I used to be a hateful person. There, I said it. So when someone posted a rather indirect nasty post on facebook the other day about my blog, I felt that green monster popping back up.
But then, the calm came, and the offense left, and my life went on just like it had been, just 3 short minutes after reading it. A very different reaction than what I would have had just a year ago.
It’s in these little things that Jesus reminds me just how far He’s brought me over these past 12 months. And notice I say how far HE has brought me.
Growing up, I was the soft spoken girl who didn’t say a word….but back me into a corner, and you were sure to get your head ripped off.
Fast forwarding into adult years — I found a confidence that I loved and hated all at the same time. I missed that quiet girl, but too many things had happened in my life for me to be that girl anymore, and it soon lead to an attitude that I could not control. Or so I thought…
When I became a mother, I knew I didn’t want to raise my children to be arrogant or prideful…I wanted to raise them to be full of grace, all while having a firm head on their shoulders and lacking no confidence in their beliefs.
Little did I know that God would have to teach me how to be that person first, before I could ever teach my child….
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this past year God has really been working on my heart. It has been a very hard process, because in so many ways, I literally feel like my heart has been stripped (I mean absolutely raw) of the bitterness, hurt, pride, anger, and lack of forgiveness that had built up over these past 10 years.
Not only because of others, but because of myself….I did a lot of this to myself….what a “mind blown” experience that has been.
Most of all, He’s shown me just how much grace I wanted to be shown during my hard moments and struggles in my life. And how much grace I wish I would have shown myself.
It’s true what they say — there’s a heartache behind every door. Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting a battle that you know absolutely nothing about.
It’s also true what they say, that you can more efficiently minister to someone else about certain situations if you’ve been through them yourself. And so I started looking at my life as a ministry….
God is still working on my heart, big time.
I still slip up, daily. I still make mistakes, and I always will. I still find instances where I am unloving and judgmental, but they are less and less as time goes on.
I’ve realized that the only way to receive grace, is to show it.
I’ve realized that the only way to receive love, is to love unconditionally. In every.single.situation. Even the hardest ones.
I’ve also realized that you can’t force grace and love on someone, they have to accept and receive it, and if they don’t, that’s ok.
I’ve realized that even when you show grace and love, in all of your humility, there are still many many times where you won’t receive it in return. Nor should you expect it….
“…and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke 6:35
And so begins this journey of living grace, love, and humility. And my word, is it hard.
But the more you practice, the easier it gets. The less you become offended. The more you become concerned with “how would Jesus respond?”….and suddenly you truly understand those popular WWJD? bracelets from the 90’s….another mind blown experience…to say the least.
I’ve had it all wrong for all these years, so wrong.
Grace is kind.
Grace isn’t judgmental.
Grace is loving.
Grace is unconditional, no matter what the situation.
Grace isn’t easily offended.
Grace is humble.
Grace is beautiful….and I only wish I would have met true grace sooner rather than later in my walk with Christ.
But I am so thankful that I’ve found it right here, right now…..