This year of Grace looks nothing like I thought it would. I thought I’d be shoulder deep in God teaching me to have grace, to extend compassion. And He has, but what amazes me is that in these last six months, is He has shown me more His grace for me.
It is something that continues to blow me away.
In His showing and overwhelming me with His grace for me, I’m learning how to show grace to others. It’s still not easy. Honestly, it may never be. I believe that if it were easy He’d have nothing left to teach me, and there is a chance I’d take grace for granted.
As I look back over these six months I see the threads of grace that bind each moment together.
I’m realizing that this grace learning won’t be finished when the clock strikes 2012. He is just barely scratching the surface of how deep grace goes.
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Yesterday wasn’t a good day.
A series of errors on my part that shaped my mood and my entire day. The kind of day that makes me think I my phone case should consist of a couple layers of bubble wrap.
Yes. That happened.
Even though my day was bad and my attitude was worse, Shawn and I (especially me) saw grace throughout that whole day.
His grace toward me in a situation in which I tell him to yell at me because I deserved it. Grace from God in the absence of a large financial transaction we were expecting to make. Grace in simple things like buying two bags of cookies for cheesecake crust instead of just one, and needing the second bag after you realize you forgot to put sugar in your cheesecake and the crust plops into the batter you’re attempting to pour back into the mixing bowl.
Grace comes in many different shapes.
Like remembering to remove the sharp cutting strip off the plastic wrap box, in which your dogs will find when raiding the bag of recycling you left on the floor.
Shawn’s encouragement to me throughout the day yesterday was, everything worked out.
I laid in bed last night – and even this morning – thinking about what the day was like, and how God wove grace throughout every circumstance. I know things could have been a lot worse.
He loves giving me gifts. Surprises in all different forms. This husband of mine who doesn’t care if he gets gifts himself loves lavishing on me.
He only wants the best for me. My claims that I’m fine with a Kindle are met with but you should have an iPad. My declarations that I could have spent a lot of money at a particular store that had a lot of clothes I liked are followed up with, then lets go.
He desires for me to be happy. To have the things I desire.
I forget that God desires the same for me. In these gray seasons of waiting for answered questions I’m straining to remember that He is equipping, teaching, molding
us me into the person I need to be in the future.
This long road is not an uneventful one. Lessons have been learned. Hearts have been changed. Patience is slowly learned, and when it’s waning I cry out to be taught more, with an extra helping of trust as well.
While I weary often and dig my heels in while trying to race ahead there are events I need to experience now in these gray times. He has so much for me now.
I sit and I think. I offer whispered prayers upward. I cogitate every angle. I ask for signs, believing that asking isn’t wrong and you must ask to receive.
I stare at the scale, the balance of what is and what could be. I search my heart to discover if I’m hearing His voice or my own selfish one.
It’s a difficult task, searching for the needle in the haystack of thoughts running through my mind.
In a circumstance that theoretically has no right or wrong answer, how do you make a decision?
In the waiting for an answer I find peace as my heart feels pulled in directions I’m not sure it’s supposed to go.
With daily (every breath) I lift these prayers Heavenward. I remind myself to trust. To remember that gray seasons have just as much depth and meaning as black and white ones.
Shawn and I were watching a TV show earlier this week in which a man who was in prison for killing a man was up for parole. The wife & daughter of the victim were at the hearing bent on doing anything to prevent the prisoner from getting released.
I sat watching the show unfold and began to wonder, what does grace look like in this situation? I believe in second chances. I want to live my life as a person of the second chance. But what does second chance living look like in this situation?
Could I offer grace? To a man who murdered my father, brother, mother, husband, best friend.
What about someone who merely betrayed someone close to me?
In truth I don’t know. I could say yes, but the truth would only come out if I was forced into a situation like the one in the TV show.
The fact of the matter is, is that I’m supposed to. If I’m going to live my life as a reflection of Christ I must forgive, and I must offer grace.
Jesus didn’t simply forgive those who were prideful, told small lies and stole things. He died for the soul of every murderer on death row too.
To offer grace & forgiveness does not mean that consequences shouldn’t be rendered. It simply means that we look at others as Christ looks at them. It means taking off hatred, slander, and oppression.
As the story unfolded the man who had killed was put in a position to either kill the victim’s wife and daughter or be killed himself. The man, who lived daily with his sin & sought redemption, chose the greater good and refused to kill them. He chose to protect them. The show ended with the daughter telling a police officer to give the man who killed her father a message. “I will be at his next parole hearing. I will be there to support him.”
Granted this was just a script written by writers for the enjoyment of the viewers, but there is a greater message here. The daughter could have continued to hold a grudge against him. She could have continued to live under the weight of unforgiveness. Instead, she chose grace.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.