God has been writing the power of our stories on my heart.
I’ve already shared with you, sweet readers, how my true testimony isn’t how I came to Christ, but why I’ve stayed. The real journey has been in the over-the-years learning that faith is not made up of measuring sticks and missing marks, but of the willingness to daily lay myself bare before God and ask Him to replace my striving with His grace, my sin with His righteousness.
For so many years, I handed the power behind my story over to others who I believed were more equipped to author it. But our stories are not written by our efforts to please, our need to seek approval, or the labels and contingencies we limit ourselves too. God is the One who pens the stories on our lives with intimate perfection and unending grace.
On the quest to make peace with my own story, God has opened my eyes to yours. And when I look at you—at your story—I want it to be with eyes of grace.
I’ll be honest, that’s not always easy for me. Grace isn’t natural for us—it is a God-given gift that we can only embrace when we realize how desperately we need it, and how utterly undeserving of it we are.
I will CHOOSE grace.
I’m the girl who tried to fit the mold and play the part. If I looked like they said I should and did what they said I needed too, then they would like me and in some hidden place in my heart, so would God. I jumped on the bandwagon and joined in the popular vote—because it was safe, it was easier than fighting for truth.
But that’s past tense, because God rewrote that story when I saw you.
You were hurt and searching for grace—you were starving for it. In the midst of broken marriages, families, bodies, and spirits, you were longing for truth. The pretty package and the popular vote were failing you so brutally, that rather than pursue grace, you ran from it.
You were asking for someone to tell you that the outside didn’t matter. You wanted me to see your heart. To understand that you had no idea what this walk of faith was supposed to look like. You just longed for someone to take you by the hand, say that you were loved, and travel the path beside you.
I see you. And I want to know your story.
I’ll be honest—when you walk into church with that short skirt and showing too much cleavage, my mind cries, “Oh my!” But my heart longs to simply ask, “Why?”
What’s your story? Did someone tell you that attention equals love? Who taught you that the outside is more important that what God wants to do inside of you? Do you realize how beautiful you are, just the way He made you?
And you with the tattoos. I’m not crazy about the idea personally, but tell me what took you there. Are they for someone you love, or something you did, or someplace you wish you could escape?
You with the beautiful face stained with tears.
You with the husband and kids driving you to drink.
You who sits in the back, all alone, feeling like you’ll never fit in.
You who can’t look me in the eyes and plasters on a phony smile when you do.
You who have done so much wrong, right feels a million miles away.
I want to know your story.
I don’t care if you eat un-organic fast food. It doesn’t matter if you feed your kids Lucky Charms every day. You can listen to rap music and watch the Real Housewives. The label on your clothes and the stains on your living room carpet don’t matter to me.
I want to know your story—it’s safe with me. You are safe with me.
I will CHOOSE grace.
You might come wrapped in a different package. You don’t look the way I do, but I see you and I don’t judge you. I don’t think your sins are worse than mine. In fact, apart from Christ, we are equally rotten and flawed.
So, I’ll sit next to you and hold your hand in prayer. If you want truth, I’ll tell you. With love and grace, I’ll walk you toward Jesus. And if you’re not ready yet, that’s okay too. I promise I won’t leave. I promise He won’t either.
I want to know your story because you are His and so am I. He loves you and I do too.
I will CHOOSE grace. And I hope you will too, because I’m bound to fail at my best of intentions. But if I choose grace and you choose it right back, what kind of chain reaction could we start?
Featured Photo Credit (Image designed by Tiffany Parry)