God had a defining moment. His Son died on the cross for our sins, changing history and his relationship with mankind. Still, his forgiveness, love and sacrifice are concepts unfamiliar to much of the world. Ignorant of such grace, society bombards us with the daily temptation to measure up or perform. When we fail to achieve the desired results, we struggle to feel God’s grace. This is especially true when life hits us hard through tragedy, unfortunate events and prolonged suffering---we question; we wonder; we misunderstand his amazing grace. This can cause us to battle shame, self-doubt and bitterness.
When dark times come, are you able to find strength in God’s grace?
Do you defeat insecurity, lack of self-worth and guilt through your view of grace?
Have you seen your Lord’s footprints in the sand when you look back at the most difficult times in your life?
Do your struggles and disappointments bring you to a deeper understanding of his grace?
In "Footprints in the Sand: God’s Grace to Women in an Ungracious World", Erica Kim starts with a defining moment in her personal life---the tragic death of her mother---to describe her journey to rediscover God’s grace.
Through poignant true-life stories and teachings about women in the Bible, you will be led from the book of Genesis to the cross to see without a doubt how God has carried each one of us in his arms through every dark and hopeless moment to help you to experience fulfillment and spiritual growth.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
This Ungracious World
On February 8, 1988 while living in San Francisco, I received a phone call from my father, who was living in New Jersey at the time. “Your mother killed herself. I found her dead today,” he said in almost a whisper. As soon as he finished his sentence, I crumpled to the kitchen floor. I wailed so loudly that my 15-month-old baby, Miyoko, who had been playing in her room, came running and began to stroke my head as if I was the baby, and not her. Cradling the phone that was attached to the wall, my body heaved as I wept and wept. After a few minutes passed, my father said, “Come home.” What came out of my mouth following his words surprised me. “It’s your fault,” I replied while weeping. “Did you hear me? You did this to her.” The phone clicked as my father hung up.
In my grief and pain, I blamed my father. I was alone with my daughter and held her as I continued to cry for another hour before picking up the phone to leave a message for my husband who had flown to Japan early that morning. My mind raced in different directions. I was four months pregnant with our second child and had been frantically trying to contact my mother all day, since I had begun to spot that morning. My mother was a nurse, so I wanted her advice. The next day, in spite of being in a fog of grief, I made an emergency appointment to see my obstetrician. During my appointment, the doctor told me that if I got on a plane, I would probably lose the baby. I didn’t care anymore. I wanted to go home.
Many of us have experienced tragedy, abuse, and different forms of suffering, often in ways that are unique to us as women. God looks at each of us and knows our pain and feels each one of those scars. Even though we are Christians, when faced with crisis, our first response is too often not one of grace but rather a desire to lash out and blame others. Other times, we run away, withdrawing from even those who love us most. It is during these kinds of times that we see how much grace we lack in our lives and how much more we need to understand it, both for ourselves and towards others.
Jesus never lashed out from the cross. He endured a deep agony that we may never have to undergo during our lifetime just so we would not have to suffer eternally. It is through his life and attitude that we are taught how to respond in the most difficult times. Even though my general nature is to be easily forgiving towards others, I was not prepared for my response in times of grief. I saw that my faith and my heart were not strong enough to endure and to respond with the kind of grace that Jesus had shown me. I fell short with my father who was already torn up by his own feelings guilt. I reacted badly towards him and towards others during the hardest times in my life.
The reality is that we live in an ungracious world. For this reason, our upbringing and our past experiences have imprinted certain reactions and natural responses in each one of us. We often respond in ways that we have seen others do. It is said that most of us have lived with some type of dysfunctionality in our upbringing. Those memories can impact us more than God’s love.
Table of ContentsIntroduction: This Ungracious World
Chapter One: For God So Loved the World
Chapter Two: Eve: God’s Grace Toward Sin
Chapter Three: Sarah: Grace Through Faith
Chapter Four: Rahab: God’s Grace for the Unloved
Chapter Five: Deborah: Raised Up Through Grace
Chapter Six: Ruth and Naomi: Finding Love Through Grace
Chapter Seven: Hannah: Finding Self-Worth Through Grace
Chapter Eight: Esther: Chosen By Grace
Chapter Nine: Mary, Mother of Jesus: Set Apart by Grace
Chapter Ten: Jesus: His Radical Love Can Heal Us
Chapter Eleven: Final Thoughts