If you asked me to sum up the Gospel in one word, 'grace' would be it.
I know Christ as my soul's Savior, and through Him God sees me as righteous, but that doesn't mean I'm perfect or that my life is easy.
I had a pretty great day the other day, but even still, I found myself -- for a split second -- wondering why on earth my husband and I thought it was a good idea to ever have children.
"With kids, I don't get to read whenever I want to! I don't get to take naps, watch movies, go out on dates with my own husband; I rarely have time to dust, do laundry, the dishes, etc., and when I do have the time for those things, I'm too exhausted! When the baby is napping, the six year-old needs me. I want to get a pedicure. I want to get my hair done. I want to sit at my desk and paint all day long! I want an evening to sit in front of the tv and watch Netflix with a pint of ice cream. I want! I want! I want! But that is just not my life. These kids wear me out sometimes!
"What were we thinking, having these kids?", I thought.
The thought was fleeting. It came and it went almost without me even registering it. (Sneaky.)
If you know me, you know I absolutely love my boys and I love being a mom. So that fleeting thought, that moment of doubt and weakness, those questions I was asking myself -- was I losing my mind? Am I an unfit mother? Did God make a mistake when he chose me to bear and raise these children? No. No. No. That moment ... that was me just being my selfish, human self. My very selfish, human self.
And let's be honest. We all have those moments. Whether you're a worn out mom or dad, an overworked 9-to-5er, an overlooked volunteer, a student with the weight of the world on your shoulders ... whoever you are, wherever you are, you do have negative thoughts, whether you choose to admit them or not.
You may sometimes think, "I just want to quit." Or, "maybe I'm not cut out for this." "Maybe this isn't my calling, after all." "I'm a failure." "They'd be better off without me." Whatever your negative thoughts are, know you're not alone. You're not crazy for thinking them or for having doubts, and no, God did not make a mistake when He chose you. -Tweet That!
Take those negative thoughts of yours captive, and turn them over. There is grace on the other side. Grace abounds on the other side.
I am renewed -- I'm made new again -- every day. My slate is wiped clean every day. My stains are removed, forgiveness is handed out, and I'm made whole again every day. I am sure of God's love for me, I am confident in the position He's placed me in, right alongside Jesus. He loves me as His own. He loves me because I am His own. His mercies are new every morning. By His grace.
Thank you God, for loving me in all of my weakness, humanness, selfishness, ignorance, and shame. And thank you for giving me power -- through Jesus -- over all of these things, and for the ability to turn my negative thoughts over onto the side of grace. I know it is only by your grace that I'm saved.
Which word would you choose to sum up the Gospel? Why?