PARTAKERS OF GRACE WITH ME

Dear Daughters-of-My-Heart:

I’ve spent the morning puttering around my house; cleaning and folding, tidying and wiping, doing all those hidden things no one sees— those things that turn these walls and windows and floors into a welcoming place. A home.

And as I’ve puttered, I’ve had you on my heart. Watching out the window as the rain comes, the wind whipping blossoms off trees, this ache pushes deep. The Father washes His world fresh and clean and I want that for you. Every one of you.

I see the pain flit across your face when words like purity and virgin and love get said. I watch your hope dim. Your body slid deep into your coat as if it could cover what you’ve lost.

I ache because I hear your cries in the night.

Somewhere long ago you let yourself wish a lie. If only I give him all of me, he’ll give me all his heart forever…

And you did… but he didn’t.

And now you’ve spent it all on something you can’t take back and if wishing worked, you’d wish it all away. The pain, the loss, the choice you made. All those wishes in the night.

And oh how I hurt for your pain. How I wish it would all go away.

And as I wish, I pray. I talk…alone at my sink, this sacred place…to the Father who knew what you were doing and why. The One who whispered in your ear. The One who knows.

And we talk, He and I, about all that pain, while I pull apples from the fridge and ponder what to do with those shriveled skins— throw them away? Waste the fruit? Wishing I’d tasted that sweet flesh while they were fresh and ripe.

And He shows me then, just what He has in mind. For you. And for my near-done apples.

My son will be home soon, I realize, while I peel and scrape and cut away the black parts. Won’t he love the scent? He’ll bound his way into my workspace, wrap those arms around my back, and let me know he knows I did this all for him.

Just like the Father is doing all for you.

You’ve said your sorry’s, wept your tears, and He knows. And now He’s busy in His workroom too. Adding a pinch of salt to bring the flavors back, a bit of spice, a lot of sweet.  Chopping the bits all small and soft, mixing it up, bringing it in. Washing all those ugly parts away.

That’s His way.

He calls Himself a potter and you the clay. He molds and mixes. Wasting nothing.

Building beauty out of mud.

I chop some more, add a hint of lemon. Sour, yes, but something inside ignites the faded flavors to what they ought to be. I don’t know why, but it works. Always.

The bowl is full. I mix and scoop and turn it over and over again. Breaking clumps, spreading flavor, beating the mess. And I pray for you.

This mixing hurts.

Then I top it off. With good things swirled, I cover my mess of used up apples with what can only be called grace. The part everyone wants, heaped high. Crunchy, buttered, sugared things that will melt into deliciousness done right.

Into the hot oven I slide it. Shut the door. Set the timer. Forty-five minutes and then some. I’ll check it from time to time just to be sure its not too hot. Just warm enough to meld those lovely things…

into what they’re supposed to be.

Matt comes home just before its done. Says all those things boy-men say about scents and starving and best-moms-in-the-world. And I smile real big. My boy. I made it for my boy.

He doesn’t know about the shriveled skins and blackened holes. Those are gone now, washed away down deep. He tastes the beauty of my artistry, relishing each bite as my love to him. Mom’s love.

And so, dear girls, does He. My Father- yours!

He mixes and He adds and He knows just how. Then He jumbles it all ‘round and you don’t know why.

But He does. He really does.

Then the heat hurts bad. And you hear and you feel and you ache as you melt. And He watches close just then. The Master at work. Hoping, looking, checking again and again.

And someday, dear girls-of-my-heart, He’ll pull you out all warm and soft and sweet again.

He’ll make you what you never could have been before. A gift. A grace.

A love from Him to someone.

From my heart,

Diane

For I am confident of this very thing,

That He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all,

Because I have you in my heart… you are all partakers of grace with me.

For God is my witness how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:6-11

Posted
May 6, 2011
In
My Heart
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15 comments... (add a comment)

  1. Diane, this is one of the best things I have ever read–the best of the very best! Surely God has given you an incredible gift to share with others–and you do it very well! Thanks for reaching out to others with such amazing beauty!

    • Dear Jeannie, This one comes from a weeping of my heart as I watched these girls I love at the Way Event last week. Beautiful women who have lost so much to a lie. And yet… that whole grace thing rewrites the story, doesn’t it?
      Thank you for your lovely words of courage to me.

  2. Kelsey

    That was amazing Diane. You are such a blessing to us with your sweet words. This just made my day. I still have my rain check for our tea date :) Have a great mother’s day!

  3. someoneshy

    Dear Diane, how your words cradle my heart as if it were taken straight out of my tear-stained journal entries..the creeping regret, the lingering shame, and the hole in my heart. Thank you for the simplicity of your words bounded by the gentle reminder of God’s healing grace.

  4. Diane this is so beautiful. I am in tears at my desk. What an amazingly lovely picture of God’s redemption and healing and grace. This blog has been such a blessing and encouragement to me. Thank you for letting God speak so powerfully through you. You have impacted my life and you don’t even know me. I hope you have the best Mother’s Day.

  5. Kristen Friend

    Wow! Those words are straight from the spirit. My heart is blessed by each of those moments, and living that all myself I am testimony to what he can do. I’m thankful for Him, and for reminders like these of what His grace is.

    Diane, might I also add that you have had some great analogies over the past years with apples… just a thought. Those apples should never be thrown away, because they have been turned into words of wisdom that I cherish so deeply. Thank you!

  6. Praying over so many young girls who carry such deep scars of their past. This is a beautiful post Diane.

  7. Jodi Hughes

    God as touched your heart and soul, Diane, and filled you with words that cry out “hope” and so beautifully written. Thank you.

  8. Kristen’s comment is right on! In Prov. 25:11 (NIV), it says: “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Prov. 25:11, NIV) In The Quest Study Bible (NIV), it explains: “This suggests some kind of decorative piece or centerpiece on a table. Or, this may refer to a carving done in gold over silver. Either way, the emphasis is on an exquisite beauty, value and artistry which our speech should resemble.”

  9. Jodi Stilp

    beautiful post Diane. Beautiful analogy. Where would we be without grace? WOW.

  10. Oh, Di. You got me.

    I could barely read the words of this post through my tears. I am one of those girls who spent my whole growing-up faithfully waiting, so determined to stay pure until my wedding night, and fell in love with a young man who had faithfully waited… and then failed, spectacularly. And, 11 married years later, it still haunts me. I know that I’m forgiven, washed clean, made new. But sometimes, in moments when I’m counting the ways that God has made me more like him, or when I’m listening to someone else’s story, the enemy loves to remind me that I wasn’t a virgin on my wedding night. And while that may seem like nothing to most of the world, in my heart, it will always be an ugly bruise on my pretty past.

    So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for beautifully reminding us all that no matter how we may have failed, our Savior is the master of restoration.

    • And there it is, Alisa, the beauty of it all, “our Savior is the master or restoration”. And if you will let Him use this part of your story to magnify that Master, He’ll do more than restore you… He’ll use you to bring His restoration to all the world… how’s that for a happy ending?

  11. JR

    As I sit and cry and absorb God’s truth He spoke through you, I can only hope that I remember this in those moments where Satan tries to tell me I am not worthy or good enough for a Godly man. You see, I am 24… and divorced. The big “D” word. Try telling that to a young, Christian man. Yup, I have been mixed and folded over and over and I’m daily reminding myself that I am not defined by my past. That God will bring a man who looks at me with grace and forgiveness. It is so hard, so thank you for not forgetting about those of us who didn’t do it right the first time…

    I hope to one day build relationships with all of you, maybe I should stop sitting in the back row every week ;)

    • Dear JR,
      I can usually be found sitting all alone on the front row! No one seems to like my spot… come and join me some Sunday. If you only knew the stories of many of the beautiful and god honoring women in our church whose past mirrors yours regrets, The women God uses over and over again in our section of the Body at Solid Rock are broken and being put back together by the grace of God. Honestly, I don’t think there’s a squeaky clean story amongst us! So this is just the place for you to begin the process of restoration and redemption. I look forward to meeting you, JR,
      Much love, Diane

  12. Mom

    Diane:
    I get it, I get it!! You are gifted with words from God. Many women who have not stayed pure but have confessed to a forgiving, merciful master can go on with life in perfect purity. Keep these inspirations coming.
    Mom

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