Learning To See the Gift of Grace

It’s been five years today; 1,825 sleeps without my husband. I have mourned, grieved, felt all of the emotions, pitched epic fits, and at times became completely lost in the fog. I have come to the end of myself. It is here that I am learning to see the gift of grace.

The gift of grace is an ironic beast; it only arrives once we have been knocked down and stripped of everything that made us who we were. It demands that we pay the price: the price of hitting rock bottom, coming to the end of ourselves and anything we can do in our human capacity. It means we are fully exposed and a raw.

When we finally hit that place of sitting on the cliff and staring out into the abyss with no further agenda, ego, or dream, that place is where the divine can meet us. I call it God. This is the place where we can receive the gift of grace.

Jerry Sittser wrote an amazing book called, A Grace Disguised, and I simply want to share some of his perspectives with you today. When I have no words to describe or deal with my life, I take solace in his.

But in coming to the end of ourselves, we can also come to the beginning of a vital relationship with God (divine)….we reach the point where we begin to search for a new life; one that depends less on circumstances and more on the depth of our souls.

Jerry Sittser

I have come to the end of myself. I have given up dreams of my past and future. In sitting on the ledge, I became aware of the possibility of a new life, a new life in which I served and nourished others. It was a life that required me to develop depth so that I could have more to share. The greater the sorrow, the greater the capacity for joy.

We need someone greater than ourselves to help us forge a new identity. God (the divine) is able to guide us on this quest, to help us become persons whose worth is based on grace and not on performance, accomplishments, and power. We can learn to simply be….. we can allow ourselves to be loved as creatures made in God’s (divine’s) image, though our bodies our broken, our thoughts confused, and our emotions troubled. And we can start to become hopeful that life can still be good, although never in the way it was before.

Jerry Sittser

I still miss my husband and my life, but these days I am allowing myself to sit in His grace; broken, confused and troubled. I am learning that he loves me, even in this state, and that he has given me the greatest gift this year; the gift of hope.

It has been long enough that I am seeing my future unfold, and it looks good. It looks like a life of service and depth. I am learning to move forward. While it is very different from the life I had before, perhaps Jason’s death gave birth to a much better version of me.

Julie Martella Avatar

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