GUEST POST: Getting to Unicorns

Ah 2015.  A new year.  No matter how you feel about new years resolutions, there is an inescapable freshness and excitement when a new year begins.  We reflect, we dream, we take action. Our professional, personal, and spiritual lives feel like a glowing harmony of colorful unicorns prancing around clouds, giggles, and, since this is Hannah’s blog, glitter.  We feel unicorns. We think unicorns.

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Some of us have big changes ahead this year, whether it’s getting married, healing a wound, organizing that hall closet, traveling the world, a season of rest…or learning to navigate TJ Maxx all by yourself (hey, that’s legit!  I’ve done it twice already and I felt like I was climbing Mt. Everest).

But how do we get to all those unicorns?  Especially now that we’re a few weeks into the new year, and our vision of prancing unicorns filled with sunshine and superglue can start to feel like we just got kicked off of a muddy wild horse in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Grace.  For ourselves and for each other.  

I’ve thought a lot about grace the last few weeks.  I need it everyday. There is no shortage of verses, blog posts, and Pinterest quotes about grace (I need grace for the amount of time I’ve wasted on Pinterest btw).  We all know what grace is, but I’ve been challenged recently to practice it with far greater intentionality than ever before.  Sometimes I am grace’s worst repeat offender.  And some moments it’s hard for me to choose it.  I get hurt.  I disappoint others. I want to point out why I am right.  I get impatient.  I am mean to myself.
But that’s the beauty of grace – it’s unmerited and undeserved, it doesn’t work on a performance basis, but communicates love because of who we are, not what we do (or don’t do).  I get to receive and give it because of my flaws, which gives me the freedom to make progress on all that this year holds for me, without having to feel like I need to be perfect.

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Grace doesn’t eliminate the need for hard conversations, or even consequences, but it allows us to push through the awkwardness, resulting in even closer and healthier relationships. Grace helps us see with more compassion that others are doing the best they can with what’s in front of them.  It helps us empathize with what they are going through, and where they are at, rather than where we wish they were. It parts the waters for forgiveness.  It heals wounds and destroys shame.  It gives us hope in second chances.  It gives others freedom to choose things and respond to what God has uniquely asked of them.  Grace doesn’t offend, and doesn’t take offense.

Grace is the most radical love that God gives us in unlimited amounts, all the time.  In the words of Philip Yancey, “Grace is free only because the giver himself has born the cost.”   Intentionally giving grace the way God gives it to us is worth the hard work, risks, and vulnerability.  Since I am human, I will mess up giving it (and there is grace for that!) this year.  But I am so grateful to covered completely by it.  It’s free, and it’s powerful.  Grace makes us grow.  And growth means change.

angie

Angie is one of my wonderful friends. She’s an incredible encouragement, an avid triathelete and lover of everything purple. She constantly inspires me to go after the dreams God has placed in my life and is one of the strongest voices saying, “You can do it!” . I’m so grateful for her and her willingness to share her thoughts with us today. Hopefully this is the first of many such posts! I <3 you Angie!

 

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