I want to tell you something I’ve learned about grace.
Its been just over four years since my best friend and I started writing letters (my family called them “the epistles” for the length of these compositions;)
I’ve told the story before, but I went through one of the toughest surrenders of my life in those early days when I had to apologize to him for a wrong that I had done that he knew nothing of. In agony, I wrestled with bringing it up, this seemingly insignificant thing. We laugh about my fears now, but back then, I was sure that this was going to be the end of a relationship not quite even started. How could he trust me when I was clearly such an immature Christian?
I remember writing that dreaded text message as if it were yesterday and waiting the hour or so until he saw it and responded.
You guys, I just looked at that response again, and it still brings tears to my eyes…He called me, Daughter of Grace. To this day, that is my favorite name that he ever calls me.
And from that day until now, if I have a mistake that I must apologize for, I don’t have to wrestle with it. I know his arms and heart will be there ready to swoop me in when I’ve fallen. I know that he will forgive with the kind of forgiveness that harbors no memory of the offense for even one second. When I come to my husband with a burdened heart, when I feel as small as a mosquito, and I would normally want to dig a little hole and crawl into it, he still calls me daughter of grace. I feel more loved, more beautiful, more of a prized possession to him then I did before. I have experienced it again and again in our marriage.
And I tell you about it mostly, because, through it, I have glimpsed the love of the Father. When I come to Him, He doesn’t stop to question me to make sure I’m truly repentant. He doesn’t remove His trust in me because I’ve messed up again. He doesn’t shame me, doesn’t condemn me, doesn’t withhold love from me for even a moment. He motions me over to His lap. He lets me hide my face in His breast. He kisses my head while telling me, I’m so glad you know you are safe here.
This is grace.
Perhaps you are wondering if this kind of grace would kinda make it easier to fall again. Surely, if I felt shamed or condemned, I would have greater motivation to fix myself. The fact is I can’t fix myself. In fact, the more I focus on my sin and shame, the more stuck I am in its grip.
But grace is a miracle that somehow unshackles me. The simple act of sharing and particularly with someone who will pour the oil of grace over my heart brings access to victory previously unknown. This is redemption.
This is what God desires to do for me each time I come before Him. But he also wants to use a human form to be the means of pouring out redemption this way.
I rejoice in the gift God has given me in my husband’s love. And I’ve had this prayer welling up in my heart that I would somehow be this grace to my family, that somehow my children would learn, through me, the truth of the forgiveness, love and redemption that flows from Christ. This will be a miracle because I am not naturally a gracious person, but I trust He will accomplish it.