When words are a part of your everyday living, they sometimes flow… and maybe you might not realize exactly what tumbles out. Like when I mumble as I respond, and when I rattle unloveliness as I react, or when unbelief spills out in fear.
My husband caught me the other day in the middle of words I was speaking only for myself. I didn’t mean for them to be heard by anyone else, but they were. I said I was ‘done‘, but I didn’t think I said it out loud. He asked me what I was done with…but I don’t remember actually answering him. I was convicted. And I am pretty sure if I counted, those words have been uttered more than I’d like to admit.
The reality is every single thing we say, whether intended for an audience or not, is heard by the One who knows the unutterables before they are voiced.
For there is not a word in my tongue [still unuttered], but, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. Psalm 139:4
Exhaled frustration can often be our confession.
My words were an exhale of frustration with a confession that didn’t line up with the Truth. How often does my exhale reek of the sigh burdens weigh on me? Like when I breathe deep and blow out, but I don’t really let go of the burden as I follow the pattern again and again. The more I considered his question, I started to recollect those hollowed sentences.
‘I am done.’, comes when I can’t deal, when I am overwhelmed, when I am scared and afraid or hurt.
‘I am done.’, falls out when I get right in the way of God’s will, taking control instead of letting grace win.
‘ I am done.’, spills when my expectations are unrealistic and my defenses feel threatened.
‘I am done.’, says I give up instead of I’ll press in.
Immediately, I saw the faulty paradigm surface. Retreat is easier that soldiering on. Courage felt foreign. Faith seemed fickle with the white-flag of surrender those words represented. I am not a give up kind-of-girl, but it those words sure made it sound like that was path I choosing. I found myself traveling the broken way a little closer as I remembered…but the #gracemoment it provided began to unravel the threads of frustration and open the door to more of God in this journey.
Even on that broken road, God draws us up out of the iniquity of our hearts time and time again. He forgives those trespassing faithless moments that halt our momentum. He heals and redeems those pit-sinking moments that threaten to bury us. He crowns us with compassion fueled by love and renews us…satisfying us with good things so we can soar and overcome the issues that storm into our days.
Maybe its when ‘I’ am done that I AM has space to change my heart. Because when we are done with our way, we start seeing things from a different perspective…from redemptions vantage point where everything takes a different view
In those moments where my ability has come short, I find myself at the throne of grace once again. Taking these burdens that I carry and placing them carefully on the ground… choosing the art of surrender as a confession of hope instead of defeat. I was reminded that in each of our confessions, we have a choice…we get an opportunity to choose grace, to choose God, to choose goodness…even when we feel there is nothing good in the moment.
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may seize and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you out to be, establish and ground you securely and strengthen and settle you.
Humility. Grace. Peace.
Humanity is hard for this recovering-perfectionist wanna-be-grace-girl. Every single day is a new lesson in surrendering self and pushing forward in Christ, of letting go of this world and holding on to Him, of relinquishing my need to be right and relishing the power of peace.
And I want to be full of grace in those white flag moments. I want to be filled with humility in those journeys of surrender. I want to be overflowing with gratefulness in the breath-filled murmurs. I want to walk by faith and not by sight in the difficult.
In the collecting of moments we do, the gathering of our dealing during our living days… these #gracemoments are not always pinterest-perfect or instagram-incredible. They’re not usually the pieces we paste for the world to see because they are real and imperfect and less than. But maybe we need to do it a little more… because we serve a God who loves the less than opportunity because He is the greater than champion. And maybe our transparent honesty will lead another to count grace and to get free from the burden that has kept them bound. We are meant to be overcomers.
You are of God, [you belong to Him], and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Lord, I am done with my way… lead me in yours alone.
My husband asked me if I was still done the other day. He was teasing me, but still…he waited for me to release the weight visibly. There is something about being seen and being heard and being known legitimately. It is all about being understood. And once in awhile, those that know us deep…they need to speak to us true. They need to call us out on those things that we say because they see us in a way we fail to see ourselves. They step in and remind us to keep going, to keep moving forward. The tell us it is ok to be real but it isn’t ok to stay in the places we were never meant to be.
- I want to be done carrying the burden in an exhale that heaps hard onto the door of my heart.
- I want to be done with the comparison game and the regret that steals joy right out from under me.
- I want to be done choosing inoperative words that are not in line with His will and His Word.
- I want to be done missing the miracle moments because I was too busy to let the rhythm of rest help me attend.
God reminded me to stop striving and start believing in what He is doing and has done. (Phil 1:6) He reminded me to trust Him with the moments I feel like I am struggling because it will work out. (Heb 10:35) He challenged me to wait in the quiet places where grace exists as a beacon of light. (Ps 46:10)
It is often on the battleground where we lose steam and want to give up. Right in the middle of the action, we just want to be done. We gather up our wounds and our mistakes instead of marching forward in the victory He has already won. In the middle of our living we lose sight of the target and we let our eyes see only the issue in front of us. But in truth, we need to remember that our battle is not against flesh blood but against an unseen enemy…a defeated enemy…and we are on the winning side.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high things that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; – 2 Cor. 10:3-5
I don’t have to be done with the battle…I just need to switch tactics. I need to be led by His Spirit and prepare for the day by putting on the armor of God. I need to remember that His Word is my best response, even if I am just saying it for myself.
Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground…and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
Thinking about this need to be done with being done, I was listening to the Christian Radio Station in the car the other day. One of the voices that pours out wisdom regularly was talking about a conversation on grace. He mentioned that when he found himself losing the battle with the very real issue of his heart, it was because he was focused more on the issue and his ability to overcome it. Then he said, “What if we were more intentional to do the exact opposite of what we are trying to overcome? What if we were more intentional to act out grace instead of control our reaction to whatever sets us off?”
What if the antidote to our issues was grace? What if the things that hold us back are covered in intentional grace? Would we be done so easily? Would we give up the fight in the middle of the battle?
As I am placing this pebble of self at the altar of grace, I am learning that saying I am done isn’t giving up or walking away from my responsibilities. It is choosing to put on Christ. When I choose intentional grace, instead of my reaction to an issue, I am choosing to let His will be done as I submit my will to God.
It is choosing grace when the situation is less than peaceful.
It is choosing peace when an argument becomes divisive.
It is choosing humility when I’ve let pride respond.
It is choosing faith when things occur beyond my control.
It is choosing love when others make choices that I don’t agree with.
It is choosing the kind of hope that overflows when the circumstances are overwhelming.
For those moments when we want to be done, let’s count grace. For those difficult spaces when we want to be done let’s exhale grace. Because grace can be the antidote to the issues we face and hope blooms when we are intentionally done with everything but His way. How are you learning to exhale praise and grace in your words?
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*
Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
If you don’t have a blog, you can connect with me via my Journeys in Grace FB page by sharing a photo or a comment. Or you can join the party by sharing your images on Instagram with #Gracemoments hashtag.
Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.
I love how this piece emphasizes the tension between submitting to the will of God — and all the while making the choice, which is a very active and participatory thing. And this is the essence of the Christian life — a beautiful dance of following and moving with creativity within the guidance of our Choreographer.
Dawn- this was beautiful! I so get this, I’m done doing life thinking I hold control. Surrendering and letting are hard concepts for me to grasp. I’m working on it!
I love this line – “God reminded me to stop striving and start believing in what He is doing and has done.” A constant struggle for me – to do it in my own strength, or let Him take over and guide my every step. Thankful for His mercy that forgives my stubbornness, and His grace that allows Him to use me again.
It’s so true that we will become overwhelmed when we try to control things that are not ours to control. Surrendering those things to the able hands of the Lord brings such relief when we really trust them into His hands with no strings attached, and willingly say, “Not my will but Thine be done.”
“we serve a God who loves the less than opportunity because He is the greater than champion,” I love, love, love this! I’ve just been thinking about how some people look down on people who are different, whom they deem to be less than. I wonder if they would have invited John the Baptist in for tea. Or Ruth the Moabitess. I’m so glad that God looks on the heart, not the hairdo or the fashion of our clothing or our ethnicity, dwelling place, or diet (wild locusts anyone?) Nothing shocks God! And, I’m so glad He is my champion when others treat me as less than.
Wow, I was a this same point in my daily life last week too. I prayed and His peace came over me and comforted me. I’m learning that too. Great testimony! I think we all go through this a lot more than we would care to admit. Thanks for hosting!