Focusing on Grace: What is Your Focus Word for 2015?

Grace.  It almost seems cliché in the world of “Christianese”, but it is definitely not.  When I was contemplating what word God was laying on my heart this year I pondered several.  Celebrate, Harvest, and Be were all on my list.  Grace was not.

But I’m glad this word struck my heart the way it did this morning when a beautiful sister in Christ asked me.  Grace.  God’s redemption at Christ’s expense.  It is a word that I don’t believe I have, or ever will find the bottom of.

If we accept salvation then we are all swimming in grace.  There is a line in David Crowder’s song How He Loves, “if grace was an ocean we are all sinking.”

Ocean Sea Blue courtesy of Alex Borland

Ocean Sea Blue courtesy of Alex Borland

My word for the year has a focus though.  It is this:

All of my life I have tried to be the overachiever.  Strived for perfection daily, and always coming up empty, heaped shame on myself again, and again.

I know grace.  I mean I have a degree in Church Ministry.  I am getting my degree in Christian Care and Counseling, and I have prayed to receive it at the feet of Jesus since I was seventeen.

But I don’t know grace for me.  Grace that is a state of being.  Be.  Not Do.

I have had Fibromyalgia since 2005.  I am only forty-one, and have been on disability for over eight years.  I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Dissociation due to childhood sexual abuse by my father.

I never really learned what it was like to receive a Father’s love.  I just remember running from mine.  So I learned to define myself by what I did to win the approval of others.  Try as I may I can not stop running on the treadmill of works.

I just have this insatiable need for doing something to earn grace.  But I never can.  Because it is mine already and freely given before I even took my first breath.

What can I do?

So I decided that what I am going to focus on this year is being my own best friend.  Loving me like I would her.  Talking to me like I would her.  Encouraging me like I would her.  Accepting me faults and all like I would her.

I wish I could work.  I really do.  But this disease and my need for mental renewal prevents it.  See in this world people, they define you by what you do.  However, in God’s Kingdom economy grace is the only tangible state of being.  You are defined by what Jesus is.

O Lord for the grace to know grace is for me, for the rest of life on this side of heaven and for eternity.  In Jesus name, Amen.

What does grace mean to you?  If you could define it without cliché, what would you tell your best friend?

17Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  Ephesians 3:17-19

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Listen to GRACE:

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