May 7, 2012

Grace for pain

"Can I believe the gospel,that God is patiently transfiguring all the notes of my life into the song of His Son?...I see through the woods of the world: God is always good and I am always loved."    Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

Even as I move forward in learning to live fully alive, there are moments, like last evening, when I am acutely aware of flaws in my thinking, because I hear words shooting out of my mouth, crashing back down like a tidal wave and I watch as my son's countenance falls and he's drowning in the hurt of it all.  And I immediately regret that I said anything, but there's no way to suck it all back in.  All because I mixed the truth with how I feel about a situation and gave my flesh permission to spew.  I pray that my critical words will be washed away by His love, somehow.

Where did those thoughts come from?  Why do I think that way and oh, God, only You can clean up this mess I've made, again, by not guarding my mouth...(let the beatings proceed).

And yet, there's no hope for change if I wallow in my failures and miss the freedom of His grace being extended when I reach out for forgiveness and humble myself.

As I crept into bed, guilt and shame my blanket, with lies attempting to smother me, I hear loud and clear, 'You'll never change. You did this to the older children and now you're doing it again'. I began weeping over this sin, crying out to the One who knows me.  "God, help me. I can't do this." 

Love came into the bedroom and we, too, had had words as a result of my going on and on.  He apologized for being harsh. Then he asked if we could pray.  I said I had been, but then I began all over again with the letting out of my inadequacies, the words echoing in my own ears, the lies I'd believed and when he finished his prayer for me, I knew I'd been freed--that I already was free.  My part was to grip the truth that all is grace; even this ugly mess.  He was graciously turning my thoughts towards Him, reminding me that I CAN'T do this. 

Surrender and obedience. 

Those are the keys that turn the lock on heart's door.

"Because eucharisteo is how Jesus, at the Last Supper, showed us to transfigure all things--take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness.  I have glimpsed it:  This, the hard eucharisteo.  The hard discipline to lean into the ugly and whisper thanks to transfigure it into beauty.  The hard discipline to give thanks for all things at all times because He is all good. "  Ann V. 
My weaknesses make His grace shine brighter as I continue to move forward towards Him, thirsting for more of Him and less of me.

My son has forgiven me and all is grace.

God is always good and I am always loved. 

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