Friday, September 25, 2015

Living In The Meantime Of His Sufficient Grace


I don't write much here anymore about Lyme disease. I used to, but decided a few years ago to start a separate blog solely dedicated to Lyme and my health. 

People who follow The Ragamuffin Saint still occasionally ask how I am in regards to that. And I certainly appreciate it. It's always meaningful when someone remembers you and what you're going through or dealing with; even if they don't fully know or understand the details.

Still, it's not such an easy question to answer; it's not so cut and dry; there's a lot involved. Ask anybody with a chronic illness and I'm pretty sure they'll tell you the same.

Some days, it's easier not to go into it. And other days, it needs to be said.

I suppose this is one of those days it needs to be said. But it isn't necessarily about the status of my physical health. I think I need to speak some truth about this process. And I have learned the process is vitally important. It's hard, but necessary.

The Lord promised me healing MANY years ago. And I've always believed Him. In the meantime, He said His grace was sufficient for me. Now I'm not just quoting Scripture. He really did tell me that...right after the part where He promised me healing. 

And so I continue to wait.   
                                                                                         
I can honestly say I still believe. However, that hasn't automatically made this easy - quite the contrary. Nor does it mean I always understand - I do not. But I do trust Him. 

Rather I should say I've learned to trust Him through these years of waiting. And this isn't something that can just be taught. It must be learned through personal experience. That usually means you will beat your head against the proverbial wall. A lot. 

Nevertheless, there is always deep learning and beauty hidden within a mess for us to discover. So it's been for me. There are deeper places in Him I have also discovered and journeyed; places I don't think I could have found anywhere else but here

Keeping the faith, continuing to believe, and trusting Him, which means trusting in His purpose and timing, is often a choice; an intentional choosing. By that I mean I choose these things. I choose to keep trusting. It's actually much easier now twenty-one years into this because I've better learned to do thatAnd I just know in my spirit that He will do what He said He would do. I've come to know His character, His nature, and I know He cannot lie. 

It's on the hardest of days, though, when I have to purpose in my heart to keep holding onto what I know, despite how I physically or emotionally feel. 

Honestly, it's not easy being sick for so long. Or how every facet of your life is affected by it. Nor is it easy working so long and hard to be well, which is really a full time job itself. It's not always easy dealing with the opinions, beliefs, and judgments of other people either. 

I don't understand all of the whys, but I do know what He has shown me. And what He has shown me trumps all. He is the final authority over my life. So I keep doing my part while trusting He's doing His. I focus on the truth of what I know. And I ask for more grace.

I try to balance how my everyday life really is; balancing the reality of still being chronically ill (better but still ill) with who I am and who I am becoming. Sometimes this gets blurred. Sometimes I get weary. And sometimes its really hard.

But all the sometimes eventually pass and I grow through each one. I learn through the stretching. I expand through the expanding. And I see wisdom and development truly come through the process. 

The truth is, God's had a plan all along. It's gotten clearer along the way. Not all at once, but over the years as we've traveled this long road together. I can now see how His supernatural grace is truly a preserving factor for me. And even when I don't feel it, His grace keeps me. 

So I do what I've been called to do, as well as I can, in the context of where I am in my life presently. I walk in who I am; even though I'm not physically well yet. And the Christ within me empowers me to do this.

To some that might seem like a total contradiction. But God's ways are nothing like ours. At all. His ways, His thoughts, function on a truly higher plane. We have to learn to sync up with Him. Come up higher, so to speak. Basically, He sees the big picture and mostly we don't. This is certainly another nugget of wisdom I've not only learned, but am living out. 

This is the place where trusting Him is most vital and, truthfully, most costly. It's an investment in the future. We just don't always understand it at the time. 

I think most of us truly appreciate authenticity. Yet it's not always the easiest thing to do when it concerns our real lives. Often the truth of our stories isn't what we want it to be. Maybe we prefer not to go there. Or perhaps we're afraid of what other people will think of us. Perhaps we even feel we're failing God somehow by not having the perfect story to tell.

If we aren't careful, though, we can inadvertently create a false persona in an effort to present ourselves in an acceptable and faithful light to God and others. I clearly know there are spiritual principles on which we stand and operate. However, I also know He's not into fake. And neither am I. 

It's certainly wisdom to use discretion, but sometimes, we just need to be more transparent and share some of our story. Perhaps it helps us have greater grace for others when they're being more transparent about theirs. And perhaps He just wants us to share because He's working and moving and using our words, and our lives, to speak to someone else. In the process, it usually helps us in some way too.

I guess I can sum this up by saying: I'm not who I was but I'm more of who I am. That's a good thing. That's a God thing. And it's happening through this crazy, beautiful mess; it's happening in the meantime. 

So even though it doesn't always make sense, even though it isn't easy, I ultimately know His purpose for my life is prevailing. 

And this is where I've been all these years. 

It's where you'll still find me.

Living in the meantime of His sufficient grace.

~ Michelle

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2015

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