Thank You Jesus For Your Grace
Last week a memory popped into my head of a time when I was very young. It wasn't a very good memory and even though it wasn't horrific - I realized it had followed me into my adult life. The memory came with an emotion that surprised me as I shared it, completely out of the blue, with a close friend of mine last week.
She listened intently as I told her I still remembered the hurtful feelings of rejection and guilt, and the sadness I felt at the thought of being such a big disappointment to this person I loved and admired. It was very clear - I had not met her expectation or approval.
Our relationship began when she lead me to Jesus at 8-years-old. I was a good kid with a strong desire to please. I attended the small church faithfully by myself and grew very close to my pastor and her husband. Then, a few years later I started junior high and was involved in sports, musical programs, and studies.
I was an overachiever and looking back I can see how my desire to please may have caused some hardships in my life.
One day it hit me I hadn't been in church for a while and I missed everyone - especially my pastor. So I was pretty excited when I found a ride to the evening service.
I was 14 and I remember walking in with a huge smile on my face, only to be confronted with a strong look of disapproval from my pastor. No hug ... no smile. Just some words that let me know her disappointment with me was greater than the joy of seeing me. I quietly took my seat and I honestly don't remember much about the night after that, except feeling far away from a person I once was so close to.
I don't believe she wanted to hurt me; I guess looking back both of us had unmet expectations as well as disappointment. I did end up returning to the church for a few years, but something was definitely missing for me. I'm thankful to say I found it! It was grace! That lovely, unconditional acceptance Jesus always gives us with open arms.
So, don't let disappointment or unmet expectations hold you emotionally captive. Grace wants to set you free!
The Lord said in 1 Corinthians 12:9
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.