Ephesians 2:5,8 state, "for by grace ye are saved," thus salvation can only be realized in one way, i.e., by the marvelous, matchless grace of God! But what does GRACE mean? Grace is God’s unmerited favor, undeserved kindness, approval, acceptance and favor towards
What you know about me is I'm sick and I'm tired of being sick. I'm not sure my doctor has clue, but we are on TriCare Insurance because it is the most affordable. They treat us like we are on welfare, because it is Government run, but we manage. That said - 2+ months of bronchitis has worn me down. I am an impatient wife and mother. I am tired. My house is not as clean. I am not doing as much card making and working out. But I will tell you this, being sick has slowed me down some and I think God wanted me to be slowed down. More time to read, pray and be amazed by other women and how they manage their struggles.
What you may not know about me is that my hubby was married before. And we are still in the process of Annulling his marriage. It is a LONG, drawn out process and boy have I been up and down in spirit about it. Our tribunal has said they don't have documents that they do, people have not filed paperwork they said they had. We sent our docs to our advocate last January and they were not logged until June so it is two years from June 2012 tat we will MAYBE get our annulment and in the meantime can't take the Eucharist. My husband even said "After all it took for you to get me here. As far as I've come, it is heartbreaking to me". It starts to feel like a sign. But it's the devil.
As I lay there feeling sorry for myself because I am still sick, I think of all the mistakes I've made with my faith life, my spiritual journey. I am reminded of the decades I went to the Catholic Church with high school friends and family friends and took the Eucharist not having gone through RCIA. Though in my defense no one ever mentioned the need to and I was Baptized/Confirmed Lutheran so I honestly did not know till later because I never paid attention. I am reminded that in my 20's when I did figure it out, I didn't join a church and go through RCIA. I am reminded further that while I was in RCIA, I met my husband and left more than halfway through the program deciding that the Catholic Church wouldn't let us marry anyway because he'd been married before. I am reminded that though we went to the Lutheran Church, I never really enjoyed it the way I do the Catholic Church, there was always "something" missing. Yes, we met great people and we love our Lord and I taught Sunday school and made the best of it...
I pour over thoughts of our lives growing up... Marque and I both come from broken homes. Between us, unthinkable abuses and loss - even in our young adult lives. We lived our lives and made tons of mistakes. We were lost at times... But we found each other and we forged ahead. It hasn't always been easy in our marriage to trust each other would stay and love through whatever comes - but we have. Neither of us has ever been able to ride out storms because they bring up all of our insecurities and we just walk away. It's not a great trait. Through it all - God has always been with us and we know that.
When we first met, Marque would say "we can go to Church if you want to". Or "I know it is Friday, but I want steak". Or "Christopher has a game, we can skip this week or this function". I went along with him, sometimes we argued... but I went along with him! He was not the spiritual leader of our home, our domestic church.
Last evening, as we are discussing how frustrated we are with the Annulment taking so long, Marque said how upsetting it is to him. As far as he has come, as hard as we've worked, we still have to wait. I say something very uncharacteristic to me... "Marque, we all have to suffer the consequences of our choices (sin). And if we have to wait, we wait. God is helping us to see that we can not make those same mistakes with our lives anymore.... with our faith". In short, God needs us to stick this out. To ride this out... however long it takes. AND we need to do it gracefully, as hard as it is.
We talk about how when we walked into our Parish 3+ years ago, he and my son both said "this is our Church". And the man who never wanted to become Catholic or go through an Annulment was changed in that Mass, the Holy Spirit touched him. We made an appointment to speak with the Priest and after a few meetings, got the ball rolling. And now, that same man is our Spiritual Leader. We are in RCIA. We have learned so much about the Church. We have seen many speakers and witnessed the love of God in our lives and others. And now that same man leads us in a family Rosary nightly. He is a different husband and father... and we are blessed. And for the first time in a while, we feel great about ourselves and where we are.
We are Catholic. I feel like I always have been. We are not in full communion with the Church yet, but we are active and loving/loyal/important members just like everyone else. We must hold on to that and continue in our spiritual journey. We will have our day and we will take the Eucharist again. We humbly pray it is sooner rather than later ;-), but we understand now.
Remember, Grace is God’s unmerited favor, undeserved kindness, approval, acceptance and favor towards
Wrapping this up, I will say this... God's Grace, His holy Grace is MERCIFULLY given to us, the undeserved couple who couldn't find our way out of a paper bag it seems. We are so very thankful He has done that for us...If He would extend it to us, gently guide us to where we need to be, teach us lessons of patience and grace along the way, HE WILL EXTEND IT TO YOU!
Go to Him. Pray to Him.
I promise you, your life will change and you will feel HIS Grace.
What a gift.
I hope this post made sense and was worthy!