My daughter and I were on our way to meet with her friend and her mother for lunch. It was a little of a drive and so my daughter and I had good conversation and also some quiet time to just think. When I drive, many times I pray. Well this time, it was more complaining to God I suppose. I was tired of the struggles. I was ready for things to go MY way. (Do you see a pattern here?) My husband was unemployed so finances were tight to put it mildly, I really had no idea how I was even going to make it home looking at my gas gage and I had 12 children, 8 of them boys with 7 of them at the time, under the age of 11! My life was at the overwhelming stage to say the least. I told God of all of my woes. I even wondered if He was listening or cared. Yeah, real cool of me, I know!
We sat down for lunch with a dear lady who was a more "seasoned" mother but also a mother of many children. Her children were grown and she knew EXACTLY where I was in life. To know I am not alone is sometimes the one thing that can keep me going on this journey! She proceeded to tell me she remembered some days were just mere survival! Yep!!!! That sounded familiar to me! All of the sudden, my guilt of my parenting failures began to decrease and knowing I was not losing it (well, I use that term lightly) seemed to lessen.
I felt lighter, so to speak. Motherhood is hard! There is nothing selfish about it and if you even try to let selfishness take over, you will get set straight, FAST!!! I don't like to be set straight, if you know what I mean. At the time, it can hurt! God has such a fun way of turning us around however, so in our selfishness, we see Him. This dear lady had no idea of our financial troubles, only my interpretation of my bad mommy skills. After a few tears and prayers, we headed to our cars. Right before she got into her car, she said to follow her. I was not sure where we were going but I followed her...right into a gas station. I got out and she said that God spoke to her to fill up my tank, (the same tank I was unsure of how I was going to make it home that I spoke of earlier), and then handed me quite a large sum of money. She said it was to be used for whatever our needs were. There were MANY at that point! Again, Grace showed up!
I was on my way home, crying and thanking God. I also began to recollect how I had acted on the way to the restaurant and really began to understand what true grace from God means. I was in "self" mode all the way and yet, God decided to cover me and still provide. You see, I serve a God who not only loves me when I am "lovely" but when I'm so... uhhemmm, unlovely too. He could make a choice to give me what I deserve OR give me what I so do not deserve....His unmerited favor~GRACE. He knew the blessing was coming, and He even knew I needed it when I needed it. If I were Him, I would have probably said, "Uh, I changed my mind. If all she does is complain and refuses to see the blessing of Me in her life, then forget it." Nope! Not His way at all! He gives us His "Nudges of Grace" when we least expect it and I don't know about you, but it encourages me to keep going. It is worth it! Even the bad days! He wants it all! We can trust Him with it all too! He knows what is best, and even though we may doubt, He CAN be trusted! The more you let Him in, the more you get to know Him and the more you learn He CAN be trusted. His "Nudge of Grace" will come in like a flood and you will feel the love! His love!
One of my favorite Hymns that I grew up singing says it all:
Grace Greater Than Our Sin
- Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!
- Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.
- Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
What can we do to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.
- Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?
Look for His 'Nudges of Grace' in your life everyday! They are there for all of us!!