“I am determined to face each circumstance with a heart wide open. Ready to learn. Ready to Grow.”

The Gift of Openness~Angela Nazworth

(in) courage

Lightening slashes across the morning sky. Thunder rattles the windows. Torrents of more rain battering the roof.

These parts have been sopped and soaked for what seems like months. Muddy and messy. The puddles, liken the places deep in my soul.

I came to this space this morning to finish what I had started earlier in the week. Pretty words, flowery feelings. It sounded good.

I had paced around the words for near three days. Sitting with them a bit. Walking away, crawling back under my fuzzy blanket, drowning them out with Hallmark movies.

Soul tending, I called it.

Sounded good. ‘Till I came here to wrap it up. Tie a pretty bow on it.

I got stuck. Mired down in the mud. The words, they lodged deep. Sounding forced, lacking authenticity and transparency.

I wasn’t feeling pretty. Life, my life, not packaged and wrapped up, bow on top. It is not what I am walking through right now.

In fact, I had been stomping around. Saying all the right things, covering the anger, the fear, the anxiety. Sounding brave. Courageous.

The raw truth of it all, I have become a bag of bones, rattling around, popping and cracking. Throbbing pain a constant companion.

Tears, I hold tightly, not letting them go and be seen.

A new medication, daily injections, soon to begin. Side effects, that make me “eggy.” Teetering in the edge of darkness.

Not feeling brave at all.

Spiritually struggling. Confused. Where grace had met me in every other place. This place, I was grappling for it.

I sat here, my hands wrapped around a beautiful mug, gave my mind space to wonder.

The mug, it holds a hefty significance.

Gifted to me by one who has also fought some mighty battles. We had talked of sharing coffee, life, our stories.

Empty, there is story there. God, he holds the pen in hand. Writes a beautiful story. Fills it with grace, mercy, and forgiveness. A new contentment. Deep and profound peace.

The familiar place of emptiness, it is being filled.

The grace I had been searching for, it was at the bottom of that empty mug.

I have leaned into that empty space. Allowing it to be filled.

Tossing out the dregs of cold coffee, the fear, the anxiety, the uncertainty in the future.

I will pray to face this thing with heart wide open. Eyes open to what He wants me to learn.

To not embrace the hard stunts my growth.

Use it to encourage others. Hold the hands and hearts of those who walk along beside me.

Love the man who pulls my socks on every morning, helps me out of bed, with the same tenderness he handles me with.

Let go of the pretense of being brave, allow my neediness for The One who wipes my tears be seen.

Share the grace, He graces me with.

“God meets us where we are, not where we pretend to be.” ~ Dr. Larry Crabb

“New life comes when the old life dies.” Simply Tuesday ~ Emily P. Freeman

I found grace at the bottom of a mug. A simple mug, painted pretty. When filled, it warms my hands, fills my heart with all things good. All things being made new.

My frame was not hidden from you, 

when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Psalm 139:15 ESV

Lord, you know me, you formed me with your hands. Give me faith in the yielding, the leaning in to You, the strength with which You will hold me up. Eyes to see your Grace at the bottom of an empty mug. Fill me with You. The safe place where all things fragile and broken, are made strong. 

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn