So what can I tell you about myself? Well, once you get to know me one of the more obvious things is that I love laughter. I love to playfully tease and make the kind of jokes that lightens the mood around me. Laughter just has a way of defusing the tension, don’t you think? After all, that’s the kind of world we live in, right? A tense, overly serious, competitive world – ready to take down any person who gets in the way of that American dream. If you don’t get out of bed early and start the race before your neighbor you’re going to finish last. And we’re afraid of last. It’s not important. There’s no prestige in last. Last is…well, let’s face it – the shoddy caboose.
As far as my life was concerned, this, like so many other people out there, is what I truly used to think.
I was consumed with my standing and what the world thought of me. All through college I lived with the stress of whether or not I would graduate right into a high-paying job to afford all of the amenities society told me that I needed in order to be happy. I had to conform. I wanted to be accepted. Thinking back, I have no idea who set those requirements or why I felt so compelled to meet them, but I forced myself to do it. I was determined to run the race that had dollar signs at the end.
Suffice to say, I was incredibly unhappy. I put so much of myself into the things that just didn’t make any sense. After awhile I thought my talents consisted of squeezing round pegs into square holes and being proud for my accomplishment. I’d taken something that clearly wasn’t meant to be and fashioned my own little success story out of it. And as long as I kept smiling, laughing and throwing out my famous little quips to my friends and acquaintances, nobody had to know how truly unhappy I was. The laughter was a wonderful distraction.
As time passed, life became driven by stress, hopeless attempts at perfection, and walking on a never-ending pile of eggshells to appease everyone around me. It was then that I had to come to terms with a struggle from my childhood…something that I later learned was called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The rest of the world likes to joke about their OCD habits, but this is precisely where my joking came to an abrupt end. I was constantly aware of the fragility of what life had become, as though at any moment the bottom was going to fall out of whatever I happened to be standing on if I didn’t make certain to do it all perfectly day in and day out. The slow fade I’d been experiencing was now spiraling out of control and my life began to slip through my fingers like the sand in a sieve.
What I didn’t know then, is that God was with me the whole time. He was with me when my parent’s marriage ended and I was alone. He was with me when I moved out of their home and in with my boyfriend. He was with me when I passed up using my gifts on opportunities that seemed too risky in order to do something that wasn’t meant for me yet had better financial stability. He was there, holding out His hand the entire time just waiting for me to reach out and take it.
And I finally did…
So now, as I write these pages of faith, you’ll get to read about my life from “This Side of Grace.” A place where I’m continuously embraced by Him.
The rest is history in the making. Every day I stand in awe at the amazing things going on around me. The answered prayers. The lasting friendships that are built. All of the moments that leave me feeling much like David asking God…“Who am I and what is my family that you have brought me this far?”
I once heard a quote from someone that went a little something like this – “If you’re living in a world where God isn’t knocking your socks off every day, you’re not truly living.” So each day, as I live…truly live for God I want to share all that I’m learning about Him. And the more that I learn, the more I need to go in search of another pair of socks.
I am imperfect. But it is through those imperfections that God’s glory shines through. His perfection works in me each and every day. It is my hope that you will take something from the pages of this blog that will make you want to reach out and take His hand, too. He wants to do wonderful, marvelous things with your life.
…on this side of grace.
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel… (Eph 6:19, NIV)