How I love this word! Grace is something we receive from God, a gift that we do not deserve, but He lavishes it on us anyway be cause He loves us so much. God does give us grace for the moment, right when we need it. But He doesn't give us grace for what we imagine could happen. Have you noticed that?
I spent the past year dreading saying goodbye to my daughter, knowing she was traveling across the world for 2-3 years to Asia to work in linguistics. As I imagined how it would be, I was literally sick at times. I felt overwhelmed, like it would be impossible. I imagined how I would never be able to smile until she came home again. I cried buckets of tears. Oh, what an imagination I have!
Well, the day arrived on Thursday and I swallowed hard and drove her to the Atlanta airport. I'm not gonna lie, I cried sobs that came from a very deep place in my soul when I hugged her - you know that sob I'm talking about. The embarrassing one that makes people stare. It's the one we've probably all experienced at some point when we have had to let go of someone in our lives we cherish. And as hard as that time was for me on Thursday, I can honestly say it was not as hard as I imagined it would be.
I believe those prayers worked, and are still working! The grace I feel is nothing short of a miracle. Yes, I've cried a few times and have been grieving, but somehow I'm having more moments of joy - the ones when I realize and contemplate the incredible privilege she has to travel, meet people and share her amazing heart and smile with others on the other side of the world. It's grace for the moment. And it's real. I'm serious - this is amazing.
So...if you have prayed for us, thank you. We can feel your prayers. God is using you to minister to my family in amazing ways and it's such an incredible feeling! I'm beyond thankful for you and want you to know that God hears you and He's answering your prayers.
Now, I know I have to work on that imagination of mine. When I think of all the time I spent this past year crying, worrying and doubting, it makes me wonder if the dreading of what could happen is actually worse than the actual thing I dread so much! It's rarely as hard as I think it's going to be. Maybe it's because of that grace for the moment. The grace that comes when God knows we need it most.
Worry and dread are symptoms of a grace-less moment. Next time I feel them coming on, I'm going to remember that. If God knows I need the grace, He will bring it. I trust Him to keep His promises!
For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. Psalm 84:11