Recently I experienced a situation that was handled with guilt instead of grace.
Ugly, dank, stinky guilt.
And it ripped me to the core.
As I fumbled through my feelings, trying to make sense of my ever-passionate emotions, I asked myself: what is the flip-side, the "nice" twin of guilt? Without hesitation I knew in my gut - it had to be grace.
It forgives, forgets, covers all traces of failure; it inspires, gives hope, and reflects love.
I don't know about you, but I have this lofty concept of grace, almost an airy, dream-like attribute I've bestowed it, as if grace means resting my head on butterfly-covered down pillows and smiling at everyone all the time. It's like kindness on steroids, and I haven't the slightest clue about how to do it in my own strength. You see, I get tired and irritable, and bitey and impatient, and then I say things I want to rewind.
But I am really good at encouraging others to give themselves grace.
Don't be so hard on yourself, you are doing the best you can. Give yourself grace.
She's two and you are tired, we've all been there. Give yourself grace.
He knows you love him, don't beat yourself up. Give yourself grace.
Ironically, when it comes to swallowing this grace pill, I'm the worst at taking my own medicine. Just ask my husband who reminds me weekly, sometimes daily, that I'm my own worst enemy. Whether it's relationships, parenting, trying a new recipe, working with a client, or writing an article, I evaluate my every move, critiquing and searching for improvements. I want to give myself grace but I have no idea what that looks like.
Please tell me you have some idea of what I'm saying. Perhaps you are there too?
I so badly want to know grace so I can live grace, and of this I am sure: to know grace, I have to study my Savior. I have to jump in with both feet, and soak up everything I can on how he lived; how he shared grace with others. Really, apart from Him, grace is self-produced and manufactured and will eventually wear off.
So I'm on a mission of sorts.
To get my hands on every bible verse, book, quote, story and song about grace. To read, listen, recite, memorize and learn as much as I can about this beautiful, far-off idea of the word synonymous with goodwill and favor. Even now, I have goosebumps in anticipation for meeting God's Spirit at what he does best ~ grace!
As Julia Child says, "Everything is better with butter," And if that's the case, everything must be better with grace.
Care to accompany me on this grace awakening? I can't promise I won't get passionate and excited and repeat myself at times. There may be days you open your computer to a whole lotta rambling about discovering a facet of God's grace in an epic way. This girl can get fired up. So there. You've had your fair warning.
If you are farther along in this grace journey, help a sister out and share some wisdom- some powerful verses that hit the aha button for you, or a song that touched your soul, or a book that made grace come alive.
I'm finding this a good place to start...
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8