I realized something today.

I'm not even remotely the same person I was two years ago.

Oh, there are some similarities. I still love movies and music, coffee and chocolate. I still play guitar and love the fall colors. I still laugh at the same stupid jokes and like the same kind of jewelry. But the bitterness, hurt and pain once inside me is gone. And I realized it while listening to this song:

So, yeah. Tears.

I was so afraid this transformation, which I kinda felt as it was happening, would not be permenant. That once I left the bubble of seminary I would go back to the way I was. In a way I assumed that would happen. And maybe it's too early to tell, but I find myself, even when under the most incredible stress and amidst a huge frustration that the bitterness doesn't come.

I'm sorry, but that's HUGE.

So I started thinking about when it happened. When had God done this to me? Was it when I left a job that frustrated me, was it the in the act of following God's call, was it all the crap I worked through in counseling, was it how He gave me real church family that loved me and accepted me so much? Was it all of them combined?

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

The line that always gets me in verse one is "When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory"

That is my life. I just noticed that my afflictions were conquered by the One I was made to glorify. He smacked my afflictions in the face and said "No more." He restored me in the most beautiful way. It was in my mentor's office week after week as I poured my heart out to her. It was in my education classes, where I sat up front and asked question after question. It was in the writing of papers on my geneology of grace, my family's genogram, an exegetical paper on a passage in Joshua and my thesis. It was in late-night conversations with dear friends and roommates. God's glory eclipsed my afflictions. His glory was bigger than them all... and I am in repair.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way He loves us,
whoa how He loves us, whoa how He loves us

Heaven met me. It was sloppy and beautiful, messy and wonderful. But it happened and I am ever so grateful. I am new, different, transformed. His grace is sufficient and I am overwhelmed.


Kansas Bob said…
Love that song (sang a few weeks ago at church) and love this post even more. Congrats on living these past few years so well. I can relate - Getting healthy has been a journey for me.. getting rid of my bitterness was hard but I feel so much healthier today.

Way to go Stephanie!
Sue said…
It is encouraging to find that God has brought others through the river without the water washing over them, through the fire without being consumed. It gives me hope.
stephanie said…
Thank you both. I am gratful for what he has done in me.

What God has done GMH too.

Sue - one of my favorite quote is from Victor Frankl, who said "What is to give light must endure burning."

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