Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Occasion of Grace

Receiving grace may be one of the most difficult things I know.  We speak so often of giving grace but to receive it and to do that…gracefully?  That's hard!
I must confess it is something that I am not very good at.  Especially when I feel that I've really messed something up.  And somebody else has to pay the consequence.  Oh, how I want that somebody to be mad so I can be indignant.  At that point, I can begin my mental list of
                    and rationalize
                         and justify
                              and come to the conclusion that it wasn’t really my fault anyway.

In the end, if I’m very clever, I can find a way to place blame on the very person who paid the consequence.

Please tell me that I’m not alone here.  That you do it, too.

 Here is my most recent  sad  joyous tale of receiving grace.
We were in San Francisco this past weekend to celebrate college completion with my son.  Did you know that San Francisco is number 3 on the list of ‘most expensive places to visit’ in America?  Our hotel bill for 4 nights was more than we owe each month on our mortgage, although I should say that our mortgage is pretty low.  I was very pleased that we got our flights by using Rocket Man’s Delta Frequent Flyer miles. 

I went so far as to brag about the fact that it was only going to cost $20 out of pocket to travel back and forth. {Why, oh why do I insist on calling down the thunder like that?} I carefully and meticulously poured over the choices of flights and considered pros and cons of travel time to make the best use of our time and especially to get home at a reasonable hour.
Imagine my surprise when I looked closely at the printed itinerary on Sunday night, before we were to leave on Monday morning, when I saw that our departure time was not 11:30 am as I believed, with an 8:35 pm arrival in Huntsville.

Nope.  It was not what I thought.
We had seats on the 11:30 pm flight last night to arrive in Huntsville at 8: 35 in the morning. 
Panic set in. I felt sick at my stomach.  I looked at Rocket Man (who was already in bed, falling asleep) and told him the grim news.  His terse reply was, “That ain’t gonna work!”  We’re just not cut out to take the RedEye and come straight to work.  There was also the problem of having to check out of the hotel and find something to do with our luggage for about 12 hours.

I’m telling y’all.  I was getting sicker by the moment.
He suggested I call Delta right away and see what they could do.  They were happy to change our flights.  For a tidy sum, and more of the precious Frequent Flyer Miles.  At one point, I was sobbing and blubbering and the customer service rep wanted to know if there was someone else in the room able to finish the transaction.
I finished the business, got us on a more reasonable flight.  That flight  arrived back home at 11:30 pm.  I hung up the phone and hung my head.  I must have said, “I’m so sorry” a thousand times.  And I cried.  And I cried. 

Do you know what Rocket Man did?  He did flinch when I told him how much money it cost to change the flights.  But he said, “Its only money” and he held me while I cried.  The nicer he was, the more miserable I felt.  He explained to me that everyone makes mistakes.  Nobody is perfect.  Which I suppose I know in my head, but in my heart…I like to feel that I do everything  just right. 
My heart was breaking because I felt that I’d let him down somehow. 

The response I got from this one man, the one I prefer above all others was love and grace.
I found that so difficult to receive.  I love him more than any human on the planet and I never want to let him down.  But  lately, little things keep cropping up where I am in great need of grace and love.  I find myself  asking for {gasp} help and admitting that I can’t do things I used to do and realizing that there are hours/days/weeks when I’m not my best because of my physical difficulties and limitations.
It  just isn’t easy to accept that grace.  It would be easier in the moment to be defensive if he were to offer something less than loving grace.  To fall into fighting and bickering leading to being angry and sullen.  Instead, he offered arms of comfort and a spirit of love and grace. 
I was awash in it.  And I felt so unworthy. 
He doesn’t want me to feel unworthy.  He only wants me to feel loved.  He offers grace with open hands and no strings.
What was I thinking? 

Run to that grace, Molli!  Accept it. Embrace it. Let it wash over you.
Continue to learn to receive grace…receive it graciously.
Remember to also give grace.  And give it graciously. 
Do both joyfully.

You know, I cut my teeth on grace.  Free and abundant grace of God.  Grace offered everywhere from family and friends.  Why, then, is it so hard to accept from the Rocket Man, who by his own admission  and certainly by his actions loves and adores me?  I think it is pride.  Yikes.  That hurts. 

Grace and pride just don't mix very well. 
I'm working on that.
And accepting his grace.  And accepting God's grace.  And counting it all joy.

PS...according to Blogger, this is my 100th Post!  Yay!!


Mevely317 said...

Oh, wow. This has touched me on so many levels. Your candor is so refreshing ... who can't identify?

BTW, congrats on your #100 post!... Yea, indeed!

Mollianne said...

Thank you. Good to know I'm not alone!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am so glad that your husband responded with such love. Thank you for reminding me about how to be grateful.

stacey said...

Run to grace!

Oh what a great encouragement.