I watch close as the shades tend to be drawn around the hearts that flutter in and out of my day. I see their safety nets cast out around them, carefully laid just so.
I feel the walls go up, the unmet hello’s and the quickly dismissed encouragement, because we don’t know how to receive honest appreciation.
I hear the words that murmur inadequacies; though often self-inflicted, they wound deep.
Sometimes the grace message needs to get personal, friends. When we fail to open the memo that is sent for our eyes to scan and ponder, we usually forget that grace is a two-way street for us. We should be giving and receiving this gift He gives freely.
When it comes to applying grace to the doorposts of our heart, we sort of put the brush down and walk away from the application. We forget to give ourselves the same measure of grace that we try to extend to others. Will you let me share a secret with you, today?
Grace can’t be measured.
And if grace can’t be measured, then why do you think we fail in receiving it and dispensing it to ourselves?
Our finite minds will never truly touch the brim of what this gift He pours over us can ever be, I wonder why we feel so free to extend it with reserve.
Grace is His to give and ours to receive, so that we can share it with those who come into our lives. Sometimes that means they get to witness our messes, too.
This series is a prime example. I had great plans to share all this loveliness with you, like the beautiful conversations that I have had with friends about wearing grace. Life has a way of catching us and holding us back, keeping us from getting to those things we have planned to do. Because life is messy and we are right in the middle of living it… it sort of wears on us and we tend to reflect what we see. Has that happened to anyone else?
I can’t wait to share the conversations with you, however, until then… there is a conversation that has been happening here in my heart that I think maybe you may just need to hear.
Sometimes, I just don’t know how to give grace to myself. Unfortunately, I don’t think I am alone in this, am I?
The more I consider this concept of wearing grace in all I do, I am reminded of the way that I am easily discouraged by the moments in life which get ahead of me. I somehow think I should HAVE. IT. ALL. TOGETHER. I mean… really, by now I should be able to handle the wrenches that end up in the middle of my plan, right?
Well, that is what people tell me, sometimes. They are sure I can’t relate to their mess because I so clearly have things ‘under control’.
And I laugh, friends.
Sometimes, though, I don’t. I find myself sad at the meager attempts to be gracious to others and my inability to also show them I am real and human and I need to know this grace thing for myself.
Our mess reveals the power of mercy.
And I think it is time to talk about these moments of pausing, disruption, and randomness as an opportunity to learn how to administer the power of grace to ourselves. There is power in our broken moments, there is deep gospel-healing hope in our declaration of imperfection.
Our reflection of the Savior is all that needs to be seen when our messes become the lens which allow others to see Him through us. These moments of real, the difficult sloppy nuances of life that is lived, are a more profound testimony of the beauty grace etches upon our frame than any premeditated plan we could attempt to conceive.
What do you see in your reflection friend?Are you looking through the lens of grace towards yourself?
Sometimes it is difficult to clothe ourselves in the garment of grace, because our judgment becomes focused more on our mess, or our imperfections, than what God has already completed in us. It is easy to mistake the applying of make-up as ‘fixing’ things we want to alter in us. Yet, in these lessons on building up our warrior hearts and learning to wear grace, we need to apply a few layers of eternal cosmetology.
Grace is more than an extension of how we deal with others. It is the reflection of His love towards us. We need to remember to grasp tightly to this peace-offering He packages precisely for our messy moments, busy blunders, disruptive distractions, and our endless errors.
Have you considered that when we only think of what is right in front of us, our ill-perceived ideas of who we are, instead of what could be, saturated by the power of His presence over us, then we are lining up with a destructive force whose sole purpose is to steal and destroy?
Consider it like this….
When we only think of what is: the today moment, the mess up, the misstep, the lost opportunity
Instead of what could be: the learning lesson, the revelation, the healing, the unknown promise
Then: We unwillingly destroy the power of hope found in pleasant blessings of grace from God because we miss the moments of mercy He sends our way.
In truth, mercy is often disguised simply as the distractions and the messes that we find reflecting His grace in every situation.
We behold His glory when we look into the real and see the eternal fingerprint of His seal lovingly placed upon us by His Spirit. Because of that, as we look upon our own image, we should ultimately look for His, first.
It is God Who confirms and makes us steadfast and establishes us in Christ, and has consecrated and anointed us, putting His seal upon us and giving us His seal in our hearts as a security deposit and guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the LORD, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor 3:18
And it is hard friends. It is hard to see His reflecting looking back at me from the mirror. So many times I see all the parts of me I don’t appreciate, the broken, marred, and imperfect pieces of me that I erroneously believe detract from His glory.
Yet, that is wrong. Oh, so wrong.
When I see His handiwork, when I apply His grace as my covering, then the focus now becomes what He has already done in me.
Grace meets us, broken in our messes. Mercy cleans up the rough edges, putting us back together by His Love so that we can reflect His glory. This grace thing, it is all about Him.
Grace and Mercy go hand and hand friends. Not only should we allow the garments of grace to be our clothing so that we can meet others with compassion hedged in by a healthy dose of His unyielding love, but we also see that mercy must follow close behind and goodness becomes the fodder of our murmurings.
These words from Psalm 23 have been echoing in my soul recently. As if it was an anthem I was created to sing into the deep dark spaces. In those moments when you want to doubt and let fear rob you of truth, I dare you to sing it too.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. – Psalm 23:6
Do you need to allow mercy to follow you friend so that you can begin to see grace in your reflection?
This is a layer of grace that we need to learn to put on daily. We need to find that piece of our make-up and layer it in abundance so that each time we are tempted to see anything but His beauty within, we would allow the mercy that flows from the throne of grace to cover our imperfections and clothe us in grace for the day.
Praying you will always remember that surely mercy and goodness are surrounding you because His grace can take our weaknesses and reflect strength and beauty in us.
The next challenge we need to take together in this journey towards grace-filled living, is to trust in the power of His mercy and the beauty of His goodness, which follows us wherever we may go. Especially when we look at our reflection in the mirror or sit in the midst of each other.
Step Three: Every day when you look in the mirror, before you put on your make up, apply the balm of mercy like a healing lotion over your face. Spritz yourself with grace so that the perfume it wears is like a vapor that follows you wherever you go. Pray that you could see with eyes rimmed in His love and LOOK deeply at the you He is making new.
The Question to consider and comment:
How can we allow His mercy to make the most of our mess for His glory? How can we wear this aspect of grace as a garment in our daily preparing to shine His light into our every day living? And when we make a mistake, can we look in to the mirror and see mercy following close behind?
I’d love to hear your answers to this question. Please share them in the comment section, below.
Each post I share in this series on A Warrior Heart : Wearing a Garment of Grace will end with a question to answer and share in the comment section, and sometimes I will include a conversation that I have had with a friend.
If you’d like to join me in the conversation, send me a note at dawnboyer@journeysingrace. The week that I share our conversation, I will also share your blog/website and link you in to the post.
The next conversation I share in this series will include some thoughts from my sweet friend Sarah Ann over at Faith Along the Way. We are going to be talking about this process of authenticity and wearing grace in our friendships.
Sometimes I link up with friends for the journey below:
SDG Gathering, Make A Difference Mondays, Playdates with God, Unite, #RaRaLink Up, #TellHisStory, Testimony Tuesday, Coffee for Your Heart, Wednesday Prayer Girls, Three Word Wednesday,Mom’s Morning Coffee, Thought Provoking Thursdays, Front Porch Inspired: Conversations, Thoughtful Thursdays, Live Free Thursday, My Lens and Pen, Shine Blog Hop,Fellowship Fridays, Missional Women, Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop, Counting My Blessings, Grace and Truth, Grace and Truth Link Up, Saturday Soiree, Still Saturday,My Freshly Brewed Life, Give Me Grace , Faith N Friends Blog Hop