Ann Voskamp
Waymaker: Finding the Way to the Life You've Always Dreamed Of
W Publishing Group, US, 2022
ISBN-13: 978-0310352228

Ann Voskamp Waymaker

 

"There is a richness, a fullness, and yes, a vulnerable honesty, to Voskamp's writing that is refreshing and engaging. This is a deeply reflective work to be savoured."

Having already written four New York Times best-sellers and been named by Christianity Today as one of 50 "women to watch", Canadian author Ann Voskamp already has a well-established and deserved reputation as a fine writer.

This book - a part-memoir, part-Bible explorative in which she tells, sometimes in an almost stream-of-consciousness approach, of the journey she's taken in her marriage and in adopting a baby girl from China desperately in need of heart surgery while also coming to terms with her past - will only enhance it.

Waymaker is a deeply vulnerable account in which Voskamp, a mother of seven, details her struggles with her faith and the insights and revelations she's received as a result around the idea of God as "Waymaker" for we who Thomas Aquinas termed 'homo viator', human wayfarers on the way to life with the Father.

And on that journey, Voskamp says, we should be in no doubt that we will suffer: "Buy the lie that your life is supposed to be heaven on earth and suffering can be a torturous hell. But life is is suffering, and suffering is but the cross we bear, part of earth's topography to cross on our way to heaven."

Suffering, however, as she notes later in the book, is not the greatest problem we face, for God is there to help us through that. Rather it's sin - "putting things in the way of the Waymaker coming to me, and letting things get in the way of me going to Him" - that is humanity's greatest problem. "More than the stress of any suffering, sin that keeps us estranged from God is the cause of our deepest distress". Why? Because ultimately the place we are seeking a way out of is "aloneness". 

Voskamp, whose love of words is obvious from page one, details at length the tool she has used to help connect with the Waymaker even - or perhaps especially - when you're unsure about the journey ahead. It involves using the “SACRED way”, an acronym which refers to stillness, attentiveness, cruciformity, revelation, examine and doxology.



Throughout the book, Voskamp outlines the journey to God as being one of self-forgetfulness, of laying down, of surrender to God - all with the aim of allowing the Waymaker to make your path and your intimacy with Him.

It's a way that leads through suffering - "He has no other way. Not because He doesn't love us but exactly because He does" - but it's also "more than a single act at the foot of the cross"; rather, Voskamp explains, the Christian life is a "moment-by-moment movement of faithing toward God", using the term "faithing" to indicate faith being both active and ongoing.

There is a richness, a fullness, and yes, a vulnerable honesty, to Voskamp's writing that is refreshing and engaging. This is a deeply reflective work to be savoured.