One of my favorite things in our home is a gift John recently gave me. It’s not particularly sentimental, but it beautifully captures in words what we so want our home to be. Prominently it sits in our family room as a reminder that we are building a family, building childhoods and building lives each and every day. The words fill my mind as I read it daily and keeps before me the bigger picture than the day to day. These beautiful words read:
“Family is a room filled with unrelenting love where we have a secret space to talk, love, belong. Ridiculous grace and radical freedom are its foundation. Our words rebuild, restore, renovate. We are impenetrable when we stand together. Family is a place we call out courage, creativity, compassion. The time is now. Build a House of Belonging.”
Usually, those words speak life and hope, but yesterday they seemed to taunt me. The words coming out of mouths were not rebuilding, restoring or renovating. In fact, the words that were flowing quickly tore down and brought more anger. Creativity was stifled, compassion was hard to find and grace had high tailed it early on in the day. We just couldn’t seem to snap out of it.
I called John and he told me to do what I know to do. I was more venting and not necessarily looking for advice. He cautiously told me to gather everyone around, pray and ask God to come to us in that moment.
Somehow, in the midst of the ugly, the last thing I want is to involve God. I want to get my attitude straight, at least a little bit, and then ask Him to forgive after I’m halfway in a better state. It’s so much easier to go to Him when I’m through the moment, but coming in the middle of the moment? That is HARD. When my heart is raw, I want to get it together a bit and then go to Him with my taped up heart and present it. “Here you go. At least I tried my best.” I want to try and get it right first – at least a little bit. Go to Him when I have nothing to give but weariness, anger and frustration? That’s hard!
I called the kids into the room. Praying, my voice sounded weird, awkward and a bit insincere. Somehow talking to God is a bit awkward when your mouth has been running the wrong direction all morning. The kids stood around with one eye open and looked about as excited to involve God as I felt. “Father, please help us to be kind. Help ME to be kind. Help us to see as You do. Help ME to see as You do. Please forgive us for the way we’ve been acting. Father, Please forgive ME. Thank you for the gift of these kids that you’ve given to me. We ask You to come here in this moment. Do what You do, we surrender to You AND TO YOUR LOVE.”
The most wonderful love and grace filled our raw hearts. I stood there and He began to remind me of His grace and His love for me even in the middle of my ugly. He reminded me that bad moments don’t equal who I am. My hope does not rest in the fact that I am good enough, but rather He is. His heart is towards me asking me to come in my ugly so that He can exchange it for His love and grace. It takes great humility to allow ourselves to be loved when we feel unlovable. We don’t like love undeserved, but that is exactly the extravagant love we are offered. It is this love that changes us. Truthfully, even our ‘good acts’ are as filthy rags compared to the goodness of who He is. I was overcome by His grace and His love for me. Undeserved mercy and grace for the moment I found myself in. I could almost physically feel the room lighten as I began to see more clearly and the anger and frustration began to leave. His love and grace were there the whole time, but I had to come.
-He wanted me in my weakness so He could be my strength.
-He wanted me in my anger so He could be my peace.
-He wanted me in my frustration so He could be my patience.
-He wanted me in my hurt so He could be my healer.
He wanted me to come because He wanted to be mercy and grace in our day.
Walking into my dining room, my eye caught a glimpse of another favorite gift with words that capture God’s heart so perfectly. It is a prayer I silently pray over all who enter our home. This day, I felt God speaking these words over me.
“May you open your hands dropping all that troubles you at His feet, gently letting go with each exhale. May you rest in the promise that you are never alone and your beautiful story has already been carefully and meticulously written just for you. May you end this day not adding up where you have failed but celebrating the beauty of His everlasting grace.“
Friends, I don’t know what kind of day you have had, but May you end this day not adding up where you have failed but celebrating the beauty of His everlasting grace.