Friday, September 25, 2015
The Shape of Grace
In the very heart of serving I became acutely, poignantly aware of the way brokenness has shaped my own story. What I realize is that the doubt and fear I struggle with is the fallout from the way darkness and loss have written on me. I am grateful for reminders of how far God's love has brought me. But the remembering can be so real that I forget I'm not that same girl anymore. That I don't live in that same place anymore.
This week I have been incredibly thankful for my loves who ground me. The man who holds me--when he doesn't quite understand what I'm feeling his arms around me make the feelings less potent. The boys who hang on me--their humor and energy and blatant need of me have the power to pull me out of the past, bringing me back to the present. And my littlest one, who so much desires for me to be a part of his world, who longs to be a part of mine--when the enemy feeds me lies, he reminds me of my worth as a human being.
It's hard to write these things. People often believe and expect the ministers God has placed in their midst to be somewhat inhuman, immune to the heartaches and trials that everyone has to endure. Truth is, every person regardless of status or position is still a member of the human family. We all have our faults and imperfections. We are all dusty from the ground we were made from. I'm not going to pretend it isn't so. When Spirit fills me to speak words of Grace to an aching soul, my soul is aching too, yearning for a word spoken to me.
This week I've come away from serving the Body to simply being part of the Body. I have been listening so intently for that Word coming to my own unfinished self. Yesterday my littlest boy asked me to play with him. I suggested coloring. We pulled out markers and colored pencils and got to work. With color fluid beneath my fingers, taking shape upon paper, God began speaking to my heart.
The darkness of our lives doesn't have to break us.
What I see is that it is the very darkness I thought would destroy me is the darkness that gave shape to God's Grace in my life. His Story unfolding within me. I want it to be pretty. So often it's not. But it is hauntingly beautiful. For every dark moment, every memory that penetrates my present, there has always been, and always will be, Grace that fills in the gaps of my need. I'm afraid of my insufficiency. But every time, EVERY time, God's Goodness has met me in the middle of my need, drawing me to safety, showing me Salvation. Every time.
I want to say I'm no longer tender. But I am. I feel the ache. I want to say I'm feeling someone else's pain. But I'm not. The ache is my own. God doesn't ever have a problem with that no matter how much I do have a problem with it. I am choosing to walk through this day holding His Hand, trusting that His Hand is at work making this story, my story, His Story within me, beautiful.
And someday I will see the full picture of Grace in my life.
And I will rejoice in what I see.