Tuesday, February 02, 2016
It was almost cinematic how the word grateful came to me. It started appearing everywhere. I saw it on billboards and in books. I heard it in casual conversations and in songs. It seemingly applied to every aspect of my life as I transitioned from living at home and attending high school to leaving all I'd ever known behind and beginning college.
At the start of 2016, choosing my one word was hardly cliche. On the contrary, it seemed downright impossible. New Year's Day came and went. Winter break ended, and I soon found myself in the passenger seat of the car watching my parent's wave goodbye as I drove back to college. Weeks passed, and suddenly I was tearing off the month of January from my calendar with no one word resolution in sight. So I did what I knew best; I opened Pinterest and started mindlessly scrolling as I avoided my problems.
"Now all I know is grace."
"His grace is sufficient."
"Grace carried me here, and by grace I will carry on."
Grace. I don't think I've ever seen the word grace on Pinterest before, much less 3 times in a row, yet I didn't think twice about it. But grace has a funny way of sneaking into all facets of your life. This I discovered at the very collegiate hour of 2 AM.
I'm a chronic overthinker, and night has always been my worst enemy, my time to over-analyze everything. So late Monday night I sat at the little desk in the corner of my dorm room, pen in head, writing down every single thing I felt at the moment. This is what I wrote:
"Even though I've been at college for over 6 months already, I still feel like I'm at this point of transition where I'm figuring out who my real friends are and who I am and who I want to be. I feel like everything's changing, including me, and it's terrifying. Some days I feel like I'm just pretending to be an adult when in actuality, I have no clue who I am or what I'm doing. I find myself making silly mistakes, unintentionally hurting those I care about, and focusing my energy on things that really don't matter. I'm older than I've ever been, but it's so clear that I still have so much to learn. I am broken, I am a mess, and it's incredible to think that I am still so loved by a God who loves even the imperfect and dark parts of me. It's 2 AM on a Tuesday and nothing is going right, yet I am still so blessed and so loved. And I think that's kinda incredible. Grace carried me here, and by grace I will carry on."
And there grace was again, finding a way into my life.
Only something like grace could make a broken person like me feel completely whole, even if just for a fleeting moment. Grace is an unearned second, third, thirtieth chance. It fills the empty and gives us hope. It's the light at the end of the tunnel that is always present. We are weak, we are messy, we are flawed, yet his "grace is sufficient for you, for his power is made perfect in weakness.” We are undeserving of something as magical as grace, yet we still receive it in abundance.
I don't understand the mystery of grace or even know how to adequately define it. All I know is that it transformed the darkest of nights into one of peace. I didn't physically go anywhere, yet grace did not leave me where I originally was. I still don't have it figured out. I'm still only 19. I'm still growing and changing and slowly discovering who I am and who I'm meant to be. I'm still going to mess up and do dumb things. I'm still going to have moments of weakness where everything seems to be spinning out of control, yet at the same time, I'm still going to be so blessed and so loved. Because that's the power of God's grace.
It is now 2 PM on Tuesday; the same Tuesday I mentioned above. Nothing is perfect in my life except for God's grace. And that is enough. Because grace carried me here, and by grace I will carry on.
May your 2016 be filled with joy and (a lot) of Grace.