I wrote this on a Christian Blog for my girls on Valentine’s Day three years ago. It came up on my news feed, and I was struck by how much truth I still feel in these words. I’ve needed his Grace to renew my life everyday since then. I can’t imagine the amount of heartache and sin I caused my Father during these last 1096 days, but I am forever thankful that I feel cleansed by His love and mercy and not loaded down by the pain I have caused Him. Thank you, Father. You are my first and forever Valentine.
“Love Letters for God”
To my Precious Daughters,
I begin my faith journey with what God has taught me about Grace. When we first discover God’s Grace, we usually have just crash landed from a nose dive straight into the dirt and find ourselves looking upward, dazed, wondering how things could have ended up so wrong. As we begin to unwrap this gift, after we have opened our hearts to receive it, we begin to realize just how undeserving we are. There is nothing we have to do to earn it. It just is. I want to share with you what I have learned about Grace from a God who has everything and can do anything but loves us so much He offers His Grace and forgiveness for the sins still fresh from the day all the while knowing the sins that we will break His heart with tomorrow are soon to follow. He listens to us, He forgives us, and He will do the same every day until we take our final breath. Grace is a mighty thing, my loves. Let me open up and share with you what Grace means to me.
Where to begin? I know I thank you daily and often for your gifts, Father, but I know more times than not I take for granted all that you give to me. It starts with a breath. A heartbeat. A functioning mind and body. These things are miracles in and of themselves but acknowledging even the smallest gift down to the tiniest cell I know I don’t give you all of the worship you deserve.
My worship of you needs to begin with me on my knees thanking you for your Grace. My relationship with you has been an on again/off again relationship but never at your end, only at mine. When things are bad I will cry out for your mercy to protect me, but when things are good I take back the reigns, give you a mental high five for getting me through that one, and tell you I can now take it from here. Things go well for a while and then I end up on bended knee again wondering why I can’t sustain what you have preserved. It’s a lesson I repeat over and over. You never insert yourself in my life and always graciously let me take over when I ask but thank you for not stepping away from me when I do. I’m like a toddler not seeing the dangers but as my loving Father you are there to pick me up when I fall, and I always fall!
I heard recently someone describing what it meant for Jesus to be on that cross for the sins of all of humanity. I have often wondered how my sins could be washed clean so far removed from that sacrificial day. He described it as Jesus dying not only for the sins being committed at that very moment, but also for every sin that will ever be committed from that point to the end of time. I can picture each of our sins transforming into individual nails and the billions and trillions of nails coming together into a black, clinking, undulating cloud crossing the chasm of time straight at Jesus and nailing Him to the cross. The fact that He chose to take on this unimaginable task not as a God who could defend himself like a gladiator but as a human man is hard to fathom. He suffered all the while knowing 2000 years later I would continue to sin and multiply my nails to this ever darkening cloud. Thank you for protecting me from the nails that should have been pointed straight at me but instead pointed them in the opposite direction headed for a salvation plan centuries before I existed.
Even knowing all that you knew would come to be you created us anyway. When I had the desire for a baby I only focused on the pregnancy and holding that precious newborn in my arms. I wasn’t romanticizing a future with my now eleven year old stomping her feet in the kitchen making me feel like the meanest mom in the world because I was making her unload the dishwasher AND brush her teeth before bedtime. I gave birth to two, but you gave life to billions. Billions of us stomping our feet. Billions of us shaking our fists. Billions of us desiring more than we need while appreciating less. Billions of us inflicting pain on others and ourselves. I’m sorry about sin, Father. I don’t blame Adam and Eve, though. If it had been Adam and Crista, the story would have still ended up the same. You are an amazing parent, Father, and thank you for not giving me what I truly deserve.
Your Grace to me is a soft, white linen hovering over us, waiting for each of us to reach up and wrap it around our bodies. It’s light and airy and we become weightless in it’s enfold. It absorbs our stains, our pains, and our sins but it’s color remains a brilliant white. Only a God of the universe could clothe us with this type of material. This type of love. This type of Grace. It’s patiently waiting for the man torn by sin to reach up and accept your mercy and cover himself with your love and for the woman drowning in shame to slip on the robe of forgiveness and righteousness. It’s patiently waiting for that child beginning to know you to jump up and catch the corner of the white blanket to carry around until adulthood and sleep with as they enter into the kingdom of heaven. I see your linens, Lord, and I thank you for Jesus who washed them clean for us. There is freedom in your Grace and I’m clutching my robe with all that I have and all that I am. Thank you. Thank you for love so powerful that only Grace could be its name.
New International Version (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”