Grace and God’s Love
My entire life I’ve been a “fair weather” Jesus follower. But it was never during the “fair weather” that I turned to him. I’ve always turned to God when things were going bad in my life and he has always come through for me. As soon as things began looking up, though, I forgot him like yesterday’s news. Since I committed my heart to him for the final time a few years ago, I’ve had some opportunity to reflect upon times there was grace in my life. Times that I never took notice.
A lot has happened in my life during these past six years.
Six years ago I had a new baby, a marriage, my brother was alive, I hadn’t seen my mother since 1990, and my life was full of people whom I loved. My baby is now six, I’m divorced, my brother is in Heaven, my mother has come in and walked out of my life and most of those people did not love me the same way.
I’ve spent a lot of time beating the crap out of myself mentally. My mother coming back into my life for that short time resurrected tons of feelings that I had stuffed away and never worked through. Feelings of being unwanted, forgotten and, most destructively, not worth loving. I mean, how does one get through life feeling loved when their own mother couldn’t, wouldn’t love them?
I’ve listened to and filed away the things people who were supposed to love me have said.
Those things, along with depression, have at times left me feeling as though I should die. And no one would notice or care. But with God as my focus I’m finding it more difficult to fall into the darkness that people have created for me. With God I can no longer allow those things to consume my thoughts because if I do I’m calling Him a liar.
God promises that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” and he “created my inmost being; knit me together in my mother’s womb” and “knows the plans He has, plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give hope and a future”. I’ve never felt such an overwhelming, unconditional love from any human. (side note: my kids are the exception, but they have to like me).
God’s grace has allowed me to forgive.
That forgiveness has never been asked for, but I give it because God has given it to me, no questions asked. God’s grace has taught me to love who I am despite what others try to convince me of. God’s grace has given me comfort in knowing that, although I am flawed in many ways, I am so important to him. God’s grace has taught me to love people in that same way. God’s grace has grown my heart from being someone who discourages, to a woman who encourages and does so with honesty and compassion.
This grace that I’ve finally openly received has opened my heart, mind, and soul to the woman that I’ve always wanted to be and I’m never letting anyone discourage that again. My life has been wasted chasing love and God has waited all this time to freely give that to me.
Unconditional. Never ending. Pure. Complete. Love. The same love he waits to give to you.
“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment day: our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgment – is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love – love and be loved. First, we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.” 1 John 4:17-19 MSG
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Thanks for your honest post. I’ve always heard that forgiveness is not for the other person, it’s for you, to help you heal. God’s grace and love are surely an example when we don’t have it in our lives. May God continue to watch over you and move you forward. Thanks again.
Forgiveness is not an easy journey but it is a worthy one. I’ve learned a lot about myself and God through the process. Thank you so much for your kind words.
I so appreciate your transparency and the way you share your heart, Tina.
Such a powerful post, Tina. You were also telling bits of my story, here. I’m so glad, that despite allowing our pain, our gracious Father not only refines us, but allows reflection so that we and others may grow from it.
Refines. Yes, that’s a great word. And reflection probably best describes where I am in this journey. Again.
Thanks for the uplifting comment, Gretchen.
Thank you, Tina, for honoring us with a peek into your heart. May God continue to pour his grace on your healing journey.
What a beautiful thing to say, Penny. Thank you for taking the time to post such a nice comment.
I don’t know that I have ever truly read or heard 1 John 4:17-19. That verse & your words spoke to my heart just now!
Thank you for sharing & have a beautifully blessed day in the arms of the Lord!
I really love the Message version of some verses, just so beautiful. Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing such kind words.
Tina – love that your transparency is not in relation to other people, but in relation to the only one who gives you safe haven when you are truly open. Thanks for sharing this hard stuff!
Thanks for your continued encouragement of my weirdness.
Ha! I wish looking for the ‘like’ button!