My life before was one based in fear. I was in fear of what was to come, I was in fear of what I had done and I was constantly asking for forgiveness and mercy when I had no intention of changing or following through on what I had promised. I walked with my head down, and felt that everyone I passed knew what I really was. I was ashamed and didn’t think I even deserved the mercy I was seeking. The burden and consequences of the choices I had made weighed me down like I had lead sewn into the lining of all my clothes. Until one night I was offered some grace.
That grace came as a result of me doing something I had never done, I surrendered. I admitted defeat and asked for help. It was in that moment that I was given grace. I wasn’t sure I wholeheartedly deserved it, or could accept it, but I did the best I could to take it, hold it close to my heart and step into the unknown. I worked to let go of the thinking of my past, believing that I only deserved bad things, that I was a bad person and that my only way out was asking for mercy. None of that was true, and the truth was, I always had a way out, I just have to find the courage to leave. Once I did I had some work to do to believe I deserved the grace I was given. I had to let go of the notion that I could control everything, I was never really able to, no one is, but I would attempt it every day to the brink of exhaustion and insanity. I had to learn how to forgive, starting with myself, but those who I had blamed for all my misfortune, I had to take responsibility for my part and I had to find compassion for those, who like me, where sick in some way, who’s actions may not have been right, but were limited by their own illnesses and self. To allow myself to dwell on my negative thoughts and emotions was a sure-fire way to fall back into the darkness I was working so hard to climb out of. I was not able to change the past, but I was, and am, able to create the future. That is what I had to focus on. I had to learn to have faith and to trust that what was in front of me was there to help me, to teach me and to guide me to where I was meant to be. I had to let go of what I thought things should look like and accept them as they were, and are. I had to learn to be thankful and grateful, even on days when I didn’t feel so. It was important for me to keep my thoughts positive and even if I could only think of one thing, I kept that one thing in my heart until I could think of more. And in doing so I was able to start expecting the best, looking for the good instead of the dark doom and gloom of my past. When I looked for the good, I found the good, even if it was the smallest good, it was there, and from there it kept growing the more I looked and nurtured it.
Today I aim to live in grace, and know I deserve to. I allow myself to be seen just as I am, flaws and all, and am able to share my journey from mercy to grace with others so that they may start their own, or, may be encouraged on their path. I have nothing to fear from my past, and nothing to be ashamed of, all of those moments, those choices, that darkness brought me to that moment of grace, and it probably couldn’t have happened any other way, it took that amount of darkness to see the light.
You have a choice of where you live your life, but I highly recommend living in grace, sure, it will probably take some work, it took quite a lot for me, but it was worth each step, each moment, each struggle I was able to overcome so I can stand tall in the light and appreciate all of the beauty in my life, and am able to recognize that it had always been there, even when I couldn’t see it. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you live in grace or mercy? If you live in mercy, describe how. If you live in grace, describe how. Have there been times in your life that you switched one for the other? Describe that time and what happened? What can you do today to live in grace? What do you struggle with? What keeps you from living in grace? We are all worthy of grace, but we have to believe we are, and, it may take some work to get there, and sometimes just by letting go of who you used to be is enough to open the door to your own place of grace.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you