Sunday, January 5, 2014

remembering to choose {Grace}

from the archives (1/5/13)

I screwed up. Again.

A statement I made to my groom and behavior I had hung up (several times) was slashed right through last night. I did what I said I wouldn't do.

Seemingly out of nowhere a lion screamed. Roared, actually.
And a bomb was dropped. A big one with a fat letter "F". Out of my mouth. Right in our home.
Then the lion cowered.

The thought crossed my mind and down off my tongue, "I'll be gone in the morning."

Yet the truth is, I'll never be out of his life forever. And truthfully, I felt a bit of anger for that. It's so true that having a child changes Every. Thing.

God has cemented our relationship through having a child. Glued us together. Even if we someday do separate. Because that's just how it'd be, the two of us always working together to raise this child.

We both shouted at each other and all I could think about was how The Boy is asleep in the room directly above us.

     And what comfort is it to live in a home where this rage boils up, out, and over sometimes?

I blabbered on and on about how I fail him, my groom. I messed up Again! and I'm a Screw Up . . . of so much.

He said he screws up, too, but I just don't see it. There might actually have been tears in his eyes as he sat down and shouted at me to listen to his screw ups. But they never were spoken about.

Suddenly, this thought came to my mind and I spoke of it out loud:

     Maybe my public display of screw ups brings me closer to knowing grace.
     Maybe it's how I learn more about true love
          -- acceptance for who I am, in spite of my failures.

I surmised how this must be evidence of God because to say that is far beyond me. 

Choosing grace was immensely hard. I resisted and squirmed my way out of it. But I could feel it, there for my choosing.

There was a battle in my living room last night. A true war.

I recalled to myself how earlier in the day I had made two public statements, at a wellness fair for work.
They were heavy goals and required courage for Real and truth telling:

     "I want to accept myself for where I am right now
          . . . and I want to not absorb other people's stress."

And there I was last night with a full blown out attack on myself for being
     A Failure. 
     A Screw up. 
     A disappointment. 

I was name-calling myself. I wasn't accepting myself. I was judging.

I thought of David in the Bible and how God accepted him before he screwed up. 
I remembered how He's been telling me this for the past few weeks, how --
     God purposed my life, knowing I will screw up. 

And then . . . suddenly the words between my groom and me stopped.
The air was quiet when there were so many words yet to be spoken.

I retreated to the kitchen for cereal and all I heard was the crunching. It was loud crunching.

I laid down on the couch in a room that I don't often spend time in. Awhile later my groom came in and asked if I was going to stay there. I said I would for awhile, at least. And then he said, "I'm going to bed."

No further words were spoken between us.

I stayed there. On a couch that I hardly ever sit on, in a room I hardly ever spend time in.

The dog was confused as to why I was there all night and why she wasn't in her crate. She licked herself for what seemed like forever and I was annoyed.

I woke up with a sore neck from a pillow that is too big for sleeping on and obviously hardly gets used, just like the couch itself.

We have a couch in a room that hardly ever gets used. And two rooms in this house just hold stuff, they don't really get used.

I woke up thinking of this and of the choices we've made together, so many of them. Most of them belabored and stressed out about, and then really they didn't matter in the end.

     The process matters, though, and so I stop and focus there. And maybe this is grace.

I got to the bottom of myself last night. It was awful. A huge mess.

Today is like a hangover day. Tentative steps will be taken and we'll feel the temptation to let timidity will be our guide (at least for awhile). I will be uncertain as to how I should act and what I should do. Because, grace needs to be received on both sides. At least that's what I wish. It'd be easier that way.

But grace is for the choosing and love is acceptance, even if . . . the other person doesn't choose it.
     Maybe it's really especially if . . . because,

Grace is undeserved, a true gift

It's possible my screw-ups and my (gradual, long, and hard) choosing to receive grace for myselfmight be more important and speak more volumes to my groom (and to others) . . . than the actual apologies . . . or if I had the right or perfect behavior in the first place.

This takes courage to believe. This is faith. This is the thin place where He is strong.

I live with this man who might not See grace or receive grace . . . or maybe he does. I have no certain understanding or knowledge of just what God is working in his heart, or how he is receiving Him (or not).

But still, I can choose grace. For me, first. 

I can wear this grace with gratitude. 

I can acknowledge that I screwed up . . . and still, there is grace thankyouVERYmuch.

I can live out my gratitude and let my failures fall to the ground.

I can choose courage to believe He is Real in me,
and that these words that I penned last night were His:
You both are just as broken as each other.
Receive my grace. Choose it.
The beauty is in the broken, in the holed out bottom. 
Yes, you fail. But you are not a Failure.Yes, you disappoint. But you are here, just as you are, for purpose. You can believe it.
Choose grace.
Choose acceptance.
Choose to be loved. Just.As.You.Are.
It's true, you screw up. Every day. 
     Why do you expect that you won't?
     Why are you surprised when you do? 
Choose my love For. You.
Choose my grace.
Shame is your enemy. It is what triggers anger within you.
Your spirit knows shame haunts, destroys and devours your peace.
     Don't let it.
     Stand strong.
When you are scared of yourself,
     and to look him in the eye,
     and to hold his hand,
     and to feel the mistakes between you,
Know that I Am . . . alive in you, right now . . . Real and true.
You have a tendency to live in a sometimes crazy, wildly intense place,
     but have hope, it's color filled and bright.
The shadows, darkness, and scary places hardly find you. Be grateful. 
You are equally as wounded.
You equally have need for me . . . through each other. 
And then, I remembered how I almost forgot. 12 years. Right now, this weekend. 12 years of married togetherness. How could I {nearly} forget? 

Then this, again, just like on our wedding day:
I gave him to you as an example of my love for you.
He accepts you when you disappoint him.
Let him accept you.
Let Me heal him. And you.
Who am I? Choose truth. 
And so again, I say "OK,"

     ( . . . even if a little hesitantly.)

this is my worship.

One year after writing these words I count them a gift to treasure. For, the truth is that I'll never "arrive" as long as I'm this side of Heaven . . . I'll always need to rest in His arms and trust He will work in me and in us. I'll always need to remember grace. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow Amy, just Wow! I so relate and this is so encouraging!!! Gracious words of hope. I needed this, friend. Thank you.