DO-OVER!

How many kids have you heard shout this out while playing? How many times did YOU say that as a kid? 

Like when you were having a contest, and you messed something up and knew you were going to lose, so you shouted out, “DO-OVER!”  

This way you had the chance to re-do what you just did wrong. This way you still had a chance to win.  

We all want to win all the time, don’t we? But, the truth is we are human, and we fail at various things on a daily basis.  

Unfortunately in adult life, we don’t always have the opportunity for a do-over. For example, if we make a huge mistake at work, we are not likely to get the chance to do it again and do it better. Hopefully we will have the chance to fix it and keep our job, but we can never erase what has been done. That slate can’t be cleaned. We may be forgiven, but many times our mistakes are not forgotten.  

This is not true with God. 

Can you believe HIS MERCIES ARE NEW EVERY MORNING? This is amazing to me. I am still trying to wrap my head around the concept. EVERY day I get to wake up with a clean slate. 

I get a chance to DO-OVER. 

EVERY DAY. 

I used to fall into such a state of self-loathing and depression when I would make a mistake. I would wallow in the wake of whatever I had done, and it would take me days, weeks, or maybe even months to get back up and start again, depending on what the mistake was. FINALLY, I am learning that I do not have to do this. God offers me forgiveness when I ask, and He promises that I will have the chance to try again. Every day.  

WOO HOO! This is GREAT NEWS! For, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) 

How tremendous that when the sun rises every day and our eyelids pop open – we get a whole new start!

Photo by Kristin Coke - Myrtle Beach, SC

Photo by Kristin Coke – Myrtle Beach, SC

 SO…keep on keeping on. Never quit or give up. 

God will NEVER give up on you!

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22 – 24 (NLT)

 

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I’m Offended. You’re Offended. Let’s All Be Offended Together!

I'm offended

Everyone’s offended. All. The. Time.

It seems that way, doesn’t it?

Sometimes, there’s a great reason. A true offense has taken place that must be faced head on and reconciled.

Sometimes. But most times it feels like our politics, religion and choice of coffee have to match each other, or we take offense.

I cannot deal with this. Literally. Can NOT. I shake my head when people comment about this or that terrible difference in someone else. I shudder at comments on social media by those who act like it’s perfectly okay to tell someone what they’ve said on their personal account is wrong. Their personal account. Personal, as in, it belongs to them. “I know this is YOUR Facebook post and all, but what you’ve said here is stupid and it really offends me, and I think you should not think this way or be this way or have this opinion because it’s stupid and you’re stupid. But hey, we can still be friends, right?”

Don’t believe me? Just tonight this popped up as I scrolled through Facebook:

“My friends,
I can see the things you like or comment on.
When I see you liking racist posts, gun nut posts, anti-LGBT posts, sexist posts, pro-right wing religious impingement, I will unfriend you.
No discussion, no bickering. Done. Simple.
I have zero tolerance for bigotry and
uneducated, fear based views.
I wish you all a beautiful evening.”

Ouch. I’m guessing we won’t be “friends” for long. Who could possibly live up to not offending this person?

The more I see people being offended at every little thing, or giving me the cold shoulder because I said something the wrong way, the more I worry about the future of our culture. Sadly, we Christians are not immune to this. As Christians, we are to bring light to the world. But how can we, if all we ever do is complain that everyone else is doing it wrong?

The world will be offended by us. That’s just the way things are. But we are called to more.  

The way I see it, offense is the enemy’s trick to render us ineffective in business and in ministry. In life, really.

When we hang on to all those times someone has hurt us, intentionally or not, we are trapped in a dark den of feeling sorry for ourselves, unable to release love into the world. And that, my friend, will be the beginning of the darkest days our planet will ever see.

“And then many will be offended, and will betray one another, and will hate one another.”   Matthew 24:10

Let me be blunt: being offended is a daily happening.  Staying offended is a choice, and a dangerous choice.

In his book, The Bait of Satan, John Bevere points out, “Anyone who has trapped animals knows a trap needs one of two things to be successful. It must be hidden, in the hope that an animal will stumble upon it, and it must be baited to lure the animal into the trap’s deadly jaws.” He goes on to say, “One of (Satan’s) most deceptive and insidious kinds of bait is something every Christian has encountered – offense. Actually, offense itself is not deadly – if it stays in the trap. But if we pick it up and consume it and feed on it in our hearts, then we have become offended. Offended people produce much fruit, such as hurt, anger, outrage, jealousy, resentment, strife, bitterness, hatred and envy.” I would even add depression to this list.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.”   Galations 5:22-23

My mother, Gladys, was all kinds of awesome. I learned first hand from watching her how to be unoffendable. We had a family friend who was a gruff and grumpy old guy, who filled the air with swear words and cigarette smoke whenever we were with him. Although it may have made her cringe inside and she could’ve said, “not in front of my daughter, please…” or berated him about how he wasn’t behaving the way a former Bible college student should, she never said a word. She just loved him. Consequently, she was the only preacher he ever darkened the doors of a church to hear.

I watched her befriend the local teenagers in the 1970’s and instead of condemning them for their pothead behavior or the way they dressed, she created a coffee house called The Turning Point – a place for them to hang out on the weekends and hear some music, and just maybe learn something about love and Jesus while they were there. While other preachers of the day were busy being offended by these kids and condemning them to hell, my mom was planting seeds of love into their lives.

“Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”  Romans 14:13

Let me be clear: I am not some superhuman who doesn’t feel the sting when a friend neglects to invite me to a fun event, or when I am brushed off as not being important when I feel like I have some really great news to share. When I see blatant blasphemy in socialmedialand I know it must hurt God’s heart even more than it hurts mine. Ouch. But I truly have learned and chosen that the best way to deal with offenses of all kinds is to let them go. I still need lots of work on this, but fortunately today’s culture of offense gives me plenty of practice!

When our outward appearance belies the torment inside, it’s a good time to seek out some healing for the wound hanging onto an offense can cause. An offense that is coddled starts like a little scratch that gets infected and is allowed to grow. Soon, that scratch becomes a festering wound, taking up all your time and energy to try and fix it, but now it’s gotten out of control, and may even land you in the hospital; far greater consequences can occur, even to the point of losing a limb or death. (Truth. Believe me, my best friend is an ER nurse and I’ve heard all the stories…) So, just as you wouldn’t want to hold on to an infected wound, don’t hold on to that little scratch of a hurt feeling. It will grow into a festering wound.

Grace is the salve that heals the wound. Let’s spread a little more of it around, shall we? GRACE.

 

From Tami: I have learned that holding on to an offense can wound us deep in our soul and keep us from doing the work God has set aside for us to do. If you’d like to dive deeper into this concept of becoming unoffendable, I invite you to check out these resources: 

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Sermon from a Junk Yard

Today, my boy and his buddies went meticulously through a junk yard and came home with bits of broken things – toys, wheels, pieces of wood, sticks, and the like. My first thought was, “Oh, no, more clutter for the yard!”

Once in a while it is good for a mother to be an eavesdropper – she can learn a lot that way!

The boys were in a state of ecstasy. They were exchanging pieces of junk back and forth – taking “dibbies” on this piece and “dibbies” on that.  And I heard them say, “Now, are you sure you are not going to change your mind? Are you sure I can keep this?”

“But what are you going to use it for?” I asked.

And they began to tell me of the wonderful things this junk could make. Why, this piece of bent wood would make a wonderful lance; and this one could be made into a gun; and the wheels and broken toys – there was just no end to the amazing ways they could be used! I shrugged my shoulders and went into the house, for, not having the eyes of a child, I could not see the end results.

Photo Credit:  Orin Zebest via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Orin Zebest via Flickr Creative Commons

But, I thought, is not this just the way God looks at our poor shattered lives when they are ruined and disgraced by sin? To Him they are not a piece of junk. The world may laugh and point the fingers of scorn at the derelict, but to God, this is a precious soul for whom Christ died.

I may look at the poor drunk of skid row – the bum who has become a derelict -and I cannot see the possibilities lying dormant in that soul – but God can! I cannot see the soul winner, the missionary, the preacher – but God can!

“He that winneth souls is wise,” says the scripture. A small boy won may become a leader of men for Christ. A teen-age girl, allowing Christ to straighten out a tangled life, may turn a multitude to the Master. There are so many needy souls around us. But I must not limit the amazing Grace of God choosing to testify only to those who seem to me to be likely subjects for the kingdom of heaven. For I do not have the eyes to see the end result of a transformed life.

This post is a reprint from Foursquare Magazine – November, 1959.

 

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Speaking Life Without Saying a Word

When I encounter an angry or hurt person, I find myself shying away from them.  It’s a form of self-protection, I suppose.  If I don’t talk to them, I won’t get hurt by the angry barbs that come flying from their mouths.  In spite of my avoidance, I’m kind of famous for letting other people’s pain roll right off my back without a second thought.

We’ve all been burned by those who have spoken hurtful words out of their place of pain. Often, even an attempt at a loving response is met with more angry words. More pain. More hurt feelings. We talk about speaking lifewords into a person’s situation, but sometimes it’s just not possible.

I was reminded of that at the gym this morning.  The teacher of my group spinning class was having a bad day, to say the least.  It was reflected in his angry tone and his choice of even angrier music to get us all moving.  Some of us started grumbling about the negativity, but then it hit me – pray for him.  Speak grace over him.

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my view of the ground during spin class

As I was fiercely pedaling to keep up, I spoke words of life into the air – God, release him from his anger. God, heal his pain. God, show him you love him. As I prayed those words of life over this hurting man, something changed. In ME.

I realized that sometimes it’s not the time or place to hit someone over the head, so to speak, with words of kindness.  In those moments, we have the great opportunity to pray and let God work out the details.  Perhaps He will send someone else to that person at a time when they will truly listen and be healed.

We don’t need to try and fix everyone, and we need to stop pretending we can. We just need to be faithful.

I wish I could say the instructor today instantly changed his demeanor and played happy music for the rest of the class.  He didn’t.  From all outward appearances, he was still suffering inside, but I believe God began to work on his heart.

…And something changed in me this morning; I gained a new understanding of what it means to speak LifeWords into someone’s life ~ without them ever hearing a sound.

 

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The Beauty of Grace

As we come away from Resurrection Day, the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead after offering himself as a sacrifice for ALL of our sins, I must share my gratitude for – His Sufficient Grace. For ALL have sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23) – we are all in need of salvation which comes by His mercy (compassion and lovingkindness) and grace, and by the shed blood of Christ on the cross.

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Webster defines Grace as: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification, approval, favor, mercy, pardon.

Wiki says: In Christian theology, grace has been defined as “the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it”,[1] “the condescension or benevolence shown by God toward the human race”.[2] It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man – “generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved”[3] – that takes the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God.

And even deeper and better yet, the word in Hebrew is paralleled with several other ideas including: healing, help, being lifted up, finding refuge and protection, strength and salvation; to be rescued!

I met and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 6 years old. I spent my youth quite close to Him. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in college that I really began to deviate from this relationship. I began to make poor decisions, and at some point I felt that I could never go back – that I had strayed so far that there was no point in even trying. Over the years I slowly drifted further and further away, trying to keep up appearances for those around me. I fought depression and isolation and eventually sunk deeply into alcohol and drug use and various other unsavory choices. I should have been dead many times over, but my God protected me despite myself. He showed me mercy even when I did not deserve it. I felt like I was too far to ever receive His Grace.

Finally, in early 2008 a perfect storm of circumstances caused me to hit bottom so hard that the only way to look was up. All I had to do was turn around and cry out – and there He was. He was there all the time. Restoration and rebuilding can take a long time, but when you call His Name, His Grace and Mercy come upon you in an instant, for you have finally stretched out your arms to accept what He has freely given.

You see, we all go through trials and difficulties in this life. That is just the human condition. We bring many of these upon ourselves, but others come from other people or circumstances beyond our control. God sees us through all trials, regardless of their origin – He extends His grace and mercy without regard to how or why we landed in our situation. He just wants us to turn to Him.

It seems to be hard for some people to grasp the simplicity of salvation. How could the Creator of the Universe so freely give His love? All I know is that He does, and that He extends that gift to ALL. No exceptions. He cried “It is Finished” from the cross, because He paid ALL our debt once and for all. Hallelujah!

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.

At my time of restoration and renewal, I latched on to some wonderful songs that encouraged me and built me up.

One was “Beauty of Grace” by Krystal Meyers (a song sung from God’s perspective):

Tell me why’d you run
You say you’re so ashamed
bruised and broken
Thought if I figured out
The mess you’ve made
That I’d leave

Chorus:
But anywhere you are

Is never too far away
There’s freedom from your scars
The mistakes that you’ve made
Forgiven
The memories erased
Baby, that’s the Beauty of Grace

Tell me what is love
I’ll never hold you to
The things you may have done
You say you want new life
In my arms, there’s mercy

Another, by the greatest selling Gospel group of all time, the Clark Sisters. (Do yourself a favor and download this one!)

“Blessed And Highly Favored”

He brought me through hard trials
He brought me through tribulations
Never let a day go by and not realize
Had not been for the Lord who was on my side

Back was against the wall
He looked out for me
He heard my cry and rescued me
Never let a day go by and not realize we are blessed

Chorus:
Don’t take it for granted that we are here today
Just know that we’re blessed and highly favored
Just know that we’re blessed and highly favored

As I look back through the years,
It’s amazing how He kept me.
What the devil meant for evil,
God turned it around,
Turned it around just for my good.

I know that I am blessed and highly favored.
Just know that we’re blessed and highly favored.

It coulda’ been me,
It shoulda’ been me,
It woulda’ been me if it wasn’t for the blood.
Grace, mercy.
Grace, mercy.

Not only does God extend grace to all of us by the power of the shed blood of Christ on the cross, but he also extends forgiveness and separates our sin from Him as far as the East is from the West. Since space is infinite, that means there is no ending point in the East or the West. So this means, as in the song “Beauty of Grace,” that He erases the memory of all that you have done. Think of all the times another human being has hurt you. Have you been able to forgive? Hopefully you extend the same grace to others as God has extended to you. But, if you are like me, you don’t easily forget that hurt. It can be hard to forgive others and yourself. And it is certainly almost impossible to forget. We harbor hurt feelings, and we condemn ourselves sometimes to the point of spiritual paralysis.

Imagine the kind of Grace that God is extending to you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been. He has offered atonement and covering for your sin through the Cross. All you have to do is accept it. You can never earn it – it is a GIFT. And not only has He offered this gift, but He has also promised that once you have repented of your sin, He will cast it off into infinity and beyond!

If you are waiting to “get things together” before you turn to the Lord, let me advise you that you will NEVER be ready because your efforts will always fall short. Cry out to Him and accept His gift of life. There is no greater thing than a relationship with the One who created you just as you are. He knows everything about you and loves you unconditionally anyway.

And that’s the Beauty of Grace.

Psalm 103:1-12 NIV
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits– who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.  He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

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Complete Coverage

I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. We rarely get snow here, and when we do it is usually 1/4 of an inch to an inch. Maybe once or twice a winter we will get a “dusting.”

However, last week, we got a winter storm unlike anything we have had in decades. I ended up measuring almost 7 inches of snow and ice piled up on my back deck!

I suppose when you live in a place where it snows regularly in the winter, the site of such a build up of snow isn’t so spectacular. But, when you rarely see it, it is staggeringly beautiful.

I am blessed to live on the outskirts of the city and I have deciduous forest as my back yard. I have hundreds of old, tall, majestic trees on my 1.6 acre plot, and a valley with a creek prevents anyone from building anything behind or around me. Let me tell you, when heavy wet snow falls and sticks to all those trees, my yard looks like Narnia. My cousin DeeAnn saw a photo on Facebook and pointed that out to me. She is right – it is like a fantasy wonderland of sorts, and it is awesome.

Some of my trees are American Sweetgum Trees, and in the fall and winter they drop thousands of gumballs that contain seeds. The gumballs have spikes, and they cover the ground. In the center of my back yard there is a huge Sweetgum tree that I call “The Queen.” She is the oldest, mightiest tree on my property. She is gorgeous when she provides shade in the heat of summer, and when her leaves turn in the fall, but she is a big pain when she drops her thousands of gumballs and litters my entire yard with them in the winter. Every year I shake my fist at her when I have to rake those piles of leaves and piles of gumballs.

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So, below “The Queen” in the winter lies a blanket of leaves and gumballs rotting in decay. Just walking through the yard is unpleasant because you cannot avoid trampling over the thousands of spiky spheres. This year I have not yet gotten around to raking them up.

One of the most obvious things to me about the 7 inches of snow and ice was that it covered all that mess so completely, that there was no trace of those prickly gumballs and rotting leaves. Even walking through the snow, and forging sledding trails down the hill did not reveal the blanket of unpleasantness that lay beneath.

What if those prickly nuisances represent my flaws and my sin? Thousands of messy, nasty mistakes and deliberate choices to follow my flesh rather than The Word. And what if that snow represents the infinite Grace, forgiveness and love of my Savior who covers all my sin and flaws to make me blameless and perfect in the sight of my Heavenly Father?

Full, complete coverage. Flawless forgiveness that blankets my entire being and renews me day after day.

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Jesus paid it all. What a picture of complete restoration. It is there for the taking, for every single one of us. We just have to accept it, take His hand, and follow Him. Love has already won. We are covered. We are new. We are His. Grace is not deserved, it is freely given, and it is beautiful.

Be refreshed today, and know:
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”  Isaiah 1:18

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Be still and know…

Christmas.

Love it or not, it will be here in a matter of days.

Normally, I’m all about the Christmas season.  I make my lists and check them twice.  I shop and wrap and bake.  I was geared up to jump in with both feet this year, too.  The magic of Christmas was mine for the making.

And then, on the 4th of December, I zigged when I should have zagged while skiing with my kids.   A pop and then a zip from my calf up to the back of my knee.  I instantly knew what had happened.  And that I was in for a backwards and head first ride down the mountain via the ski patrol sled.

Mammoth Sled RideMammoth Tami Top View Sled

Muscle torn.  Pain.  Crutches.  Life slowed to a crawl.  And the Christmas I had envisioned was altered.

For two weeks I have pieced together what little Christmas magic I can muster.  I haven’t been able to go to the mall to participate in the crazy hustle that is Holiday Shopping.  The baking hasn’t materialized.  There has been no caroling.  The gifts ordered online aren’t wrapped.  And while my husband says, “Hey, at least I got the tree up,” all I can see is that it needs more lights.  About five thousand should do it.

I’ve viewed the Season these past two weeks through a different lens.  Keeping a slower pace has forced me to be introspective.  And in the quiet of my days, I heard something extraordinary.   Be Still.  Know.  I AM God.

I think sometimes God allows these little hiccups in life to bring us back to basics.  Christmas will happen whether I hobble through the mall or not.  The truth behind that old cliché “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” has been pushed to the back of our consciousness, even in the midst of the well-meaning religiosity of the holidays.

The lights, the fanfare, the pageantry, the gifts, even the music – it’s all fluff.   When that is all stripped away we are left with the realization that the baby’s birthday we celebrate each year is God incarnate.  And He wants us to know Him.  Without the fluff.

Let’s get back to basics:  the incredible act of God sending his Son to be born and live here on earth so that we ultimately can know what the words grace and peace truly mean.  That’s it.

You may not have an injury or illness that makes you slow your pace, but I’m challenging you to do it anyway.  Even for a few moments at a time.  Listen.  Can you hear Him?

Be Still. Know. I AM God.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

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THE GIFT

We are now between two of the most family-oriented holidays–Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have all heard sermons about being thankful for what we have in the United States, we’ve sung “thankful” songs and now hear Christmas songs until they become “ad nauseam.” We’ve been made to feel a little guilty if we don’t give extra to the needs of the less fortunate. There are the lonely people who actually hate this time of the year.

But wait…what is it really all about? And I mean more than “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.”

The miracle of Jesus The Christ (The Anointed One..Yeshua Ha’Mashiach) is that He is a part of Almighty God, the Three in One–Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yeshua was with God as creation of the world, universe, and everything in it was being formed. The Gospel of John tells us that Yeshua’s light shines in the darkness, but the darkness did not understand or recognize it. (John 1:5) The testimony of John the Baptist (a cousin of Jesus) was to prepare the hearts of the people to receive the Christ (Messiah) when He was made known in His 30th year of living on this earth.

You see, God had a plan to make Himself so human to us by sending his Son to this earth as a baby, then a young man who grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:51), and at age 30 was revealed as the promised Messiah. One of His Names is Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”

The God-man Jesus, who was without sin, shed His blood on a Roman cross to cover all sin before and after The Cross, then arose from the dead and lives today with His Father God in The Heavenlies.

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Wow–that’s a lot to comprehend!!!   It’s so far “out there” our human minds try to figure it out…not possible…don’t go there!!!

It is childlike faith which is a GIFT from God, to receive this Truth.

If you are struggling with the reality of who Jesus is, and that He is more than a baby in a manger, ask God to give you The Faith to Believe. Be honest with God; He knows the thoughts and intent of your heart anyway.

Don’t try to “figure it out”…just know that GOD LOVES YOU WITH UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Once you realize that great love through Jesus Christ, you will never be the same again! The celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth will give you joy and an inner peace that is unexplainable.

JESUS THE CHRIST IS INDEED THE GREATEST, MOST-LASTING GIFT OF ALL !

“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

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Redeeming Lost Time for Grace Time

college-graduation

I felt a momentary twinge of sadness, regret even, when I noticed that the college graduations happening several weeks ago were those of my son’s former classmates.  Four years already? Was my first thought – how could it have been four years since his high school graduation? And then, the sadness.  Sadness that we were not celebrating Chris’s college graduation.  Sadness that his plans were interrupted.  Sadness that life sometimes throws a curveball.

How could we have known that day Chris came home after his sophomore year that the sleep deprivation he suffered was caused by hours and hours of nighttime seizures? Or that by following the brain mapping road we assumed would lead to brain surgery and a cure ultimately left Chris in the same place as before but with two years lost?

And then, it was gone.  My brief flirt with self-pity and regret was replaced with gratitude.  I mean, really? I was mourning the loss of a diploma and a party.  What I have instead is a son who is being transformed by God and his circumstances into a young man of grace and sincerity during these years of uncertainty.

Although he struggles daily with side effects from his meds and still experiences many seizures in the night hours, in many ways Chris is thriving.  His experience dealing with what can be a debilitating and sometimes fatal medical condition has left him with a renewed vision for his future.  Each day he accomplishes something that brings him closer to owning his own business; with entrepreneurial dreams he looks to the years ahead with hope and not dread.

Just the other day Chris asked me if there’s a Bible verse that speaks to moving forward and forgetting the past.  I gave him this:

“…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14

He and his business partner have decided to make that their theme verse for Innovate Clothing, LLC.

Yes. I can learn a lot from this young man.

What about you? Have you been haunted or filled with regret by what you see as lost days, weeks, months or even years?

God sent a big fish to interrupt Jonah’s life, then caused that fish to carry Jonah right to where God wanted him.  Your situation – dare I call it your Big Fish –  has been carrying you to the exact place you need to be when you are released from it.  You might say that epilepsy is Chris’s Big Fish, the time spent inside it is shaping him to be the man he needs to be.

This time is not lost time, it’s grace time.  What are you doing with your grace time?

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