Grace and More Grace

I guess some posts hit chords with people more than others. Apparently my last one did. I don't write them to get responses, but really to process and work through the very real emotions that wage war within. One of the things I have learned is that pretending things don't hurt when they do, pretending when life is going well when it isn't, or pretending to be someone when you're not is not going benefit anyone but the Enemy of our souls. The more false we are, the more lies we believe, the greater his victory in our lives. I am realizing that putting a happy face on over a troubled spirit is not going to make things better in the long run---for me or for anyone else. So I appreciate your willingness to go through this journey with me. This week, I started reading Brennan Manning's book, Abba's Child. The gist of the first chapter was that in order to really appreciate and marvel at the amazing fact that God loves us, I need to accept the fact that I am a broken person, dealing with an unredeemed flesh that is prone to sin...and dare to enter His presence anyway.

For the past few months as I have been struggling with my negative attitudes towards Anah, I could hear the Accuser of our souls whispering in my ear, "You're so selfish. All you do is think of yourself." And I am. The problem was that instead of being honest with that and bringing it to God, I have hidden from Him instead, thereby cutting myself off from His help, strength, and most of all, grace.

But that is what "common sense" after the Fall will do. In our sin, we always run and hide. Adam and Eve did, and every child of theirs afterwards (including me and mine!) has done it ever since. It takes faith to believe that even in our darkest moments and even in the midst of the sin I am wrestling with, I can still approach the throne of grace. In fact, that may even be the best time for it is then when we will find the strength we need to face and deal with our brokenness and sin. (Heb. 4:16)

I am here to testify that it works. I am not saying that we should sin more and take advantage of His grace. To quote Paul, "May it never be!" (Ro. 6:1, 2) But instead of hiding from God in my sin until I am more acceptable, I need to instead face the facts about my disobedience, my discontent, my ungratefulness, my selfishness, and my smallness of heart...and bring that to Him anyway. In doing so, I have found a real freedom. Not only do I not have to put on a false face before others, I am free from the burden of having to bear my own sin until I clean up my act enough to face Him.

anahglassesI have heard from many that they appreciate my honesty. I don't think I can share any less. It is not merely to share what things are like in our home, but it is part of my own spiritual journey with the Lord. Even with all the realities of adjusting, added responsibilities and difficult moments, this adoption is not divorced from God's plan in my own life and for His kingdom. It is when I am so wrapped up in my own little perspective that I fail to see things from His. He has work to do in my life---a part of which is to prune away the smallness of my soul---so that I may be more fruitful for His kingdom. We all pray that He will do great things in our lives...but it is often perfected in the hardships that we face.

The past week has seen a turning point in our journey. Anah seems to have made some big jumps, and I am beginning to see how much she really does know. Sometimes I wonder if it is because of what God is doing in me first. (I'm sure there is a connection.) As I come to accept where she is, where I am, and what God has planned for me, there is peace. I am no longer fighting Him nor spending my time being angry or resentful. Perhaps that is what has accounted for the change. But I know it is not because of anything I have done, but because of His goodness, His patience, His wisdom, His desire to see the dross purified out of me...all these are evidences of His grace.

And for that I praise Him.