Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chapter 2....?

So...3 months since my last post.
And I'm just gonna call this entry "Chapter 2."

If you haven't read my last post, and you don't have anything you have to do, or want to do, and nothing else to read, then check it out.  It might help this post make more sense.

All those wonderful principles and truths that I read about a few months ago? Well, since then, the weirdest thing has happened. I have had opportunity to apply them.

I have learned to switch my aim from perfection to brokenness.
Instead of relying on self effort to please God, I am relying on the gospel.
I have become obsessed with grace.
And wow, I feel free.

But first, I felt sad. God put me in a situation that pulled at the deepest corners of my heart.  He allowed me to have a conflict that ripped me apart.  He gently walked me through a issue that was packed full of hurt, guilt, and emotion. He allowed me to be shaken a bit, that I might cling to the Grace-giver.

And now, 2 months later, the lessons are finally become clear and conclusive.  Which is always nice.  There is comfort when you can wrap up a trial in your life in one paragraph. (or blog entry) :)

So, the lessons.
Mostly, it's just about grace.----STOP.  Did your eyes just do that glaze-over thing? Ya know, you start hearing those overused cliche churchy terms (whether you are churchy or not) and you just peruse on over it?  If so, blink a couple times. And do your best to stay awake. I'll say it again.

It's all about grace. In my position before God, it's about grace. Without the grace of Jesus, I would not have a relationship with God.
But also in my position with others, it's about grace.  I cannot be perfect, I am a natural rule breaker.  You add to the fact that I was born a sinner, I'm also a red head.  Who has a competitive spirit. I'm doomed. Oh how I hate hurting my friends. I hate letting people down.  When I realize that I have wronged someone, I crumble. (I can still get upset when I recall conflict from high school!) And then follows this depression and exaggerated statements: "I let everybody down! I'm a horrible Christian! How will I ever please God?"  Which I then try to subdue with self effort.  I tell myself to watch my words, reply to texts, encourage, be honest, be friendly....the list goes on! But in my most recent situation, when I, through days of tears, starting brainstorming how to be a perfect friend, the Grace-giver, whispered to me. He whispered, "Rebekah, bring the Gospel into this...grace, Rebekah, grace..."

And in my moment of brokenness and repentance I let grace take over.  I can't be perfect. I will have more conflict in my life. Probably some big conflict. I will mess up, time and time again.  But when I just let go and allow God's grace to meet me in my vast deficiencies, I find freedom.

I wonder if King David understood this? (Kinda a rhetorical question. I'm thinking he did...)    From the early scenes in his life until his death bed, this famous super-Christian had drama.  I find that so wonderfully comforting! Oh to pick his brain on how he handled himself between the lines of Scripture! When he approached the battle lines in the notorious "David and Goliath" story, his brothers make comments that seem to hint at resentment and hostility.  Then he serves a king who wants to kill him. He is confronted by a prophet about his sin. His son tries to take his throne.  What a life! Should we conclude then that David did not play well with others? I don't think so.  Instead, I see that conflict is such a normal part of life.

And perhaps, maybe more so when you have a lot of people in your life?  It's kinda simple math, right? Mo' people, mo' problems?  (I'm just trying to lighten up this post, I know that wasn't super funny.) I'm thankful to have lots of friends, lots of family, and to be a part of big ministries.  That is God's lot for us.  I wouldn't want it any other way.  But I will wear myself out trying to be the perfect everything to everybody.  But broken? Desperate? Free?  That, I can be.

So whether I am the offender, or the offended, I can entrust myself to Jesus.  He understands drama, he experienced conflict, he experienced betrayal. He knows my hurt, he knows my disappointment (which is often in myself).  And he doesn't come to me with a slap on the hand, or even a quick how-to on how to be perfect.  He comes with grace.  He gives me more of himself.  Because He loves me. (You could say He adores me. Ha.)

And that's what I realize I need.  Just more of Jesus.
I have resolved to bring more grace into my relationships. With myself, and with those around me. Oh may I never leave them wanting! May I instead lavishly extend grace to my friends and family! May I err on the side of excess.

And here's the great part.  When we find this freedom, we aren't finding a freedom to sin all the more.  Instead God's love and kindness spurs us on to more love, and more Christlikeness. With self effort gone, there is more room for God's power. Which makes us a better friend.

Love that.

Here's my besties :)

Mathias, 2 years old

Maxwell, 8 months old
Micah, 4 years old

1 comment:

  1. Oh the situations we type "A" people must walk through in order to stop "working" for love, approval, righteousness in order that we would find peace in the abundant never-ending grace of God. It is a painful pruning in the moment but the most loving thing our Father does for us. I too recently walked through several of these things at the same time. Brutal, but I am stubborn and independent and would have tried to "handle" it on my own. God loved me enough to give me way more than I could handle that I might fall to my knees, helpless and broken. It is bitter-sweet but the fruit from these times is priceless.

    You are so right there is true freedom in full surrender to the Grace-giver. Hard but beautiful lessons. Keep your eyes upward and your heart rooted in Jesus. <3