I was driving down the road a few days ago, not aware that I was thinking about much of anything… and my eyes welled up with tears. A minute later, they were streaming down my cheeks. And before I knew it, mournful sobs began pouring out of a heart that had finally been overwhelmed by grief.
How could I have been so oblivious to so much sadness?
It’s taken me days to make sense of that question. The process of wrestling with it has been painful, but invaluable. I’ve learned a lesson – and it may help you, too. That’s my hope.
So, here’s the story…
Years ago, the heartache of circling back to family members — who’d rejoiced at the news of a twin pregnancy – to tell them we’d lost first one, and then both babies, was almost unbearable. We decided: Never again. All subsequent efforts to conceive and carry a baby to term would be in secret.
It was a choice made out of fearful self-protection, rooted in the belief that lightning had struck twice – and it could very well strike again. We couldn’t bear the thought of an audience to more despair, and so we distanced ourselves from everyone and their expectations of “happily ever after.”
We’re now in the midst of another struggle, doing our best to strike a healthier balance between disclosure and privacy. Still, many of the people around us have no idea what we’re facing. They aren’t riding the emotional roller coaster we are. Their faith isn’t being tested daily. They aren’t undergoing trial by fire. They’re sailing along oblivious to our suffering.
And so, too often, there’s very little grace.
In a world that’s moving at a million miles an hour, there’s apparently no time for it – and no need. No time to gently uncover the story behind the misunderstanding. No time for a compassionate question like, “Is everything okay with you?” No time to revisit things in any context other than the one that inconvenienced or aggravated them.
No extenuating circumstances: No grace.
So, I’ve been faced with a choice. I can make our struggle public knowledge and explain its consequences for my emotions, my memory, my occasionally faulty judgment, my fatigue, and my seeming disinterest in the minutia of other people’s lives. Or, I can slap on the mask of “Everything’s great!” and do my best to meet the world’s expectations – with little or no margin for error.
You know what? I need another option. And I need a lot of grace.
That’s what made me cry.
I need more grace — without explanation, without resentment, without a heavy sigh that tells me I’m asking for something unreasonable. I need it not because I deserve it, but because life is hard.
Where can I find it?
I’ve re-discovered that the world will never be able to give me all the grace and compassion I need. But the Lord can, and He longs to. Yesterday, I heard “Better Than a Hallelujah” for the first time. If you haven’t heard it already, click this link. You may hear what I did….
“Lord, I need grace” is better than a hallelujah sometimes.
3 responses to “The Need for Grace”
Thank you so much for this website. I just discovered it. Just another proof of God’s love for me and the work of the Holy Spirit if I yield to his promptings. Thank you so much. I can’t express how much this means to me.
I don’t know if I can put it in to words, but I do think I understand what you are saying. The tragedy of losing my brother several years ago was very public since he was a popular coach, but I chose to keep my grief very private. Looking back, I know I missed out on a lot of support and understanding. Yet, I still keep my infertility under wraps most of the time. I guess I have a lot to learn. In the mean time, I share my thoughts and fears with God – usually in the middle of the night – and His grace does provide. I may not always feel Joy in the morning, but He does give me strength for another day. I pray for guidance and blessings in your current situation. And just so you know, you have been a blessing in my life for sure ~ thank you for that.
Oh how a third option would be nice. But, as one who has been through many trials, it is so much better doing it transparently. There will always be those who look at you with pity, and there will always be those who LOVE you and know you just need a shoulder to cry on. And a hand to hold.
I am one of those who loves you! Hugs to you from afar…