God’s Painful Grace

There was a time when I believed God’s grace to be something that was always comforting, always miraculous, always a blissfully joyful thing to experience. And it IS all of those things, but not always. Yes, God’s grace has brought me to thankful tears. God’s grace has brought relief and happiness to my heart. God’s grace has overwhelmed me as a loving force that cannot quite be put into words, where I’ve simply felt waves of love washing over me.

But, recently, as I have reflected on some very pivotal moments in my life, I’ve come to also notice a pattern of what I’ll call “painful grace”. This often comes in the form of shattered dreams, a broken heart, a lost job and the like. And it’s not until you’ve come completely out of the situation and (significant) time has passed, and the heart is open for lessons to be gleaned from the experience, that you realize that it was God’s grace at work in those difficult moments also.

At the time, we can rarely see it as grace, because we’re in the throes of pain and disappointment. We’re grieving, lamenting, mourning. It’s difficult to see clearly when we’re in the middle of grappling with the “why” and “how” of our agonizing experiences. But, in hindsight, we can see God’s hand of grace in those very situations.

Later, after the fact, we see that God’s grace in our losing that job was that He was moving us out of our comfort zone, or perhaps removing us from a place with no growth opportunity, or maybe removing us from a toxic work environment so that we could move onto the next opportunity that He had for us. If we’d not have been ‘moved’ from that position, we might have remained in a place of stagnancy and/or missed out on the next chapter God had for us for career growth and change.

After the fact, we see that God’s grace in that failed relationship was Him moving us out of an unhealthy situation, or saving us from a lifetime commitment with a toxic person, or saving us from a situation were we’d have been ill-matched or not truly valued.  However, by His grace, He ‘moved’ us out of that situation so that we could be free to move into a place of self-growth and healing, and/or into a place of preparation for a better future relationship.

After the fact, we can see that God’s grace in that failed business or shattered dream was Him repositioning us. He was re-routing us to an even greater purpose and more fulfilling dream. That ‘failure’ caused us to rethink life, upgrade our perspective, and brainstorm a new, more innovative plan or idea than we would’ve thought of if we’d have not experienced that failure. I once heard Bishop TD Jakes saying something to the effect of – ‘what if our failures are really our gateways to the next phase of our purpose?!’ [paraphrased]

Ohhh, God’s painful grace! We do not readily embrace it. We fight it. We even hate it, because at the time it does not seem like grace… It only feels like pain. But, if our hand is in God’s hand, shouldn’t we trust Him to lead us through this process? To refine us? To grow us? Even if at times His grace is painful?

©2019 Life Together with Kay Dee, “God’s Painful Grace”

photo credit: morguefile.com

Though Life Can Be Troubling

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Though Life Can Be Troubling – by K.D.

Though life can be troubling
And sometimes it breaks your heart
Know that it’s a journey
From the very start

It weaves and it winds
Sometimes you get off course
And you may begin to wonder
“What is all of this for?”

Know that you are growing
Progressing day by day
Though the road at times is tough
And you feel you’ve lost your way

Remember who you are, dear one
Fearfully and wonderfully made
You are watched over and cared for
And guided through each day

You will see the other side of this
And look back and say, “Ah hah!”
The trials you’ve endured
Have brought you very far

You now have compassion
Where you lacked it before
You now have the strength
To help someone else endure

You now understand
Someone else’s broken heart
And you have life-lessons learned
And wisdom to impart

There is HOPE
On the other side of this storm
Hold on to your Maker
He will guide you safely to shore

Don’t lose sight dear friend
You are not alone
Have hope, keep the faith
The best is yet to come!

Amen.

© 2013 K.D. Corner “Though Life Can Be Troubling”/ iamkaydee1.wordpress.com

Photo Credit: here

Life Unexpected

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The other day, word spread throughout the office fast, that a former coworker had passed away. The age…26 years young. Shock and disbelief permeated the office. Those of us who knew him shared and discussed it amongst ourselves. This young man had recently moved out-of-state to pursue another venture. It was said that no one had heard from him for a few days and when someone checked on him, they found that he was…gone. I don’t want to share any more detail to protect his family’s privacy. But, wow. I wasn’t very close with him, but, I knew him and we’d chat sometimes. He was a pretty well-known figure among many of us. And really, it’s something you don’t expect to happen. It’s something that shouldn’t happen. But it did.

Unexpected death brings about varied reactions. But those that are common are reactions of shock and sadness. Immediately my heart broke for his family and very close friends. To lose a son so young….to lose a child at all…is devastating. Immediately I set about the task of praying for God’s provision and comfort for this family. As a bystander, you feel so helpless. You want to rush in and comfort those loved ones left behind, only to realize that you cannot fix it. You cannot lessen their pain. You can only support and help where needed, which can be a blessing to the family.

I apologize if this blog entry seems all over the place or disjointed. I’m still grappling with this news. Immediately I thought of the brevity of life. I thought of my own children. I thought of how precious life is and how this young man likely had no clue that his would end so suddenly. It made me want to scoop up all of my kids and protect them. It made me want to take more time to treasure them. It made my heart break for those parents of that young man. It made me think of how none of us really know how long we have, and how we should make the most of it. It made me think, personally, of my relationship with God, my creator. It made me think – am I living to the fullest? Am I reaching my potential? Am I sharing my faith effectively? Am I doing everything I should be doing? Am I trying to live a healthy and robust life? Am I taking proper care of myself and my family’s health and well-being? So many questions and thoughts swirling around. Events like this have a way of making you STOP. THINK. REFLECT. As much as it lies within me, I want to treasure this gift of life and my children and family and friends. I will attempt to live my life, this gift of life from God, to the fullest and to make it one that pleases Him. That’s my personal goal. What will you do with yours?

I pray that you live to the fullest and make a positive difference in this world.
I pray that you take the time to treasure your loved ones – your family and friends.
I pray that you let go of grudges and live!
I pray that you forgive those who have wronged you and choose to live with joy and peace and laughter and love.
I pray that you don’t let anyone rob you of who you are. God created you uniquely special.
I pray that you comfort and help others and take every chance to “pay it forward”.
I pray that you realize how beautiful and wonderful you are and that you can reach the stars!
I pray that you can be that shoulder for someone to cry on, or that listening ear, or that word of wisdom, or that hug or smile.
I pray that you know how much God loves and adores you and that you get to experience Him in your life.
And I pray that you know that… just as “bad” unexpected things can happen, so can “good” ones. Never give up!

Blessings ♥

© “Life Unexpected” by KD Corner 2012

Image courtesy of nixxphotography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net