I am not a one-sided person. I am not just “sweet Gracie”. I am not just the great cook who bakes her own bread every week, constantly reads articles about food and nutrition and always packs her husband’s lunch the night before. I am not always going to say the right thing, or be the perfect advisor. I’m not always going to be happy. I’m not always going to say, “God is good for bringing us to Wisconsin, he’s teaching me a lot…”, even though it is true. I don’t like every person I meet on first impression. I can be judgmental and harsh in my thinking. I can be self-effacing because I think if I degrade myself more than you might, then you will take pity on me and my mistakes and hold back your own negative comments. I’m not a consistent writer. I don’t always live my dreams. I feel pulled often between so many things, I think I may explode. For instance; right now…to write or to shower? The baby is napping, but how long will she nap for? Do I have time to finish this blog? Do I even want to post this blog? It’s not going to be profound and I know that is the expectation that I have set up here and to post anything less than profound would be detrimental to my reputation as a writer and a thinker.
If anything I have written touches you; know this. I cannot think before I put it on the page. It’s all just flowing from my fingers like grace flowed from the wounds of Jesus. It’s a gift; it’s from the Lord. Every good word I write is from him and he uses my writing to help me think through the things that I am struggling with in my life, literally, WHILE I AM WRITING IT! I don’t have it all figured out and then make an outline to show in the most clear-to-understand way the way that he is working in my life. When you read these words know that you are seeing a miracle right before your eyes…the Holy Spirit is transforming me before your very eyes. Which is why it is so important that I write, especially when I feel like I have nothing figured out and no idea what I would write anyways. This gift is from God, to put thoughts on the page. And if any of you benefit from this post, then I am grateful. And if none of you benefit and it’s all just my own inner ramblings coming out where I can see them, then I am grateful as well.
You’re probably wondering what prompted all this confession. I just started reading Emily P. Freeman’s Grace for the Good Girl, and I highly recommend it. I have been the good girl hiding; and I realize that is what feels the most burdensome to me right now being in Wisconsin. I have been able to let my mask fall in the past few years with my close friends in Fort Collins, but here where no one knows me really well yet, and everyone only sees the me that I put on, I am feeling trapped by that image that I am creating. I want friends and if that first impression of me is beautiful and good, why would I ruin it with all that truth and honesty about who I am underneath? And even going back to visit our friends this past weekend I realized that the way I was speaking freely wasn’t always reflecting very well on me, and that makes me nervous that I will lose those friends while I am away. Maybe they will believe I have really stopped trusting God, or that I am really becoming the “bitter old hag” I joked about on Friday night.
Sweet Gracie…that’s who they think I am; and that’s who I think I am. Anything besides sweet Gracie is an unpleasant surprise. No one, not even me, knows how to deal with the other me. The Grace that is not always full of grace. So this is my note to you all; I am not a one-sided cardboard person. I am not as perfect as I would like to be, nor will I ever be. I will offend and hurt and say stupid things. I will be forgetful and unkind and insensitive. I will open my mouth and speak foolish things. I will think horribly ugly thoughts. That is the other side of me that will probably always be there while I am in this body, this flesh. I am not perfect. I need Jesus. May he continue to transform me into the likeness of himself. May he sanctify me so that I bring glory to his name, and joy and wholeness to my own life even here on this earth. Even as I am not a good girl, I know that I have been redeemed and that God will not leave me unfinished. Neither will he leave you until his glorious artwork is complete in your life.
Here is my request dear readers, if you see this other side of me, this ugly, un-sculpted backside, please pray for me. If I hurt or offend you, or rub you the wrong way, pray for me. I will try to do the same for myself. And I will try to do the same for you.
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 3:12-14