It’s an age old battle. Life brings disappointment, and we decide how we react… with grace, or with anger and hurt.
For me, reacting to disappointment with grace feels like giving up. To me, it often looks like letting people hurt you… like letting them hurt me, and then… letting them off the hook?
NO NO NO, my inner self screams. You need to protect yourself. You need to show them who is boss here. You need to show them how much you matter.
Or… the Spirit whispers. Maybe they’ve been hurt many, many times, and they’re reacting out of that hurt. Maybe what they need from you right now is forgiveness and love and the knowledge that you’re not going to give up on them and shut them out.
Today I’m struggling to show grace. Today I’m torn because part of me wants to cry and yell and be a baby and make the person who hurt me SEE THAT I AM RIGHT.
But that’s not the part I choose to act on.
That’s not the place I choose to dwell.
Today, I choose grace. I choose grace. I choose grace.
Even when the memory of words spoken out of deep hurt pops up, I choose to think about it for a second, let myself feel it, let myself know that words spoken over me in anger and hurt are NOT a reflection of who I am. Then, I choose to put it away.
Here’s the thing about grace. It’s been given to me so freely, so generously. It’s been given to me by the Lord of the Universe, my Father, my Lover, my Friend, my Redeemer, my Healer, my God, my King. I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t even know I was going to need it.
But He gave it anyway.
I didn’t accept it immediately. Sometimes I still don’t accept it. And He is always there, ready to give it anyway. He gives it continually in a way I can only hope to replicate. Every time I mess up, He is still there, arms open.
Recently, I asked God to give me grace. I asked Him to help me speak out of love, not haste. And he did.
Today I asked God again, give me grace, Father, give me grace. And he reminded me gently that there’s still anger in my heart. He reminded me that grace doesn’t just mean plastering on a fake smile and saying, “everything’s fine.” Grace does not mean evading the issue. It means getting out the tools and doing surgery on my own heart, sans anesthesia. It means learning to be okay, even when my heart and mind are whispering that showing grace looks an awful lot like losing an argument.
Today, I’m reminded what grace is, at it’s core.
Grace is forgiveness when forgiveness is not earned.
Grace is love when love is not deserved.
Grace is moving on, even when the other person hasn’t cared enough to receive forgiveness… hasn’t even asked for it.
When you struggle to show grace, when you spend weeks drowning in hurt and bitterness and resentment and “what am I going to do about this?”
Ask yourself this question:
Have you prayed about it as much as you’ve talked about it?
God isn’t trying to hide revelation from us. More often than not, when I’m stuck in a problem and I am struggling to find my way out, if I ask myself this question, I realize the answer is no.
Ask the Father for grace today, tomorrow, in every situation. Sometimes you’ll give in to the disappointment. Sometimes you’ll be graceless. But guess what.
He’ll still be there, arms stretched wide, ready to extend His grace to you, ready to help you up and guide you as you try again. He’s already told us His grace is all we need.
Grace upon grace upon grace.