life, My Faith

Oh for grace…

It’s been a while. This has been a very busy month. The last few weeks have been brutal for various reasons, some in busyness and some in storms, tornadoes and flooding (yup I live in that state). While I’ve been silent here, it doesn’t mean anything ominous. It’s a mixture of both busyness and working on the offline me, the one that maybe doesn’t need to be so public all the time.

This season…it’s funny when I named this blog I assumed seasons were cyclical. I assumed they ended. I assumed there was good, followed by bad, and I was ready for a good season. But now I realize that there’s good and bad in every season. Nature is the same for me though so I shouldn’t be surprised. Summer is too hot. Spring is too rainy (especially in Oklahoma right now). Winter is too cold. Fall…Fall is the one that I like, but it’s the one that’s done me dirty the most times in life.

And so it seems is the case in life. The season that started this blog was rough, but it brought me back to a relationship with God. The next season saw growth mixed with hardship and challenges. This latest season, the one I find myself in now, saw a different battle, a battle I ran from for years, but one where I now learn to stand my ground and fight, to look at it in the face and know that I will overcome this too as long as I keep fighting.

Here where I nearly gave up, here where I found myself at the bottom of a place where I tried to push all my people out of, it’s here that I’ve begun the task of uncovering myself, of discovering who I’m meant to be, of embracing my qualities and owning my faults, of learning to live with the gifts and the challenges. It’s here that I realize that I am the way God intended me to be, but the devil can manipulate some of those tendencies and take them to the extreme. I mean I am an all or nothing kind of person after all.

And in this I’m learning to embrace those parts of me that I’m not necessarily proud of, the messier parts, the imperfect parts. God has surrounded me with the people who are both persistent and shower me with an abundance of grace, over and beyond what I deserve. They do this in much the same way God himself does. They love be in spite of myself and can love me better when I let them into those well hidden places.

I joke today that my tag line is: “I’m working on it” but it’s not a joke really because I am. I am learning much in this season. I’m learning to try to harness my powers for good instead of not so good. But I have so much more to learn.

What I realize is I need these people, the very ones I want to push away. I need them to help me on this journey. They still each have something that I lack, maybe something I need even more now.

I am amazed at a loving Father who put these perfect people together for me, to love me well even when I want to run away. I haven’t used the phrase “my people” in a while because it started feeling strange, because I hated to label people who might not want to be such, and because I was preparing my mad dash in the other direction. But that sums up who they are, my people, the people who know me, even when I think they don’t. The people willing to save me even when I pretend I’m waving and not drowning. The people who know my flaws and my struggles and still love that me too, the ugly imperfect version, that is somehow still beautiful. The ones that love me better when I show those weaknesses.

I saw a picture of a piece of oriental pottery that was cracked and then fixed with gold. It was beautiful. The crack looked intentional, like it was part of the design. The writer said they do that to repair the flaw because the flaw is seen as beautiful, a unique part of that piece’s history.

And so maybe that’s it. Maybe these flaws are beautiful, even intentional maybe, repaired by the master Potter. These flaws show the history, the things I’ve been through. Hopefully one day when the gold is complete and the repair finished and I no longer have to say I’m working on it, perhaps then is when it will be a beautiful part of the story, and the whole vessel will be useful for His glory.

But for that, I must stay here in the workshop, with the people who hold a tiny piece of the gold required, the people who have been sent to help repair me, for without them I’ll still be broken. Without them I’ll still be trying to repair myself with duct tape. And duct tape does nothing to add beauty like gold does. Duct tape just makes the flaw uglier.

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