catching up from our internet-less days...
Last night I had an epiphany in the shower.
Being somewhere around 800 degrees each day, as we drip and stick and stink, I'm pretty sure any and all current epiphanies will be taking place under cool water.
The lights were all out, Matt and all the girls were in their beds finally sweetly sleeping (well, Nora, finally...the rest kind of pass out the moment they hit the pillow), and I was thinking through the days since we've been home.
Little unexplained joys and grouchinessess. Lots of little highs, lots of little lows. Lots of conversations with the girls, with the Heckmans, between Matt and I, about all of the many ways we are feeling and processing. All of our times in the States. Being back in Haiti. Adjusting to so much. Settling back in. Missing things. Not missing things. Loving things. Changing things. Wanting things.
It occurred to me, under the water in the dark, that much grace is needed.
That now may not be the time to be overly firm with the girls. That now might not be the time to be frustrated with Matt. That now may not be the time to have high expectations on others.
I thought. Thought about how, practically, I could show Matt great grace these days. How, fleshed out, His grace through me could shower and thrive and help my girls. How grace could gift my neighbors. How grace could bless all the new students. How grace could pour out of me to our neighbors and co-workers.
It all sounded wonderful and necessary and good and Godly.
And then this thought came to me, "And you need to be giving yourself some grace, too" to which I immediately responded to myself,
That's just an excuse.
Just a way to justify not being able to get as much done in the office. That would just be a way to justify the craziness of the house, or the mismatchy meals. A way to deal with the fact that I've hardly had ANY time with the students and have already been back five days!
I don't need GRACE. I need to work HARDER!
As I said it out loud in my brain, I heard it. Immediately. I heard the truth.
The TRUTH that THAT is a LIE.
It was the first time I heard myself clearly enough to realize that while I fully recognize grace to be a life-giving balm to my family and to others, a precious unmerited gift from our Father, I somehow subconsciously think of needing grace as a sign of weakness in myself.
How shamefully proud I am.
How proud to continue to think that I can somehow do what no one else has ever been able to do : EARN my own way. Work out my own goodness. Try hard to get myself to the Father. Perform well to meet His standards. Please Him on my own strength.
Without even realizing it, I continue to try.
It is by GRACE I have been saved, and yet I continue to try to function without it instead of clinging to it joyfully and gratefully.
What a huge part of our Father I am missing out on, trying, trying, trying on my own instead of quietly embracing the free gift of life-changing grace He continues to hold out.
What freedom He continues to hold out to stubborn daughters and sons like me who love Him and love others and yet continue to try to do it on their own strength!
Recognizing the LIES we believe is such a HUGE part of being free from them. Saying it, and knowing it to be a LIE, and therefore not of He who is Truth.
And then determining to fight to replace it with the truth, HIS truth, until it replaces the lie in every area of our lives.
I don't know what lies you are believing tonight. What lies you are living.
Maybe that you can do it on your own. Maybe that your adequacy comes from something, anything, other than God. Maybe that He doesn't care ridiculously for you. Maybe that He is uninterested. Maybe that you are your own, that this life is yours. Maybe that living holy is a hoax, or that His Word doesn't really mean what it says or maybe that He has abandoned you.
He knows. Ask Him. Ask Him to take that "normal" and show it in His true Light. In His perspective (which is Truth.) When we see those lies, might they appall us. Might we be unwilling to ever live in them again. And might we fully embrace His grace to replace them with His truth.
I'm digging into a study of what He has to say about grace, and I'm gonna read it, dwell on it, eat it, sleep it, pray it until He has created in me a new heart.
So thankful He forgives...and continues ON in us.
by His grace.
My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.