Personal

Arrested by Grace

It’s only the second Wednesday of 2018, and I am already in need of a vacation. I’m sure so many can agree as the holidays and changing from one year to the next brings about its own set of chores – not to mention life never takes a day off. That said, I am tired.

My mom has the flu. To God be the Glory! I am grateful to have two living and loving parents, so I shall not complain. I have no reason to complain. Oh, but this morning, I was full of complaints.

Grace is the supernatural ability to withstand what’s intended to crush you. It can be summed up in many ways, but in my own words, based on my own experiences, grace has been a super hero in my life.

This morning, I had an opportunity to stay in bed and be idle as I went to bed and woke up not feeling well. My emotions were all over the place, but the sound of my mom’s heavy breathing and coughing quickly called my hands and feet to action. See, I had the chance resist the captivity of Grace. If I had chosen to lie down and rest, I would not have gotten to see how much God could do through me. I almost felt trapped in my relationship with not only my parents, but with God. For a moment, the character traits of Jesus felt like more of a punishment than a supernatural ability to withstand what’s coming to destroy me.

Maybe I’m a bit dramatic, but the post I typed earlier is filled with selfish complaints and wrong perspective which proves that I needed a heart check. A heart check is how I shift my mindset from carnal to Christ-like. It’s quite simple. Some times I simply read the word and it ministers to me. Today, I chose to listen to sermons while I cleaned. Before I knew it, the entire house was clean & mopped (Eryka hates mopping), all laundry is clean and put away, dinner was prepared and enjoyed and I even got to step out of the house for an hour to run errands.

Perspective changes everything. I could have chosen to see my weakness. Sure, my body needs to rest, etc. but half the power of rest is work. Without work, what purpose does rest solve? We rest to work & work to rest. Also, without the work, how can God test me to see how dedicated I am to him? His testing isn’t punishment and he doesn’t send storms to destroy me. I believe he allows me to exist in the path of storms because he knows I’ll seek him for the lesson and the blessing.

In frustration, I have asked God why he gave me old parents – and while I will never ever intentionally do anything to hurt or offend my parents, I know that if they heard that prayer, they would feel some type of way. I’m not upset at their age, but I have had to learn to love them as they age. Things change with age. Being Arrested by Grace over and over has taught me so much and improved my relationship with the very parents God blessed me with.

I used to run from situations that caused me to be in close distance to my dad, although I lived with him my entire life. He had his issues and imperfections and I felt like he was ruining my life. Well, I moved away for college, for marriage, then for a career, and each time I fell, it was Daddy encouraging me to come home. I felt punished when I had to leave my own space in Dallas to return home. It felt cruel and Victory was not my first thought. I needed to come home though. My eldest brother passed just one year after I returned. I can’t imagine living 6 hours away while he was battling cancer. Also, being back after going away to grow up has helped me appreciate what my mom and dad do on a daily basis.

At 71 years of age, my dad can still build/paint/renovate any space or piece of furniture and make jaws drop. My mom is everybody’s favorite cook, plus nobody cleans a bathroom like her! These are simple things, but these are the things that financed my first, second, 3rd & 4th computers. Being an amazing housekeeper is how my mom chose to Put food in my belly. The van my dad used for work may have been ugly in comparison to someone else’s Benz, but it earned the living that built our home. This home is our home. I will inherit this home. By God’s Grace I will not be homeless.

Their age comes with wisdom that modern day parents wish they had. My mom went to school during racial segregation and when she retired, she was celebrated by both white and black executives. She’s learned to serve people who look like the same folks who literally cursed and spat at her as a child. My dad lived through his younger brother’s death & witnessed his father’s death, yet he went on to raise two sons, a step son and a daughter. They raised a garden until their bodies could no longer handle it. They do everything together. They are best friends. She holds his hand and he makes sure she has everything she needs to do what she does from cooking to having a nice suit for church. I couldn’t always see it this way. For so long, I only saw the bad moments and I held resentment in my heart for no reason. Thank God for GRACE! (Thou shall honor thy mother and father. Resentment honors no one.)

I’m glad I did not resist arrest early today. I need to be constantly convicted of God’s presence in my life because from that place of reverence, I can offer up my most humble self. I need Grace. I need Grace more than I need a parent or a dollar. I am grateful that God’s Grace is sufficient for me!

This day has been well spent. I will sleep GOOD!

I am Eryka

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