Breathless

Last week my mom brought by a book that had really touched her heart.

She knows, senses I think, frustration lurking within mine.

I’ve grown up in church-world.  I’ve lived most of my life steeped in it and surrounded by church people.  That’s not a bad thing!  I want my girls to marinate in a childhood of Jesus, for sure.  Except I don’t want the predictable.

I don’t want Jesus reduced to a measure.

A pin for the spiritual lapel.

Sundays that don’t translate to Mondays.

Goosebumps that never turn into Gracebumps.

If the gospel is true and the Bible is relevant then joy should be full.  Trust bringing peace.

Maybe we don’t mind not having what we profess as long as no one else does either.

I’ve been frustrated before and it might just lead to a good thing.

Transparency, that is.

The Bible and promises of joy and peace are quite true.  In His providence I stumbled into Grace once before and what happened to me in the months that followed changed my life.

Grace and Love came at me in the most simple ways.

Wasn’t flashy or showy or even in a church building.  Grace toppled my heart on my front porch and at my kitchen table and sitting by the pool chatting with lifeguards and neighbors.

Grace breezed in through my I-give-up-trying-to-be-awesome transparency.

Jesus is the awesome.

And He showed me.

Like an uncoverining.  A spectacular discovery.

So mom drops by with this book and I am lukewarm about it until I see who wrote it.  I’ve become worn from striving.

Judah Smith. I know who he is.

I used to listen to messages from this Pastor of City Church in Seattle while making dinner.

Back before.

When I was free and a recovering striver.

Last night when I got home from work Shannon had a delicious meal prepared. I sat pretty tired at the table from thirteen hours on my feet and let the girl-chatter glide over me.

Rivers was talking about our friends’ church and learning about the armor of God.  When she said “breastplate of righteousness” my heart caught.

Primed by a book about Jesus and what Grace looks like.

A breastplate is meant to protect the heart.

Righteousness is right-standing.  Being right with God.

Approved of.

Accepted.

Lights come on and I see.  I try to wear my own efforts as righteousness.

I’m sitting at the table still in my scrubs and probably smelling like the hospital and think oh my god…the righteousness of Jesus across my heart will protect me from the lie that I need to do more, earn more, prove more to be accepted by Him.

Real grace goes against the grain and puts us all on level ground.  Things become so much about Jesus we forget to check our place in line.  Forget to care.

Peace comes with great doses of humility.

What can I possibly prove?

I desperately long to bow out.  To be myself–my plain old self–and collide with grace again.

The best I ever lived was in a messy response to crazy grace.

Lovesick for the One who offers all for my nothing.

Who can work wonders in me–but only the real me.

Striving is arduous.

While Grace is breathless to carry us.

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