Thursday, January 3, 2013

Intentional Grace.

Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.
- People of the Second Chance

I like to categorize things. I organize my clothes based on occasion in which to wear them. I organize my music into theme or season playlists. I spent a long time cleaning up this blog when I could have been cleaning up my room. It's the act of categorization that makes me happy.

Looking back over my recent history, it is clear to me that stages of my life fall into certain categories. For example, high school was very over-extenuating and provided me with opportunities (not always taken until much later) to learn quite a bit. My freshman year of college was a time of new opportunities and new friends, especially that spring, when I developed many of the friendships I still have today. It was that next semester (fall of my sophomore year) when I realized how much I needed those reliable friendships I had formed. That was one of the most painful times yet. With the spring of my sophomore year came a lot of coming to terms with the past. This "past" included thirteen years ago, eight years ago, and even the semester just prior. I started counseling that semester. It was that February when God called me to singleness of heart (and it was April when He redefined it). Summer 2012 was marked by an amazing and life-changing trip to Asia

And then I began my junior year. Looking back over last semester (fall of my junior year), I see a lot of growth. I treasure the growth and challenges and "pressing through the hurt" that occurred from August to December 2012. I went through a funk but I came out on the other side. I learned quite a bit about God and grace.

I have also learned to learn from the past and move on. So in this post, I want to look ahead. When I was preparing for 2013, I stumbled across a project called OneWord365. In this project, participants choose one word and meditate on it (and live it!) for one entire year. I knew I had to participate.

Is it any wonder the word I chose was grace

OneWord button courtesy of Melanie at

I feel as if I'm at that point in my walk where I've gone through some difficult challenges and now God is asking me to put what I learned into practice. I know I am not finished with the tough stuff, because I still have work to do before my sanctification is complete. The good news is that God is not finished with me yet.  His graciousness means he never gives up. He is still working, and He is working in his timing.

I believe this is the time for me to move. To be adventurous. To act on what he's shown me. And what has he shown me? That He is good. All the time. That He is just and merciful. That He is forgiving. 

That He is full of grace. 

And if God Himself is not angry with me, who do I have to fear? If God Himself is not upset with me, what can anyone or anything else do to me? If I know that God is forgiving and accepting and gracious towards me, how will I then treat others?

With intentional grace.

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