If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.

~Luke 17:33 NLT 

Dark peels back, reveals morning sky. Quail call from a distance whistling “Bob White.” With light comes more of the blistering heat blazing through these southern parts. The wind lies still as death here in our wilderness place.

My hand wraps around a hot mug. The aroma of Columbian beans tickle my nose. I sit in silence, watch the peeling back.

Lose. I roll the word around empty places in my heart.

I hear it over and over again ringing loud in morning quiet, “cling, lose, gain.” What comes to me is this; “to lose is to gain.”

When I cling to the ways of the world, I lose. When I cling to the ways of me, I lose. When I cling to the ways of Jesus, I gain.

I’ve lost a lot in the Wilderness Place. I’ve made no secret of that. Ways of life before fall off. Some I held with a mighty grip ’till God saw need to strip them away. Some, I dropped like heavy stones clanging to the floor in the name of survival.

As I lose these things, yield and lean in, I gain.

I gain space to be still and know. Know Jesus in a more intimate way. Space to process grief and loss, turn it towards gain. I gain knowledge of The One who formed me this way. I gain perspective on what counts and what does not add up. I gain opportunity to share my story, share my loss, encourage others.

To laugh, belly laugh down to my toes. My sweet man smiles big at this. He’s lived first hand my wicked sense of humor, not always in genteel and delicate ways.

To let go of standards, rules, and regulations. To do list. Perfectionism. Legalism.

I gain comfort in my own skin. I accept all that He created me to be.

I am better listener. As I live my story, I want to lean in and hear yours.

Yes, to lose is to gain. To lose is to see His Grace. To lose is to see holy in the unholy.

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn