Before I read the book, Gracie Standing with Hope, I had never heard of Gracie Parker Rosenberger. I have never seen her on television. I have never heard her sing. But I have learned that Gracie Parker Rosenberger is a remarkable woman who lives a remarkable life and she has much to teach us all about standing in hope.
In a narrative and conversational style, Gracie tells us about the tragic automobile accident that brought her to the brink of despair as a very young woman. Only a few years after her long recovery was completed and also after she had married her husband, Peter, Gracie learned that it would be necessary for both of her legs to be amputated just below the knees. Peter cared for her through the operations and the recoveries, but the pressures and trials they faced together were overwhelming for both of them. Their individual personal struggles, serious sins, and heavy disappointments threatened their relationship. However, as in other difficult times, instead of running from each other, they chose to run toward each other and into God’s arms. Their Heavenly Father did not fail them, but faithfully and lovingly restored their marriage. Today, Gracie and Peter enjoy a strong marriage, their two sons, their shared love of music, and reaching out to thousands of people all over the world who lives are touched by severe and life-changing disabilities, especially those who have been wounded in battle while serving in the armed forces of the United States.
Gracie personally knows the sufficiency of God’s grace and His power to turn “mourning into dancing”. Even as she endures physical disability in her body, she possesses a spirit that soars and leaps for joy. She puts it this way, “I can’t afford to be distracted from the mission God has given to me. It’s too important. So if people stare, then they can stare. But if they want to hear about the grace and power of God that is greater than eyes, legs, or anything else, they will see past my defects and concentrate on Christ’s power that is made perfect in our weakness. Even in this broken, defective body, I am thrilled to serve God.” Peter, as a fellow sojourner, accompanies her when she sings, lovingly cares for her, and remains her biggest supporter.
The book is a fascinating read. However, there are a couple of things I need to mention that may be problematic for some. The editing of the book could be improved upon for there were several grammatical errors. Also, some of the interpretive comments found in the thread of the story, while both moving and emotionally powerful, depend more on modern psychology than on a deep understanding of reformed and Presbyterian theology.
With that said, I can heartily recommend this book. The story opens the reader’s eyes to the reality of the presence of God in all circumstances, the sufficiency of His power to help His children overcome their greatest sorrows and fears, and His ability to give abundantly more than we can think of or imagine. Thank you, Gracie, for sharing your heart with us and letting us benefit from what God has taught you in your life.