Having recently discovered Angie Smith's wonderful "Bring The Rain" blog (see earlier postings on this blog to find out more) I have been reading her book which tells the story of Audrey in full, using excerpts from the blog at times.
It is a harrowing read.
But it is also a life affirming read. I never fail to be amazed at how Angie is able to maintain her humor through periods of extraordinary pain. At the same time, her honesty in expressing her feelings of doubt and abandonment that we all go through at some time, but because of our perceived need to appear superhuman "super-Christians" we tend to hide.
I am sure that people will experience peace and healing through Angie's words, and her frank acknowledgment that she is a work in progress. These days we need permission to struggle, to be vulnerable, to be anything less than on top of life.
How often do we look aside to people who are falling apart in front of us and thank our lucky stars that we are not as weak as they are. Truth is, we are all probably experiencing some level of turmoil, and maybe wishing we weren't going through it alone.
Anyway, back to the book. I won't sugar coat it and pretend it isn't heart wrenching, because it is. I won't promise you won't cry, because you probably will, but this is a book that NEEDED to be written both for Angie Smith's sake, and for the sake of countless unnamed others who need to be told it's okay to doubt, okay to weep and wail, okay to have a go at God.
Perhaps the most powerful thing that emerges from this story, is that a child can touch numerous lives, even if it only lives for a matter of hours. Audrey has reached and inspired more people in her 2 hours of life than maybe I have in my 46 years on this earth.
Now there's a challenge!