Giving Myself Some Grace
We all need a little more grace in our lives and I am learning that the best way to receive it sometimes is by giving it ourselves.
Why are we so quick to extend grace to others but hesitant to give it ourselves?
A couple of months ago I was having coffee with a friend who suggested I take a solo retreat to get away and write and finally start on a memoir that I have had sitting pretty in my head for about a year now. Well, I thought one week probably wasn’t long enough so after some research and talking to friends, I decided to get away to the Cape Cod area—an area that inspires me and holds a special place in my heart.
Well, just so happens a dear and gracious friend has a home there and offered it to me for the month of September. I mean, how could anyone turn that down?
I should know by now that life never happens according to my grand plans that float around in my head! I plan and God laughs. That’s how the saying goes, right? Well, what had initially started out as a one month writing sabbatical has turned into a week away with my pencils, paper and computer.
At first, I was hard on myself that I was letting myself down by not sticking with the month away to really make some progress with writing this memoir, but life was happening and things came up that were keeping me in Charlotte a little longer and taking me back a little earlier. It was a battle in my mind, which I am not a stranger to. I had this grand plan in my head that I wanted to stick with but then I had to ask myself why? Why was I putting so much pressure on myself? I had no one to answer to but myself. There were no deadlines, no editor or publisher or agent breathing down my neck. Nope, just me and my own self-imposed expectations. My ego and pride were drowning out my inner spirit and that’s not something I am comfortable with these days. Humbling oneself can sometimes be hard.
Did I really think I was letting myself down or was I afraid of what others would think of me? What if I didn’t have anything to show in the form a potential book when I came home? What if what I wrote was absolute garbage that no one would want to read? What if I just went up to the Cape and sat on the beach and didn’t write anything at all?
I guess all of these are possibilities, but what if I just allowed myself to wake up and give myself a little grace. Wake up grateful and ask God to give me the words to write and reach the people who need them most. Go through my day and be open to the possibly of whatever happens, it’s part of God’s plan. Maybe it means I write a book. Maybe it means I write a few essays. Maybe I just journal and meditate and connect with God a little deeper without distractions of daily life.
11 years ago this month my brother, Will, and I drove up to Boston with my stuff for me to make a move from Charleston to Boston and start a new job. He had just graduated College of Charleston and I was moving back to a city that I loved. Our futures seemed bright.
Never in a million years would I have believed the story that unfolded over those 11 years, or the way addiction edged its way into both of our lives on different terms and different outcomes. Will died. I got sober and now I’m going to write about what happened in between. I don’t know what that looks like or what will come of it, but I’m giving myself some grace and turning it over to God.
My life may not be going the way I planned, but I am confident it is going exactly the way God planned it. So, there but for the grace of God go I...