When tragedy strikes and lessons are learned...not easily learned, but learned

When sudden tragedy strikes, the world takes on an alien perspective. You feel as if you are looking through glasses that don't quite match your prescription. You feel out of touch with the normalcy going on around you. Impossibly, still going on. You reach for any semblance of how things used to be, yearn for it, and then find yourself appalled that this is life now. 

You weep, weep for the loss of the old ways. Weep for the comfort of the familiar. Weep for this new world you find yourself in, not wanting to believe this is real.

You put on a big knit sweater, just to feel hugged, because you are alone, and you just can't be alone, not now. And until you let yourself feel hugged by Abba, this sweater just has to do. 

You remind yourself to breathe. Something you took for granted, something so easy and thoughtless, you have to remind yourself to do. 

My grief is personal and sacred. And it runs deep. Even now, when I can laugh, go about my day as usual...my heart has a deep, jagged fissure. 

The greatest lessons are learned while one is in the grips of a pain so seemingly unbearable you wonder how you are not sweating blood as He did. 

And this grace I have learned about.... This scandalous grace, given to prostitutes and rapists and murderers. Druggies and thieves. This grace encapsulates and extends to us all. A grace so freely given by a God who can see what happens behind closed doors. Who can hear the words secretly spoken, see the crimes committed in the darkness. And no one is outside of this grace. No one. 

I have sinned somethin' fierce in my life. I have felt the seductiveness of that wayward life, have chased after it freely. I have hurt those closest to me, time and again. And I always came to realize I needed grace.

But you do not fully realize what that grace costs until you have to extend that same kind of grace to someone else. 

Grace without strings. 

Grace without conditions. 

Grace. Giving something undeserved. 

It hurts. It hurts so much. 

But until we realize Christ was grace given to us while we were still in sin, that He did that for us, covered in the reality of how far we are from God, who we were created to love and be loved by.....we can't extend grace to someone else.

We can forgive and move on, but grace...oh, sweet, amazing grace. 

Grace is entirely different.

It changes you. 

It molds you in it's vise-like gentle grips. 

It carves out the pride, the selfishness, the entitlement, the just plain ugly. 

It fixes your eyes on Him. The One who did this for you, did this even more for you than what you could do for anyone else, no matter what they did to you, how they hurt you. 

They sang that song, Amazing Grace, at my mom's funeral when I was 14. That was before I ever knew what grace was, what it meant for me, for the world. 11 years later 
and I'm only just beginning to understand. Just barely. 

Please respect my need and choice for confidentiality. It's not every day or blog post I choose that ;) I know it's vague, but the lesson about grace definitely is not

Amazing Grace 
John Newton (1725-1807)
Stanza 6 anon.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

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  1. Thank you for constantly extending His grace in our marriage. I love you

    1. I love it when you read my blog posts! :) yay! I love you <3

  2. So thankful God is wrapping you up tight in His grace! Thank you for sharing this grace with us today. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

    1. Thank you Barbie...you have a blessed Thanksgiving as well beautiful! <3

  3. that was awesome, beautifully written and so full of grace. It is good to see you walking through this impossible thing called life, with so much glory. Stars shine brightest in the dark. God is so evident in the way you live your life, Marybeth, I am so honored to be your friend.

    1. Aww Becky, thank you...thank you thank you! I love you friend!

  4. Thank you for this beautiful reminder of our need for grace & to extend His grace. Blessings!

    1. It's a reminder I definitely needed! Thank you for the comment! <3

  5. Marybeth, Your words seem to spring forth from a heart still healing and held by the hand of God. We all need grace. But as important, I think God wants us to understand why we do what we do. Get understanding, He tells us. Get wisdom. He has grace for us, no doubt. We, likewise, must extend grace to ourselves (even if people haven't) which helps us accept and love others. Jesus can take us to those parts of our past that need healing. God bless, girl. And happy, happy Thanksgiving.

    1. My heart is most definitely still healing...and will be for a really long time. Not just from this hurt done to me, but many others from the past. It's providence that you wrote this.."God wants us to understand why we do what we do. Get understanding." I have been feeling little nudges from God all day on this very thing, and you confirmed it. Thank you. SO much. Happy Thanksgiving Diane <3

  6. Marybeth, I wanted to let you know I received your comment. And I'm thinking that because it contains personal information you may not want it published there. So, I won't. You are in a good spot, girl. Really. On your knees with problems unsolved--that's a good place. And you seem to understand that. You're in my prayers. Diane (didot4him@gmail.com)

  7. oh my dear beautiful Marybeth... oh, how this makes my heart ache. your faith, friend, the way you hug yourself in that sweater, knowing you need Abba's arms around you--oh girl, you are not alone. continuing to pray for you and your sweet boys, and for that beautiful word: Redemption. can you hear it singing? love you.


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