There are days in the year that have the potential to blow me over. The enormity of their impact being built by the intensity of the memories that bind them to my timeline. And it always surprises me the level of emotion that flows from a soul in a split second… just. like. that. It astounds me that we can be so varied in our complex self, that we can be both deep and shallow at the same time, like a transverse wave traveling forward on momentum begun long before we see it.
And as I think about the #gracemoments that have littered my story this week, I am all at once surprised and expectant at the way He sprinkles grace all over the hard and the busy and the difficult and the beautiful… blending our today and tomorrow and yesterday together on purpose for a purpose with a purpose.
I have a plan for you declares the Lord… Jeremiah 29:11
People amaze me but they wear me out.
The introverted part of my heart forgets to exert caution when the extroverted me steps out.
I forget, until it is way too late, that I crave still and quiet and unhurried and quickly empty when the busy fills in.
To be honest, I don’t forget I crave that waiting space where grace gently bathes me in the waves of mercy and renewal, but I do miss the memo to schedule the stillness some of the time. And then I find it again, when I can no longer keep going, because by default gravity and exhaustion win the battle.
But that isn’t the best way to find grace, is it? It isn’t the best way to rest and wait and renew.
God gave us a plan for renewal. He shows us a way to recharge and to regroup. He laid out the plan for the return from the busy and the resetting of the holy in our path. He taught us to pray.
Prayer is the antidote for every single difficulty we face.
I have a plan for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you…- Jeremiah 29:11
Last week, during one of the busy chaotic moments where my mind was cataloging the day and backtracking to remember just what I’d left undone, I found myself sitting in a plastic white chair on a dark patio in the back of a different yard. And I almost missed her words for all the competing thoughts in my head. Mentally ticking off everything that had to be done, strategizing the next few days, contemplating the alternatives and trying to balance a paper plate and a bowl of chili and a cup of lemonade together. In fact, I may not have processed I was sitting still till her quiet words diffused the clamor of my busy soul.
“How are you? I have been praying for you, a lot, actually.”
My response was quiet. A breathing in and out of grace. The grace of peace this olive branch offered out of friendship but also because of obedient faith. And there is a healing grace in this, an immediate result of knowing you have been seen, knowing you are being prayed for, knowing beneath it all you are loved.
And in that moment I remembered to breathe slowly. To settle in that busy space and pause. To wait in the offered grace that pursues us always. Because that is what God does… His favor follows us… even in the chaos of the schedule and the shifting of the plans and the unknowns of tomorrow. Grace is reserved and waiting already prepared for you to be found in it.
I didn’t think about it till later, the way His pursuit of my soul in the still quiet whispers make a way of retreat for me. Or how I wasn’t actually looking for the calm in the waves of the overwhelming complexity of that day, sitting but not resting… quiet but not still…present but not connecting.
God meets us right in the midst of our chaos. Christ intercedes for us continually. He pursues us where we are but never leaves us the same. He sends His people to extend His love and remind us of the way.
Prayer is the antidote for every single anxiety we own.
I have a plan for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
Her absence in this temporal world has altered me. Time has not lessened the missing of her. In fact, I miss her more than I know how to articulate. And like that wave that knocks us over, grief still has a power-packed-punch that knocks the wind right out of me when I remember she isn’t here to talk to. We spent a lot of time sitting and watching, together. She taught me to love people. She taught me how to laugh in adversity. She taught me how to be strong when all I wanted to do was weep. But mostly, she taught me to pray.
She would remind me over and over, in the 42 years we had together, that the best thing, the most important thing, the greatest gift was to trust that Jesus was always with me and to bend my knee and bow my head believing it to be true.
I made time for her as I grew, like she made time for me. And she’d always teach me something new. Her strength through multiple tragedies only confirmed the depth of her confessions to me. Every single time she bowed her head, even if they were the exact same words, I was struck by the simple and profound faith of a woman who prayed often. And always she would remind me she prayed for her people, because she believed it made a difference and it reminded her who was in charge.
I miss that beautiful soul. But she left me with a truth that will carry me over the waves that roar and toss and break on the shores of my heart. Prayer is transcendent of time and space and boundaries.
As Christ interceds for us, as His people pray for one another and the great cloud of witnesses urge us on in the heavens, we are buffeted in the bulwark of His presence in every one of our present situations.
Prayer is the antidote to all that is missing in our right now moments and those that will inevitably come.
Though we can easily forget the way to escape the storms that threaten to topple us, prayer is the connection that ties us to His promise, to His people, and to His presence in our journeys.
I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. – Jeremiah 29:11-12
How can I pray for you today? Please know that I pray for every heart that stops here, but if I can pray for you specifically it would be an absolute honor.
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.