"No, Mommy, you were angry!" her words still echo in my mind.
I remember it well.
There I was retelling the incident to my children, hoping to use my example to instill in them the importance of having faith in God... when it happened.
I came face to face with my reflection... the me that my children see... and it wasn't pretty.
I sat stunned. The broken pride in me wanting to shout out... 'No, that's not how it was!'
But as reality slowly sunk in, I realized that they were right and I was wrong. I hung my head in shame... my fantasy of how well I had portrayed my heavenly Father shattered... the reality... my reflection was tainted. In that moment, and perhaps countless others that I'm probably not even aware of, my actions did not point to God. I failed to show them Jesus.
It took courage then, to apologize... to say I was sorry... not sorry that they had seen it that way (for what kind of apology is that?) but sorry that I had acted that way... that my actions were not representative of my standing with God.
And it took a kiss of grace... mercifully offered by my Father in Heaven to keep calm and shine on.
That phrase is stuck in my memory. It came to me during the year of my father's illness. I was feeling such pressure. Often times away from home, whether physically or mentally, as I cared for my father; I worried about my children. How was I to do it all? How was I to ensure their success this year in homeschool? I was so distracted. I kept sensing the Lord telling me to keep calm and shine on.
Despite all the pressure... the fear of failure, the raw emotions of loved ones, the feelings of inadequacy, the uncertainty of the future; simply keep calm (it's as if He was telling me - remember who I Am) and shine on (live for me... serve me... simply do the next right thing... the one that brings me glory.)
Here again, God was speaking to my heart... keep calm and shine on He said. Yes, you messed up, and yes you continue to fall short of My glory, but remember who I Am, I am full of mercy and grace. Simply, shine on... point them to Me. Let them see you turn to Me... let them see the grace of forgiveness... let them see that even an imperfect portrayal is not the end. There is hope... always hope.
And so I raised my head as I found the courage and grace that I needed... power so lavishly supplied by my Father in heaven... courage and grace... to not only apologize to my children but to point them to our heavenly Father... the only One who is perfect.
So, my friend, I understand the pressure... the pressure to ensure your walk matches your talk. I also understand the pride... that which tells you that your actions whether good or bad have incredible power. Power to heal or to harm. That if you mess up, somehow you have forever damaged your standing with God, not to mention your reputation and His. But I also know grace and God so gently and persistently reminds me that it is not my perfection that counts but His. Not my perfection that gets me to my heavenly home... gets me into a right relationship with Him - but His. I am saved by grace. I am so thankful for grace... thankful that no matter how many times I mess up... grace is always there welcoming me back home.
What about you? Do you need a fresh kiss of God's grace today?
God beckons you...
come as you are...
and He will do the rest.
This song speaks to my soul. I hope it blesses you as well.
I am so thankful that this post was featured on Faith 'n Friends.