In stark contrast to my entry from this morning I am going to talk about something positive grace.
According to dictionary.com there are 22 definitions of the word grace http://www.dictionary.com/browse/grace?s=t.
But the best definition of the word grace I have ever heard came from the husband of my best friend. I can’t remember the exact words, but basically he said it was an unwarranted, unearned gift from a superior.
Grace is what God extended to us all when He sent His son to die on a cross for our sins. Every thwap of the hammer was another one of my sins, and your sins being atoned for. Every drop of blood the proof of God’s love and grace towards us. There is nothing we did to earn this- in fact we have all done the opposite. So many times we don’t follow what our spirit prompts us to do. We try to do things in our own power and sometimes we even wonder if there is a God.
I don’t remember if I have talked about this or not, but I am a recent convert to Born-Again Christianity from Catholicism. I come from a VERY long line of Catholics, and a very long line of Catholic guilt. When I found the freedom that the cross gave us, when I found out what the empty tomb meant to us, it was like I heard the truth for the first time in my life. My ears were perked and my heart was changed.
But being a Christian is hard. Whether you believe it or not there is an enemy out there that wants you to doubt. Wants you to feel alone, wants to feed on your every hurt and insecurity making you believe that God doesn’t care, isn’t there, or worse doesn’t exist. But He does. This I do know. Even through all this pain, even through all this anxiety, through all this agony I face and all that my family is facing right now, I know that He is there because sometimes I feel him. It feels like a warm blanket has been wrapped around me, but there is nothing visibly there, sometimes it’s a thought that couldn’t have come from me. Sometimes it’s someone doing a pay-it-forward and paying for my order at Walmart and giving me an extra $20. Sometimes it’s what I call a “Godtervention”, when something happens that keeps something else from happening.
But back to grace. Grace has been bestowed on us, and we are supposed to bestow it on those around us. I used to be good at giving grace to others, but horrible at giving grace to myself. And now I find with all that’s going on I am not as good at giving grace to others, especially those in my family. I find myself short tempered, irritated, grumpy and resentful of them and things that I perceive as them doing things to irritate me. I am more likely to give strangers grace than I am the people I love the most.
I was never like that before, and that’s something that bothers me. That’s something I miss about the old me. It’s not that I let everyone walk all over me (ok I did) but I do wish I were better at extending grace to those closest to me like I used to be. I hope that when I find my way through to the other side of all of this, when I am finished with whatever trial this is that God has for me, that I will be a grace-giver. That I will be remembered as a woman filled with grace that spreads it to everyone around her. I want to give the light of Christ to those around me.
I have work to do. A lot of it. But I will get through this. The fact that I am able to say that today is amazing. Today was a hard day. I spent all day in panic mode, the way that I used to. I was buzzing, I was hyperventilating, I was shaking, my heart was racing. Valium was like a sugar pill and I wasn’t sure I would make it without having a heart attack. But by God’s grace I am still here, still breathing and feeling a bit calmer. The children went to bed with minimal effort, and the house is quiet except for the worship music and the sound of dogs running around.
Today was a hard day. Today was a bad day. But by grace I am still here, and by grace tomorrow is a new day. Let’s hope it’s better than today was, but if it isn’t I know who is walking beside me. I just hope I can remember that through the black clouds, because I would be lying if I said that I always remember He’s with me. I would be lying if I felt everyday like I was being bestowed grace. But tonight, I remember it, and I am thankful for it.