reconciliation

Posts tagged in

grace
My Journey of Grace (Susan’s Story)

Seems appropriate to write this on a damp, foggy morning – it is a repeat of that morning eight years ago. After the nightmare that lasted nearly four years I was finally able to lay my head down at night knowing my adult daughter and her son were not only safe, but secure in the love and redemption of Jesus Christ.

My daughter refers to those years as being on tour, on the road, her rock star years. I refer to them as living hell on earth. But it was over. Every prayer I prayed had been answered; every tear I cried had been wiped away; every moment of pulling the sheets over my head and crying No More, Lord, No More, had been removed. My daughter was healed, clean, and addiction free – all of the messes of those years washed pure by the Blood of the Lamb. Free – free, at last.

However, those years took their toll, as hard times do. That August morning was the culmination of so many emotions I couldn’t unravel and I sat in that sacred space in the corner of our living room and cried out to the only One who knew my pain.

Why is it when we are in the throes of emotional tumult we lash out at those closest to us? For me, it was my husband, stepfather to all my children. He had ridden the roller-coaster of the previous four years with me.

grace-graphic3He was the one who would get me up on Sunday mornings and say, “Yes, you can go to church and you will go to church – now come out from those covers and get dressed!” All done in love and tender care. But that summer things got a little wiggy – daughter and rambunctious four-year old, toddler boy were staying with us and, although the miracle of Calvary had taken place three months earlier, the stresses of life and living were at an all time high. Financial. Little boy tantrums. Financial. You get the picture? Hubs and I weren’t good. We weren’t good at all.

That August dawn I sat in the small corner of our very large sectional, in the still and darkness of the morning.

Lord, I’m done.
Done with what?
I don’t love him anymore.
I know, but you love Me.
Yes, Lord, more than life and I’m so grateful. But I can’t live with him any longer. I’m done.
But you love Me.
Yes, Lord. I do.
Do you trust Me? I want you to stay and I will give you the grace to do that – I promise you.
O! Lord, I don’t know I can but I will try.

THAT day was the beginning of a journey of grace for me. It sounds crazy but my husband had NO idea I was so miserable, nor knew I pleaded with the Lord to let me leave – to this day he doesn’t, but it isn’t even needful because you see, God kept His promise. He didn’t just give the grace, He flooded me with it. Our marriage was in grace overflow!

It still is. Eight years later. I breathe grace. I walk grace. I talk grace. I sleep grace. I love with grace.

My journey of grace – God promised me grace if I would trust Him.

God is a Promise Keeper.

I love Him so.

Slow Processes

I grew up with Christian parents and we always went to church twice a week. I have no memory of the day I chose to put my faith in Christ. That used to bother me a lot. However, Christ has given me peace that it does not matter if I remember the exact moment I chose to trust Him and received the gift of salvation. What matters is that I am certain of my faith now and that I intentionally remember His works in my life to testify to His glory.

I think as Christians we tend to put too much emphasis on that ‘salvation moment.’ Don’t get me wrong, I think that believers who had a 180 degree turn, almost like Paul’s road to Damascus moment, should proudly testify of that moment God turned their lives around. But for those of us who don’t have such a drastic change, we sometimes think there is something wrong with us. We get so hung up on not having such a cool testimony that we forget the things God has given us to testify about.

All that to say, my testimony is not so much about the moment I came to Christ, but of the ways He has worked in my life.

I believe God works in my life in slow processes (sometimes excruciatingly slow). So I have compiled a short list of just some of the ways God has worked in my life.

  1. My family. I’m an only child, so my family consisted of my parents and me. How much struggle could a family of three go through? Quite a bit. I had a lot of resentment toward my mom and my dad because of the struggles we went through. I wish I could go into more detail about the struggles my family has endured, but I feel like it is not my story to publish. But I can say that despite the mistakes that were made, God has worked incredible reconciliation in irreconcilable situations.

    My family struggles caused me to draw nearer to God. He convicted me of my role in my family. Although I could not heal the hurts in my family, I could love them the same way God loves me. He convicted me to love and respect my parents and to daily pray for them. I did not exactly follow these convictions as much as I should have. In fact, I failed at them a lot more than I succeeded. But I came to know Christ more in the midst my family’s struggles and heartaches.

  2. There was a point in my faith walk that I fell into sexual sin. My life was quickly wrecked. I was abandoned by my best friends and my church. That sin left me in the deepest pit of loneliness. For over a year, I struggled with the worst depression I had ever endured. For a while, I felt abandoned by God because of my sin.

    clean heart

    But the Lord proved so faithful to me and reminded me that even in my sin, He sent Jesus to die for me. He rescued me out of the habit of that sin and provided me with healing from it. I clung to the words of Psalm 51, David’s cry of confession and repentance when he slept with Bathsheba.

    God also reminded me of the other many imperfect people in the Bible He used for great things, including Rahab (a prostitute) and Tamar (who pretended to be a prostitute to sleep with her father-in-law who had formerly wronged her).

  3. When I was about ten or eleven years old, I was not very good at making friends. That loneliness drove me to seek time with the Lord. Although I was lacking in friendships, I realized that I actually had a friendship with my Savior for eternity.

    This may seem like just a childish struggle that I outgrew as I grew in maturity and faith. In fact, many times I thought it was that. But as I’m now in my early twenties, I’m seeing that loneliness is a struggle I have not outgrown. I am still bad at making friends. As I get older, I want to use that loneliness as an excuse to be a home body. Instead of being driven to seeking out my always faithful Friend, I try to make time fly by with TV shows and movies.

    While I am so grateful for God rescuing me from deep family hurts and from sexual sin, my loneliness remains. The thing is, I have no reason to be lonely. I am blessed with great parents whom I very close with, in-laws who are so generous toward us, close girl friends that I can call up at any day for prayer and encouragement, AND my child whose face I get to see for the first time in approximately 26 weeks.

    As greatly blessed as I am, none of it compares to the incredible blessing it will be to see my Savior face to face. I believe that only then will my lonely tendency be wiped away to be replaced with a love that I could never fully understand here on earth.

God continues to work in ways worthy of testimony. My prayer regarding my testimony is that it points people away from me and my life and toward our amazing God: Loving Father, Perfect Savior, and Holy Spirit.