Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Story of Grace

I hear the steady sound of breathing as my husband sleeps... His warm back is pressed against mine. The darkness of the room is deep as I lie cozy beneath the blankets, pondering what she has asked of us... of me.  She wants us to share our testimonies.  She asked us to tell how we are different now than we were before Christ.

My testimony... the words burn my heart. What testimony?  I have only known unfaithfulness in my walk with God. I have only known failure. That familiar self-hatred eats away at my heart again. You have nothing to share, the enemy lies.  You are not a different person. You'll never be like them - righteous and holy. You will never be able to share about how you are different because you aren't and will never be different. You are selfish. You are worthless. You are a failure. 

The tears fill my eyes as I listen to the liar. And yet, I hear His voice there too, whispering truth. You are my daughter.  You are forgiven.  You are washed clean. You are Mine. I have made you holy. I have given you a righteousness that is not of your own.  I love you. Your testimony is of Me.  Your story is My faithfulness.  I will never let you go. I will show you the surpassing riches of My grace so that you will be the evidence of My love.

As His words pour into my heart, banishing the enemy's lies, I listen as He tells my story the way that He has written for me.

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness."  My testimony is one not of my own works, but of the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness towards [me] in Christ Jesus.

I grab my iPhone from the dresser next to the bed and quietly type the story that God has given me. I will share my story with these women and pray that others will see Jesus in it. I will pray that His grace to me will show others His love for them. I will tell them that I, myself, am not different;  It is Christ in me that is.

"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."  - Philippians 1:6

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stolen Time

It is quiet. The only sound is the anxiety pounding in my head that says she'll wake up at any moment.  That beautiful little girl who consumes my life now. The precious little eyes and smile that take up every free moment I possess.  The lovely little cheeks that prevent me from thinking about myself anymore...

In my quiet, stolen moment, I pray for a little time to myself. A little time to breathe, to write, to quilt, to shower... what was it like to shower without listening for a little voice?  I choose writing. The whir of the computer is oddly calming. It feels so full of potential. The anxiety stays - will I be able to finish this one blog post?  Too many posts started and left unfinished these days.

My empty oatmeal bowl sits beside me.  I remembered to eat breakfast, this once. Boxes are everywhere on my floor. My attempts to simplify these days have created a mess that is hardly simple. Baby toys are littered between the boxes. I should be cleaning now, not writing, but I'm choosing myself this time, not my to-do list. Even as I write it, I wonder if it is selfish, stealing these little moments and doing something for me. The things that need to be done grow and grow and I find myself shrinking beneath them.  And yet, as the shrinking happens, I redefine myself, this child who is growing into womanhood.

I try not to put my insecurities on him. This poor husband who loves me when I don't deserve it.  Sometimes my heart wants to put my feelings of self-hate on him.  Choosing to create stress in his life in the hopes that he doesn't notice all the things I didn't get done today, again.  Even now, in the beauty of Christ's grace, I try to earn love. Even now, after five beautiful years of marriage, I'm trying to win his love that has always been freely given.

In this stolen moment, I'm choosing not to earn this time. I'm choosing to receive love not because I deserve it with my clean house and my clean life, but because love is offered. I'm choosing to be okay with failing. I'm choosing this silent moment for myself and fighting the feelings of worthlessness for doing so.

I hear her little voice in the monitor babbling. My heart is swollen with love for her. This little person I gladly give my sleep and energy to.  This little love that fills my life. This child who does not steal my time but receives it freely given.

Just Write