Hello, everyone. Today (Sunday) is one of those days where I’m not exactly sure what I want to write about. Nothing is really jumping to mind other than a One Word update. Now, I’m still contemplating what I’m learning, so I am unable to fully express everything. Please bear with me as I share with you as much as I can.
It’s been a fascinating journey so far. I just hope my failing words shine at least a little light on the beauty of God’s work in my life. Perhaps His Light will shine through this article to someone.
If it’s one thing I’ve learned about grace this year it’s that it’s complex. Grace is complex in and of itself, but there are even more complexities about how many things it is connected with.
So far, I’ve found out it’s connected to trust in God, faithfulness (of God to us and us to God), and it’s forgiving others (especially when they don’t deserve it, which reflects what Jesus did for us on the cross) and ourselves. That last one–the forgiving of oneself–is sometimes the trickiest one to learn, but I’m certainly trying hard. I figure it will be greatly freeing once I get the hang of it, thanks be solely to God.
In recent weeks, it’s felt like I’ve hit a brick wall on this grace thing, like I can’t hear clearly the next bits God’s trying to show me. So I’m revisiting what I’ve jotted down in my One Word journal already this year while also digging into the Word of God for more wonderful verses to soak in.
Another thing I like doing when studying a One Word is pay attention for book quotes that involve the word of the year for me. Even if it’s a book I didn’t particularly love, there might be a great line that means a lot for my journey for the year.
For instance, Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli was a book I finished this morning prior to church. It wasn’t a favorite and had some issues that disappointed me, but there were several lines that made it into my One Word journal. Take a look at these lovely bits of grace.
“He pursues me with a grace I don’t deserve.” ~ Acknowledgments page
“Maybe being broken isn’t always a bad thing.” ~ page 176
“All I know is for me, the healing didn’t begin until I let God take over.” ~ page 241
“I could only bring my repentance to the table. [She] would have to bring the forgiveness.” ~ page 338
“If I refuse to forgive you, then I guess I’m kind of spurning God’s grace.” ~ page 351
“But God has used this mess and grown her through it.” ~ page 352
“And yet [she] wasn’t giving me what I deserved. She was giving me what I didn’t. A new beginning. Forgiveness. Love. Grace.” ~ page 352
“It is time we lay down old grudges and begin anew.” ~ page 373
It’s quotes like those that inspire and encourage me along the journey with my One Word. I may not recall them two years from now (Who am I kidding? I might not recall them next week!), but I jot them in my journal so that I can review them as I study grace and even when I move on to a new One Word next year and the year after that.
I also jot down song lyrics or movie quotes when they apply to my One Word and strike me as particularly encouraging for where I’m at on the One Word journey at any given point during the year.
All of these things, plus definitely Bible verses and answers to prayer, add up to a mountain of encouragement and positive lessons throughout the year. This year, they’ve shown me that grace is complex. It’s so much deeper and broader than I had imagined. For some reason, I thought the work Jesus did on the cross was about the gist of it. Silly me, right? Well, sometimes we get ideals in our minds when we’re young and they’re hard to eradicate or allow to shift into an adult-sized piece of perspective. Now my mind is being opened to more details about grace, and I’m excited about it, though it takes time to absorb the new way of thinking about the complexities of grace.
So I’m still meditating, contemplating. And I’m also diving in for more, because I can never, ever get enough of God. I ask Him to fill me with His characteristics. I cling to what John the Baptist said in John 3:30 ~ “He must increase, but I must decrease” (NKJ). Every time I study grace, I give a little more of who I am into God’s loving hands. He pours even more of His love and blessings into my heart in return.
I hope you’ll discover the beauty of this type of relationship with God too. It’s truly exquisite.
Happy Father’s Day!