Then, There is Grace.

There is a cost to the battle.

Although we may emerge victorious, our faith refined by fire, something is lost, left behind. Pieces of us are not restored. Our steps may be bold, but they are weary, guarded, more cautious than they were before. If you walk through a minefield once, chances are from now on, you watch your step.

I recently confided in a friend, a dream that I am pursuing. When all was said and done, she encouraged me and spoke words of affirmation, but she asked why I hadn’t shared with her sooner.

Good question. One that got me thinking.

While I do my very best to be open and honest in this place, vulnerable and real, there’s still reluctance. A corner of my heart that won’t surrender its secrets. Wounds that have been bound by a loving God, but hurt that is not entirely healed.

Before God (and you), I face my opponents:

My greatest adversary – perfection. When you spend a good deal of your life trying to have it all together, it’s hard to relax into the fact that you don’t have to. I’m still traveling the stages of recovery in my perfection addiction. And really, truly, nobody wants their hopes and dreams to fall flat while their world watches. Who wants to fail in front of an audience?

And then there’s that minefield. Those pesky mines hit close to home and turned my safe places into hostile environments. When you have to live looking over your shoulder assessing whether allies are now enemies, your capacity for trust takes a beating.

It’s a rocky path to walk when the people you thought would always have your back have vanished. You try not to chase down assumptions and run after approval, but let’s face it, we’re only human. Losing the things you hold dear hurts. There’s no way around that pain.

There is a cost to the battle. { But then, there is grace. }

When God has led us, our Commander, Rescuer, and Redeemer, we are not promised that we will cross the finish line unscathed, but instead transformed.

When we have walked so near to God, clung to Him, bound our hope around His promises, we inevitably come out the other side looking more like Him.

Scars and all.

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, Who loved and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 NLT

Perspective is an incredible gift. We see in hindsight what we were blinded from at the beginning of our journey. With each step forward, God pours out discernment, wisdom, and insight that propels us toward greater faith and a deeper, more intimate walk with Him.

God asks us to lay down things, our self even. Perhaps it’s a surrender of our will, relinquishing of control, or the release of unrealistic expectations. Maybe it’s allowing forgiveness to heal those open wounds, new plans and purposes to wrap around those scars.

God requires we release the former, so the future good can be brought forth like gold.

I wish I could lay down these words saying my confidence is fully intact. That there isn’t fear or a still, small drive that pushes me towards perfection. I wish I could say that my heart would release those things that it holds on to so tightly. That I didn’t get that creepy-crawly feeling in my stomach when a friend asks about my plans and dreams. That I could shout them from the rooftops.

But I can’t say that.

I can say this. There is dependence on God and resolve to pursue Him. There is a well-placed discernment, a guarded wisdom, that gives me permission to hold some things sacred and choose whom I trust. There is a desire to seek excellence, to push myself not toward perfect, but beyond my insecurities and fears toward His glory.

There is freedom. To dream. To be who God has called me to be – unashamed to bear His name, anticipating the fruit of the gifts He has given, and expectant of the plan that He wants to author in my life.

This life is short. Fleeting even.

There simply is not enough time to chase after the things, the people, the past that God has removed from our lives. I’m not that girl anymore. My heart simply won’t allow me to be.

There are bolder and braver pursuits for me – for us.

There is a cost to the battle. But the prize is more of God.
And that friends, is a reward we can wholeheartedly pursue.

{ —————- }

** Linking up with the beautiful blogging communities and the friends of my heart, Holley GerthMeredith BernardKristin Hill Taylor, and Jennifer Dukes Lee.

Featured Image Credit

20 thoughts on “Then, There is Grace.

  1. This is beautiful, Tiffany…especially this, “There is a cost to the battle. { But then, there is grace. }” Yes, there is a cost…and thank God, yes, there is Grace. I’m glad you are choosing to trust again and chase your God-sized and God-given dreams. I’m glad I’ve done the same…life is so much sweeter for the choosing. :) Cheering you on wildly! xoxo

    1. So blessed that you visited me, Meredith. Thank you for the cheers…its always fun to have sisters on the sidelines! Amen to chasing our God-given dreams…to chasing more of Him. Also, huge thanks for hosting us in your beautiful blog home and faithfully sharing your heart with us. ❤️

  2. An absolute joy to have your wise words shared with us in community at #TellHisStory. The verses from Gal 2:20 are so dear to me.

  3. This is very true and resonates with me in message and writing style. You’re like my sister in mommy blogging! Thank you for boldly sharing yourself and your faith. We need more voices acknowledging God!

  4. Everything about this is so good, Tiffany! You are so right, there is a cost to the battle and sometimes brave comes with weary steps. That chasing after perfection and the hurt that follows failure — those are definitely familiar. But to think that God works in all these wounds and scars and hurts, and taking steps towards Him means becoming more like Him. Yes, this battle can be so, so hard but the prize is more than worth the fight!

    1. Sounds like God has us in the same classroom, Ronja?! So blessed to know you related and that we are walking the path and drawing closer to Him together. You are so right…the prize is worth the fight. Thank you so much for visiting and blessing me with your insight. Hugs!

  5. Thanks for sharing this and for reaching out today on my blog. I am happy to be neighbors on holleygerth as well! This was so well written and something I needed to read. God does work in mysterious ways! I have just gone through much of what you wrote about. Thanks again!

  6. As a recovering perfectionist myself, I get this. And what encouragement it is for my soul. I’m so glad you linked up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  7. “Although we may emerge victorious, our faith refined by fire, something is lost, left behind. Pieces of us are not restored. Our steps may be bold, but they are weary, guarded, more cautious then they were before. If you walk through a minefield once, chances are from now on, you watch your step.” Love this! You have spoken much truth here. The support group for the heartbroken is a large one. Beautifully written. Thanks so much for your transparency. ~ visiting from Three Word Wednesday

  8. I totally get what you mean here in so many ways! Thank you for sharing your heart with us and where you are at in this journey we travel of sharing our hearts, lives and thoughts… putting them out here hoping for the best… hoping for understanding and hoping for some kind of good coming from it all! Thank you for being brave! Big hugs and love to you!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Rachel. We do just put one foot in front of the other and trust, with hope, that God makes something beautiful out of our offerings. So glad that you visited today. Hugs back at you!

  9. “I’m not that girl anymore. My heart simply won’t allow me to be.” Loved this. It resonated with me…in a good way! Appreciated your words and allowing us a peek in through the crack of the door into your dreams! May we each PURSUE! {Enjoyed “meeting” you through Meredith Bernad’s link up.)

  10. WELL THAT WAS “PERFECTLY” SAID AND WRITTEN, TIFFANY, EVEN THOUGH YOU STRUGGLE WITH “PERFECT.” YOU TRULY HAVE BEEN GIVEN THIS GIFT BY GOD.

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