Archive: October, 2011

Grace is for a Girl like YOU

I have a friend who is hurting. The life she knew suddenly tipped over, spilling her heart into an abyss of raw emotions. She’s in a place of over-disclosure, where she confides in the wrong people ~ allowing them to peek too long, too deep into her pain. A pain she experiences from a broken marriage. 

It’s morning now — the sun’s rays sparkle against mountain dew. I receive her call. I sense despair tucked in between jumbled up words. Her husband picks up the kids for school one morning, she says. The words— our words are irresponsibly flung out, across children’s ears. She feels wrecked and messy. But I tell her, and I speak from experience, the messy folks are the ones who understand the metaphor of the clay pot. They understand what it’s like to have their messes touched by the Messiah. They understand that without cracks, God’s light wouldn’t have room to shine through.

It’s a painful reminder of my abusive marriage and divorce. Words and phrases twist into re-created memories I thought were lost. But God uses this to help me lead her to Christ. Isn’t it amazing how God can use every setback we suffer to setup our lives for spiritual significance? That’s how I feel in this moment. A moment God suddenly takes over—He’s now the author of my words.

Life-breathing words.

Pain piercing words.

Words of Truth.

She says things like, “I try to be strong for the kids, but it’s too hard.” “I am trying to make it on my own, but I am too weak.” I agree with her, emphatically. You aren’t strong enough to tackle this alone, you need God. You are desperate for Him right now. The words are spoken with persistence and purpose. I tell her as wetness fills my eyes, “God’s grace is for a girl just like you, especially for you—and me too.”

God prompts me to pray with her. Not “the acceptance prayer [yet],” just a regular one—one that is meant to activate my faith and stir her heart all at the same time.

Ring, ring, ring… the doorbell sounds. It interrupts us but I tell her to hang on. The Terminex man stands before me, embroidered bug shirt and all. He proudly proclaims the chains of rodent infiltration around our home have been broken, once and for all! My three year old hugs him (she hugs everyone), I grab my bill, and shut the door. I continue praying with my precious sister.

I hear her gulping the pain down, only it’s tough to swallow.

We finish the prayer and she struggles past the hurt—struggles to mumble, “I know you say God’s grace is for me, but I have a hard time believing it.” I tell her about Jesus. What he did for me, personally~ for her individually. I tell her how God made a miracle out of my life. One I thought wasn’t worth living.

Praise God!

Not only will he use us despite our failure, but he will use the failure itself to show the world just how capable He is.  

She asks, What now? How do I get what you have?”

Tears tossing waves over my cheeks, I pray with her. She prays to receive Christ.  

Author and Pastor Steven Furtick says, “Sometimes God lets us see the miracle and sometimes we are the miracle.” In this moment etched forever in my spirit, I feel like both.

Thank you Jesus for using unqualified me to share the greatest story that’s ever been told with my friend, now my sister. Amen.

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Pre-School-Faith…

I recently took my baby to her first day of pre-school. Seemingly, the only thing on her mind is what bow she’ll wear in her hair or whether she’ll have chocolate milk or a Capri Sun for lunch. She tosses her over-sized Dora the Explorer back-pack across her tiny shoulders ~ even though the back-pack is empty. Her excitement leaks out as she hops into the car.

To us, this stage of life seems so simple. But, to a four year old, her world just got bigger — in a matter of seconds. Her awareness of her need for acceptance grows with each new day. Her desire for friendship is an emotion she’s unfamiliar with. Her acute awareness of how much she depends on mama for security is realized the moment she waves goodbye.

And so it is true for you and me.

God is calling each of us to walk through the doors of our pre-school-faith. He is calling us to push forward the door decorated with the words, “I am a promise, I am a possibility,” scribbled across a construction paper canvas.

It can be scary.

But, God still watches, even after “drop-off.” He still peeks behind the Levolor blinds to ensure we’re still there.  

Following Jesus doesn’t make us immune to butterflies. It doesn’t give us a hall-pass during life’s biggest challenges either.

Even though we walk with Jesus as radically obedient women, we still encounter difficult seasons of change. When these seasons arrive the question will be, “Will we stand at the door of our pre-school-faith anxious and unwilling to walk forward? or Will we take the next step into a season of uncertainty with uninhibited boldness and courage?”

When God cracks open a door of uncertainty, the time has come to let your mamas hand go and move ahead. The time has come to leap out of kid-zone Christianity and play with the miracle makers.

Just like your little one, you too may sense a greater need for friendship and acceptance during a time of change in your life. It’s normal. It’s normal to wonder what God is doing. The wonder is what makes us take the next step into God’s perfect and pleasing will.

…A step God doesn’t require us to do alone.

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