real grace for the first time

I’m not entirely sure what I want to write about yet, which is often the case.  Then, I usually just start writing…

I just had a big ole swear session with God.  I don’t say that too sound all edgy, it’s just reality.  I’m not much for using swear words, but sometimes if I want to be completely honest, then some pretty nasty things can come out from within me.  Some people think that this is no way to speak with a Holy God.  I beg to differ.  Maybe I’m wrong (that wouldn’t be the first time), but from what I understand, God wants all of me and he wants the real me.  If nasty crap is what I’m feelin’, he knows it, so I feel like the safest place to express that is with him.

Plus, as I’ve been trying to do this more lately, things have been different in my life.  I wouldn’t say that I’ve had this crazy high, “I’m feelin’ God all the time” type o change.  However, I have seen good fruit beginning to grow in my life.  Fruit that I’ve never truly experienced before, but had no idea.  What fruit?  Peace, confidence (in who I am), security, joy, …

For as long as I can remember, I’ve lived with some sense of anxiety (lack of peace), self-hatred (lack of confidence), and insecurity.  I never always felt this way, but how I was doing was determined by how I thought others were perceiving me, judging me, liking me, etc.  It became a terrible way to live and led to severe depression.

Little did I know that although I had the message of God’s grace memorized (whatever that even means) and had “received” his grace for my salvation, etc., I had never truly and tangibly experienced the grace of God in my life.  It almost brings me to tears as I write those words, because I am so in awe of how real grace has touched me.  And I’m also so so sad for the many Christians who have not tasted it and have no idea.  (I imagine it’s not just me.)

I’m in a small group with some other women.  It’s not with a church.  It’s not real “normal,” or at least is like nothing I’ve known before.  It’s here that I’ve begun to know what grace really is and what it can do in my life.  It’s in this environment, this community, that I feel more free than ever to just “be.”  I’ve never experienced anything so real.  Maybe that’s a bit what hanging out with Jesus would be like.

The message of grace, if it’s only words, doesn’t do much to truly set a person free.  Sure we can figuratively speak of freedom based on our understanding of grace.  But this has nothing to do with actually being set free by grace.  That’s something entirely different.  It’s not a one moment, overnight thing.  It’s a process.  At least that what it is for me.

I know this all seems super vague. I think I’d like to write about more specifics of what this grace community and life can look like.  I’m not sure how I’ll do that just yet.  It’s pretty new to me, too.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you.  Any thoughts, questions, concerns, etc.  Feel free to push back!

Cheers!

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4 thoughts on “real grace for the first time”

  1. You tagged your post with “acceptance” and “fake.” Life is so much better when we don’t require ourselves or others to fake it in order to gain acceptance, isn’t it?

    So many of our foibles are just the way humans are. More often than not, the traits that we dislike are the result of insecurity and fear. By extending grace, we make the insecurity and fear go away. The annoying trait will soon follow.

    I hope you’ll write more about how you are extending grace to yourself and others. I’m trying to live a more grace-filled life and your story will be an inspiration.

    1. I like that you also included not requiring “others to fake it in order to gain acceptance…” As I begin to see how much I’ve required myself to “fake” life for so long (not knowing it), it makes me sick to think of how I’ve also placed such expectations on others. This is especially an issue in the Christian world…at least from what I can see.

      It would be neat to hear how living a grace-filled life has been for you, too. To think I could be an inspiration to anyone is really quite humbling. I’m very thankful to be on this fresh path.

      1. >> It would be neat to hear how living a grace-filled life has been for you, too.

        I have a very long way to go on that score, but I there are a few things I’ve been trying to do.

        I used to relate to people based on how well they were following my interpretation of The Rules (the Bible). Now, I’m more concerned about whether a person’s actions will result in his or her true happiness and the happiness of others. In a sense, there is a very large overlap in those two approaches because the rules in the Bible usually result in happiness anyway. In another sense, there’s all the difference in the world. If someone is doing something that I think will bring her harm, I would now say, “Is that what you really want to do?” rather than coming down on her with Bible verses.

        And if she really *does* want that thing that I would not choose, it’s easier for me to accept her choice and not think less of her.

        Although it has been very hard, I am also trying to walk away from the many opportunities there are to argue or score points. That’s why I have been blogging a little less lately. So much of what I think and care about relates to arguments about religion, and I’m trying to let it go. Life is short and I don’t want high blood pressure to make it even shorter.

        I am not a naturally grace-filled person, but I hope those changes are a start.

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