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Discovering a Bigger Dream

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Discovering a Bigger Dream

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by Sharyn Kopf—Cedarville, Ohio

May 14, 2009

After making a name for herself with her best-selling novels, several of which have been made into TV movies, author and coomunications studies/broadcasting graduate Donna VanLiere '89 finally sat down and wrote her memoir.

In the book Finding Grace, VanLiere chronicles her journey through a difficult life toward a deeper understanding of grace. Having been sexually molested as a child, years of shame clouded her ability to see what the Lord might have in store. Of particular note are her struggles with infertility. Yet, as she began to recognize God’s grace in her life, He gradually led her and her husband, Troy, toward adoption.

“I came to a point where I no longer viewed adoption as our Plan B or a last-ditch effort to have children,” she says. “From that moment on, I never saw it as second-rate or that I was somehow less of a woman because I couldn’t carry children. I saw it then as I see it today … as my destiny of grace.”

The memoir continues to garner widespread acclaim, including positive reviews from BellaOnline: The Voice of Women, Booklist magazine, and New York Times best-selling author Debbie Macomber, who called it “ … heartfelt and … well, just plain wonderful.”

“It took me a lot of years to really discover what grace is,” VanLiere says. “This book is a journey for anyone who has experienced broken or unfulfilled dreams.”

For VanLiere, knowing people are encouraged and lives are changed by reading her story is reward enough. “I know from experience,” she says, “that God has a bigger dream for you.”

VanLiere credits her time at Cedarville as being part of her discovery of grace. Her professors, in particular, had an influence — teaching VanLiere more than just broadcasting or theatre, but also exemplifying character and integrity with passion, excellence and grace.

“Donna may call her book a memoir,” says Cedarville University President Dr. Bill Brown, “but it is really a lantern that will light the way for many to find grace, just as she did.”

A Medina, Ohio, native, VanLiere now lives in Franklin, Tenn., with her husband and their three children — Gracie and Kate, who came to them from China, and David, from Guatemala.

Finding Grace is available at all major bookstores, through online sites, and on VanLiere’s website,