I text the word “grrrrr” so often that my iPhone no longer attempts to auto-correct. It’s not a word, really; it’s a sound and an expression. It is just right for friends when they are stuck in traffic, exhausted, or irritated by yet one more detail that threatens to overwhelm. It is perfect for my girls when their feelings are hurt by a friend. It seems appropriate for colleagues when they are frustrated by a particular circumstance. And it is exactly what wells up within me when I feel angsty over work or money or writing or parenting or love or all of the above at exactly the same time. Which, truth-be-told, happens every single day on one level or another.
And every single day, on every level, I long for a perpetual state of grace. Ever-calm. Always grateful. Gliding through my days and relationships and world unfazed by trouble or tension. Palpably aware of the tremendous gifts that unwittingly and consistently come my way.
The reality is that every single day I’m living somewhere in-between. Neither out-of-control and desperate nor floating in a place of endless generosity and overwhelming ease.
In the middle. In the gray. In the mix. In the midst. In it – all of it – all the time.
In-between “grrrrr” and grace is where life happens.
Without “grrrrrr” how would you even recognize grace? Without struggle, how would you appreciate joy? Without pain, how would you know healing? Without sorrow, how would you experioence celebration? Without challenge, how would you achieve victory? Without disappointment, how would you sustain hope? Without betrayal, how would you recognize love?
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
~ T.S. Eliot
It might not be your favorite thing to admit, but I know what you would tell me: The hardest of circumstances are the ones, eventually, that have offered you the most profound lessons and greatest growth. And that is grace: to view life with perspective and wisdom, to (eventually) see the silver lining, to even (though this is sometimes a stretch) give thanks for what you’ve been through.
It’s what you do: Living in-between. Honestly acknowledging what is difficult, painful, and downright excruciating while at the same time holding on with beauty, strength, and hope.
Grit + Grace = You. Glorious.
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without unfolding grace…There’s far more here than meets the eye.
~ from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, The Message
And just in case you’ve forgotten or don’t quite feel it, let me remind you: you’re never, ever alone. You’re holding on and showing up and being amazing just-like-and-accompanied-by Eve, Noah’s wife, Sarai, the Extravagant Woman, Elizabeth, and hundreds more. You + them = a legacy of grit and grace that’s not just someday; rather, right now, in your midst, in your in-between, in your corner, infinite. Glorious.
A Postscript. I’ve been working, a lot, on my Book Proposal (yes, I know: trumpets are blaring, choirs of angels are singing, thunder is clapping). Part of that process requires that I articulate exactly why my book matters, why it’s worth being written, and most of all, why I believe it needs to be read. Attempting to articulate the very blood that runs through my veins and the coded DNA within my cells feels a little like trying to explain gravity. It just is. And so it is with the ancient, sacred stories I tell. They are my life-blood, coded into my DNA, and the gravity that keeps me grounded. They feed and nourish and strengthen and sustain when I’m not sure anything or anyone else could. Even more, I believe-believe-believe that they long to offer the same to you; that they are standing by, at the ready, waiting for your curiosity, your invitation, your desire. ‘Want to know them? Let me tell you – and give you – a story; one that’s woven right into the heart of yours. Click here.
And spread the word, will you? Click on the “share” or “tweet” or “like” buttons below. XOXO
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