That can be so many things.
A person's name.
an embraced quality.
Her name was Grace Elizabeth. She was a farm girl, then a school teacher, then a wife and then a mom. She played the violin, she loved life, she was beautiful.
She was my grandmother. I never thought about her name much until I began dwelling on the topic of grace lately. And grandma's life-her marriage, especially-became a picture of her very own name: Grace.
She had a picture perfect life in some aspects, and then one day, it began to change. She forgot things. Her behaviors became stranger. In the end, her diagnosis became Schizophrenia. Medicines weren't advanced. Doctors didn't know as much. It became a heartbreaking disease. But my grandpa showed her grace day in and out. He loved her like no love I'd seen. He wept upon deciding to have to put her in a nursing home. He drove to see her every week. He held her hand and sat by her side through many trying times. He displayed grace to Grace.
Grandpa's grace in their marriage is a quality picture of how God gives us grace. Day in and day out. He loves us when no one else will. He stays by our side when the world walks away. He weeps when we weep. He holds our hands through trying times. GRACE.
Grace is defined as unmerited, divine assistance given humans for their sanctification; approval, favor.
I recently read a quote that has stuck with me over the last few days. It said "Cut the threads of guilt with the edges of grace." (Lisa Terkeurst)
Just like a string that unravels from a blanket and reveals colors underneath, unexpected, as we tear away threads of guilt and replace them with grace, beautiful parts of our heart are revealed. God is so good in that way.
Cut away guilt of bad decisions made. Weave in threads of God's forgiveness and grace.
Cut away threads of guilt over dirty dishes and laundry left undone. Replace them with joy of moments had with the kids and memories made. Allow grace in to the moment.
Cut away guilt over broken hearts, regretful moments, and bad memories. Replace it with a healed relationship, an unexpected laugh, and happy times. Grace can do that.
What if we all chose to live a life full of grace?
Grace to forgive all the hurtful words said.
Grace for the wrong things people have done to us.
Grace upon ourselves when the beating up of our own actions and thoughts threaten to bombard.
God intended us to live in grace. To be grace to those so desperately needing it. To love the sinner, not the sin. To be different. To be grace.
I love the picture of daily grace my grandpa lived out with grandma. He could have walked away. He could have gotten so discouraged that he quit. He could have given up. But he bestowed grace in a time most wouldn't. He set an example for generations to come. He loved grace. In every sense of the word.
I also love the story found in John 8 of the Bible. A woman who deserved to be condemned found nothing but God's grace in the moment:
7But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”8Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.9When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.10Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]
We all have scars of sin. They just look different on each person. Some visible. Some not.
We all have moments we beat ourselves up, whether it be over a bad decision or a word unsaid or perhaps said; Maybe we beat ourselves up over eating something we shouldn't have or not being what we think we should be.
What would life look like if we extended more grace? To others. To ourselves.
God is all about grace. Why shouldn't I be the same?
One day at a time. One hour at a time. A Grace filled life. That is what I want to be. Not for my glory, but for His. To point others to Him.
GRACE. Peace. Joy. The more grace extended, the more peace we find. The more peace we find, the more joy we have. And that is true beauty.