Grasping at Grace

Grace. A hard concept to perceive most of the time. An especially hard gift to receive. An even harder gift to give.

Sometimes I feel like I should introduce myself as “Hello. I’m Amy. I’m a recovering perfectionist.”

My perfectionism is the biggest obstacle in grasping the concept of God’s grace. And if I’m honest with myself it’s also the biggest obstacle in showing that grace to others.

I place such high expectations on myself to do everything perfectly. In some ways this a good thing. But honestly in most ways it’s a debilitating way to live.

I set myself up for failure. Let’s call it like it is and admit the ugly truth.  We ALL mess up every day and usually multiple times a day. Whether it’s through my actions, my attitude or my thoughts that no one else hears, I fail. Every. Day.

For so many years I based my self worth on how well I did everything. How perfect I did everything.

Growing up in a somewhat legalistic church denomination, I remember occasionally hearing about grace. Oh sure you heard “you’re saved by grace” and Amazing Grace was sang often, but I’m not sure I ever heard much taught about grace. Or maybe I just couldn’t grasp the concept.

I. Never. Felt. Good. Enough.

I couldn’t be perfect enough. Inside my head I would berate myself and had a difficult time letting my mistakes go. Mistakes that really would be considered small things. A harsh word to a friend. A bad attitude with the parents. I was never considered a wild child. Far from it. Most thought I was a goody two shoes just adding more pressure.

Slowly I’ve started letting that perfectionism go. It’s taken many years into my adulthood to grasp the concept of grace. To realize that I can’t earn God’s love. Nothing I can do will make me worthy.

Part of that learning curve is learning to accept the grace. There are still moments where I have to catch myself and steer myself away from the negative self talk.

Grace….not an easy thing to grasp.

And sometimes an even more difficult gift to give.

(to be continued…..)

Do you struggle with accepting God’s grace?

edited: you can read the continuation here.

Julie - August 12, 2010 - 7:30 pm

Just like the song says – “Beautiful the mess we are…” In God’s eyes we are all beautiful! Wonderufl concept to remember…

amykiane - August 11, 2010 - 5:43 am

So very true. I think a lot of times there isnt a lot of transparency and vulnerability among the traditional church so we feel pressure to have to have it all together. Truth is if everyone were honest with themselves no one has it all together. Were all a mess. — Amy

Jclaybrookmusic - August 11, 2010 - 2:44 am

i really enjoyed this one. i think accepting grace is something we all struggle with. i fought for a long time with the attitude that i wasn’t good enough and that i had to please everyone! truth of the matter is i’m already accepted by the One the matters.

edenpure - August 8, 2010 - 3:22 pm

I too struggle with God’s Grace. Accepting and giving grace are such a difficult thing for me. Thanks for your honestly in such a public forum.

[…] To read the first of part Grasping at Grace click here. […]

[…] week has been a very contemplative one for me. Several things really striking me as I’ve been overwhelmed by God’s grace and tried to refocus. Thought I would share these with you […]