Tuesday, September 20, 2011

All of Me... His Grace is for

But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace toward me was not in vain.
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them,
though it was not I,
but the grace of God that is with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10
Oh that I would be anything else but me.
I've been continuing to study grace... going on some months now. The word speaks to my heart in deep, deep ways.This quote has also been rolling around in my heart and mind...

I am not what I ought to be;
I am not what I wish to be;
I am not what I hope to be;
But by the grace of God
I am what I am.
- John Newton (author of Amazing Grace)

By happy accident- my ring was turned around...
Its a God  Smile for sure.

No, oh no, I am not what I ought to be neither am I what I wish or hope to be...
I am me.
A pot created by the master potter... cracked by sin, leaky as all get-out, somewhat useful, not always reliable... yet made for a purpose.
But by His grace-- I am me. A better me... a me that is being molded and shaped into the me He desires...
A me that is being refined by the Great Refiner.
And the Refiner's fire...
The process is often painful, sometimes tedious but always worth the end result.
I am me.
This I know- there is always room for improvement.
There is always room for GRACE.
I have me some wonderful girlfriends... two of which have repeatedly said over the course of the last few years, "I've lost myself. I don't know who I am anymore. I'm a wife. I'm a mom. But I don't know who 'me' is anymore."
I don't know how to respond to that.
You see- I have never not known me.
My problem is not in the not knowing... it is in the not liking.
I have never not known me but there have been plenty of instances I have not liked me.
And there it is- I see it now! Those instances are the perfect places for
The me that doesn't like me is the me primed and ready for heapings of His enormous, all encompassing GRACE.
I am not what I ought to be... a sinner bound by chains, imprisoned.
No. By His grace I've been set free- not because I could do the time, make the bail or in any other way shape or form pay the price...
But because He could.
And did.
He has given me freedom and too often I live like I'm still in chains- bound by the pieces of me that I don't like or perceive others not to like about me... oh, those awful, people-pleasing, perfectionistic tendencies that want to overwhelm and consume me. The me I don't want to be... the me I don't want others to see. The me that doesn't always have it together, that doesn't always do or say the right thing, the me that lacks conviction and follow-thru, the me that is ugly, spiteful and petty, the me that looks in the mirror and only sees the flaws... the me that hides in shame. That me.
Oh, how it pains me to even write of that me.
And yet
His grace is a covering over all of ME.
ALL of me.
The me I want to show the world and the me I know inside. The me I am no longer, the me I wish and hope to be, the me I am.
His grace toward me is not in vain.


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