hope in Natasha's story. You likely will never fully understand the "why" of your aching heart, but you will come away from this book with a clearer picture of who Jesus is...you will know Him more fully.
And in the end, that is what matters most.
As Natasha writes,
"I still ache for the babies who will never be. I’m learning it is okay that I do. Because there, in the aching, I can know God.
And knowing God is a glorious thing.
It’s easy to want to demand answers. To ask God if I will forever just be counting grains of sand, searching for some taste of fulfillment to my dreams. But I don’t really need answers.
I need to cling to Jesus."