What I Don't Deserve

1:00 AM

When I show up late, and you say no big deal, that’s grace.
When I forget your birthday even though I remember all my other friends' birthdays and you aren’t mad, that’s grace.
When I go a month without talking to you, and you are still eager to talk to me, that’s grace.
I hurt your feelings, and you forgive me. You never mention it again or hold it over me, that’s grace.

I’ve taken grace for granted for so long. My family is forgiving, and I’ve had a lot of amazing friends that exude the love and grace of Jesus. It took someone giving me what I naturally deserve to realize that I had taken grace for granted. I assumed that all my Christian friends would always be there to give me grace. Sure, I knew there would be bumps in the road. Just like in my family where hurt feelings have to be healed, I knew there would be times like that in my friendships.

Until it didn’t happen.

I hurt a friend – deeply. I may not have meant to. I might not have realized it until she told me much later. It doesn’t really matter. I hurt her. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t make it right. I asked forgiveness, I tried to change, I cried so many tears, and I searched for answers. Then I got exactly what I deserved: I was told what I had done wrong and was shut out of the friend’s life.

There is nothing like getting what you deserve to see how many times and how many people around you give you the things you don’t deserve.

Like the Larkin family that has walked with my family through some of the hardest times, heard me say some really stupid and unkind things, yet still hangs around.

Like Michelle who asked every day how I was doing, even when I didn’t text back.

Like Jessica who chatted with me on the worst days when my sister’s relationship was falling apart. I didn’t have much emotional energy to give to Jessica, but she listened to me rant, encouraged me to look to God.

Like Kelsey who supported me with prayer and never made me feel guilty because I didn’t have the time or the energy to get with her like we had talked about doing.

Like Grace who let me invite myself over to her house for a few days, allowed me to be sad and listened to me go on and on about what I had been through.

Like Rachelle who reconnected with me over text after almost two years of very little communication. She didn’t get upset that I hadn’t communicated like I should.

Like Faith and Jansina. I failed to reply to their email for months, and they waved aside my apology with a “No big deal.”

I could go on, but I have to stop somewhere.

I didn’t deserve any of this. I deserved anger, frustration, and irritation. I deserved to be ignored, shut out, and told to get lost. I deserved to be told what I was doing wrong, told what I needed to do to fix me, and be told to stop talking the way I was. Yet I was offered something so precious and amazing. Something I had taken for granted for so long, but hope I never do again: grace. I was loved by these people to the point that they were able to offer me grace for my failings, forgiveness for the hurts that I caused, and encouragement when I was weary. I didn’t deserve it – not once. I didn’t earn it – not this year. It was a gift that they gave me, sometimes I’m sure it was out of Christ’s strength not their own.

They gave me a new appreciation for what Jesus did for me.

Jesus saw me at my worst – He still does. Yet, He came to wash me clean. He keeps offering grace, accepting my repentance and gives me the strength and the opportunity to do better. He gives me grace each day, each hour, and loves me. He has given me life, joy, and peace when I deserve death, misery, and heartbreak. He gives grace, and I’m blessed to have friends that are willing to pass on that grace when I deserve it the least.

Will I do the same? I pray so.

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  1. This is really good! Sometimes awful things happening really do help us appreciate just how good things are. This post made me think :)

  2. We're all sorry messes of human beings.