life, My Faith

Grace at the right time

It’s funny. I’ve said a lot of times that my people found me at exactly the right time, when I needed them the most and when I couldn’t say no. And in that God found me too, or rather I stopped treating Him as someone I occasionally run into and developed a real, deep relationship with Him.

Monday morning is my sabbath, at least for now. This morning I went to therapy and then headed out to my place. (Side note: last night someone asked what my plans were for today and I said, oh I have therapy and then sabbath. She said, for your knee? And I replied, no. For my brain. And we all kind of laughed. And I love that I can be that honest and real without shame.)

Anyway, today I was reading in Luke 7 a little story about the widow of Nain. Jesus and a large crowd were going to Nain and at the gate, a widow was coming out with a huge funeral procession for her dead son. Jesus raised her son from the dead. It was that encounter that lead to John the Baptist hearing about what Jesus was doing.

It’s a great reminder. Jesus met her right where she was; He knew their paths would cross. He didn’t just pass; He gave her the grace she needed and changed her future, and the future of those around her. “God’s grace never only affects one person, but it always extends in more ways than anyone can see” (Mary Carver, Women of Courage).

I think it’s much the same with my people. I said this group, my community group, my people was created just for me, and while that may be true, what I love now is it’s become so much more. God’s grace to me in all the times I’ve been at the end of my rope has saved me from myself and from all the things, and it’s probably the reason I’m here today, or at least the version of myself I am today.

But now as I look around at what He’s doing in my little group, I can see how His grace to me extends to so many others. While the group has morphed and changed and while I tried to hang on with clenched fists, I now see what it is as a beautiful ministry, an extension of God’s love to my favorite people.

Looking around the room yesterday at Friendsgiving, I know it’s time to release the ones who’ve chosen to go, sending them off with prayers and a hope that some day they might be back. I know too it’s time to welcome in the ones God is sending who need this as much as I ever did. As I listened to a story of how God put someone in the exact place to end up getting invited (and saying yes because it was clear that it was God’s doing), I think back with a smile how the same thing happened to me; I just didn’t know it yet.

The circle continues. The ministry evolves. The faces may change, but the love and support remains. I know no matter what I am loved and accepted here and these are the people, my people, that I need as desperately as I need oxygen. They point me to God and make me the best version of myself. They’ve seen me at my worst and love me anyway. They’ve brought me back from the brink (several times, unfortunately). They are God’s grace to me.

And now that grace continues on to others. And for that I am eternally grateful.

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