Grace

Posted on | August 2, 2017 | 2 Comments

Grace: (1) Simple elegance; (2) Free and unmerited favor; (3) to do honor or credit to someone by one’s presence. 

Growing up in a Southern Baptist church, I heard a lot about Grace. Amazing Grace, “There but by the grace of God go I”,  “Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace”… and the list goes on and on. It’s like “God’s Grace” was a two by four and I was walloped with it twice a week for years on end.

Like most things in childhood, I believed I understood Grace and what it meant. I believed I had it all figured out. Yep, God loves me even though I’m not worthy. Got it. Put it in the bank. Totally understand. Because as a child we believe what we are told (or walloped with). We believe that the Grace of God exists because we are told that it does and because we sing about it at church and maybe because one time or another we did something wrong and cried out to God and suddenly felt better. That’s Grace, right? Letting God make you feel better when you break the rules because he still loves you no matter what. Grace.

Despite all the churching, I’ve still never believed I was worthy of much. If you’d asked me as a teen or young adult if I would ever get married, I would have sadly shaken my head “no” with the explanation that those sorts of things just didn’t happen to me. If I did manage to date, certainly no one would fall in love with me, because I am me, you know? I don’t deserve that sort of thing. And children? No. I would never be able to have kids because kids are wonderful and wonderful things don’t happen to people like me.

So you can imagine my surprise when I not only got married (twice) but also had two beautiful and healthy baby boys.

It was shocking.

It’s still shocking to me.

And when I look down in their eyes to kiss them goodbye on a school day or to tuck them snugly into bed at night, I realize that every single idea I ever had of Grace is wrong.

Parenthood may be the closest I will ever come to truly understanding God’s Grace.

I always understood the “not being worthy” part of Biblical Grace. But this feeling of not being worthy, coupled with not understanding why anyone would allow something so wonderful to occur to someone so completely ordinary? This is what all those men so long ago tried to put into the Bible. This is what they tried to explain to the masses… that something extraordinary could and did happen not because we deserved it. Not because we did something amazing and worthy and brought down the Grace of God like a medal at the end of a long race. No. It is Grace… not in spite of our ordinary but because of it.

Every single time I look at my boys I am stunned and spellbound by their sheer existence. It’s like they’re magic… little sparks of wonderful that were entrusted to me through absolutely no fault or success of my own.

I still don’t believe I’m worthy of the blessings that have fallen my way… but I’ve realized it’s quite simply because I’m not. There’s nothing inside of me that gives me a leg up or a step closer to the small successes I’ve reached in life. Believing in God, believing in myself, believing in anything hasn’t and won’t secure for me a hefty bank account or a better job or a happier life.

All that I am and all that I have has been handed to me by free and unmerited favor.

Nothing I could have ever done or will ever do would make me worthy of being called “Mom,” and that, my friends? Is Grace.

Simple.

Elegant.

Bestowed upon me through no fault or success of my own.

An honor just to be present with two such amazing souls who bestow favor on me by their very presence in my life.

All the riches of the world, wrapped up in two little boy smiles.

 

Comments

2 Responses to “Grace”

  1. Anna
    August 2nd, 2017 @ 9:29 am

    I love this so much. Thank you for the reminder that we can find grace in the every day.

  2. Luce
    August 2nd, 2017 @ 10:42 am

    THIS.

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