Wednesday, June 20, 2007

When the grace is gone

When my daughter was visiting recently, she reminded me of the day when she and her dad arrived home and found me sitting in the middle of my bed

...a blanket over my head (as in a tent over me)...eating a pint of Hagan Daz Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in the dark.

It had been a hard day at work. :)

She must have been around six or seven at the time. Leaving a career I loved was a struggle even when some days sent me over the edge. It took me a year to finally leave. However, I am so happy I did for my life would have been completely different if I had stayed on that path. At the time, my leaving took many by surprise and well, even some close to me didn't understand the decision.

I was recently talking to my son about changes going on in his life with some friendships struggling, other friends leaving for college this fall, possible changes in his part-time job situation, and just the usual adjustments as one is finishing his high school years.

I call these time of change, "when the grace is gone". Things that have always come easily are suddenly a burden, changes happen at work, some friendships become draining rather than edifying, things are...grating rather than smooth running.

Not that God is calling us to a change just because something goes wrong (if that were the case most marriages and jobs would end within weeks!). It's far more than that. It is when we have a God given discomfort, like sand in an oyster bringing about the pearl...eventually. We know things aren't the same, anymore.

It may take awhile as we seek His wisdom. Change is never easy and if it involves any real physical moving, it can even be unpleasant. Some changes we have made, knowing God was asking it of us, made our bank account quite anemic. Other changes caused us to lose those we thought were friends, especially when one leaves a job...or a church...or a neighborhood.

However, when He is calling us to a change in our life, it is always because He is making a change in us. We rarely see it at the time but years later...we look back...and in spite of the blood, sweat, and tears...we smile.

For the grace returns when we've made a decision we know is right, the "still small Voice" brings peace to our soul, we take a deep breath and we jump in...having full faith that even though we can only see one step in front of us, it is the correct step to make.

Along the way, as we are going through the struggle and the grace has left...there is always a pint of ice cream and places to get alone with the Creator...even if it is just a blanket over one's head.


Anonymous said...

Brenda, this almost brought tears to my eyes. You have no idea how timely this is for me.
Thank you.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I removed the comment above so I could send a longer e-mail to Joanna! said...

Oh ((Brenda)), how very, very, beautiful. I was just sharing this very thing with the children about 3 days ago--encouraging them to walk in best friendship with Him-- rather than by a list of rules, following *wherever* He might lead, over the mountains and down into the valleys, by faith, even when it's really hard or doesn't make sense, or might cause you to seemingly lose something that you had held dear. I can't wait to read this to them, this morning. You are so precious, Brenda. I think the ice cream under the blanket--tent, sounds *quite* lovely even on the best of days, and I'm gonna try it! :o):o) Thanks for, again, sharing from your heart.
Warmly, Jewels

Adrienne said...

Brenda -
Thank you for sharing this post. About 2 years ago I made a big change - left a very difficult job situation. Difficult in my life for many reasons. It was the best thing I did but only because I knew God was calling me to change. Some around me thought I'd lost my mind - they said I was making a bad decision or that I would later regret it. I've never been happier or more content! I love your description - "when the grace is gone". A good way to understand the need for change. Your words touched me deeply.