Prayer, Creativity & Faith

Going “all in” for grace

I’m staking everything—my eternity, which I still believe in; my relationship with the Almighty; my soul—on my certainty that there is a beneficent, benevolent, merciful God. A living embodiment of the unlimited grace I believe in.

It makes no sense, yet it’s terrifying to let go of this idea I’ve carried of a vindictive, angry, too-holy-to-approach God of impossibly high standards. Because before, I always thought if I did the right things, regardless of the deep-down feelings of resentment and rebelliousness, maybe it would be enough. By not beating myself up or holding onto the “shoulds,” I’ve ceased to hedge my bets. By no longer holding onto the generally-accepted “rules” of popular Christian faith—quiet prayer time daily, devoted reading of scripture—I’m actively living the belief that I cannot earn a thing. Doing these so-called “right” things will not help God overlook my failings. And if I did what I don’t really want to do, I’m not living an authentic faith anyway.

So now I’m taking a leap of faith greater than any other I’ve ever taken.

Honestly, to do otherwise would reveal a critical flaw in the whole foundation of my faith—one that now seems to have been built on the shifting sand of the “shoulds.”

Instead, I stand proudly, if a little defiantly, on the immovable boulder of grace. And I declare, Lord, I am here. I still believe, even if I sometimes get caught in the weeds of resentment and confusion and uncertainty. I still want you, even if I talk to you less, even if I “practice” this relationship less. Because so much of my former life, I see now, was performance, not faith.

And I’m tired of pretending to buy into the faith sold to me by the world. It was never enough, and it made me feel as though I was never enough, either.

I am choosing to walk forward in a way I cannot accurately explain or defend. I am choosing to walk this lonely road. And I find comfort in the certainty that You are here with me. That You are cheering me on. That this is where I will find the You that I’ve always hungered for, the One I’ve always known was out there waiting to be found. On my own terms, minus the rules and requirements and conformity and judgment.

The God of grace. The man of sorrow and counter-cultural ideas. The Savior of the rebellious and the lost, the hurting and the unsure.

I take a deep breath of relief, even though it has not yet quieted the voices that tell me I’ve strayed, that I’m lost. But I believe I will get to that place eventually, and in the meantime, I can rest in the assurance that I have been found. Maybe I was never lost—God has been with me all along.

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