Grace wins

Encouraging, Faith

Have you ever found yourself at the end of a grudge match? You’ve battled with bitter, angry, and hateful feelings towards someone whose actions or words you dislike. Someone you cared about might have broken your trust. Maybe a disagreement turned nasty and now the idea of speaking to a certain family member, former friend, co-worker, or acquaintance drives you mad.

I’ve been there. I’ve carried warranted and unwarranted distaste for some people that have come into my life. I’ve harbored anger towards them, even resentment. 

As a believer in God, I still struggled with forgiveness. I’d forgive but not forget so when someone expressed or showed a desire to change, I saw it as comical. Really? Them, change? Never in a million years could that person change. 

I would list all the reasons why people didn’t deserve another chance. I told Jesus I was sorry but I wouldn’t allow myself to get struck on my other cheek willingly. I’d foolishly think, Jesus couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like to forgive someone who hurt him, someone who didn’t deserve it. Silly me. He understands it more than I could ever comprehend.

I was okay with grace as long as it was for me because I never did wrong. The things I did weren’t that serious compared to others. I was a hypocrite. 

James 4:6 says, But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Every time I saw myself as above the people that hurt me or did me wrong, I was filled with pride. I had to question what good would it be if I continued to live like that?

I stopped looking at people in a whose sin is worse than mine, way. I accepted that some people really do change and even if they didn’t I had to love them anyway. I had to pray for them even if at first I’d grind my teeth together in an attempt to speak life unto their name. It was hard. I hated it. I hated praying for people that disrespected me. I wanted so badly to curse them out and put them in their places instead of pray. Whenever God would put it on my heart to pray, I’d roll my eyes and pout like a toddler. ”Why should I pray for them to have a good day when they just ruined mine, God?”

I came to the realization that the prayers we’re just as much for me as they were for the people that I was praying for. God was softening my heart. He was preparing me for the droves of people I would come in contact with that needed my prayers more than I need to prove a point. He was opening my eyes to see that if I wanted grace, I had to be willing to give it.

After all, I’ve changed. Who I am now is drastically different from who I was five years ago. It took work. It took a lot of self-reflection and acceptance that I wasn’t mentally and emotionally the person I should have been.  The woman I use to be rejected any idea that my temper was a problem or that my readiness to fight someone who gave me a little attitude was unhealthy. I wasn’t a mean person but I was very quick to anger and had no patience for disrespect. 

When I remember that part of myself it becomes easier to understand others. I don’t ride on my high horse acting as if I never needed to be forgiven. My past attitude had always affected the relationships I had with people and myself. And while there are times that I find myself in situations that test me, I don’t take things personally. I know that a person’s words and actions can come from a place of loneliness and pain much like mine once did. So when I’m questioned about why I continue to forgive people that have hurt me, I simply tell them that I myself have needed to be forgiven many times.

Grace is not something that we hold on to for dear life so that only we can reap its benefits. Grace is something we should share freely with others. And in the end, even if we still have strained relationships with the people who have done us wrong, our conscience will be clear and our hearts at peace.

 

As always guys, (HUGS & LOVE)


 

What if Love was truly contagious

Uncategorized

Right before the year ended, my boyfriend’s father, stepmom, and little came to stay with us. It was a full house, to say the least. For the most part, we were cooped up in the house because there was no going anywhere with 4 adults( 1 being very pregnant), 2 toddlers, and a nine-year-old in a regular ole’ SUV. The weather was a hot mess. If you know anything about Florida you know the weather, especially during wintertime, is bipolar. Now, we did get to go out at one point thanks to a rental. That’s how I got sick. I was the first to go down. Everyone else followed, leaving only my two-year-old miraculously healthy. In my misery, I couldn’t help but think how awful it was that a cold could be passed on so easily. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be so wonderful if love was passed on like that?

Some people say love, happiness, and joy are contagious but to me, it really only is if you have the heart for it. Unlike the cold, which doesn’t discriminate, love can’t break down some people’s immune systems. Imagine if a warm and loving person touched a doorknob and then some mean, maybe even evil, person touched it right after. He or she doesn’t wash their hands and randomly rubs a finger across their lips. WHAM! Love enters just like that. Or maybe someone bursting with a loving heart coughs and everyone who happens to be nearby is immediately infected. Wouldn’t that be cool? Instead of all these stinking illnesses being spread, love could get passed on in this way.

I’m a person who is big on love. It’s the best feeling in the world and I value it so much. I’ve always been like that but when I was younger I simultaneously was a very angry person. Ontop of being anger I was also extremely protective and easily bothered. I wasn’t afraid to get into physical fights or confront people. A lot of the problems I got into were mostly me defending family or a friend and the rest was me overreacting about a look someone gave me or me thinking someone said something rude about me.

I remeber being so bothered by people with bad attitudes. It would literally ruin my entire day if I came across someone with a bad attitude. I would be pissed leaving their presence. It was like they infected me with their hate and misery. I always felt like anger was something easier to “catch” than happiness. Sure good deeds go a long way but a batch of anger people go the distance.

I had to learn to ignore and realize that whatever made people so upset, had nothing to do with me. That’s when I decided that I should spread happiness to the best of my ability. If it worked it worked. If it didn’t, at least I tried.

Nothing was a better eye opener than a day I went to Mcdonalds to get some food.  The line was long and the amount of people waiting for their food was alarming to a very hungry me. I got in line  anyway. Only four workers were there that day. One cashier, two cooks, and one person getting the orders together. The other customers huffed and puffed. Even though they knew the line was long and the workers were short staffed they refused leave and continued groaning. For a split second I almost found myself complaining too. I almost let everyone else’s negativity affect my mood.

When it was my turn to order, the look on the cashier’s face said it all. She had no smile, looked tired and worn out. I looked at her with a big grin and asked her how she was doing. She was shooked but she smiled back and said she was doing good. She asked me how I was. With a bubbly voice I told her I was doing fine as well. Matching my tone, she asked what I would like. After I ordered I told her thank you very much and I hope she has a nice day. Now, her smile stayed when she attended the customer after me and I was extremely happy to see that customer be friendly and respectful to her also. And there it was, I had spread happiness just like that. I chose to look positively at a situation and realize how much I could affect those around me.

Unfortunately, you can’t catch love the way you catch a cold but you can spread it around in hopes that others will respond well to it. And whenever you find yourself in a situation where you’re surrounded by the grinches, stand firm in your happy thoughts and share a little bit of it.

Like always guys ((HUGGS AND LOVE))