Ugh. The feels are so real lately (que “bad day” by Daniel Powter) . But that makes for a great post, amirite?
I recently posted a quote about grace and it has been so heavy on my heart.
“The biggest truth about grace is that no matter what you have done, your life is not irredeemable. It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone, how many lies you’ve built up, how many bridges you’ve burned. Grace can meet you there…”
Wow. So beautiful. In fact, I can’t think of anything more beautiful.
undeserved, unmerited, unearned, mysterious, beautiful grace
I’ve submerged my life in a christian journey (aka, being saved) for about 5 years now. I always thought that I understood grace; Jesus came and died so that I can have life and have it more abundantly (John 10), right? Yes… That is right.
But I never truly understood grace until I needed it for myself. Kind of like how you can understand the idea of being saved, but until you have that real revelation//encounter with God, it is only an idea that may even seem somewhat out of reach.
So back to grace… Of course I’ve noticed God’s grace in my everyday life; He provides me the ability to do my job, to write, to push my body past it’s limits, to eat well, to be kind and patient, etc. I’ve found his grace in everything that I have, my finances, my friendships, even down to my dogs. Everything that I am is because of God’s beautiful grace.
That’s all well and good when things are on the up, or even on a slight decline. But what about when things are really down? Or what about when you mess up, really, really bad? When the people who you thought would be in your life forever turn their backs and you can’t be sure if it’s your fault or theirs? What about when you sin really bad? What about when you can’t stop? What about when you know better? What about when you are being judged, talked about and misunderstood? What about when you lose everything and you find yourself at rock bottom? The thoughts inevitably start pouring in;
You messed up therefore you can never have the life you had back.
You deserve what’s coming for you.
You can never be this and/or you can never have that.
You don’t deserve love.
or my favorite: Your life will be one issue after another.
Sometimes I’m really guilty of letting those thoughts literally consume me. Like yesterday; somehow I peeled myself out of bed, somehow got dressed, somehow drove to work and somehow managed to stare at my computer for 45 minutes before I just had to come home. I then pathetically laid in my bed for 9+ hours. I cried off and on. I screamed into my pillow. I refused to eat and I refused to do anything that I knew would make me feel better. I threw myself one big pitty party. I begged God to fix my mess with hot tears streaming down my cheeks. Have you ever been there? I don’t wish it upon you if you haven’t.
What gets me about the people who lead me to believe those above negative thoughts about myself is that they too are christians. Self righteous ones at that. The problem with self righteous christians is that they unfortunately haven’t been forced to need God’s true grace. The kind where you’re screaming into your pillow on a Tuesday afternoon when you should be at work. They haven’t messed up enough to taste sweet grace or redemption. I know, because I used to be one of them. Walking around like I had it all together.
But to be honest, I’m a hot mess. I mess up more being a christian than I did before I knew a single scripture. Please don’t mistake me, I love Jesus with all of my heart and I would never use scripture to justify my sins, but I can honestly say that until you are in dire need of grace you cannot truly understand it’s magnitude. The best, most relatable people are those who have been through crap. Not those who pretend to know where you’re at. I crave raw, authentic, messy, ugly people who have so much crap that they are carrying around that they can’t think straight most days. Wanna know why? Because that’s me, right now. And some days I need nothing more than someone to grab my face and tell me that everything is going to be okay.
I deserve to be laying in my bed on a Tuesday afternoon crying. I deserve that everyday, all day. There’s a lot of people who would love nothing more than for me to stay there, stuck. But that is not me. That is not who I am. That’s not the life that God has planned for me. And if you think you deserve to be there too, you’re dead wrong. I let myself feel that for one day and by God’s grace I got back up the next day and continued living. By God’s grace I have been forgiven. By God’s grace I have been and am being loved on. By God’s grace someone sent me a really beautiful message just when I was about to delete my blog. By God’s grace I’ve managed to give myself a platform in the middle of the most difficult season of my life where I am gossiped about, humiliated and extremely vulnerable just to help someone (anyone) to know that they aren’t alone. By God’s beautiful grace, my muddy brain and heavy heart somehow manage to continue on another day and experience joy and love and progress.
Are you broken? Over it? Full of fear, anxiety, depression, regret, shame or all of the above? Guess what… God’s grace can and will meet you there. And when it does, it will be so beautiful and recognizable. You won’t be able to miss it. In fact, you’ll cry. Pick yourself up, no matter how far down you think that you are. You have lots of beautiful life, opportunity, love and grace ahead of you. Don’t you dare think for a second that you have the power to mess up God’s plan in your life. Every single bible character was a hot mess before/during/sometimes after God used them in HUGE, beautiful ways. Your heart and soul is far too precious to you and God for you to give up now or let those negative, judgmental thoughts consume you.
Maybe you’re reading this and you can’t relate. Maybe you’ve never experienced a storm big enough to force you down humbly onto your knees. Or maybe you have and you’ve just forgotten about the sweet grace that you received during that time. If that’s you, please know that you too someday soon will be in dire need of God’s grace. Whether you like it or not, plan for it or not, mess up or not. You will need it. And you’ll be so much stronger and better of a soul once you’ve received it. But don’t you dare pass judgement on someone who needs grace right now just because you don’t. You will so regret not grabbing that person’s face and telling them that everything is going to be okay, no matter how big their mess.
With much love & a heavy heart,