The weight of grace

the weight of grace propels us forward with conviction A week ago, there was a scary incident in my neighborhood. You might even say it was right in my backyard.

I have felt the anxiety palpably. I can think of two other times when I felt the weight (physically) on my chest like that: when my family was evacuated from our house during a wildfire (that my dad was fighting), and when I approached the intersection where my bad car accident was.

Time did indeed heal those feelings. I can drive through that intersection now and feel nothing (except extra caution). When fires rage anew, it brings back that feeling a little but it passes as the fires die out.

The more I learn how I'm wired, and how I FEEL ALL THE FEELS (hello, fellow ENFPs) helps me understand how I process things, and this tendency I have toward this PTSD-type anxiety. It has never been debilitating, thankfully, but more of a dull nagging. (This personality stuff, by the way has really helped my ESTJ thinker husband understand how I'm processing all this.)

This most recent experience was different I think for one main reason: I'm a mother now.

The anxiety I have felt was not due to a fear of our safety as we move forward (it was an isolated incident that is over).

It is an anxiety of the could-have-beens. It is a deep sensation that tingles down to my fingertips, as I think of so many aspects of this situation that could have played out differently. I think of this on behalf of my own family--my dear children-- and of so many beloved neighbors.

But the more I have processed (and listened to wise friends who direct me to the Truth and help me get out of the downward spiral of FEELS), the more another word has emerged from all of the anxiety.

GRACE.

On the other side of the could-have-been coin is the brazen truth of God's sovereignty.

It weighs on me heavy when I think that He still has a plan for us to walk this green earth. I see His grace in every aspect of this situation. I see it in angles, and timing, and plans for the day.

I see His grace in the innocence that my kids still walk in, as they have been completely covered from the knowledge of any of this. While it breaks my heart to see the broken world around them, that they will gradually come to know and experience, I take a little comfort in the grace that their bubble of naïveté hasn't quite been broken yet.

It feels weird to think of something so wonderful as grace as a weight, but sometimes that's how it feels. Not in a bad way though. Weight is a word that has a negative connotation, but that's not what I mean.

Sometimes weight ensnares us and restricts us. But other times, doesn't it propel us forward faster? When I think of a small child and large adult sliding down parallel waterslides --gliding in the bliss and freedom of water-- who reaches the bottom first?

Pardon my rough physics explanation (I did a little research here but I'm definitely not the engineer of the family): The heavier person slides faster because they have less drag/friction. Doesn't that sound paradoxical?

So to extend the metaphor, maybe the more we are weighted down with grace, the less we will experience the drag and friction of the world.

I'm no theological physicist but it just makes sense in my heart. When we feel the weight of grace, we are propelled forward to love God and love others with more conviction.

if His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking

I think these lines say how I feel better than I ever could:

He loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

And we are His portion and He is our prize Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes

If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking And Heaven meets Earth like an unforeseen kiss And my heart turns violently inside of my chest

{How He Loves, David Crowder Band}

It's Good Friday today. In light of everything, I'm taking more and more comfort in knowing that IT'S ALL GRACE. I don't deserve anything but because of His love, I am sinking in His ocean of grace. My heart turns violently inside my chest because sometimes grace just feels overwhelming.

It is finished! He has done it! Let your weary heart rejoice Our redemption is accomplished Raise a shout with ragged voice

And go bravely into battle Knowing he has won the war It is finished, lift your head And weep no more

{It is Finished, Dustin Kensrue}