Extend Grace…

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Have you ever realized something about yourself that made you cringe inwardly?

A sudden awareness of your very human and flawed self?

Today, I did.

I sensed God showing me an area of hypocrisy in my life. And gently encouraging me to listen as He shared His perspective on the situation.

To be honest, I didn’t like it. But I know that God disciplines those He loves. It is just one of the facets of His role as Abba Father. The fact that He disciplines me, although unpleasant, serves as a reminder that I am His child.

For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

Proverbs 3:12 (NLT)

In my post Love of a Father, I shared how God showed me a picture of Jesus embracing the hurting child within me. The child who longs to have a daddy who will watch her twirl in dresses and tell her she is beautiful. I watched as Jesus smiled affectionately at her and whispered these words of love, “I take much delight in you, my precious child”.

He takes delight.  In me.  His precious child.

How wonderful!

If we look back at the words of Proverbs 3:12, we see that “a father corrects a child in whom he delights”. I believe Jesus carefully chose the words He spoke to me, each one holding significance and meaning. He said that He delights in me, so clearly I should expect His loving discipline as well.

Hearing Jesus speak words of love to my heart has been life-giving and freeing. These encounters are powerful and beautifully healing.

But I realize that I have to be willing to accept His loving discipline as well. I can’t have one without the other.

By now you must be wondering about the nature of my hypocrisy…

As I was meeting with my Pastor this week, we again prayed for God’s healing touch in my life. We prayed and asked Him if there was anything He wanted to speak to my heart.

I clearly sensed Him gently whisper, “Your father is worthy of grace, just as you are”.

My husband and I have been planning a child dedication for our youngest. It is taking place this Sunday. I reluctantly invited my parents, but secretly hoped they would not come. Our church has two services, and I intentionally chose the earlier time knowing that it would be more difficult for them to attend. They live over two hours away, and would have to leave by 6:30 in the morning to make it to the church on time.

When I extended the invitation, I sweetly offered that they could come the day before and stay at our place overnight. I say ‘sweetly’ with tongue in cheek. There was deceit woven in my feigned kindness.

You see, I knew my father would decline. He doesn’t like to be away from home overnight. So outwardly, I was the kind and generous daughter, but inwardly I was harboring resentment. My kindness was complete pretense. The very definition of hypocrisy.

Hy·poc·ri·sy

1.  a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.

My father surprised me the following day, by confirming that he and my mother would attend the dedication. If I’m honest, I was disappointed. Even distressed. I did not want them to come.

I sensed God encouraging me to acknowledge the fact that my parents were willing to get up before the crack of dawn and drive for hours, just because they love their granddaughter. And to be fair, they love me too.

While there are definitely some very real and significant losses needing to be grieved in my life, I also need to be willing to offer forgiveness so that my heart does not become bitter and hard.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)

I prayed and asked God to help me extend grace to my father,  just as Abba had extended grace to me. Not because my father is deserving, but because God has deemed him worthy of grace.

There is a big difference between being unworthy and being undeserving. None of us are deserving of the grace that God has shown us. We have done nothing to earn it. But worth is vastly different. The worth of something is determined by the price that someone else is willing to pay for it…Jesus paid an extravagant price for us. He considered us worth the cost.

I knew that what God was asking of me was not possible in my own strength. In all honesty, I not only lacked the ability, but even the desire to extend grace.

I prayed for wisdom in setting healthy boundaries, where necessary, and a softened heart to compassionately extend grace when possible. I prayed that God would transform the desires of my heart, so that I would long for restoration and healing in my relationship with my father.

I don’t think I can overstate how difficult this will be for me.

Challenging. Beyond. Words.

Only a miracle could bring healing to my relationship with my father. What a blessing to know that Abba is the divine Healer, a miracle worker in every sense of the word!

Blessings and hugs,

Kamea

Photo credit: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/107023

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31 thoughts on “Extend Grace…

    • Welcome Laurie,

      Amen! Praise God indeed! Thank you for visiting and for sharing your kind words of encouragement. I am looking forward to visiting you at your blog as well.

      Blessings,
      Kamea

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  1. That’s tough, Kamea. I so appreciate your honesty about your feelings. Family can hurt us so deeply. Forgiveness and grace for those that raised us and hurt us is the hardest thing. I’m glad you are keeping good boundaries and have healthy expectations. God can certainly do a miracle and bring healing and I pray He does, but I also know in dealing with our own family stuff it is a continual challenge. I admire and appreciate your willingness to do what is hard and depend on God for grace. You are an amazing lady! Don’t listen to any lie that might come your way telling you differently! XXX HUGS XXX

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Liz,

      So tough. Part of me wants to cross my arms and pout in the corner – argue back that its such an unfair thing to ask. This will not be easy! Not even possible in my own strength. But I choose to trust that my loving, heavenly Father would not ask anything of me that is not for the best.

      You are right about the healthy boundaries and expectations. These things won’t change overnight, and some aspects of our relationship may always be a challenge. I can’t change someone else, but I see the areas where I can grow in this. Kindness and love are powerful and life-giving, but only when spoken from a place of genuineness. God knows the state of my heart, and that is what He is working to refine.

      Thanks for the hugs – Love & hugs in return,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

    • Being vulnerable certainly isn’t easy, especially for someone like me who has spent a lifetime building walls of protection around my heart. But God is so good, and is leading me gently by the hand into my healing.

      So glad you were blessed,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kamea,
    Oh, how I related to your words as this morning I envisioned myself as a little girl sitting on God’s lap as He reassured me that everything was going to be okay and for me to trust Him. Thank you so much for sharing your honest struggle and journey of forgiveness and healing…praying God continues to reveal His delight in you, His beloved daughter 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sweet Dolly,

      Isn’t it wonderful to have such an attentive Father, who is eager to lavish us with love and affection! I love how you envisioned yourself as a little girl sitting on His lap, and being reassured that everything was going to be okay. So beautiful and powerful. Life-changing!

      Much love to you,
      Kamea

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  3. Great post, Kamea! It’s definitely hard to accept that correction sometimes, but thank GOD that HE corrects those that HE loves. I know that HE knows best and I’m learning to trust that more and more everyday. Thank you for sharing! Infinite blessing to you, Love! 🙂

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    • Thank you sweet friend! It certainly makes it easier to accept the correction when I am reminded that He corrects from a place of deep love. Love that you are learning to trust “more and more everyday” – being sanctified, and changed into the image of Christ – not perfectly, but increasingly with each passing day.

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing this story Kamea… I have done things similar and it’s so good that God is quick to point it out to us and correct us, even though it hurts and we might not want to face it. Love that you confirm He is the true healer… the only one who can take those broken relationships and have His way with them. Stopping in from live free Thursday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome Rachel,

      So glad to have you join us in this place, where together we can look to God as our Healer – emotionally, spiritually, physically, relationally, and in every other possible way. Praise His glorious name!

      May God richly bless you,
      Kamea

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  5. Hi Kamea! What a situation… I am so impressed with your understanding that your parents are making such a big sacrifice to be with you, even though there are parts of it they wouldn’t choose.
    Same for you! You now have to face them on a day you’d rather not. I know that God will look on this situation for you and be so merciful. Both to you and your parents. Healing a relationship does take a long time, certainly longer than it took to fracture it. I know that His love for you will bathe you in his loving grace and embrace. You will be safe. And I pray it will be a positive step in the right direction too.

    I hope you’ll let us know how it goes?
    Ceil

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kamea, what a transparent post. You address some very powerful truths regarding forgiveness. It cannot be done in our own strength! I pray God would do more than you could ever ask or imagine as it relates to the relationship with your father. He is more than capable of bringing healing to that relationship. Be blessed! – Kia

      Liked by 1 person

      • Welcome Kia,

        I am so glad to have you here! Your words of blessing mean so much to me. Blessing others is such a powerful thing – that and praying both work powerfully to transform lives. So thank you so much!!!

        Many blessings,
        Kamea

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    • Thank you, Ceil! I appreciate your encouragement, and especially your prayers. My parents are still planning to come, but there has been some conflict since I wrote my post – complicated and difficult to explain. Suffice it to say that my father has control issues, and can be very confrontational in his approach. So the prayers are really needed. I’m a little stressed. You are right though, I will be safe in God’s loving embrace. Thanks for that reminder sweet friend.

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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  6. This is a hard truth you have shared here. It is so very difficult to show grace to those we feel wronged by. I truly appreciate your honesty because we have all been there, done things we feel hipocritic about. The fact that you are acknowledging God’s hand in this shows His love working in you. Our nature tends to fight these feelings because we decide it’s not fair. But God’s plan is far outside our comprehension and so our job is to trust. Wow! That’s really tough to do. Thanks for reminding me that we need to be honest about ourselves even if it’s painful. Once we’ve done that we can let God take care of the rest. I’m praying for God’s blessing of peace for you. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right that in our human nature we fight against forgiveness when we have been wronged. We feel that we are entitled, somehow, to hold onto the hard feelings. But God, in His wisdom, knows what is for our best. Refusing to forgive only hurts us more, and really does not impact the other person at all. God is helping me to understand that the forgiving is for my benefit, not for my father’s. I am the one who needs to let go, and be free from the resentment. It will not be easy, but I choose to trust that God would not ask me to do anything that He will not equip me to do, and that He will be there no matter what!

      Your understanding heart means so much, sweet one.
      Blessings,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Kamea, such a transparent sharing. As I read this is what hit me … it was God who prompted you to extend grace to your dad. You have done so in obedience to your Father. May He bless you for your obedience to Him. May you sense His delight in how you have chosen to honor Him above all else. Praying for the time together with your family & the dedication to be filled with God’s peace & joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sweet Joanne,

      I have seen the fruit in my life of choosing to walk in obedience, even when the road is difficult or the request unpleasant. As I say ‘Yes’ to God, I am able to hear Him speak more clearly. I believe that this is a part of God’s plan. As we are faithful in listening to the little things, He speaks even more clearly in other areas of our lives. It is such a blessing to draw close to Him. Worth the pain and heartache that sometimes come. He is so very good to me. Thank you for your prayers for a peace-filled and joyful weekend celebrating the gift of my little one.

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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  8. Kamea, I know this struggle. It is hard. I am so in awe at how you are focusing on your wellspring and thinking about what is flowing out of it. You are going the right way. No matter what, the eternal Father has you cupped in the palm of his hand. He will never let you go. Encouraging you from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are such a blessing to me, Kelly. The words “I know” are such powerful ones, conveying true understanding and empathy. I love your words of blessing, that the Father has me “cupped in the palm of his hand”. What a beautiful picture of His protection and love.

      Have a wonderful weekend, sweet friend,
      Kamea

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    • It isn’t easy to look at ourselves honestly, without becoming defensive, is it? But its the first step to change, so I think its so important. It means a lot to hear you are proud of me, those words are healing, and help fill a need within my heart.

      I know I can always count on you to encourage me.
      Much love,
      Kamea

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  9. Praising God for His grace and mercy upon us so that we may walk in grace and mercy before others. Kamea, the beauty of your words intertwined with God’s brings the reality of what forgiveness in His Light can and should be. I have been blessed and know that the hypocrisy of our ways are of satan and he wants us to be all jumbled up in his web. But God’s strength and our dependence upon Him can bring us out of that web and into the Light.
    Praising God for you, Kamea. I just love you.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    Liked by 1 person

    • My sweet friend,

      Your beautiful words of encouragement brought me to tears. Thank you so much for believing in me. It is people like you who help me to press through the difficult days, and continue walking the path of healing that God is leading me on. Thank you for your genuine love and affection. I love you too & look forward to the day we will meet face-to-face 🙂

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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  10. Wow, that is a very honest post. We’ve all done things like that, but isn’t it horrible and wonderful when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our wrong? I just left our home group where, when we were praying, I got a word from the Lord, which I will pass on to you and pray it for you….Restitution and restoration. He will bring both…it may not look like you think, or how you want it to, but if you seek His face and desire it, He is faithful and will bring it. I have come full circle with my father. We still have our moments, but I have completely forgiven and accept him and love him just as he is. I pray that for you and your father and that the dedication will be a time if vlessing and healing. Forgiveness is a choice and you don’t have to feel anything afterwards. Gid will work on that part. I. So glad I stopped in for a visit. Love the name if your blog and I will continue to pray this week for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sweet Mary,

      Your words of love and encouragement touched me deeply. I love the words God spoke to your heart during your time of prayer at home group, and I am humbled and honored that you would think that they were meant to be shared with me. Our heavenly Father is so wonderful! I will pray into the promise for restitution and restoration as well. Thank you for your prayers, and for sharing about the way God has brought healing to your relationship with your father. Hearing that inspires hope!

      May God richly bless you,
      Kamea

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  11. What a beautiful testimony of love, grace, and faithful obedience! Thank you so much for your honest, open and transparent heart. Blessings to you, dear friend.

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  12. Pingback: For Such a Time as This… | Incremental Healing

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