Yesterday, I talked a bit about the book Cold Tangerines. Everytime I pull it out, the book reminds me of how important passions and visions are, how plans are not always crafted and created in permanent marker, and that God shows up in the everyday life, that daily life that gives us room to celebrate if we look for it.
I keep revisiting old books (which is okay sometimes, but reminds me how long it's been since I've read a new book:) ). Still, there are some major themes in some of the books I go back to again and again, for topical studies, talking with friends or just reminders of truth found in the Word.
One of my favorite writers is Emily Freeman and she talks a lot about the topic of grace. Reading her blog recently, she is having a book club right now on her book, which I love, Grace for the Good Girl. Realizing now that the book club is coming to a close, I will not be joining in the blog fun on that end. Opps. Alas, a day late and a dollar short. But, Emily's book is full of demonstrations of the story of God's love in our lives through grace. Grace through failures. Grace through mistakes. Grace for the 'good' masks of approval or performance. She writes poetically about remaining in His love and letting Him be the one to give space for your soul. In the midst of running. In the midst of mess. In the midst of your own best efforts to do it yourself.
Emily talks about healing and the burdens and extra loads we carry around when Jesus came to take the mess from us. We try and make life work, often on our own, and when it doesn't we wonder why. We avoid falls, or when there is a fall, we want to avoid the healing that could come with a God who knows how to bring life even in the most messy and seemingly destraught situations.
One of my favorite parts of Emily's book happens to be the chapters she talked about this past week. It's called Safe, Even When it Hurts. I don't think this implies a physical safety, for we can't be sure of that. But, she does give an example of what can happen when someone or something hits bottom, or has a 'fall.
She says that Jesus often brings "us to a place where we have to choose what we will believe." She talks about Simon Peter's response to Jesus when he talks to his disciples about whether they will leave him and he says "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. (John 6:68). Peter did not live a perfect life, and yet he knew what he believed and who he wanted to follow.
Even in the midst of hurting or if the hard outer surface wants to crack. Sometimes that is part of the process of freedom God brings a person through to set your mind on what already is yours in Christ. Grace.