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

Sending You Hugs

Fair warning. This post is unfiltered and random. But I hope if you can relate to any of it, you end up encouraged.

I’m sad today.
And I’m thinking that’s … okay.

Things aren’t quite the way I want them to be.
But I recognize the blessings in the midst of tough times.
I’m waiting for the fruition of some promises from God…
But they’ve not yet come to pass.
Some things are just hard.
I tend to feel sorry for myself sometimes,
And as someone wise once told me…that’s okay.
We tend to stifle our true feelings and/or let others tell us how we should feel.
Not cool.
We should be allowed to work through our feelings. Allowed to move through them to the other side of the pain, like a beautiful dance sequence.
We should be allowed to feel what we’re feeling at the moment without having to feel guilty or ‘not Christian enough’ for feeling it. It’s okay.
But, maybe you struggle with deeper things (severe depression or perhaps some very real disorders or illnesses). Remember, that doesn’t make you any less human or make your feelings less valid. You may need some extra help working your feelings out. Guess what? That’s okay. Do what’s healthy for YOU.

I often make it my mission to reach out to others when I’m feeling down.
I figure if I can encourage someone else, then I’ve helped someone and that makes me feel good.
Listen, if you’re having a tough time in general, get whatever help you need to get that is healthy for you, not harmful.
If you don’t know who to reach out to, maybe I or other folks on wordpress can help you figure it out.
YOU are beautiful.
YOU are more than your circumstances.
And GOD loves you infinitely, even if you can’t feel it at the moment.
Sometimes when we’re in a dark place, it’s hard to see the light.
But I promise you, if you pay attention, you will notice a glimmer of light each day.
However, if you feel like darkness is swallowing you, please, please get some help.
You are worth saving. You’re worth loving. You’re worth living. You’re beautiful, no matter what anyone says.

©2014 “Sending You Hugs” KD Corner / KD

Gone Too Soon (a poem)

129-flying-dove-design

This is for my friends who’ve lost a dear loved one.

Gone Too Soon by K.D.

Nothing fully prepares us
For the passing of someone dear
The news comes like a piercing sound
Foreign to the ear

Even if we were forewarned
Of what was to occur
It doesn’t ease the pain
It doesn’t quell the hurt

Sometimes it blindsides us
Nothing we would expect
It shakes us and it breaks us
We’ve no chance to object

We’re left reeling from the shock
Staggering from the sting
Trying to make sense
Of all that’s happening

Wondering how we’ll make it
Without their presence near
Questioning how we’ll go on
Through the ache and through the fear

Knowing somehow we must proceed
But still not sure quite how
Going through the motions
Is how we function now

One second, hour, day at a time
That’s how you make it through
You say, “I can’t ever see
How I will make it without you?”

“But, this one thing I have
That no one can tear apart
Is the memory I hold of you
Close within my heart.”

So, with memories so precious
We go forward day by day
Honoring the one we love
In a special way

Their presence will be missed
Their absence has left a void
But their deposit into our lives
Has left an undeniable joy

And as we live each day
Holding the gift of them in our hearts
We honor their very essence
A love that won’t depart

©2014 KD Corner / K.D. “Gone Too Soon (a poem)”

photo credit: downloadclipart.net

When Buried Things Resurface

dig shovel

When buried things suddenly resurface —
On the way into work today I was listening to the radio. A song came on by a particular artist, and something inside twinged. I said to myself, ‘I don’t like this group’ and I turned the station. Then, I thought to myself, ‘why don’t I like them?’. As I reflected, it came to me that I didn’t like them because they’re associated with a negative memory from years ago. Several years ago, I was staying with a friend because I was in a tight spot and needed somewhere for myself and my family to stay temporarily. That time was a mixture of blessings and of negative memories as well.

It was a blessing because my friend opened her home to us in a time of need. Not everyone will do that for you. But, it was negative because sometimes whether the friend & her family meant to or not, they could be condescending, a bit superior in attitude, and offended by just about everything. Without realizing it, I began to hold a grudge. Well it was THIS family who liked that certain musical artist and they’d play certain songs all of the time. Somewhere along the way, associated that particular musical artist they loved, with those negative experiences/feelings. It’s funny how some things we do are subconscious. So what do we do about it?

Well….You can choose to do nothing. Just ‘ignore’ it, continue to repress it and let the feeling fester under the surface and permanently reside in your heart. But, it doesn’t do you any good to keep negativity in your heart. It eats you up slowly.

You can forgive. Yeah, but that’s probably not what you feel like doing. After all, the person who wronged you doesn’t deserve forgiveness, right? That may be true. But none of us necessarily ‘deserve’ forgiveness when we do something wrong or offensive. I’m learning that forgiveness is more about us than the other person. The other person may not deserve it. But, our hearts won’t be free until we let it go. Forgiveness is not saying that what the person did was alright. Not at all. It’s not saying that you now have to be “best buddies”, because proper and healthy boundaries may still be necessary. But, it is saying, “I’m letting go of your offense. I’m not giving it power to make me angry or negative anymore. I’m letting it go.” In essence, you’re wiping them off of your vendetta list, or removing the black dot next to their name. You’re forgiving them their offenses against you…for your own peace. Sometimes this may involve going to the person and telling them you forgive them. But, most times, it’s something we need to do within our own hearts and minds, for us alone.

God offered us his forgiveness through Christ’s death on the cross.  With his help, we can also forgive.

©KD / KDCorner 2014 “When Buried Things Resurface”

Photo Credit: morguefile.com (jpkwitter)