It seems my last few posts have been about how long it’s been since I have written and it indeed has been a LONG time since my last post – hopefully I will be given the strength to continue this time.
I have felt for a long time that I need to be writing. I hear a still, small voice encourage me when I ask what it is I am to be doing in this life for God’s glory. I have also had others who have encouraged me to do so. Writing for me is very therapeutic, but there are so many things that keep me from doing what it is that I feel I should.
First on the list would probably be confusion as to the direction I am to take. Am I to continue this blog – sharing my thoughts and feelings about what God is teaching me? Am I to start another blog that is more light-hearted with crafts, tips, cooking, etc. like the ones that I enjoy reading? Am I to finish a novel I started many years ago?
Second on the list is fear. Fear of the unknown, things like “what if I don’t make a difference?”, what if I can’t contribute anything “new”, what if people thinking I’m not qualified.
There are other things that have kept me from pursuing what has been my dream and possibly one of my purposes in life and I can’t guarantee that I won’t fall back in one of those traps, but for today I am back at the keyboard, sharing my heart…
Something happened for me today. One of those “Ah-ha” moments. One of those times you hope and pray will be something that has truly a path-changer for you. It wasn’t anything earth shattering, but something that lifted a load off my heart.
As I have shared in the past, my husband and I found ourselves in the bottom of a deep, dark pit of debt. We have slowly, for several years now, been trying to crawl our way out of it. We have made gains and are now in the process of trying to sell our house in order to downsize our mortgage. There are many things we feel good about and truly do see a glimmer of light at the entrance to the pit, but it is a long process and can easily become discouraging.
There are so many things to be thankful for in life and SO many people that are hurting and living with much more severe problems than the financial ones we got ourselves into. God blesses us in wonderful ways and we are truly grateful, but when the least little problem or stumbling block arises, the blood pressure rises and stress engulfs us, nearly rendering us helpless. We then get frustrated with ourselves and try set our hearts in the right direction and move on.
I fight (most of the time unsuccessfully) to keep myself from becoming bogged down with the stress of it all – the deadlines for when payments are due, our credit score and what might happen to my husband’s machinery tomorrow (he cuts trees to clear pastures for people), how much that will cost to fix, how we are going to pay our bills six weeks from now and…the list goes on and on.
Today I came to the realization that I was carrying a heavy load of guilt and embarrassment and frustration over the mistakes that got us in the place that we are in. Because we got ourselves into this situation and are paying the consequences of it, I was trying to do all I could to handle it and was exhausting myself in doing so. These are all things I needed to do anyway, but I had never stopped to accept the grace God has to offer me in that area of my life. Sure I had asked for forgiveness and have pleaded with God on many occasions to come to our aid, but I was so focused on doing all the right things, that I forgot to apply the basic principle of grace to this area of my life and to focus on Him (not my guilt) and live life joyfully today – not continually beating myself up over what happened yesterday and worrying about what might happen tomorrow.
I came home from church and began to read Max Lucado’s book, “Grace, More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine”. I read half of it this afternoon. I laughed, I cried, I felt burdens being lifted. (If you haven’t read it, I would strongly recommend doing so!)
I don’t think any of us fully understand the meaning of grace in our lives and how it applies to every detail big or small. I will go to bed this evening living in the same set of circumstances I woke up with this morning, but one thing has changed for me today and that is I allowed grace to permeate my soul and begin to heal what has held me in bondage.
My story today is one of financial struggle – yours may be one of addiction, a broken marriage, anger over the death of a loved one, illness, a natural disaster, a lost job or one of many other situations we face in this world, but you know what? GRACE covers them all!!!
The quote I leave you with was one I found in chapter 1 of the exceptional book I began reading today. “The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God understands the mess of life with one word: grace.” – Max Lucado