Grace even for me

A couple days ago a good friend and mentor reminded me  I was the type of person to not only hand out grace but to also remind people of God’s grace over their faults and sins.  She told me this as I was talking to her about my own shame and guilt and that I was finding it hard to believe in God’s forgiveness.  As the conversation continued she gently reminded me that God’s grace that I so freely talk to others about is also the same grace that covers me.  It wasn’t God that wasn’t able to forgive me, I was finding it hard to forgive myself.

I will admit that I struggle with this.  I know in my heart that God loves me unconditionally and I know his forgiveness extends to all areas of my life.  If you read my last blog I talk about this very thing.  I’ve come to realize that I struggle more with believing in God’s grace over me when people in my life don’t offer the same grace.  I link what humans give out with what God gives out.  I am sad to say I put God in the same category as people.  If they are angry at me, then God must be angry at me.  If they love me little, God must love me little. If they can’t forgive me, then God must not forgive me.  I thought I had conquered this need for human approval, but I guess I still have a little work to do. 🙂   The biggest work is to separate God’s love and grace from the love and grace of people.

Most people in my life can tell you that I am all about grace.  I can never stay angry with someone and that I forgive quite easily.  Even those that have hurt me deeply, I can always find the soft spot in my heart that allows me to forgive and move on.  I try and find the motive behind the hurt and see why they did what they did.  Sometimes the answers are simple and I know they didn’t mean to and sometimes it’s not an answer I like, but yet I forgive and move on.  I have to admit sometimes it makes me angry that I am so forgiving because it sometimes allows people to continue to hurt me, but then I am reminded of the fact that my life is meant to reflect Jesus and I forgive anyway.

Forgiveness for myself?  Most of the time that is easy, but as of late with a couple things that have happened with the way others have treated me it has become harder.  But it is just a new journey and one I am willing to face and conquer.  The same way I look to find the reasons that people do the things they do, is the same way I need to approach myself.  Sometimes the answers will be simple and I can just admit I did wrong, but other times the answers will be ones I don’t like and I will have to face myself and deal with it. But to not forgive myself and believe in God’s forgiveness when I model this to others makes me hypocritical and this is not how I want to be.

My friend, Pablo put up a blog video a couple days ago that reminded me of what my friend/mentor was talking about the other day that God loves me on my worst day.  In all of my shame, my sin, my lack of faith and belief….He loves me and forgives me

What I need to work on now is to not to  confuse His grace with how people, friends or enemies model grace.  God’s grace is always present and always free.  The sinner in me finds this hard to believe, but the spirit of God in me gives me the faith to believe.

This will be my prayer for the next few days or weeks (however long it takes!):

Father, please forgive me for my lack of faith in believing that even on my worst day You still love me and that Your grace covers me even before I ask it of you.  Forgive me that I put you in the same category as humans and link Your love with theirs and Your forgiveness with theirs.  Help me to continue to have a forgiving spirit towards others and to find grace over those that hurt me.  Let me always be someone that others can find the grace that you so freely offer.  

Letter to self

Hey you,

Yes, you hiding from this letter.

I need to tell you something.  Don’t hide.  All your life you have felt like you needed to hide.  Hide the abuse.  Hide the need to feel loved.  Hide from your true self by finding useless “love’ from others.  Hide from your out of control feeling by desperately fighting to be in control.   You will hide behind legalism, thinking if you are a really good girl, someone will love you.

You will work so hard at hiding from what your mother had become that you will end up unmarried and pregnant and then you will hide that pain by marrying the father, a man you don’t love because you are scared of being classified as “just like her”.   You will hide in an affair at the end of your marriage, once again searching for love.

What you don’t know is you are hiding from the one thing that can set all that free!   Don’t hide from the one true thing that can soothe your broken spirit.  Broken by the pain of neglect and abuse.   God’s love is the balm and you just have to come out of hiding long enough to let Him apply it.

You will grow older and find Him and begin to apply this truth, but you will make mistakes time and time again.  You will swear to hide your broken heart behind big walls.  You will try and hide behind your looks, thinking this is what makes you desirable.  But what makes you desirable is your heart.  The one God gave you.  A heart big enough to love fiercely, deeply and full of forgiveness.  You ARE beautiful inside and out.  God doesn’t make anything less.  Believe it.  Need His reassurance.  Play the victim of brokenness with Him, he wants to be your Savior.

Don’t hide, baby.  There is so much life to be enjoyed.  So much to learn in the light.

I’ll be here with you every step of the way.  And so will the God of the universe, who loves you wholly and without reservations!

Love, Me

Risk

This picture reminds me that I’m a risk taker. I try and say that I’m not, but deep down I know I am. I take a lot of risks in a lot of different areas. Just over a month ago I took one, well really, I took a giant leap off of a tall cliff. On the way down the wind felt good and I felt like I was flying but then I hit the ground and laid there bruised and a little broken.

Today looking at this picture I reflect on my “pilot” the man strapped to my back that did all the work. The only part I had was to take the risk of actually jumping out the door, putting my faith in my pilot. The rush was exhilarating, profound, breathtaking (literally! it’s really cold at 14,000 ft.!) and watching the world beneath me will forever be a memory I carry with me. This is God to me. My pilot strapped to my life. With Him I can take risks (faith) and enjoy the ride as He guides. Sadly, I left Him at the top of the cliff the last time I leapt and although the ride down was exhilarating, profound and breathtaking…the landing was not. Suddenly the world spun before my eyes and came up to meet me. I didn’t know how to work the parachute.

I will continue to take risks. I’m not going to back away from something in fear of what could happen! I’m going to step out in faith, giving my all, in hopes of exhilarating, profound and breathtaking goodness. The difference is this time I’ll make sure I don’t do it alone, but with the God who loves me and will safely see me to the ground.

Need

I’m in a place of need right now.  This is hard for me to admit.  A large part of me believes this isn’t spiritual, that it’s selfish.  But in my case it’s the truth.

I need to be poured into.  I need someone to walk beside me daily and tell me how to take each step.  Everyday I pour into people trying to please them or make their lives better.  I give to work, to work people, to friends…..   And I am empty.  I’m not getting filled up.

It’s in my nature to be there for people, especially hurting people.  To make them feel loved, valued, wanted.  It’s a good spirit to have, but if you are not getting it back it leaves you dry and hurting.

I prayed today for God to minister to me.  To minister to my emptiness and pain.  Praying also for a family, a sense of community that allows my soul to be filled so that I can continue to fill up others.

Realization

In the last couple of days I have come to the full realization of  sin and the pain it brings.  Nothing prepared me for the heart wrenching pain that would come when I fully admitted my sin.

My brain knew  what I had done was wrong, but it hadn’t become a heart thing yet.  It took another hurt from someone  that finally dropped me to my knees in repentance.  The pain of the hurt and the pain of the full realization of what I had done was almost more than I could bare.

There I was in my bedroom crying out the ugliness of my sin, my selfishness, more than a month later.  It’s sad it took me getting hurt to finally realize my part in the sin.  I was choosing to hide in me being done wrong and in my forgiveness to the other person for the hurt.  All the while not getting to the root of what I had done.

I’ve gotten hurt so bad at times and some of those bad times is because I stepped out of the will of  God.  Yes, I know I shouldn’t haven’t been treated the way I did in some of these times, but when we make sinful choices we must be willing to take the pain that comes.

God will redeem my sin.  It’s his love of me that makes it a fact.  My heart is a little lighter now.  The pain is still there, but it’s a little more tolerable.

Nearness

I have no words of deep to say

It’s only the surface that sees the waves

Prayers skim above the depth of my need

Just as the sun reflected on the surface doesn’t reach the darkness of the deep

So my heart doesn’t reach the nearness of you

 

 

The Charmed Life

I decided today to live in a grace mentality and not a victim mentality.  It took me just a little less than a week to get there.  Not bad coming from the girl that usually likes to linger in pain.

It’s hard being the victim of a hurt caused by someone else.  Rejection is one of the hardest hits.  But I want to believe that one wrong isn’t the answer to who I am.  I am not a victim unless I choose to play the role.  I had a part in the play that caused the hurt and I can let the curtain fall or I can continue to replay the scenes over and over again.

I chose grace.  I chose to give it out despite if I wasn’t in the wrong.  I chose to give it to someone that has been hurt, because I KNOW how it feels.  And my heart softens because causing pain is sometimes reflected in our actions with others even we don’t mean too or set out to.  Hurt people, hurt people sometimes.  I also chose to receive grace into my mistake too.  This is probably hardest for me.  I am always very hard on myself.  Mistakes are meant to teach us what to do better next time.  I’ll try and learn from that.

I’m realizing that I have a soft heart.  Sometimes this really ticks me off.  I want to stay angry.  I want to stay depressed, down on myself and believing that I matter to no one.  That no one is worth time or effort.   But my heart, the one that God gave me isn’t shaped that way.  I’ll stay angry for awhile, but then I will feel your pain and hurt with you and feel the grace that covers us all.

That’s the charmed life.

 

Seeing through a blanket

This feeling isn’t new

It covers the back of my eyes with it’s blanket

I can see the world

But I can’t see the truth

It’s been a very telling weekend for me.  I have found some strengths and then there has been the weakness.  I don’t like the weakness, it makes me angry with myself.  I am stronger than this.  I am not the same woman I was a year ago.  But, I deal with the same feelings I did a year ago.  The feelings of never being enough.  The feeling of thinking that it will never be me someone chooses.  This is the place the anger comes in.  I AM enough.  Whether someone chooses me or not.  How dare I listen to the lies.  But I do and I find myself starting to cry.  Because no matter how much I play it in my head there is this one thing that reminds me I am not the sweet, innocent and clean woman that dreams are made of.   I carry inside me something that reminds me of this daily.  I am broken and scarred from mistakes of the past.  And then anger comes again and the crying stops and I resolve to build higher walls.

This is my strength….building walls.

Twisted

Life is so twisted up.  The words of my mind go round and round, playing hide and seek.  I see them.  I feel them.  And then they go and hide and for a minute I’m sure of who I am.  Then they come back and I get all twisted up again and want to get them out of my head and onto paper.  But they are so twisted up, I don’t know how to say it and then they hide again.  I keep the post page of the blog up just in case they come back out to play.

How does the jumble of words that form thoughts make any sense anyway, except to me.  Love me, don’t love me.  Accept me, tell me I should be better.  Be gentle with me, be angry with me.  Feel joy having someone next to me, but silently cry when he goes to the bathroom because I don’t believe joy is mine to feel.  Believe in myself, but be unsure of myself.  Dream of writing a book, but don’t pick up a pen.

Twisted.  Which end is up anyway.

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