• My Story

  • Featured Posts

  • Hope for Nations

  • Featured Book

There is Grace Enough for the Mess We Still Are…

I let it go. All afternoon, I kept letting them go — the snide remarks and surly comments. I offer grace to this child, so much like me.  I let it go again, until this last straw, then I let go.

I broke down or let it break me down. Either way, I’m down.


Oh, what to do when the heaviness of your mistake and the careless spilling out of your words seems too much to bear?  For the evidence is plain to the eyes of anyone peaking in. It could not be more clear to me — the mess that I still am. It seems I’ve come far and long and hard. I am happy on my way, and maybe I forget too soon. I forget too easily when things go well. In tripping over my own lack of control and flailing words I remember –

I stumble in my own strength.


My righteousness is still as filthy rags, and no amount of my own scrubbing can wash it clean. I remember now. I run to the cross where the blood flowed freely, where grace still flows freely, where His love was proved. How can the greatest act of injustice, so horrific, red stained, body of our Lord, bloody beaten and bruised, make me white as snow? While the Man all God was despised and rejected, He remained silent for my sin of not being able to. The greatest act of love — He finished it for my transgression.


I almost want to shout the confession loud, and from here I do. I still lose my way, my temper. I still feel like I have failed beyond reproach. I have to preach grace again, to myself. I have to speak the self-sermon loud and not discard as useless the price He paid for me. Me, who should be walking by the Spirit. I still find myself in the flesh.


For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 

Romans 7:18-19


And this brings me low. Still there is no condemnation. I am clothed in His righteousness. It’s almost too much for me to bear. He bears it all for me. Still. Even after all these years I should know. I should talk differently. I should walk differently. And still, He never gives up on me, even when the job of transformation gets messy.


How do I go lower? I am not low enough. The sorrow is so heavy. It is a Godly sorrow that is not validated by tears flowing, but by heart-change which can only happen by the meeting of a Holy Presence shining light on my sin, and by choosing repentance. He grants me repentance as a gift. I repent. I turn around. I have let this anger and frustration take me down a road where I find myself in the middle of wrong. On the way my words caused damage that only God’s grace and mercy can redeem and restore.


This is the reason that He gave His life. “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mark 2:17.


How do I walk in a manner worthy of the call? Only by the grace He provides. Only by the mercy I receive, and only in the measure that I offer it. And to this child I offered a contradiction — a wrong example of what grace and mercy really are. My words bring shame, and with it a sense of failure and defectiveness. So, to this child, I weep sorry.


“I don’t know how.”
 Weeps the child now. “I will try and be better.”


Try?
 Oh no, child! Don’t let me lead you to that place where you will never measure up, never be good enough. It’s a prison. “It is not perfect that He looks for.” I say aloud to her, but it’s for me to remember. It’s not perfect that I should look for.


This is the message I fail to convey this day. It’s the message I live that they will hear much loader than any words I say. But still, this is what I want this child and all the children to know. I pray, by grace, I will live it.


What you are not — He is.

It’s Christ’s performance on the cross that was good enough.


There is freedom in GRACE — 
in learning to live without

the fear of losing love and acceptance

if the job of transformation gets too messy. <— Tweetable, eh?


It was a perfect sacrifice

by a perfect person

to perfect some very

imperfect people.

By that single offering,

He did everything

that needed to be done

for everyone. 

Hebrews 10:14 MSG


My children, please don’t believe me if my life message tells you otherwise.

But always believe His Word. It is truth. Always.

 

Share Via F L P H
  • http://hopeigniter.com Michael

    Yes exactly, it was Christ’s performance that makes us new and righteous. Whenever someone doubts their salvation it never helps to look to one’s own performance. When someone doesn’t feel adequate for salvation, the only solution is to look to Christ’s finished work on the cross. Jesus really did pay it all, and praise Him for such undeserved grace! … Great post, Michele!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Michael,

      Thank you for stopping in. You share life liberating truth!

  • http://newlifesteward.com Mary Beth

    It’s so hard to find that balance as a parent of expecting good behavior and then pushing that expectation of perfection on them. Remembering grace and being honest about my failures is all I can think of.

    Thanks for linking up friend!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Mary Beth,

      Yes, you have described me perfectly :) We are kindred.

  • Aida

    Thank you for posting LIFE….I just had one of those days last week and am so grateful for God’s love, grace and forgiveness. My prayer too is that my children follow His word always.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Aida,

      Thank you for sharing your heart. It blesses me today :) We journey together, by His grace…

  • http://lovelaughterfriendshipandfaith.blogspot.com Sherri

    Sounds like my post today. I pray you find the strength each and every hour, minute if need be. Know you are nothing but human and He is always there for you.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Sherri,

      Thank you for your prayer of blessing. Yes and amen!

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn

  • http://simplystriving.wordpress.com Nikki

    I wish I could say I have no idea what you are talking about…but as it says somewhere in Luke (I can find it if you want it) If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.

    and I am so grateful…

    love your beautiful heart, friend. and love how much being a mother has taught me about forgiveness. what grace. a hidden blessing.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Nikki,

      I would guess that you would have no idea of what I am talking about :) You are so very gracious and gently. Meek and mild. Thank you for being such a beautiful example of motherhood and friendship.

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn

  • http://www.amylearns.com Amy Tilson

    Looks like you’ve been spying on me. I had a light bulb moment with your answer to trying to be better. I place expectations on others that I couldn’t possible place on myself. how ridiculous is that? This was a complete picture of my life a lot of the days. Thank you for sharing it.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Amy,

      You are courageous to share your heart. Thank you for showing me grace :) I pray for grace for you, as well.

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn

  • Lisa Cook

    What powerful and painful words. Powerful truth to my painful reality…. I too fail to speak only life to those who are my everything. And then I realize, I too need to live the very truth I try to teach. Thankful more than ever for abundant Grace and new mercies. I’m so undeserving but He loves me anyway! Your heart is pure! I love you my dear friend…

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Lisa,

      I love it when your name shows up here. Thank you for sharing your heart so transparently. You are such a tremendous gift to me.

      I love you <3

  • http://www.heavenlyglimpses.blogspot.com/2012/08/how-im-conf Theresa@HeavenlyGlimpses

    Michelle, you paint such a beautiful picture here. There is so much hope and encouragement in knowing that we do not have to be perfect. Our lives and choices are redemptive and sometimes it takes that breaking point to be reminded. You are not alone!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Theresa,

      Thank you :) You are so encouraging me to me. I am praying for you, that God would order your steps.

      To Him all the glory…

  • http://tanyamarlow.com tanya marlow

    YEAH! preach it!
    I’m feeling this so much too – it is so easy to let fall the angry words.
    I’m also feeling the burden of not measuring up to my own standards this week, and needing to hear again the words of forgiveness and grace from the cross.
    Blessings. xx
    (coming to you via Joy in this Journey)

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Tanya,

      Your first line made me smile. I am so glad that the highlight of this post, wasn’t my error, but Jesus sacrifice on the cross.

      Thank you for sharing your heart here. It blesses me so :)

  • http://www.upliftingwordsonline.com/2012/08/22/give-me-five/ Stefanie Brown (@stefanieybrown)

    Still there is no condemnation…

    Still there is no condemnation…

    When I think of this, I’m blown away time after time after time!

    I’m so thankful for grace.

    Happy Wednesday, sweet friend!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Stefanie,

      No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He in us, us in Him. What a beautiful holy mystery. A beautiful holy privilege.

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn

  • http://www.gettingdownwithjesus.com Jennifer@GDWJ

    It stuns me, how Jesus did that for us. It stuns me, how I think I need to somehow “add” to that in my own life.

    Thank you for this.

    Love, Jennifer

  • http://www.wynnegraceappears.com Elizabeth@wynnegraceappears

    You sweet and tender soul. Your words flow from your beautiful heart. Thank you for modeling forgiveness and mercy. Humility and love. And a heart that beats strong and loud for God. Your children are blessed beyond measure to have you leading and teaching them, in love, by beautiful example.

  • http://www.messymarriage.com Beth

    This really ministered to me, Michele-Lyn. Thanks so much for your vulnerability and pointing the way to the One who never gives up on our messy lives.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Beth,

      Thank you for your encouragement. I rest in Him. I give Him all the glory. The best part of your comment is you saying thanks for pointing the way to the One. Yes! That is my heart in all of this…

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn

  • http://redemptionsbeauty.com Shelly Miller

    I had one of those breaking kind of incidents with my kids and what came out of my mouth, it broke me into pieces. And then He redeemed it with understanding and reconciliation and forgiveness. I’m so grateful for His forgiveness, for the way He reminds me every day that I am nothing without Him.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Shelly,

      Yes and amen! His love and mercy endures forever. I just shared with Sandra, that sometimes the hardest part is forgiving myself. I must rest in and rely on all His grace. Thank you for your beautiful words, my friend.

  • http://sandraheskaking.com Sandra Heska King

    He remained silent for my sin of not being able to. This. Wow.

    Beautiful this. All of it.

    So many nights I knelt at the bedside of my children begging Him to erase memories or any damage I’d caused….

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Sandra,

      Thank you for your precious comment here. I know what those prayers feel like. Sometimes I think the hardest thing is forgiving myself. All by grace… I am thankful.

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn

  • http://www.dianewbailey.com Diane W Bailey

    Hugs to you, Michele-Lyn for speaking out what we all know is true about each of us.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Diane,

      Thank you :) It’s by grace. All by His grace…

      Blessings to you :)

  • Vicki

    Ugh…sigh….how as I read this it so resonates. Could have been my hand writing it. Your struggle is my struggle. Your child’s struggle is my struggle- I want to do better, I want to be better, I want to try harder. Then, by God’s grace, He reminds me of what you penned. On Mother’s day I had pondered my mom and our struggles, as well as my being a mom. Led me to much prayer and praises. I found myself being thankful that my heart was full of the hope of Romans 8:28- as I strive for the final goal and run the race, I often stumble and I must trust that the God I love will turn ALL things- my mistakes, my stumbles, my sin- for good.
    I continue to ponder Ann Voskamp’s words I read the other day:
    “Grace isn’t what makes us feel good: grace is all that makes us more like Jesus.”
    Thank you for your authenticity Michele-Lyn.
    Vicki

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Vicki,

      Thank you for courageously sharing your heart here. We are in this together. We are not the only ones. God knows and provides the grace for us and our families. I love what you wrote — all of it. Ann’s quote is beautiful, too.

      I will take that with me…

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn

  • http://www.composinghope.com Amber

    You just described my day yesterday! How nice it is to know I’m not the only one who struggles with this thing called parenting. I always remind myself when I mess up with my girls that it’s OK for them to see that I’m a mess because it’s in that mess that they see a need for a Savior. It’s not a license to sin against them, but it’s not the end of the world, either. (Which I used to think and then spend days beating myself up over it)

    This was beautiful. Thank you for blessing me today!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Amber,

      I am so very grateful for grace. I cannot do anything to take back what I already said, but God is the Redeemer and the Restorer. By His grace we can walk in His grace and offer grace. Amen? Yes, amen. This is my reminder, too.

      I love what you share about your girls seeing we all need a Savior! Awesome!

  • http://www.the-cadence.com Amanda

    My favorite part of this: “Try? Oh no, child! Don’t let me lead you to that place where you will never measure up, never be good enough. It’s a prison. “It is not perfect that He looks for.” I say aloud to her, but it’s for me to remember. It’s not perfect that I should look for.” Tonight was messy… temper tantrums from my daughter (and me :/) This was a good thing to read!! Thank you Jesus for your GRACE!
    Stopping by from God Bumps
    Amanda @ http://www.the-cadence.com

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Amanda,

      We journey together, in Him by grace. Thank you for sharing your heart here with me. For some reason, your comment went to spam, and I rescued it. Praying for grace right now for you :)

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn

  • ro elliott

    Michele…oh your heart is beautiful…and how I can say i have known this all too well…but I can offer hope…He does come…He will redeem those moments…as we humble ourselves before God and our children. I hated to teach my kids through my weakness…but God showed me the value in this…and my kids knew…I needed a savior as much as they did. Receive God’s forgiveness…and aren’t we all thankful…His mercies are new every morning. xoxox to you

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Ro,

      Thank you for your beautiful words that encourage and help lead me on my way in this parenting journey. We are so blessed to have you. I saw your post at Christina’s. Beautiful…

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn