I am pulled by the tides. Battered by the waves. Tossed about by circumstance. Worn down by the struggle.
Like Paul I cry out, “I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.” (Romans 7:19-20, The Message)
I forget all that I have learned about floating. And I surrender to the flailing. The attempted saving of myself from what feels like drowning in a sea of stress. Never considering to check if my feet could touch the bottom of what might simply turn out to be only a momentary pool of pressure.
Gasping for breath. Thrashing my body from side to side. Reaching for an anchor. Settling instead for sugar.
And what I already knew about myself and my drug of choice was proven true again. It only takes a little to make me want a lot.
I allowed it for a day or two. It’s Christmas, I reasoned. Nothing more than I can handle, I pretended.
Knowing with each and every bite that I had awakened my addict persona. And that she would not go down easily.
So I braced for the storm. For the onslaught of shame and guilt. To be knocked back and forth against the stones of “shouldn’t have” and “how could you” and “you’ll never change.”
I set my jaw, tensed my muscles, and lowered my head for the coming punch.
But the punch did not come. The winds did not howl. The sea did not swallow me.
Because Grace came instead.
And where I expected to be pushed face-first into the sand, Grace lifted me.
Where my lungs had filled with salt-water, Grace replaced it with the Breath of Life.
Where Shame wanted to scream obscenities at my mistakes, Grace simply said, “Let’s start again.”
With a gentle hand, Grace set me on an island. A solid rock in the middle of the sea.
Here the tides only ebb and flow at the shore. The waves do not overtake me.
Here the breezes sing this song.
Grace. Grace. God’s Grace. Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.
Grace. Grace. God’s Grace. Grace that is greater than all my sin.
p.s. I did not intentionally plan for my last post of 2014 to be focused on my Word of the Year: Grace. But it’s a fitting finale, indeed. I have found nothing anything close to comparable to selecting One Word each year to keep me focused. Partner it with a scripture, and the power multiplies. I’ll be announcing my 2015 Word soon, but I am spending these days praying that YOU would meet with The Spirit to come to agreement on One Word for the new year. And that you would have the courage to embrace it, then allow Him to unfold it in you over the coming days.
The wonderful Kelli Woodford (Chronicles of Grace) is taking a well-deserved blogging break in December, but she has graciously let me borrow the Unforced Rhythm link-up community for the next few weeks. Your words are welcome here. So very welcome.
If you stopped by here for the link-up, would you consider to connecting with me as well. On the right of this page you’ll find lots of ways to keep in touch. Just pick your favorite method of communication, and I’ll see you again soon!