Thinking about the #gracemoments I wanted to share with you today reminded me of this transition that is going on in my heart and my life. Sometimes it amazes me that anyone comes here to read these stories I write…I’m just a girl who loves Jesus and grace and is running, or perhaps fumbling, her way through that journey.
The truth is, I long for deep and insightful conversation. I really wish you and I were seated at my favorite table here, over coffee or something lovely to drink…connecting.
And I think we all need those spaces. The places that feel like the comfort of a friend, where we can be real and we can be honest and say the hard and difficult things without feeling like we have just sealed our fate or ended a relationship.
But when we step into the space that is reserved by grace, we are able to spread wings together and examine closely the issues that weigh us down. We are able to give voice to the practical and set aside the indeterminate in order to launch one another forward.
That takes transparency. That takes honest openness. That takes confession.
My kids are growing up. And it sorta scares me cause I don’t like the world they are inheriting. And I know what God’s Word says about fear and trust and His faithfulness. But this parenting journey almost always feels like one chaotic moment to the next, and I sometimes miss early days that felt easier to walk through.
Somewhere in the midst of this mothering, I can forget to be me. It’s easy to get lost in the nurturing process. The realization that they are getting ready to launch on their own makes me a little uncomfortable. Ok, it stresses me out a little. Because I can’t control, I can’t keep them safe, I can’t always be with them. But God can.
It’s not just keeping them safe that builds the burden gathering, I consider what I’ll do with me when I’m not teaching and organizing and carpooling. And the funny thing is, I crave quiet spaces where I can hide from my world of people sometimes. So why does the transition bother me?
Yet, I am a better me because I got to be their mom. The struggles have refined me as I have sought His leading. I have come to know more grace because I have come to see God more.
The thing is, in His faithfulness He is meeting me in this transition. And for a girl who is not always good with change, I can see that even the transition is a good thing.
Each new season can feel like the hardest one in our journeys, so far. But perhaps, the key words are …so far…because when we have met this trial and surpassed this struggle through His faithfulness, we’ll lean a little more closer in those transition moments.
Perhaps recognizing the struggle, giving voice to the fight, and choosing to lean into reason will perpetuate the change that needs to come in our transitions.
Every season can be difficult. Every transition that we make can be like stepping into the unknown. Every experience has the potential to change our journey. Every single breath we take can be a confession that passes over our lips to become a restorative truth in the faithful hands of God.
Hosea’s words met me in this place of reason, unraveling the remnants of ruins I’ve been juggling in these spaces of trusting His faithfulness with my dearest possessions…my kids, my words, myself. Sometimes, I find myself building up walls to protect, when really I need to let every single one fall into His capable hands because He is the restorer, He is the gentle guide through our transitions, He invites us into the space He prepares for us.
Take with you words and return to the Lord, Say to Him, Take away all our iniquity; accept what is good and receive us graciously; so will we render [our thanks] as bullocks [to be sacrificed] and pay the confession of our lips. I will heal their faithlessness; I will love them freely…- Hosea 14:2,4
Maybe today you just need to realize that your questions and your wonderings are normal…and it’s not a lack of faith when we come and reason together. We are called to do that. And as I thought about the purpose of my words, recently, the reason I write to begin with, I was encouraged to think of who it was a I am writing to.
I am writing to the one who feels a little broken and yet is choosing to trust in the fierce love of God that heals and restores beating hearts.
I am writing to the one who is real and laughs and cries and sometimes gives in to the chaos but always comes back to grace.
I am writing to the woman who needs to know that she is valued no matter her backstory. She is just needs to know she is worthy to be loved.
I am writing to the momma who needs to know it is going to work out, somehow, the educator who has invested life and hope into others, the word-loving communicator who longs to let black and white meld into the message of hope in order to bring some semblance of healing through life-giving words.
I am writing to the dreamer who longs to make a difference, the wanna-be-marathon-runner who defies the odds, to the prayer warrior who believes that her knees are the most powerful weapon at her disposal.
I am writing to the introvert and the extrovert in all of us, embracing the gifts of diversity that beautify our world.
I realized, as I dabbled and dreamed in the possibility of this ideal soul that I long to pour into… I am writing to myself as much as I am longing to write words that connect with you. Because we all need to remember He writes this on the tablets of our hearts.
This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put My Laws in their hearts and inscribe them on their minds. – Hebrews 10:16
A confession and a prayer…
For the last 2 months, nearly every single day I have prayed the same prayer. Abba, I belong to you.
It started with a trip, a conference, and a desire to be met by God. He showed up. He met us right where we were and rocked our purpose, completely. And in the midst of bonding with my friend as we sought the Lord together, He began breaking a piece within me, a disability that has handicapped my journey for as long as I can remember.
Sometimes I am afraid to dream and ask for more, but He showed me that the dreams and the hopes and the goals were as much a part of my tomorrow as they are a part of my today. He made me long to pursue something more because with God we’ll never get to the end of His goodness.
If confession is good for the soul, I need to tell you how deeply I have struggled to belong.
No matter how much my husband loved on me, or my kids told me that I was a great mom, or my family encouraged me. No matter how many things I got right… the things I got wrong were magnified in my estimation. No matter how much truth I packed into my head and my heart, I still didn’t feel good enough to be called His, I still didn’t feel like I fit.
I don’t think I am the only woman to feel this way, but speaking those words to my friend that weekend and to you today is both scary and freeing.
O LORD, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me.- Psalm 139:1
When we confess His truth He shows up with healing and restoration. It is not a cliché…His Grace. It’s a gift for us all. It’s a promise of enough for where we are, for what we are carrying or wearing or pulling behind us. It’s a revelation that nothing we feel, say, or do will separate us from the Love of God.
A challenge to pray a bold prayer of belonging.
I knew by Thanksgiving that God was calling me to step into faith for 2017. I knew before we found ourselves wrestling with the trials of today that He was asking me to let go of the weight and embrace His promise of knowing me fully.
I’ve been reading through Psalm 139 every day since the start of Advent, praying the same prayer each and every day in the quiet morning hours and in the stressful transitions, and the less than expected moments.
~Abba, I belong to you. Amen.~
It’s a faith prayer, a confession of hope, a promise of belonging. It is a reminder that time is short and passes quickly. It is a challenge to let go of the empty confessions we make like:
… I screwed up this morning with my kids so I am a bad mom.
Nope, not any more. Grace restores. Repentance repairs the breech.
…I can’t seem to make a difference with the words I write. I can’t keep up with the crowd.
Nope, not anymore. Your identity is wrapped up in the One who spread arms as far as the east is from the west and spilled grace willingly.
…I don’t fit. I am not good enough. I don’t belong.
Nope, not anymore. Abandon the way of the world for the way of grace and love.
As we choose to believe the heart of grace’s message, the one that says we belong to the Father, we are changed. He paid a ransom we couldn’t afford so you could be with Him. He spilled heaven’s mercy in order to fill His book with your name. He invites you into the restoration through your confession. Because you belong in His grace.
Belonging to God is part of that consecrated living, a setting apart to a sacred call that completes us. It is where He meets us. I am choosing to let my kids, my words, and my heart settle into that place of being His on a daily basis…so that I don’t forget.
Are your #gracemoments leading you to make bold confessions and prayers today?
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.
Thank you, Dawn, for sharing your heart hear today so openly — I am also in a season of reaching out for connection, confessing my inadequacy to God, reminding myself daily that I am living before Him. And this is a vulnerable place to be, but the very best for our souls.
Dawn, this so spoke to my heart on several levels. I am also finding this changing world a frightening place for my children and grandchildren. I am praying daily and fervently for them to know the Truth of God in increasing measure. I also am finding myself fighting the urge to “cocoon” and reaching out for connection. May we go the way of His grace and His love and our lives shine for Him so that we bring Him glory. Blessings!
Dawn- thank you for this encouraging post! Transparency and honesty is so important. I grow in faith when I can hear others admit they don’t have it together. I feel I’m among friends, because I certainly am not together. God wants us to be real with each other, it unites us.
Thanks for hosting!
Dawn … I’ve found that journaling and blogging have been a huge grace in walking me through transitions that seem to go on forever. May you find God keeping step with you ’round every bend …
Powerful message today, Dawn. Your words speak to my own hopes and dreams that seem to constantly be in transition. Blessings on your weekend.
When my kids were small, I thought that was the hard time to be a mama. But then they got older, and I realized that these times were much tougher. But yes, God always gives us what we need so we can give them what they need, albeit “only” advice or shared experience or a listening ear.
“But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1. You are His. It has for so many people got to do with control. We keep trying to control our lives. We wouldn’t have any life if it wasn’t for Him. We have to give up control and let Him guide us…completely. How do you do that? By following the examples spoke of by Jesus and Paul states it well too, in Colossians 3. You are so right that those statements above are empty confessions. God calls you to reflect Him. When you mess up you pray to reflect Him in all that you do. It is His story, not ours.
Oh Dawn, I love that prayer: “Abba, I belong to you.” I’m going to remember that! Blessings on your linkup!