Remembering A Good and Perfect Gift

I haven’t done any speaking events this past year, intentionally. I knew the travel would be too much for me and for our family. But as the winter wore on, I agreed to a few events this spring–a talk at St. Luke’s in Darien, CT, last Sunday, a local book club next week, and a few more local venues in the months to come.

As I got ready for the St. Luke’s talk, I couldn’t find my copy of A Good and Perfect Gift. I searched the boxes in the hallway on the third floor. I searched the half-unpacked closet in my office. I scoured the bookshelves in Peter’s study. But it was nowhere to be found. So I opened a new one, and I read through the passages I often share and I began to mark it up to read. It brought me back to a comment a friend had made years ago, that a memoir is a three-part process, beginning with living a story, then writing that story, and then seeing how people respond to that story. Sometimes I forget how grateful I am for that third part. But Sunday morning was a sweet reminder that God has changed my life through the gift of our daughter, and that God can use that transformation not just to bless me but to bless others as well.

David Anderson, the rector of St. Luke’s, wrote a blog post in response to my talk. He wrote:

…at some point the false identity becomes too much to bear. We realize it’s pitiful and futile and joyless to live behind that mask a day longer. For Becker, that moment came when they placed into her arms a little girl who broke her heart because she was never, ever going to be able to do enough. But that heartbreak broke her through, into the truth, not only about Penny but about herself.

“That heartbreak broke her through.” And I couldn’t be more grateful, for God has pieced my heart back together into one that experiences far more joy and love and hope and peace than ever before.

**On a somewhat related note, the Kindle version of A Good and Perfect Gift is on sale, this week only, for $1.99.

About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).


  1. how agonizingly beautiful- broken me through- that through our weaknesses the excellency of God might shine

  2. Anna Wallis says:

    Beautiful. God has changed me too, through the adoption of our daughter who happens to have an extra chromosome too!

  3. It IS so encouraging when others “get us”, isn’t it? I will never forget reading your book while in Serbia adopting Bogdan. It resonated SO much with me & I was so grateful for the opportunity to read it in quiet and savor every moment. Thank you for writing it!

  4. The Rector’s comment is a wonderful testimony to the blessings you bring through your writing and speaking, AJ. I totally get why you have chosen to back off the speaking engagements (believe me, I’d rather be home than just about anywhere else), but I am also glad you were there for him and his congregation.

  5. This post sounds a lot like what is happening in the life of another author I know. Rod Dreher recently wrote a book about his sister’s death at 42 from lung cancer which has a lot of fascinating themes about home and what a good life is and forgiveness. He is now receiving that “third stage” where he is being blessed by the stories of people whose lives have changed because of the book. Sometimes he shares the stories on his blog.