Category Archives: grace

One Day’s Dichotomy

It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening. Psalm 92:2

It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening. Psalm 92:2

I woke up with sunbeams splashed across my face and seeping straight into my heart. Fully rested, I clicked off the alarm clock and hopped out of bed eager to get the day started. My heart bubbled with joy and eagerness for the day. Why? I had no idea and kept questioning myself as to why I felt so great. Females hormones are severe taskmasters, so I decided I would ride this unexpected but welcomed exuberance until it ran out.

And run out it did. By that afternoon, my heart was heavy. An unexpected emotional encounter with someone I loved dearly suddenly exploded my  joy rocket. It was one of those moments where words can’t fix the situation, and I was absolutely powerless. My helplessness broke my heart. I wanted to mend the problem, soothe a deeply hurting heart. Yet, I couldn’t.

I fought tears for the rest of the day; my early morning joy extinct.  The contrast of the day was not lost on me. How could I wake up so blissfully — and unexplainably– happy then be heartbroken in matter of hours? Why could I dance around the house for most of the day then be plummeted into sadness by evening?

Most days, mornings don’t quite play out the same way for me. The alarm goes off and desperately wish I could just stay tucked away for another hour or so. I trudge out of bed and to the rooms of others who also wish for another hour, or two or three, of sleep. They wake up reluctantly. We start the day out of obligation not joy.

Both situations, the sunbeam morning and obligatory alarm days, bring the words of a favorite song  to mind:

The sun comes up
It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes*

I crawled into bed after that day shifting sands, the day of mountain peaks and dark valleys. The words of this song floated into my head. I prayed silently that God would help me close my eyes that night with the song’s truth: find joy even after all the day has brought. In that instant, He reminded me of His great love for the one I was so worried about. He told me that He would hold my friend tight in His hand until the pain subsided. Resting in this sudden peace, the tiniest sliver of the morning’s joy returned. And I closed my eyes and let the lullaby of God’s peace sing me to sleep.

The evening had come, and in spite of the pain, I could still sing.

 How do you maintain your song on those shifting sands days?

*10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman

Beautifully Scarred

This week a photo went viral on the Internet. A young boy, devastated over the scars that pocked his abdomen due to several heart surgeries, cried for an hour worried that his scars made him ugly. His heartbroken father sheepishly took a photo and posted it on the Internet, hoping he would get the world to encourage his son to believe that his scars made him more handsome because they demonstrated his courage. Well, of course, the photo has received over 1 1/2 million likes along with thousands of encouraging comments. Those of us who have scars share in the little fellow’s pain, but as adults, we also know that those scars make us who we are.

In eighth grade I was in a car accident that should have caused my death. I didn’t leave that mangled car unscathed, and at 13-years-old I had a nasty 6-inch scar that stretch along my right hip. A bathing suit couldn’t cover that thing, so anytime I headed to the pool, I got a million questions — and gasps — about it. For a while I was horrified of its presence and took great pains to hide it. Thirty years later, I barely remember it’s there, and if someone does notice it while I work on my tan, I use it as a conversation starter — one that leads me around to the faithfulness of God.

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This photo always reminds me of the scar I was hiding so desperately – a battle with depression.

While my scar is easily viewed on my physical body, I do have other scars that aren’t so easily visible. By nature, I am a private person; I rarely let others see deep into my soul. A few close friends, but that’s it. Sometimes I even struggle letting them see my soul-deep scars, especially ones that I created myself.

But what I’ve found to be true is this: every time I bare those scars (especially here on the blog) people are changed, or encouraged, or moved by it. Some of my most scared-to-put-that-in-print posts have gotten the most positive feedback. When my friends shared their deepest hurts or hidden pain with me, I’ve found that they suddenly look a little lighter and their face takes on a new smile, as I let them know their scars make them more lovable and more beautiful.

Vulnerability is hard because people can react without grace or love, but vulnerability is what changes us as well as those around us. When others see that their hurt isn’t unique to them, that someone else could understand, they find healing.

Some of us are hiding our scars, whether it is in the form of a divorce, infidelity, depression, past mistakes, or addictions. But if we just take the risk of bearing them to one person, then the next time it won’t be so hard. And pretty soon, the beauty of the scar will outshine any negative responses. Those deep cuts are a valuable part of who we are and what God has done in us. Don’t cover them up! Share them so others can gain the courage to bear theirs too.