You are an Authority on Grace


They asked if I would sit on a panel about grace (to share my story) with an amazing local pastor and with Mike Foster of People of the Second Chance. I immediately said yes, and then in the quiet as I contemplated what it even meant, I told God how unqualified I am. I’ve been crying about it.

I felt Him hover down and hone in, like a monsoon closing in, like the voice of many waters. How dare any believer say she’s unqualified to speak grace?

If my story gives me authority on grace, as Mike Rusch puts it, then I’m an authority. I speak too often, too many words, confuse brashness for bold. I pray for peace, and then I rattle the floors with mad feet. I know things about myself that have never been spoken out loud. All these things that come to mind as my house stays filled with the fragrance of wine and hot pepper, the sound of boys running wild and friends laughing, my dishwasher humming like a home. That’s not my glory. Those things – the abortion, the affair, how I’ve yelled at my children – those things are my death.

And the grace? The grace isn’t the even in the home, the blessings. The grace is that resurrection is real – rebirth – how that one time I peeled myself off the floor of a dorm room and flipped to Romans and read words that summoned a swooping fire into my body, mind, and soul.

What does it mean to be found, when once we were lost?

What does it mean to see, when once we were blind?

It means so much that I’m asking now for your prayers tonight for a local gathering called “Present in the City,” a gathering that I hope pierces through doubt, shame and judgment – all the issues that come with skin and unforgiveness.

 

amberhaines
About me

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15 Comments

Amber
Reply March 14, 2012

So... speaking of grace: I posted this earlier before dashing out the door with all my boys to go to the dentist. I got out my phone and realized there that I had posted an earlier - much more colorful - draft of this post. OH MY BERTHA!

I also realized that I had then tweeted it from the Mother Letters account.

Like I said: I'm totally an expert, at least on the receiving end of grace. If you read my earlier version, you may have a clue as to why my imagination is so vivid. Believe me. You don't want in this brain, and you also don't want to see all bazillion of the Drafts on the backend of this blog. Mercy to goodness.

    diana trautwein
    Reply March 15, 2012

    Truth be told, I'd LOVE to see some of those drafts. But this one is just fine as is. And yes, you've got my prayers, o dealer of grace stories. Be blessed in the preparation, in the sharing, in the experience itself - from moment to moment.

Jessica Y
Reply March 14, 2012

....and grace my fears relieved....

    Amber
    Reply March 14, 2012

    For years after that dorm room floor, I cried - even wept - every time I sang that song. And just then, you reminded me.

    Because I am afraid.

Jessica Y
Reply March 14, 2012

Me too.

nancypantsgirl
Reply March 14, 2012

Beautiful.

Grace that is greater than all my sin.

You know what? Practically, it seems so often that I don't believe it. But Oh, my heart.... it could not beat if I did not believe it with every fiber of my being. Every fiber of me is a mustard seed.

Scott
Reply March 14, 2012

Praying...

Amy @ themessymiddle
Reply March 14, 2012

Amber (and others) -- the helpful thing about your story (and the hard part, I get it), is that it has elements that are public and semi-past. The thing I'm wrestling with now, is what if the parts you need grace are deeply hidden because it's not appropriate to air them -- in short, I've been deeply hurt by the organization I still work for and am in leadership, the graces I need are in my attitude -- oh, I'm not being clear at all! I blog about being in the messy middle of life, because there is where we all are :) But even in these areas where I need to receive and offer grace, I see Jesus sweet touch at work. Awkwardly said, by Amy~

Brandee Shafer
Reply March 14, 2012

You will bring hope. You will speak into the lives of people who haven't been able to fathom that God can forgive them for sinning in the same ways. Not every Christian proves God's redemptive power in the same ways you can, and will. Keep being brave in allowing Him to use your failures for His glory. It's a work and a ministry that matters. Find your former self and speak hope into her messed-up-edness. Woo lost souls. I will pray your way.

Tara
Reply March 15, 2012

I pray that God gives peace to your nerves and provides the words from your mouth that will hone in on exactly the right people that He is trying to reach through your witness. Of all the times that you have picked me up... Let me know that it's okay to not be "perfect" and still be one of God's children... I fathom at that number that you will be able to grace with your story. Much love!

Heather
Reply March 15, 2012

I was one of the lucky few who got to read the more colorful draft of this post - and I have to say - it was my favorite. I rarely comment but always read. I just have to tell you that the way you share your story is beautiful. You encourage people like me who feel that they've forfeited the rest of their lives because of past choices. Thank you.

Dianna
Reply March 15, 2012

Thanks for sharing with us this inspiring one's, Life is just like a rainbow that full of beautiful colors...

Kathy Rusch
Reply March 17, 2012

Amber...you told your story with courage. Most always, past or present failures and mistakes will silent us into embarrassment and guilt, but you overcame in supernatural strength so your story could be told. And, God was so glorified! Thank you, Amber. We were all blessed and I could hear the shackles falling off. May God bless continue to bless you richly. Kathy Rusch

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