grace is a curse word
i mean, not really. but sometimes i feel like it is.
david and i were texting back and forth with some friends of ours about political drama and the church and one of our friends said this really profound thing about needing to be gracious and preserve unity in the church in the midst of it all. and in my head i was like NO. NO. NO. all these high profile christians endorsing a certain candidate. all of the hypocrisy and assertion that if you don't vote for x candidate, you're sinning. don't use that "g" word! i don't need to have that "g" word towards THOSE people. they're all crazy! i wanted to create a new term to separate myself from all of these so-called "christians" who i felt were total sell outs to a certain party at the expense of the gospel. they don't need the "g" word. they need ISOLATION. QUARANTINE. quick! before it spreads further! disassociate NOW!
and it's not just in the heated political landscape muddied with inconsistent behavior. i don't want to hear that dreaded "g" word in my own relationships. you know how sometimes god brings a truth to light over a period of time and keeps giving you a little more, a little more until you finally put it all together and have your revelation of truth? that's what just happened to me and i finally got it today. actually, it's probably not done yet because it's never really done. but i've had several epiphanies over the last week.
all of my family and friends know that i am a complete and total control freak. marriage and motherhood have wrecked my control. wrecked it. smashed it to pieces so small i can't put it back together even though i try my hardest. every. single. day. i need control. sometimes i feel like i HAVE to control. like, no one else will do it so it's my job. pick up that control. and every time i do it, i end up hurt. angry. stressed. anxious. letting thoughts turn in my mind over and over and over until they're eating me. eating my insides. consuming all of my headspace. and i hate it! i hate it more than anything. when i get in my deepest fits of control freak-ness, that's when i just downright hate myself. i hate that i get so passionate about things. i hate that i care so much. i hate that i feel like i have to be the one to see that justice is served. as if i am god or something. i hate that about me. i wish i weren't like that. i wish i didn't care.
but you know what? god made me. he knit me in my mother's womb. he knew all of the personality strengths and weaknesses i would have. he knew all of the struggles i would have before i even had them. he knows. and as the book "hope heals" by katherine and jay wolf recently instilled in me, he does not make mistakes. so i cannot hate myself, or i'm hating the god who created me this way. i can't want out, or i'm not living my purpose. now i'm not saying that i now have a license to be a control freak because god made me that way. no. i have to die to myself every day and crucify the desire to control and to be god, because i am not god. but that passion that he put inside of me that makes me want to go out and DO something - i can harness that for good. for god's good purposes. and when i let his truth wash over me, when i let that darn "g" word sink in and recognize what it means that god had grace on ME - now THAT is powerful. that is when my passion can bring me to action that honors god. that desire for control melts into a desire to be controlled by god and to lay down my pride. to apologize for wrongs. to seek redemption and reconciliation where there was brokenness and dissent.
we are all broken, a truth that god keeps bringing to me lately. all of us. so very broken. and i need to have grace. grace for myself, grace for my husband, grace for my daughter, grace for my friends, grace for my family. this morning bina woke up all happy and sweet and i nursed her and we read from the big picture story bible in her room. then we came down for breakfast and i sat her in her booster seat and gave her some grapes and blueberries. she then began to rub them all over her tray and throw them on the floor. and because i was already worked up about something else, i quickly fell off the cliff of frustration and was ready to lose it on her. STOP THROWING THE BLUEBERRIES AND GRAPES YOU UNGRATEFUL DEVIOUS CHILD.
and then i was like. whoa there crazy mama. don't take out your insanity on this poor kid who is probably just full from nursing and not interested in the fruit you just put in front of her. also, still teething. also, yesterday didn't go well for breakfast either so i shouldn't be so surprised the same is happening this morning. i quickly calmed down and cleaned up the mess. bina ate some oatmeal cereal instead, and we called it a day. i am broken. so broken. i want grace. i need grace.
the other day desiring god posted a quote from john piper on instagram. it read, "grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. grace is the enabling gift of god not to sin. grace is power, not just pardon."
grace is the enabling gift of god not to sin. that was kind of a new twist for me. give me that "g" word. i want some of that! god, enable me not to sin! i feel like it's good that i screw up all the time and need to apologize, and thus am reminded of my own need for grace and forgiveness. it humbles me constantly. and gosh i hate apologizing and admitting i am wrong. it sucks. sucks with a capital S. it takes humility. and i just want to be right. but it's so freeing just to lay down my pride, my arrogance, my perceived need and want for control. because it's about that unity that my friend spoke of when we were talking about politics. it's not about being right. it's about being gracious. it's about preserving unity. some things are salvation issues. like, jesus is god. that is not negotiable. die on a hill for that. but a lot of the things i get all up in arms about? not salvation issues. we're all on different walks. god's speaking different things to each of us at different times. sanctification is a long, slow process. and we all need that "g" word - both the power and the pardon. especially me.