Saturday, February 13, 2016

A PLACE OF GRACE

Six years ago, our little family of three stepped on an airplane and took our seats.
Exhausted. Confused. Disappointed. Overwhelmed. Emotional.

The specific details of that day are here, but basically,
it was a travel day from hell.

Fog shut down two of the airports we were flying out of and snow shut down the cities we were flying into.  We booked new flights only to have them cancelled.  Our luggage went one place and we went another.  In a last ditch effort to catch our flight out of Washington DC, we flew to Baltimore, knowing that they only had one lane cleared throughout the city, and took a taxi to DC.

We were headed to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with nothing more than our backpacks and carry-ons.  That day, that travel day from hell, was just the beginning and we would never again be the same.  We simply had no idea.

As I sit here, remembering that stressful day, I am just as tearful and just as tired.

I still get confused.
I still get disappointed.
I still get overwhelmed.

We flew home from Ethiopia with big dreams for our new family of four.
And we have spent the last six years grieving the loss of those dreams.

I never thought.  In the middle of this six year journey, when I was convinced God had made a massive mistake in choosing me to be Miles' mom, I never thought.  I never thought that God could redeem all the doubt, all the hurt, all the dark, all the pain.

Even though our circumstances haven't changed, in fact, in someways it's harder than ever, I am not the same.  To be in a place where you welcome hard and messy because you know that is where God dwells is such a beautifully place to be.
It is a place of grace.

I love the way Greg Lucas describes this exact idea in his book, Wrestling with an Angel: A Story of Love, Disability and the Lessons of Grace

“My experience is that God will place a burden on you so heavy that you cannot possibly carry it alone. He will break your back and your will. He will buckle your legs until you fall flat beneath the crushing weight of your load. All the while, He will walk beside you waiting for you to come to the point where you must depend on Him. ‘My power is made perfect in your weakness,’ He says, as we strain under our burden.”

He goes on to say…

“Grace enables us to thrive in the presence of this world’s sufferings while magnifying the One who breaks us with affliction – that He might equip us with comfort, compassion, and strength to give others.”

Photo Credit
God, in all of His wisdom, in all of His power, in all of His sovereignty,
used a little baby boy - born half way around the world, born to a different Mom, born with a disability - to help me to see how much He loves me and to help me internalize the life-changing truth that EVERYTHING I need I can find in Him.
EVERYTHING!

“His divine power has given us everything we need to experience life
and to reflect God’s true nature through the knowledge of
the One who called us by His glory and virtue.”
{2 Peter 1:3, VOICE}

Everything I need (love, acceptance, security, worth, approval, forgiveness, purpose, hope, intimacy, respect, etc.) is freely given to me in the person of Jesus Christ.

Think about that for a second.

What would it feel like to love and serve others without needing ANYTHING in return?  What would it look like to give all of yourself away without needing applause, approval, or acceptance?

Doesn’t that sound like true freedom?
Doesn't that make you want to throw on a kilt, paint your face blue and yell FREEDOM!

That is the true message of the Gospel!
That is the true message of Grace!

God gives God.
And when you get God, you get "everything you need to experience life and to reflect God's true nature..."

When you take your eyes off of Jesus, you are forced to look to others to meet all of your needs.  You love, serve, and give of yourself trying to satisfy that place that only Jesus can satisfy.  When others don't come through, you are left hurt, disappointed and empty.  But you keep trying.  Eventually, you become so dependent on everyone around you to give you what you need, it strains your relationships because it's never enough.  They are never enough.  Not only is that exhausting, it is the exact opposite of true freedom.

So I sit here today, six years into our new normal, praying that I can live daily in that place.  That place of freedom.  That place of grace.

Sweet Miles,
You're a gift I never would have asked for.
You're a gift I didn't know I would need.
You're a gift I thank God everyday for.
You're a gift I'm so humbled I received.


Soli Deo Gloria!
{Glory to God alone!}

“Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God,
this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.
Is there anyone around who can explain God?
Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advise?
Everything comes from Him;
Everything happens through Him;
Everything ends up in Him.
Always glory! Always praise!
Yes. Yes. Yes.”
{Romans 11:33-36, MSG}

1 comment :

  1. Happy Gotcha Day, my sweet friend! What a journey you have been on. Thank you for sharing your heart. I am so encouraged by your faith and example of unconditional love. Oh, how I relate to your statement: "We flew home from Ethiopia with big dreams for our new family of four.
    And we have spent the last six years grieving the loss of those dreams." Yes, and YES. Praying God continues to give each of you all you need every single moment. Sending you love and a BIG hug!

    ReplyDelete