I went to a funeral service on Saturday, a younger childhood friend of mine who had left this life too early. The message was simple and sweet and the point of it all – we were there with the purpose to remember, grieve, and love, not to cast our judgment.
I left with the phrase, “There but the grace of God go I,” ringing in my ears.
I am a bull in a china shop when it comes to relationships and life! I thought, “I am sure one person that needs a lot of grace to be in people’s lives.” I trust very few people and let very few into my innermost thoughts. If you think I overshare, here, there is actually MORE you don’t get the privilege of knowing!!! How about that? And even if I let you in, you’re on, like, a 10-year probation period to see if I can really trust you. It’s part of my past, part of something I am working on, and if you can’t accept it, I am sad, but I am okay with it. Very cautious with my heart.
For two days after my last post, on changing the negative thought life I was condoning for so long, I felt awful. I could not combat the dark voices in my head and wasn’t feeling supported in my environment. It was so hard. I had just written about overcoming negative self-talk and the process by which God was showing me to do it. There seemed to be a cement veil between what I knew when I typed my blog message to when I needed to act on my message. I was crushed.
My consolation was to hide, to isolate, to protect myself. I know that pattern isn’t right, but it’s self-preservation. We go back to what we know our brain tells us we’re in fight or flight. I muddled through Monday, still not quite able to bounce back. Monday night posed an even bigger struggle as I was challenged and defeated. I didn’t understand. I didn’t do anything right – I didn’t talk right, I didn’t listen right, I didn’t apologize right, I should have done this, I should have done that. I was bad. Very, very bad.
Tuesday came in with a busy day and I slumped my way to the dentist for a tooth extraction. Ugh, right? As I sat, I texted, and when I got home I couldn’t sleep. I was just so disturbed by my bad feelings and overwhelmed with confusion.
I am 100% confident someone prayed for me about 2 on Tuesday afternoon. Thank you to whoever did this! I am aware of the Spirit manifesting its presence in me and I knew I felt God. I felt His peace, spirit, and power come back to me and I knew, with certainty, I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was. I got confidence in myself because of God’s confidence in me, through the mercy of Jesus, and by the work of his Holy Spirit.
I went home and tested His will, and found that instead of approving my confidence, it disproved what I had been feeling so sure of moments before. And just when I thought I was a real whack job, the mystery unfolded. The light came on. In a precious little twinkle of His love for me, He gave me a glimmer of His sovereignty. God gave me the chance to show pride, arrogance, and the muscle of how I had been wrongfully accused and treated. He also gave me the opportunity to be His very precious daughter who is gracious, abounds in mercy, and chooses love. I chose love! I chose to speak softly! I chose to speak life!
My confusion about how bad I had been quickly withered away. “There, but by the grace of God go all of us.” We are not here as judge and jury. We are here to love. We may do things differently than others, but if at the heart of it is love, the intention will always be revealed as pure.
God’s love never fails.