On Monday mornings our pastoral staff meets to worship and pray together before our weekly staff meeting. As Pastor Anthony led us in worship the other day, we sang Reckless Love by Cory Asbury, and one particular line in the song caused a flood of thoughts and emotions. The line says, “There’s no shadow You won’t light up, mountain You won’t climb up coming after me.” As soon as we sang it the first time around an immediate sense of gratitude came over me.
You see, I started seeing a therapist about 10 months ago. I realized that certain areas of my life needed an outside voice speaking into them and it has turned out to be a wonderful gift that I’ve given to myself (or should I say that Anthony and I have given to me considering we share our finances)! In the process of my therapy journey, I’ve been able to articulate that I have lived the majority of my life with a deep fear of disappointing authoritative figures or really anyone important in my immediate circle and feared disappointing God as well. It started with my parents, worked its way to bosses, and eventually my husband. Since I didn’t marry until I was 36, I was able to live most of my adult life with that fear only playing a minor part of my relationships. It wasn’t until marriage that I believe God lit up that shadow in my life, exposing it and gently forcing me to deal with it.
That’s where the sense of gratitude came from. I realized as we were singing the song that God has been so gentle and kind to me, not just in this area of my life but in others as well. In my fear of disappointing God, I kept things in rather than fully surrendering them to Him. I guess I figured that if I don’t bring it up, He won’t know…HA, right?!?! I know, I know, I can be kind of dense sometimes! It took me too long to recognize that God’s grace is gentle and kind, it isn’t mean or punitive.
Hear me on this, I know that His grace doesn’t mean that my situation will change immediately or my mindset, it doesn’t mean that I still don’t have work to do to break habits or behavior that don’t line up with what the Holy Spirit is doing in my life. His grace does mean that I have an approachable God and I don’t have to fear coming to Him with ALL of my faults and weaknesses. I guess you could say that I am on a constant journey to become more vulnerable with my loving God, my oh-so-patient husband, and with the rest of the world around me. When God exposes shadows in our lives, we have a choice to be vulnerable with God and perhaps people close to us, or we have a choice to stay living in the shadows. Vulnerability requires grace, and I am so glad that we serve a God who willingly extends grace to us when we don’t deserve it.