Book Excerpt from Grace Anna Sings: A Story of Hope through a Little Girl with a Big Voice by Angela Ray Rodgers & Grace Anna
Unexpected events in life often shape the people we become. How we react to those events can help others. Grace Anna’s video gave our family the opportunity to bring awareness—not only to how amazing she was, but to her genetic disorder and the lives of children with severe health issues.
With all her health problems, you would never know Grace Anna wrestled with pain. When she was around people, the energy between them seemed to alleviate her pain. She fed off their joy. Grace Anna’s story pulled our community together with love.
I had always thought it was a little town with nothing to offer, but I was proven wrong. Our town brimmed with the most important thing it could have: amazing people. People who went to the ends of the earth to help our little girl and our family. I felt so blessed to be a part of our community.
It was time for my yearly exam, and I was looking forward to it.
Sounds kind of crazy, but every time I went to my yearly exam, I could allow Grace Anna to minister to a doctor that suggested we abort her. My dad traveled with me in case I needed someone to help with Grace Anna.
The doctor had not given us much hope when I was pregnant, and when he suggested an abortion, it broke my heart. I had always loved him as a doctor. He delivered Isaiah, and I trusted him completely when it came to delivering babies. I was shocked he offered abortions. I would have never guessed it.
After my exam, I had my usual conversation about Grace Anna.
“How is she doing?” he asked.
“Really well. I guess you’ve heard about her big song,” I replied, hoping he had.
“Yes, I have.”
Grace Anna chimed in. “I can sing. I am a good singer.”
He grinned at her. I could tell he was enthralled by her. I wondered if he thought about what he suggested I do when I was pregnant. Did he regret saying it? Did it even cross his mind?
As he walked me to the nurse’s station to check out, one of the nurses complimented her singing. Then before I knew it, Grace Anna belted out one of her signature songs.
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.”
The staff stood up from their desks and moved to a tight circle around her. It was as if her singing hypnotized them. No other sound was heard in the office. Thirty or more people stood listening to her give her testimony, including the doctor that wanted to abort her. Tears streaming down the people’s faces showered my spirit.
“Oh God, I know this is you. Thank you,” I whispered.
Once she finished, an eruption of clapping overtook the office, and my dad came running to the door. He knew what it was. He knew once again her innocent spirit had captured peoples’ hearts. I hoped in my spirit it touched my doctor. I couldn’t see how it wouldn’t.
Now hopefully when he spoke to a woman with a less than ideal pregnancy, Grace Anna would enter his mind and he would think twice about offering an abortion. Maybe he would see that every life has a divine purpose and deserves a chance.
As we made our way to the exit, I looked at my doctor and smiled. I wanted to tell him to wake up, but I realized God already showed him.
After that visit, I understood the impact of her story. I saw firsthand how people reacted to her in a big way. The charisma she embodied had the power to change the hearts and minds of people.
Used by permission from BroadStreet Publishing
Grace Anna Rodgers entered many hearts at three years old when her performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” went viral. With her sweet spirit and happy personality, she inspires others to live a joyful and happy life through her own journey, and she shares her story and songs across various social media platforms. Her mom, Angela Ray Rodgers, is an advocate for people with disabilities and the author of Grace Anna Sings. She serves on the HART Supported Living Grant Program Council and is an Arc of Kentucky Advocate in Action. Angela is married to her husband, Jeff, and has two amazing children, Isaiah and Grace Anna.
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