It was six years ago yesterday when I pointed my car toward home after four days at the American Christian Writers Conference in Indianapolis. And it was six years ago today that I came completely unglued on I65 just outside of Louisville, Kentucky. I knew what grace was, but it had never before hit me so hard as it did that moment. Going into details is a long story, and one I share very rarely, because it’s a thing between my heavenly Daddy and me that I sometimes take out of the box and hold, just to remember how amazing and loving and grace-filled He is. I was holding it this morning, inspecting that memory, when I realized the date. He remembers too.
But I have to say this… It has to do with the very, very worst thing I ever did. The lowest point of my life when I thought I was close to Him but I was farther away than ever before, and I chased the world so hard I ran into it and nearly broke my neck. And the only reason I didn’t destroy myself was grace. I should be so many things, but I should not be who and where I am today. I hope that makes sense.
Fifteen years after that awful, rebellious season, as I drove home from that conference and filled with the knowledge that God was giving me the gift of a lifelong dream unfolding right in front of me–a gift I in no way deserve–the song below came on the radio. And, yes, I “came undone.” Because what God showed me in absolute, crystal clarity was how the past and the present tied together, my worst moment and His grace unbreakably bound into a gift beyond imagining. At my lowest, at my worst, God didn’t see me as the sinner I was so intent on being. He saw me as what I could be–what I would be–when I ran back to Him and His grace poured out. The years folded over on themselves until the two moments were one, and His grace was over them both, weaving my badness and His goodness together into something so beautiful it can’t even be described.
His grace poured out in ways my words can never tell you.
And I wonder how many people sit out there today and think they are so awful that God can never love them. Because you’re not. If I wasn’t, you’re not. And the absolute, sheer truth is that God’s power can take the ugliest of the ugly and make it into something so incredibly amazing that the ugly disappears completely and His grace is all there is. The shame, the hurt, the every-ounce-of-bad overwhelmed by Him. A present, shining beyond your imagination. Really. I’ve experienced it. It is so real.
What are you waiting for?