Trusting God for the grace that we need.
I've struggled with irrational fears for a long time now. The temptation to catastrophize everything is so much stronger when catastrophe has already been a part of your life.
I know that most of the time my fears are irrational, but that doesn't stop me. The fear creeps in slowly and subtly at first, but it builds quickly and before I know it, I've got a one way ticket on the anxiety train.
The worst part about it is that you know how irrational and ridiculous your fears are, but you can't stop the anxiety because at one time you thought that the fear and anxiety were ridiculous until something catastrophic happened. Now all bets are off and you're waiting for it to strike again.
Always waiting. Positioning yourself for the worst.
In 2002, I took a trip to Thailand with a few friends from college. My parents were traveling with us and there was this one day that everybody went on a 2 hour drive to a remote village. I had to stay back due to some stomach issues and the plan was for everyone to arrive back before 5pm.
By 6pm I started to get a little worried. There was no way to contact anybody and I started to think about all the things that could happen to them. I worked myself into a complete panic by 8pm and started making plans to contact family members and fly home by myself.
Before I became completely hysterical, everybody walked into the hotel and the relief swept over me. I played it off like nothing was wrong because I felt so silly for getting all worked up.
After that incident I started to think about grace. I started to think about how I never would have thought that I could handle watching my sister die. I never would have thought that I could hold a burden so heavy. Yet, here I am today. In this moment.
What I realized is that God doesn't give us grace for the moments that might happen. He gives us grace for the moments that do happen.
Grace met me in the birth of a lifeless child.
Trusting God for that mysterious preservation and wonder in the midst of something terrible is almost impossible.
We can’t understand it looking in from the outside --- how can they possibly hold a burden so grave? How do they keep going after hearts are broken and only shattered little pieces remain? We try to look in from the outside and it crushes us to even think of it.
Yet we see perseverance, strength and courage.
And that is the point. Grace ---- that mysterious preservation and wonder --- is only given to us when we need it.
I fear the unknown. I cringe over what could be. My heart races when I think about losing another one I’ve loved so deeply.
All because I don’t have the grace that I need in that moment.
But then I see. Grace will show up. It will meet me there and only there to get me through the moment.
Because Grace always shows up and changes who we are and we will never be the same.
We only need to trust it to be there, when the time comes.