More Peace

More Peace

Last year was a lesson in grace for me.

So many times my patience was tested in ways it rarely had been before. Honestly, I think I actually learned how to show grace in a way I’d never had to push myself to do. In that way, I became more like Jesus. I learned that even if I am right, I don’t always have to make sure other people know that. I learned that I am called to treat people with kindness even when they don’t deserve it, and I learned that often the people I’m meant to show grace to are the people I’d most like to push off a cliff.

Yes, I’m sure the next time I need to be the bigger person, it’ll still be hard. I might need to learn about grace all over again. But, I am proud of the way I acted in 2016. I am proud of the way I was able to learn to love others in the same way Jesus loves them-an unearned, undeserved love.

What has God been showing me this year?

Well, we’re one month in, so of course He’s been teaching me something new.

One: peace.

Peace in a world that is anything but peaceful. I’m learning to trust in Him and find Peace, even when I don’t feel it. Even when I’d never feel it on my own.

The other day, during a time of worship, (the Holy Spirit nudged) a friend, and he spoke the words “peace and trust” over me. It was very much one of those words that could relate to many situations or anyone, but I had to laugh because peace was exactly what I was crying out to the Lord for in that moment. Tears streamed down my face (and I felt ridiculous, but I let them fall).

As we finished the song, I felt the Lord speaking to me: As your TRUST grows, peace will come. In that moment, I realized I hadn’t been asking for enough. I was asking for peace, but peace and trust go hand in hand.

The more I trust Him, the more I am filled with His peace. The more I trust Him, the more I refuse to give up.

Two: more.

This word has been floating around in my head the past few days. The other night I was free-writing in my journal and it seemed like it was all I could think of. More. More peace more trust more peace more trust more grace more love more understanding more wisdom more forgiveness more of You, God. That’s what I want this year to hold.

That’s what I know this year will hold.

No matter where I am by January 1, 2018, even if it’s somewhere I never thought I’d be (and it usually is), I want to look back and say that I gained more of Him. I want to look back and say my trust has grown in leaps and bounds. I want to be walking in a deeper and more perfect peace than I thought possible.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. (Colossians 3:15)

 

xoxo,

Carrie

disappointment vs. grace

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.

 

xoxo,

Carrie