I think about it as I sip my first perfectly good cup of decaf coffee (it pays to shop around). My four year-old playing a musical app on my phone, a cat singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, the littlest still asleep, the husband still resting. The moon out, since darkness. It's early.
I think about the blessings. I think about the estimated two inch incision in my chest and the ache of healing and I’m grateful for health. No. My life. My very life.
Thankful for the kids who push me over the edge during long afternoons and who fill up my heart like no one else can. The way their cheeks can still feel baby soft, even if it’s been years since they were teeny tiny in my hands. The way Joel sleepily wakes up and says, “I was dreaming about you and then you are here!”
I got busy. We all got busy. Between work and ministry and preschool and marriage and a home and building a future... it got scrambled. Maybe the answer was a new calendar. So I could plan better. Stay on top of it all with more efficiency. Fancier. No, maybe simpler. More colors; no, none. Write with a pen; no use a pencil to display flexibility. Do less? Do more? Go to bed later, get up earlier? Where was the missing piece, the definitive instruction that would get me out of wherever I was and into wherever I was supposed to be?
And then the world stopped and then began spinning backwards. I swirled like water pulled towards a drain. What if there was a limit, what if the diagnosis confirmed and matched all of my Googling and my worst fears?
But then... grace.
Grace that not only allowed me to catch a warning signal early, but grace that allowed me to see. That pushed back the blinders of busy, of to-do, of the mighty list and the unrest... grace that allowed me to see and feel my children. Grace that reminded me how I am matched so perfectly with a man who, after 7 years, can still make a kiss feel new.
We’re not promised everything. I know that. I know grief. I know sudden, shocking, how-can-this-be-happening realities. I know loss. I know anxiety and depression and I know all about feeling unworthy, like less and like giving up. I know panic attacks and how there is no shame in saying you can’t take one step forward or else you’ll fracture into a thousand pieces. It’s how it feels and in that moment, that’s all that seems real.
But the truth? The real truth... grace.
Grace for my humanity. Grace for my heart that races and panics and is prone to be over anxious when I am overextended. Grace for my busy, grace for my work, grace for my Pinterest-pretty-failing home. Grace for all I’ve tried and failed. Grace for when I open my mouth to worship and I fall off a note. Grace for what I only see as imperfect, when all He sees is love.
Grace for the daily grind.
And grace for the climb.
The fresh cut in my fragile skin seems to throb with every heartbeat. Reminding me that life is a gift and pain, also, can be a gift. That you can write and live and minister out of the thorn, the scar, the history that will never go away. You can be better for it all. Because of it all.
And that in the end? In the end He is our Father and Master and the owner of all on a thousand hills. It’s all His. Nothing gets missed or lost. Just continually found, rescued, loved,... and healed.
Because very grace is Christ. Grace was the cross, the blood, the cuts in His own body. It's all gift, because it's all grace. And it's all grace because it is always all Him. Always has been. Will be. No calendar or app or time management system, vacation or new anything can beat out what resonates, what comes, what calms when grace is the ruler and grace is the measure.
All we ever need is all we've already been given.
"I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field
~ P s a l m 5 0 : 9 - 1 1 , E S V