Grace, Mercy & Love

I'm learning new things or maybe it's more that I'm seeing things in a new light.

Sometimes grace,
mercy and love look different than I imagined.

Sometimes it's a friend watching my kids so I can breathe and run to Sams Club by myself, or my brother-in-law taking the kids to a movie, or my friend driving me when my medication kicked in unexpectedly and impaired my driving abilities.

Or a friend sitting with me in the waiting room for the MRI and being 5+ hours at the Children's Hospital. It's my Mom taking the kids swimming. My father-in-law faithfully loving his wife in the midst of her inabilities and weaknesses with Alzheimers.

It's my husband telling me that he will have hope for the both of us in a situation I see so desperate that I have lost hope. Sometimes it's in the sunsetting over the water. The cup of Starbucks on the house just because.

Sometimes it's sobbing on the arm of my friend who has suffered a deep loss and yet allowed me to hold her hand and cry on her.

It's a friend scrubbing my bathroom last year when my back hurt from a car accident and I couldn't do it. It's rocking a baby to sleep in nursery at Church on Sunday.

It's talking with a friend while I'm having a freaking break down at the church picnic.

It's my daughter making me laugh when I'm hurting so bad. It's the homeless man saying, "bless you" when I give him a bottled water and a couple dollars.

It's the crying and cussing and panic attacks and the need to scream, "Jesus! Save me!!!!!"

It's in the beach. The sand between my toes. It's in a late night phone call. It's in a whirlwind trip to see a sister friend.

These breaths. These respites. These means of grace. These acts of love. The mercy and compassion I have received not just in spite of but because of my weakness.

This life. So crazy and fantastic and beautiful and horrible and mysterious and bewildering and heartbreaking. Some days I would love to just disappear. Run away. Pull the blankets over my head and say, "I'm not here." I'd love to pretend my reality wasn't real. Sometimes it seems like a movie I'm watching. Where I'm like, this would never happen in real life.

Other days I feel strong. And hopeful. I see the birds eating at the my bird feeder as  I wash dishes. I hear the kids saying or doing something kind for each other. It's someone offering to bring a meal or coffee.

I'm so glad God is not up and down like me. He is unchanging- a steady rock. A firm foundation. So tonight when my children's breathing has turned into the relaxed soft snores of sleep and the house is locked up and I sip some water and read a book I let myself feel. Let myself cry. And wrap myself in my gravity blanket and put on the essential oils. And I know He is there. In the middle of the night when I wake up and fear grips me tight. When I have to take steadying breaths to calm myself down.

And in the morning when I wake and the oppression hits I will go to the house of the Lord and worship. I will cast my cares on Him. And maybe there's somebody there that I can bestow gifts of love, grace and mercy to. And maybe I won't be able to speak because I'm too choked up. Or maybe it will just be really hard. But it's good to do hard things. It's good to be with God's people. It's good to gather and be reminded that I'm not alone. And there are others hurting and struggling and wrestling. And we will hold on to God and say, Lord, help our unbelief.


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