I feel the most amazing thing about grace is that it will always feel like way more than you deserve. At least it does to me.
I heard before (or so I think) that receiving grace helps you to give grace to others - you are changed, you get the big picture of it all, you understand the feeling of receiving such an undeserved gift.
Let me tell you, I don’t only want to give grace to others, I want to give it as my friends have given grace to me. I especially want to love others as I have been loved by one dear friend.
During the many discussions I had with Matt before I told my abortion story, I asked multiple times, “how will this effect my friends who have lost babies?” I have been touched by many women who have lost children, either through miscarriages or shortly after a child’s birth. I heard the stories, witnessed the heartache, seen the longing to just have a healthy baby to hold in their arms. Their stories always lead me to a place of shame - not by their doing, but by my own un-forgiveness of myself. “How could I have done this, when they had to go through that? How was I so ungrateful?”
As I wrote my story one dear friend came to mind again and again. The always smiling, always cracking jokes couple that I have sat in the pew behind me for the past two years hold some serious heartache. I believe that Becky and I had friendship “love at first site” when we met and my heart broke each time I thought about sharing my story with her. You see, Eighteen years ago my dear friend and her husband buried a little boy, who was to be their middle child, after a stillborn delivery.
Of all the people I know, I believe that Becky has a right to be angry at me, to be angry at my actions, to have issues with me and so many times I’ve wanted to tell her “I am so sorry for what I did.” Somehow typing that just now lead me to, “I should be apologizing for underestimating the holy spirit that lives in this woman.” Because let me tell you, she is filled with God’s love, filled, overflowing.
I don’t cry every Sunday morning, but when I do I use an entire box of Kleenexes - kidding, somewhat.
This past Sunday was out of the ordinary. I was given a heads up before the service began that there would be a topic discussed by my father in-law, but his sermon wasn’t directed at me. The topic was abortion since Sunday was “Life Sunday.” I am very thankful for these warnings and I quickly put on my armor, put up my wall. I even prepared Shelby since she was the only one in the pew next me. Things stung a little, a few tears rolled down my cheek. I knew that there was a scattering of friends sitting in the sanctuary who were thinking about me as the sermon when on, then I felt a tap on my shoulder and a folded offering envelope was passed over the pew to me.
My heart. My first instinct was to climb over the pew and give Becky a huge hug, but I decided that a firm grip of her hand would probably be better received. After our embrace, her husband, Andy, grabbed my hand as well and I am telling you the flood gates were wide open.
I don’t think I could ever do justice with words to describe how much their love means to me. How completely overwhelmed I am by their grace. The one couple who have every right to withhold their love have changed my life. I want to love others as they have loved me, I want to love them as they have love me!
Amazing what grace does.
Thank you guys for loving me even after knowing my unloveable parts.