on receiving grace. . .
One of the core themes of my growing up and adulthood is that of grace, a foundation of experience built on the scaffolding of undeserved love. . .
I didn’t want to simply receive it – I wanted to be worthy of that love, to know that what I had done and what I had accomplished and how I had loved in return made me more worthy of what was being freely given –
I wanted my sisters to love me because I was a good friend, a wise confidant, a protector, one who cared for them.
I wanted my parents to love me because I was smart and “good.”
I wanted my friends to love me because I was generous and witty, reliable and deep . . .
I want my husband to love me because I am passionate and careful, generous and insightful. . .
I want my children to love me because I anticipate their needs, care deeply for their growth, and seek to see them with clarity. . .
I want my friends to love me because I have sacrificed to know them, because I bring wisdom in difficult things, and vulnerability that is not uncomfortable. . .
But daily, I find myself in a world where crisis looms that I cannot calm,
where certainty of what is best and loving is clouded, and my heart stumbles forward trying to love well in chaos
where my care complicates and my passion obfuscates. . .
I have found that the ones I have sought to love the most are the ones I have wounded the deepest.
They are the ones I lash out against when I am overwhelmed, the ones I ignore when the hours in the day are too few, the ones I lack wisdom for when my advice is needed the most, the ones where my weaknesses are on display in all their full and ugly glory.
In the reflection of my love for them, I see in stark contrast, I am not enough.
And yet, more often than not, in this imperfection I have received stunning, abounding grace. . .
I have found myself seen for what I am and not what I am not. I have found myself forgiven when I have struck the deepest wounds. I have had room to grow, room to fail, room to weep, and room to reform.
When grace is withheld, it sends me reeling, searching for something to do to gain what, by definition, I can never earn. It is a strange contradiction. . .an impossible dilemma.
Today, sitting in that turmoil, I must realize that even in the moments where my inadequacy is thrown in my face, I have seen the utter necessity of perfect grace offered to me day by day in my family and friends. They have shown me holy glimpses of a perfect grace that is finished, that is beyond me, that makes me see why in my brokenness, I am utterly worthy of love.