In a season of darkness, Grace Thornton wrestled with God because He didn’t bring along the husband and kids she had always craved. She was hung up on the notion that the world has more to offer than God does. At one point or another we all have probably been caught up with dreams or goals that we idolize, and have unconsciously guarded our hearts and ourselves from God. This just keeps us from trekking along the adventure God has laid out for us. When this clicked for Grace, she was able to discover and embrace her path and begin to encourage others to let go of expectations and to live with anticipation. While talking with Grace, I found her wisdom and grace exuberating through her passion to encourage others while sharing about the peace in her heart.
Stephanie Alton: Grace, I Don’t Wait Anymore: Letting Go of Expectations and Grasping God’s Adventure for You is inspired by a blog post that went viral. Did you have any idea that the post would be so successful? And who do you think will find inspiration from your story?
Grace Thornton: No. The “I Don’t Wait Anymore” post really struck a nerve with people. I didn’t even have plans of writing a book. The opportunity just grew out of the blog after we realized how much the topic resonated with more people than just my friends and me. As for the message, I think it applies to anyone who has a dream or a desire that has become an idol in their heart, crippling their ability to live the life God wants us to live. The book kind of aims at the question “Is God really enough?” and answers with a “Yes.”
SA: The underlying theme in the book is being in a place of freedom. Will you share with me how you got there?
GT: Even before I could articulate the way I felt, I could see that Jesus looked different on certain people — they had a different kind of peace than I did. They glowed with a love and passion for God in a way that I had never seen. It was during a time when I was heartbroken over a breakup with the man who I thought I was supposed to marry. And seeing them live life in that way made we want the same freedom. It took waking up to the way life is supposed to be and intentionally seeking God daily for who He is and not just what He can give to us. Sinful tendencies will still be there — it’s our heart’s natural tendency, and it stifles our desire for God. By going back to God every day to keep our hearts on the altar, we will find where things can change. The freedom is real, and the peace can be yours too.
SA: One of my favorite things about I Don’t Wait Anymore is that you have crafted a way to talk about Jesus and refer to Scripture without being blatant about it. It is there for those who know, but to people who don’t know, the reference just stands as encouragement. For instance, on page 134 there is a reference to the book of James and going through trials to have a deeper faith. Is this something you did on purpose?
GT: After going to my Bible every day because I wanted to know God more than anything, I found He used certain passages and wrecked the way I live. So much so that Scripture has become the fabric of my heart. I guess now these types of references unintentionally come out. I know it must be God working through me when it does.
SA: If there is only one thing that you hope people take away from your book, or from your message, what would it be?
GT: To know the peace and joy are real. It is not something you only hear about in church. It can be found if we take the time to surrender our hearts. I can say this because of the peace in my own heart.
SA: Thank you, Grace, for talking with me about your book! I will leave our audience with an excerpt from I Don’t Wait Anymore.
“Everything in us screams for more. Our hearts long for it. That’s why we do what we do. That’s why we dream what we dream. We want real love, so we spend our lives looking for it. We want real purpose, so we spend our lives trying to get it. And if we never look up, we never find it. From an earthly perspective, it almost seems like a cruel device hardwired into our hearts — the yearning that can never be satisfied. But God didn’t miss a step when He built us lacking, built us to crave. He wanted us to look for Him until we found Him. He wanted our hearts for Himself.” –Grace Thornton
Like the quote above and want to read more? If so, here is an exclusive opportunity for Single Matters readers! Follow this link to read chapter one of I Don’t Wait Anymore: Letting Go of Expectations and Grasping God’s Adventure for You by Grace Thornton.
Or if you like to WIN things and want a FREE copy of I Don’t Wait Anymore, comment on the Single Matters Facebook page with the hashtag #singlematters, and let us know you want to start living life with anticipation, and not a life filled with expectation, to be entered to WIN! We will do a random drawing on July 9th at midnight!