Abounding Grace

Gratitude. It’s defined as a feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful. Gratitude can be in the form of a tangible gift, a sweet, subtle gesture, or a change in lifestyle and habits.

These past six days, I have found myself marveled at the vast depth of love Christ displays to us and for us. As beings created in His image, it is very easy to discount that simple fact. “I am made through the eyes of Christ, flaws and all.” Somehow, I still doubted how much of that scripture truly applied to me. “Maybe it applies to my bodacious, curly hair,” I attempted to convince myself, “I'm sure it does not apply to my personality.” For years, it remained notated and engraved in my subconscious that God was merely tolerating my existence until I screwed up SO BAD that He was forced to take me out. Sounds silly, but I'm not the first person to marry this accusation with my entire life. Some of you have done it too.

Follow me to Tuesday, January 19th, 2016. It’s starting to snow outside of the office windows and the flurries begin to accumulate. The first real snowfall all winter that eagerly gathers on the ground. As I gaze at the redefining of nature, I feel a shower of warmth, love and assurance. “This, my love, is my grace abounding for eternity for you.” “How can this be,” I yell inside. “How can you love me after all I have done?!” I was confused. The love I was experiencing was more than I could imagine. How did I deserve such a miraculous gift? In exchange, I offered my repentance. For the love and support God offered me daily, I feel sheepish to think that I am unworthy of a desirable life.

Too often, I ogle the lives of those that seem greater than mine. Too often, I forget that I have endured heartache, overcome poverty and reversed a detrimental mindset of victimization. All of which came from trusting in the grace and love God provides me everyday.

In week 3 of 52 weeks of gratitude, I am thankful for Grace. Grace that holds me up when I feel like I've completely missed the mark. Grace that assures me that I am not the only one to make a mistake. Grace allowing the freedom to be wholly and authentically ME, unshamed of the gospel and unashamed of my truths. Grace that is greater than my sin.

I encourage you to stop apologizing to the world for doing exactly what God ordained as He fashioned you in your mother’s womb. I encourage you to be whole and full of the declarations God speaks to us in His word. I encourage a rich, fulfilling life deemed worthy of the most high God.

Rest in your riches.

~AriJ

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