Every night at about 3 am I wake up. Until recently, I would wake up with a racing heart and cold sweats. My mind must have been reliving some memory from my past where I did or said the wrong thing. Sometimes I was not even aware of which event I was remembering yet I felt my body full of remorse and regret. I started to hate going to bed because these events were so difficult to overcome.
During the day, I am trying to live more intentionally by trying to leave the past there, in the past. I want to live a more positive life that is not full to my brim with regrets. Of course I have them and that is how life works but if I can focus on the lessons learned and try to be a better person then I can use those experiences for good.
Last night I woke up with an idea in my head. Unfortunately it’s not exactly an original idea but one that suddenly made sense to me.
As a Christian, I have basically two stories. The first story is dramatic and traumatic. It’s the story that details the things that sent me down wrong paths and allowed bad decisions. This story became the background for the next story.
Let me preface by saying that I became a Christian in my teens but could not, or more accurately, would not live like a Christian. I may have for short spurts but I liked the world and all that it offered. I loved excess and was greedy….self-centered and entitled and just didn’t want to change too much.
Years and years pass and I start to feel the heavy weight of regret. By this time, just recently I may add, I start missing and wanting more peace in my life. I start doing Bible studies, listening to trusted conveyors of the Word (that’s very important….just because someone mentions God does not mean they can automatically be trusted) and trying to apply lessons learned to a new me.
The way our world is today became the catalyst for much of this thinking. I do not want to be part of the world’s problems I want to do better. I started to change. More positive thoughts started to replace the negative I had grown so accustomed to. I felt joy deep in my soul. I was a little afraid of it as I waited for something bad to happen. That is just a remanant of my old thinking.
Then I realized that the second story was my Grace story. The story that gave me grace that I did not earn and washed away my sins. Not in a way that they didn’t happen but in a way that allows me to break from their oppression and use them to help others.
When I was coming up in my young adulthood, I really thought I was the only one who made the mistakes I made (self-centered much!) and I longed to learn how to be better. There just wasn’t anything that helped and my frustration was shown in anger and acting out.
Then comes the digital age and people started talking about things and I quickly learned that everyone has their dramas and traumas. That’s when I started writing this blog with the hopes that one person would not feel the aloneness that I felt.
Now I understand the Pre days and the Grace days. You learn in the Pre days and give back in the Grace days. You use the Pre day lessons to help others in the Grace days. There is zero waste because every experience can be used to create empathy for others. It can be used to help soothe a battered soul. Those experiences can help touch someone who has no one. That to me, when I finally realized it, rocked me off my feet.
I’m not sure anyone really cares about my extremely long-winded blog posts but if it brings even the smallest bit of comfort to one person it makes the Pre day worthy of my Grace days.
Grace is a gift from God that I did not nor could I ever earn on my own. His grace is given freely to those who accept it. I never felt that I could accept it fully because of my tainted past…but that’s the whole idea of it, you can’t earn it but you can spread it.
May you experience the joy and peace of your Grace days. Let nothing be wasted. This world is in need of some serious grace and light. Let’s be that!