I’ve got a personal share for you today as I rely on an understanding of grace that met me in a very troubling time of my life.
It’s been 9 years since I moved my young daughters and myself into a new house without their dad. Thick in the divorce proceedings, I found myself unpacking boxes in a house just a few minutes from the home we shared as a family.
It was a confusing time. The girls were so young. As I unpacked boxes they spent most of the day running excitedly around our new house. The implications of divorce hadn’t settled into their tiny, loving hearts yet.
That night my friend texted me that she left a little gift for me on the front porch. It was late and she didn’t want to ring the bell.
As I opened our new front door I looked down and saw a bottle of wine, some chocolate and a note. The wine and chocolate were heaven sent, yet it was what was written on the note that I still hold onto today.
In the note, my friend wrote how graceful she thought I was handling the divorce and the terror and pain it left in its wake. This was especially meaningful because my friend and I weren’t exceptionally close. We knew each other as moms sharing the space of raising kids in the same community.
Of all things, the last thing I believed myself to be was full of grace.
I was living through one of the most tragic, terrible and unsettling times in my life and somehow someone on the other side of my front door believed me to be full of grace.
For a while, I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t, really. I was in the throws of the pain and hardship of divorce while still trying to keep a happy life for my daughters. I did my best to convince the girls that moving into a new house was best. Now they would have two homes. One with me, one with their dad. It was true, and also gut-wrenching.
Looking back I can see it now – the grace my former self carried. It’s been 9 years and the benefits of hindsight has arrived.
I share this personal story with you today because I believe more grace is wanting to come into our lives now both individually and collectively.
The Power of Grace
Grace, with it’s demure implication, is a force that can topple the strongest fear. Grace has the strength to root in a new life. Grace is an anchoring of more love. Grace is the moment when you want to give up but something surges in you telling you to keep going and to stay true to what’s in your heart. Grace is a deep assurance that despite current day reality, pain or hardship, life will be better. Grace is your arms stretched out above you in full trust when you have no idea where you are going. Grace is a knowing that you will get there. Grace is the energy of transformation, rebalancing and rebuilding. Grace is how we ascend to higher ground where we embody more of the truth of who we are. Grace is a force that cannot be undone. Grace is strength and power wrapped up in the cloak of love.
If you were to look back at your own life, I am sure you will find moments of time when grace has surged through you, fiercely.
Out of Balance
Before I gave grace a chance to live in me, I was living a life out of balance. My go-go-go mentality and need to please everyone but myself had run its course. I was out of love with me, and giving away any sense of love I had to everyone else. It was all I knew to do. I was also creatively stunted and had no idea who I really was other than the roles I played. I was lost inside my own life.
As I would soon find out, when life is out of balance, grace asks to come in.
This time of COVID-19 is no doubt a shake-up to our “normal” life. We’ve been able to recognize how out of balance our lives have been. Like any good shake-up, hardship or troubling time, we’ve been given more space to see things differently. We’ve got more room between you and me and the outside world.
We can fill the space with whatever we choose – confusion, rage, anger, judgement…or we can fill it with grace. We can decide to take an inventory of all the things that were ready to be brought back into balance in our own lives and we can decide to let grace live there. We can walk in the direction of what feels best in our heart and trust it will lead to higher ground.
This may mean you go in a direct opposite path of where you’ve been walking, or where others think you “should” walk. Grace gives you the strength to keep going the way your heart leads, even when others don’t want you to.
Like any good shake-up, it’s a bit scary. A lot of fears, doubts and worry have been stirred up thanks to coronavirus. Grace won’t take your fear away, but grace will give you the courage to walk through your fear. You just have to keep going and trust your heart nudges. The really small whispers always seem to lead to the biggest changes.
Know Grace is Already with You
That note I found on my doorstep changed how I felt about me. It made me stop and look at my life with a new set of lenses. Because someone witnessed grace living in me I was able to witness it, too.
As I write this note to you, I want you to know that I see grace in you – living, breathing and wanting to be recognized by you. Where is grace wanting more space to live in your life? Maybe grace is asking you to witness it in someone else and say so, just as my friend saw it in me. Or maybe grace is asking to be recognized in you as you walk down a path that’s more true to your heart.
Grace doesn’t cower to and fear the unknown, grace is brought to life when the unknown is trusted. I believe this is the path we are being asked to walk now – the path where grace takes the lead.
Grace is the Gateway to More of What You Love
No matter where the path of grace leads, I’ve discovered in my own life that grace wants to show me more of what I love. In my own story I’ve always been surprised and even taken aback with how much more love, beauty and joy there is.
Yes, grace – – she isn’t demure at all. She is wild, free and absolutely magical. And she lives in each of us if we are willing to see her. She is uncovered in the strangest of places – a dark front porch of a post divorce home, two hands that hold each other through a painful night, the privacy of our inner struggles, and maybe even a pandemic.
Yes, of course, a pandemic – – that’s exactly where grace would decide to show up in the biggest way. The real question is, will we let grace live here?
As the foundation for a new life is laid, let’s include copious amounts of grace by forgiving others, forgiving ourselves and believing more in a future that we want than the past we are ready to break free from.
Grace is found in the present moment. Right here, right now. No matter what you are going through grace is here, asking to be invited in. With an open heart and awakened spirit grace can meet us. Grace can be the light on a path into the unknown.
Because we have free will, we have to willfully choose to walk with grace. It can not be chosen for us. We must ask ourselves the questions: where are you currently walking with grace in your life? Where can more grace be invited in? Where can you see it in others?
In a space that is unknown to us all, we are given the greatest opportunity to create something new. Let’s hold ourselves to a standard of grace, not perfection.
Have you witnessed someone holding grace when grace seemed unlikely? Even from afar? Share this with them. Let them know you see them. It could be the very thing they rely on for strength.
Remember to also witness the reflection you see in the mirror and remind yourself of all the times you gave grace room to breathe. You invite a new world of unconditional love when you witness the grace that rests in you. It is there. I can see it.
With lots of love, imperfection and grace,