I made a promise with myself a few months ago to be totally open and honest here when I felt the urge to write, even when it got messy and uncomfortable. Because if I've learned anything from blogging, it's that the best posts come from those places--when you know you need to get it out but are afraid of where the words might lead. Authenticity somehow leads to peace of mind when it comes to writing.
I've been trying to keep that open mindset as I've journaled and written lately, and more than anything, I've been praying that the words that I say are what the Lord wants me to share on this blog. Because the heart of the matter is what lights my fire and gets me going.
I've seen a change in myself over the past couple of weeks. I've been short, snappy, unkind, and impatient. I've let my situations project my words and my actions, and I'm sure I've hurt feelings and left people with a bitter taste of me. I've acted impulsively and have left God out of the equation on most days, in most circumstances. In the moment, I didn't realize it, but looking back, it's obvious.
My heart has been convicted over the past two days and I've just prayed for the Lord to forgive me and pull me back in, to remind me that my salvation isn't dependent on what I do for Him, but rather what He's done for me. Grace upon grace, and only that. Some days, I feel so far away from Him. I've been fervently begging the Lord to answer some prayers in my life in a big way, and so far, I'm stuck in a season of waiting. God never disappoints and is always faithful, though--He's answered them in other ways, but man, it hurts when it's not the "yes" I wanted. How well I know that His plan is so much higher than my own, but in the moment, it makes me bitter. And bitterness hinders holiness. And bitterness yields rebellion, whether I mean for it to happen or not.
I've acted out of rebellion, and truly, out of the sin of being "too busy" to just speak His name in my day. Looking back over my behavior over the past few weeks was a glimpse into my past, a look back at the Rachel I used to be. The one before my heart was changed by Jesus. And that's not something I ever want to see again.
He steps in and whispers grace over my sad, weary heart. He reminds me that He is the constant in every situation and I need to rely on that truth. I am worthy and I am loved. He is mighty in me. I have nothing of worth to offer this world unless it's through the filter of His gospel, and I've been so far from that mark lately. I will fall short, day after day, week after week, year after year. That's for sure. But God redeems those broken parts of me and makes me into something beautiful, slowly but surely.
I need to realize that I will never be holy until I am at the feet of Jesus in heaven. I need to strive for that daily, but also give myself grace when I feel so far away from a "good Christian." When the words from my mouth are anything but holy and pleasing to Him. Grace upon grace, when we fall short.
Today, I am thankful for His grace over my life. And I'm equally grateful for His forgiveness, over and over. He just lavishes all these good things on us because He loves us so and it rocks my soul to think of that--that I can be the worst of sinners, yet He will still bend down and wrap me up in His arms and tell me that I'm forgiven.
I'm holding myself to a standard of grace right here and now. I'm reminding myself to just come humbly to His throne every day in prayer, because I need Him so desperately. I'm not going to have it all together every day and that's okay. When life seems to be going all wrong, I need to give myself a heart check and see where I'm placing my trust--is it in the One who holds my heart? If not, I need to start over and start chasing grace. Join me? If you're feeling out of control or less than worthy or just simply discouraged, chase GRACE. Let that be the striving of our hearts! He's covering you in it if you'll just let Him.