I spent the night driving around after getting the news of my husband’s affair. I cried it out with a few people, we made plans to move, and I was going through a checklist of “now what” in my head. But once the initial shock wore off, I realized, more than a plan, I needed to know how I was going to live with this person and with this betrayal. And God started whispering two words into my heart over and over.
It was like God wrapped His arms around me and poured out His grace through me, because I know one thing for sure. It was not me. It was not my selfish, foolish, sinful heart that was able to forgive. God wrapped His arms around me, reminded me of all the grace I had received to that point, and then He poured so much more over me that it was able to overflow.
It was one of the most amazing feelings I have ever experienced. It made forgiveness a joy because it was so fast and so sure that I knew it was not me. And there is no greater feeling than knowing that God grace is coursing through you like a river. And it was abundant and beautiful. Grace for Michael and grace for me.
I will always remember the conversation with our children telling them we were moving as one of the hardest things I have ever done. They loved the camp and our church and their friends and we were taking them away from it all. There were tears. So many tears. And so much brokenness in Michael and I. But God was there. I felt His presence like never before. I watched Him scoop up my kids and comfort them. And only because of His grace was I able to say these words.
“Dad has committed a big sin guys. We’re not going to tell you what it is right now, but it has made mom really sad. So it might seem like things are different with us right now but I want you to know that we’re working through it and that we’re not talking about divorce and we’re going to keep our family together and strong. And all the changes we’re making are helping us to do that. But when you look back on this day, this is what I want you to remember.
That you can never do anything that will make me stop loving you.
That you will always be welcome in this family.
That when you say you’re sorry, you will be forgiven.
That God always forgives us no matter what.”
Extravagant grace for me and Michael. And our kids.
And His extravagant grace has gotten us through the worst of it.
But guys, sometimes I forget. How is it that I’m able to remember God’s grace in the big times, the terrible times, but then I find myself at my friend’s house, only half joking that I’m going to divorce my husband if he doesn’t fix my stove soon? God broke my heart again this week. Because in the middle of the every day, the little irritations, the hard work, the long days, I forget.
I forget that to show extravagant grace, I have to be asking for it.
Because extravagant grace is not something that we can ever do on our own.
It starts with believing in God’s grace first. His grace to cover our sins, to leave us standing before God justified. (Romans 3:20-24)
His grace to overcome our sin. Like unforgiveness and selfishness over an appliance. (James 4)
His grace to take our weakness and make up the difference of what we need. (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
And His grace to come to Him boldly when we sin. Because He sits on a throne of grace and welcomes us every time. Every single time. No matter what. (Hebrews 4)
When I remember His grace, the unmerited favour I so desperately need, when my heart breaks again at what I have received, when I acknowledge my own inability to extend that same kind of grace to others, that’s when the miracle happens. That’s when God pours out His extravagant grace on me to such an extent that it starts to overflow.
And He can do the same for you.