My struggle with grace is real. Well, my struggle with giving grace is real. I have no problem accepting grace. I want grace all the day long. But offering it to others? Well, that's where my struggle begins.
I posted a picture of Evan and me in the doctor's office waiting room. A woman was staring at us. Staring, glaring, all the -ings. And once she knew I knew she was staring, she did not care anymore about appearances and kept on staring without trying to hide it. This wasn't that nice stare when people smile at you while staring. That I tolerate. (Smiling is my favorite! #Elf) She was just gawking. I was so ready to give her the bug eyes right back. Here is where my lack of grace skills comes in. So my go-to is to post a picture of Evan and me and our intolerance, right? Why would I be the first to smile and offer grace? Nope. That's not how I roll, remember? Offering grace just isn't my thing. But it sure is what I expected of her from the very start.
My struggle with grace is real. I want all the grace all the time. I want all the accommodations that come with disability. I want all the handicap parking spaces. I want all the back door entrances, the front row seats, and free passes. I want your eyes on me when it's convenient for me, but please avert your eyes when it isn't. (And you should obviously know the difference between the two.) I want you to cut me some slack in this special needs world. But you? You want me to give you some grace? Whoa. Let's not get to loosey-goosey with this grace thing.
A friend commented on that picture and said the lady was probably staring because we have joy. Evan has joy. It's true. We've figured out how to have joy in this special needs walk. (It's hard not to with Evan, he's hilarious.) We just came out of an illness; a hospital stay. We were seeing the doctor for a follow-up from that time. Evan was still dealing with the after-effects of the illness. His laughter was making him cough. (Probably why she was staring.) But even though there was illness, there was joy. We know the source of our joy is deeper than good health or a good doctor checkup. The source of our joy is the same source of that ever-flowing grace.
God gives us grace through Jesus. He G-I-V-E-S it to us. So why do I have such a difficult time giving it out? I'm stingy with grace. I want it, but I don't want to hand it out freely. If God keeps on giving it to me it isn't going to run out anytime soon. I may as well pass it on to others.
I'm sorry, lady in the doctor's office. My struggle with grace is real. And I don't mean that in a trendy catchphrase way. It is real. It is something I need work on. Grace is a free gift from God. It should be my free gift to others, too.
EPHESIANS 2:8 "FOR IT IS BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED, THROUGH FAITH - AND THIS IS NOT FROM YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD ..."
Unspoken: Call It Grace is a wonderful description of the miracle of Grace.
My husband and I are parents of all boys. One of whom is a young adult with both physical and intellectual disabilities. I don't always know what I'm doing as I parent these guys. But what I do know is God is teaching me big things through our trials that I probably would have never learned without them. You can find more from me at www.mostlyeandme.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @stefmckeever.