The Worthwhile Lessons of March

Sometimes, grace takes time.

Often, it’s the prayers of God’s people that somehow, quite mysteriously, allow me to taste of His grace.

But always, the Source of grace is Jesus.

These, in a nutshell, are the most worthwhile things I’ve been learning of late. In fact, the latter half of February and the entire month of March have given me repeated lessons in these truths, and to be honest, I’m a long way from mastery of the material.

While the details of my story are still too deeply painful and too profoundly personal to share here on the blog, I feel compelled to give just a hint of the ways God has been at work in my heart and soul.

My 94-year old mom died toward the end of February, not unexpectedly but still somewhat suddenly. And since my nature is to engage in all the “coulda, woulda, shouldas” I can possibly find, I’ve basically been putting myself through much torment.

The prayers of dear friends upheld me in the days following my mom’s passing, and in some incomprehensible way I can say that yes, I operated in God’s grace despite the inner turmoil. In the aftermath of it all, though, I have agonized over details that just wouldn’t let me go—or perhaps better said, details that I have been holding onto with all my might—and the result has been unbearable pain, pain even now intensified by memories of my baby daughter’s death 16 years ago.  Engulfed in grief, I’ve felt more than once of late that I’m a loser who should just give up on life.

And yet. To my amazement, God’s grace has reached out to me in unexpected ways. A guest pastor pointed right at me (really!) when he said, and I quote, “The grace you are looking for is found only in Jesus.” Over a couple of weeks’ time, friends–and friends of friends–pointed me toward prayer warriors who bathed me in prayer and directed me toward the gentle, loving, accepting presence of the Lord. Slowly, God has helped me ease up on the self-recriminating thoughts and begin to see the many things I did well, the ways I had been a conduit of His love to my failing, fragile mom.

Today’s a good day. Tomorrow may be ridiculously painful again. But I trust that during these coming days of April, as the earth is wrapped in the transforming warmth of the spring sun and as the people who love me continue wrapping me in prayer, God’s grace will pursue me still by reaching into the dark, despairing areas of my soul and bringing renewed life and hope to this heart of mine.

What We Learned in March 2016