I have so enjoyed following chattingatthesky’s 31 Days of Grace. Not only does she write beautifully, but she conveys truth in a healing way. I highly encourage you to make yourself your favorite cup of tea, visit her blog, start reading at day 1 and finish at day 31. Make sure you grab a journal, because she will inspire you!
Over the past six years, grace has taken root in my life and my heart. The year before my husband and I got married, we went through a heartbreaking church experience, where we were excommunicated (yes, this still happens) for following God’s plan for our life instead of the pastor’s plan or the elder’s plan. We learned at a very young age, that following God’s leading and path can sometimes be a painful road. It was at this point that we began learning how important the message of grace is and how few Christians and even churches are living and sharing this message.
My definition of grace: embracing humanity.
We are all human: It is a startling thought to realize that we are all human, we all hurt, we all cry, we all do inconsiderate things, and we all crave love and acceptance. I remember being about fifteen years old when this truth really sunk in for me. I had just finished speaking a harsh word to my mother and I was sitting in my bedroom, drowning in self-righteousness. But then, God spoke. He got through all of my pride and anger and bitterness and said, “your parents have feelings too, just like you.” I know this sounds juvenile, but I still think back to this moment. I was ashamed that I had treated my mom with so little love and respect, not taking into account that her feelings were capable of being hurt just as easily as mine were. I know this lack of regard and consideration can be true in marriages as well. I was reading a book on marriage last week and the author said something along the lines of, “we tend to treat our friends better than we treat our spouse.” How true this can be. The person we should treasure and love the most, becomes the person that bears the brunt of our humanity.
Putting yourself in other’s shoes: When someone doesn’t measure up to my expectations or says something that hurts my feelings, I try to remind myself to step into their shoes. What is going on in their life? What are they struggling with? What were they trying to say, that just came out wrong? I am a textbook version of a Type A personality. Everything has its place, procedure, and exact timeframe. The funny thing is, life doesn’t work that way. At all. I have had to pray for grace and flexibility (grace’s partner in crime) on a day by day basis. I am definitely not perfect in this, but I crave this. Especially recently, with the work load that Caleb and I have been under, grace is like ointment to my soul. I know I am not meeting a lot of people’s expectations right now, so when they extend graciousness towards me, I receive a taste of what God’s grace feels like.
Embracing God’s grace: God’s love for us reaches past our humanity. Past our pride, our hurt, our addictions, our sin, our bitterness, our afflictions, and our past. He loves us. There is a song that is called, "How He Loves Us" It shares a beautiful portrayal of God’s heart towards His children.
He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy. When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are, and how great Your affections are for me. And oh, how He loves us so, Oh how He loves us, How He loves us all. We are His portion and He is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes, if grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss, and my heart turns violently inside of my chest, I don’t have time to maintain these regrets, When I think about, the way…that He loves us…
At times, music speaks to me more than words speak to me. I am going to leave you with two songs to listen to...let their messages bless your hearts. I pray that you experience God's grace in a magnificent way today and accept it as His precious gift to humanity.