I’ve joked on Twitter that God is already trying to work in me my One Word: Grace. But it really isn’t joking, because He is already moving and has been for the past few weeks. Sending things my way. Reminding me in situations to exercise grace rather than impatience or anger or frustration. What an ideal time to start: Christmas.
It’s like He really wants me to learn the art of grace and He doesn’t need to wait for the count down at midnight.
Today this post from Catalyst’s blog was waiting for me in my Google Reader. He is speaking. He longs for me to be like Him. He is pouring out His grace on me so that I can learn to have grace.
My memory verse for January:
Colossians 3:12-13 (New Living Translation)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
My day yesterday was filled with Excel sheets, emails, phone calls, and chowing down on baked goods (it’s not even the holidays yet and we’ve had a stash of baked goods at work, I’m in trouble).
It’s also been full of contemplation. Sadness.
Something that Shawn and I were looking forward to and praying about if we should go, fell through. Door completely and utterly shut, locked and barricaded. We were set, but we’d waited too long in some arrangement making.
A trip that would have impacted us in many different ways, including the chance (that had me doing spins of excitement in my office chair till I got really dizzy) to meet a Twitter/Blog friend for the first time.
When Shawn shared the news of what was going on, or not going on for that matter my reply was, “Well maybe this was about us just obeying rather than going.” His – and probably the more correct scenario – “Or maybe we waited too long to obey.”
I’d sent an email to my boss today saying I didn’t need to take the time I’d requested off cause our plans got canceled. He replied that he was sorry to hear that. The thoughts that echoed in my mind were me too.
So on top of manipulating rows and rows of our customer’s inventory I’ve been wondering about this. Were we supposed to go. Were we supposed to board a giant metal tube with giant metal wings that would carry us to a place that would make big impacts? Did my pulling a Gideon on God and having Him answer my request (TWICE) and then not having the faith to actually believe it is what He wanted completely mess this up?
I’m trying to to wallow in the did I mess up part, but trying to rectify in my heart and mind what this all means. If I did mess up, that means confession and growth to move forward next time.
The truth is, I’ll never know what the correct scenario was. If it was simply about the obeying or if we waited to long to obey.
I’ve been saved for 18 1/2 years and fully believe that we are saved by grace alone, nothing else is required. However, I continue to believe the lie, that I must pay penance. I must suffer for my sin. I read in a book recently a phrase to the effect that forgiveness demands suffering.
I found myself relating.
I feel as though I must suffer in my repentance, in my being sorry. This affects not only my faith but realms outside of my Christian walk. If Shawn and I have an argument my brain switches to I messed up I deserve for him to be upset with me. If I make a mistake at work and get in trouble I switch into I deserve the retribution that is spoken, I should have known better.
………. ….and I wallow there.
It affects my day and my relationships.
I’ll be honest….a lot of this comes from skeletons hidden in dark closets. Things that I have trouble getting over, or should I say maturing in.
I hold on to these insecurities, these lies because in a weird twisted way they make me feel better. I feel as though I’m making payment.
Even though I could never pay, and the debt is already paid.
How do we move past the lies?
As I mentioned in my review of Permission To Speak Freely yesterday I loved the book. The night I started reading it ended up being a difficult night sleep-wise. I got only about three hours of sleep total. As I laid there tossed from my left to my right to my stomach and complete 360’s my mind wandered to fears. Fears I have. Fears that don’t necessarily keep me up at night but haunt the crevices of my mind.
I wandered down stairs and got my journal. I wrote out these fears. I needed to put them down on yellowish paper with black/blue ink. They haunt me. I don’t know how to escape them. Some of them are bigger than others. All of them are real. They speak to my life right now.
I wrote in Monday’s post that after some circumstances that I walked in fear over, that God gave me courage. However, if I’m going to be honest those circumstances which I haven’t left still bring out tremendous fear. Even just Sunday night conversations with Shawn brought my fears to the brim.
The problem with fear, is we know reality. There have been many times that I’ve had to trust God. There was no other option. Three weeks before Shawn and I got married I got laid off from my job. Not usually the way a new couple plans to start their life together. We spent the first three months of our marriage having to trust God to provide. It wasn’t easy. I remember crying on his shoulder because I couldn’t find a job, and should we go get food from our church’s Manna Ministry. Despite our own fears God provide. We paid our bills, met our rent on time, and at times had money left over.
I wonder where the disconnect happens. When we have evidences of God’s faithfulness, yet we still choose to live in fear. Fear that we won’t be able to pay our bills, fear that God is asking us to do the unthinkable, fear that we will never be healed. The list goes on and on and on.
Your turn, confession. I want this place (PrudyChick.com) to be a place that we can be open with one another. I want you to feel free to speak freely without fear of being judged by me or other readers. Today I want you to share your fears. I’m not talking ones like being afraid of spiders or snakes or the dark, but the ones that haunt you and don’t relent.
Also don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Anne Jackson’s book Permission To Speak Freely here.
Yesterday was the first day in four months that I wore a normal shoe without arch supports in my left shoe or an orthodic boot.
I’ve learned a few things about walking in the last few months.
Sometimes, it takes patience.
Sometimes, it’s painful.
Sometimes, you need a little help.
In the past week and pretty much the last few months I keep turning over and over in my head not walking in fear. Conversations with Shawn, blog posts other people have posted. It keeps coming back like a little bouncy ball.
I’m learning that I’m not as acceptable to change as I thought I was. Maybe it’s the skeptic that has grown in me since marrying a pessimist. I obviously don’t want to walk in fear. We are commanded not to fear.
Fear is not only immobilizing but can be convoluted also. What we chalk up to “waiting on God” in many cases is fear. Fear to take a step into the unknown. Fear of leaving our comfort zone.
When we walk in fear we do not walk in joy or faith. We are relying on ourselves and our ability to discern a situation. We cannot grow when we walk in fear.
Learning to not walk in fear is part of our sanctification. That road is is not always easy, but it must be walked.
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.