I used to shy away from conflict. I would hold my thoughts captive, so I wouldn't have to be contrary. I'd run-away fast when faced with the choice of arguing or leaving. You'd never know it though. Back then, I was the foulest mouthed, least filtered, say-whatever-to-get-a-laugh girl around. I rarely gave thought to my audience, and cursed like a sailor without regard. My outward persona was rough and tumble, but inside I feared confrontation like the plague. That meant I would have to be vulnerable. No thanks!
We moved in to this bungalow in '98. I hated living in the city, but LOVED being with Pat. I was sure we'd be getting engaged any day and start our happily-ever-after. Unfortunately, Pat was not on the same page, and rather than discuss it I sulked and expected him to have Jedi mind powers to know my heart. Funny, that didn't work...
There was one afternoon that made me realize that conflict requires resolution. If I wanted more, I had to give more. It was my first taste of grace, and it was not at all as expected. I had to pay rent. Pat owned the house and I paid him half the rent. Mind you, he is (and was) a very fiscally responsible guy and I ... well, I wasn't... My rent check bounced. When confronted by this reality I decided to do what I always did, what those before me did. I decided to leave. Mature, I know. I grabbed my keys, yelled a little, and slammed the door for good measure. I was outta there. I rounded the back corner to head to my car only to realize that I was completely blocked in. I could not get out of the driveway and there was no way I was going to walk anywhere. I had to tuck my tail between my legs and face the reality that waited for me inside. I had to admit my fault. It was not fun, I was scared he'd just reiterate all my short-comings (like I didn't know!) and then kick me out for good measure. He didn't. He loved me through it. He gave me grace.
It's what we do to God, isn't it? We sin, knowing full well that our choices hurt our Father, and instead of apologizing, we run. We take off, full sprint, only to realize we are stuck in place. Either we turn around and repent, or we continue the cycle of sin, turning our eye from the only one who will give us grace. Repentance is not for the weak. It requires strength, but not yours- His. Take off your running shoes, and rest. His grace is the strength you need, His faithful mercies are the perfect place to lay your head. Stop running- find rest.
Father, we are so grateful for your unending well of grace. You so lovingly pour out your mercy on us and wash away our sin. Lord, we thank you for loving us, even when we least deserve it. You are a good, good Father, and we love you so. Amen.