By Maryanne Abbate
This summer I met some of the bravest women in the world.
Women who found themselves trapped in the twisted maze of drug and alcohol addiction that sadly manhandled and broke them in a million pieces.
I was part of a retreat team that served at two separate residential facilities that empower these precious sisters with a structured program that includes counseling and an intense daily study of Scripture. These residents are learning that God has a better way, a path to sobriety - a path to life.
These women are fully aware of the magnitude of their daily choice to surrender to grace as they walk out the ongoing path of sobriety. I watched in awe as they valiantly faced their struggles with brutal honesty. There were no smoke and mirrors, no hiding, and no added spin to clean up the mess of their stories. They squarely face their humanity, confessing their desperate need for Jesus and His grace.
Grace is a miracle, a divine rescue, a divine do over, unfathomable, and something to behold.
Witnessing their journeys, puts me in touch with my own journey of brokenness. My story may look different, but I too lose my way. It usually comes when I don’t tell myself the truth and live an unexamined life, which causes me to live dangerously far from my heart. I can find myself in some faraway barren lands.
Sisters, don’t we all find ourselves there sometimes? We’re all broken in some way with a propensity to wander.
The journey, at least for me, is often ugly, littered with piles of regret. I limp home with skinned up knees, bloody elbows, and a broken heart. The world is a hard place.
What keeps me walking home is the irresistible hauntingly beautiful call of grace from my Father who always loves me, even the battered and tattered, rebellious me. This call of grace is always welcoming, freeing, and extravagant. He meets me right in the middle of my brokenness offering me a better way. His grace forgives and washes away the bloody dirt of my sin and shame.
His grace rescues, redeems, and rewrites my story.
This call of grace is for you too, my sister.
As He rewrites my story, He is rewriting your story, and the story of those brave women. He shows us all that we are more than our mistakes, more than our pasts, more than our weaknesses, and thankfully more than the messes we create. We are cherished, redeemed, loved daughters with a great destiny. His call to us is to surrender, to trust His grace to be enough, and to live ever so close to His heart.
Yet, He knows our propensity to wander, so He continually woos us with the gentle whispers of His love, which is the call of extravagant grace.
Oh sister, no matter where you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done, you are always welcome home; the heart of our Daddy is always open.
Grace rescues…redeems… and restores….
Word of the Day:
“Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:20-21
Prayerfully list ways that God’s grace has rescued, redeemed, and restored the broken places in your life. Take a few minutes to thank Him for His goodness. Then, ask Him to give you the courage to surrender the places you resist His grace.