God's grace. I've been thinking about this lately. What is grace? I once wrote a novella in 2004 called "Souls of Grace." The main character's best friend was Grace Ann, but I meant it in a metaphoric tone of "grace." I even looked up the definition after singing "Amazing Grace" at church today. It says something about God's give of salvation. What is salvation then? Being saved, it says. I began to ponder about grace and my life, about others' lives.
I felt tears hit my eyes. Last year this week my life was turned upside down. Pretty much my own doing, but I spent almost the entire year in a very dark place sorting things out within myself. I actually almost thanked God that He put me through that for nearly a year before allowing me to feel alive again. I realized a lot about Julie, I was humbled, I found a backbone, I maybe understood a little about God's grace. We will always go through tough times in life because good things end and bad things end. I almost wondered why God gives ME grace. I thought, Wow, I'm pretty special! We just don't realize it so many times in our lives because it's so easy to focus on the bad things. My stepmother told me Satan is the one who doesn't want us happy. We all know this, but do we really think about it?
I kept thinking back to a few things around me that just inspires me as a person to ask questions. You know we lost our sorority sister, Lindsay at age 28, well, her husband wrote something about how he had been praying to God he would get closer to him and then a few weeks later his wife passed away... Now, he had no idea this is how God would work for him to get closer. I was paralyzed by this thought. I sure didn't want to pray for my walk with God because I didn't want bad things to happen. Do I walk on eggshells when I pray then? What is the real answer? I do know with Gabe that God already knew when he prayed that prayer that everything in his life would change. Even from writing his blogs, I believe Gabe has already changed lives, meaning Lindsay has changed lives, meaning that prayer he prayed has changed lives. I am in no way saying it all makes sense; however, I am saying God's grace is working when we don't even understand it.
Another thing on my mind following these things is that life can unravel at any minute. Well, I know personally I am a product of that... and a product of survival. I had this three person "perfect" family... and we lost Mom and our worlds crumbled and somehow I was back at college in one week and here we sit 11 years later and we built a new book of our lives. There is this family one of our churches (Nick and I go to Lakeside Baptist and The Heights Baptist) we are very close to, the McBrayer family. They are the most perfect people I have ever seen... all beautiful, smart, son in college goes to Baylor, 16 year old sportster, Amanda, the young girl is sweet and adorable... parents are so kind and amazing... Anyway, Matt, the 16 year old thought he had a concussion and turned out he had a brain aneurysm and had brain surgery. He is in ICU and is recovering... quite nicely, but has a long road. My point here is that, of course, we had no idea to see this coming. Our portrait of our lives can change in an instant. They are such a strong Christian family that they look to God for all of their answers. They look for that grace and mercy to hold them up to walk this road.
I began a new adventure in life a few weeks ago. I am now a content writer at a pretty big company. I am enjoying it and truly loving the people surrounding me. It's always scary to start a new journey. I looked for this perfect niche for a while so when it came along I jumped on it. God knew what He was doing. Brenda told me you always have to wait for His timing. I had to wait for the need for me. I had to wait to polish more writing skills. I've been writing my entire life, but reporting and technical and creative writing all go in separate boxes. No one can change our lives without God. There is a verse in James talking about "keep oneself unspotted from the world," - KEEP ONESELF. The rest of the verse might be up to us about not staining ourselves with the world... but, the point the sermon brought is we must not do it ourselves because God is the only one that can help us. This is why I say all of this...
"My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9 -- We find that grace and we find our strength in our hard times. In everything we face our strength is polished. Sometimes I hate being so strong wondering why me as we all do... when I hear of my friend's grandmother turning 100 or a mom helping her daughter try on wedding dresses... and I grit my teeth... but, you know what... I've got so many blessings and God didn't just leave me alone. He surrounded me with so many angelic family members and friends. I'm guessing that is grace. That is mercy. "Twas blind but now I see," is what we shall say as we look back on our lives, our pains of the past, our lights at the end of tunnels... Amazing grace.