Amazing Grace

Okay, I know this title is not the most creative or original. However, it is entirely fitting. I cannot begin to explain the ways I have received amazing grace in the past few days.

After writing about my secrets on a previous post, I have been overwhelmed with messages from friends near and far. I published the post before I picked up the boys from school. When I got home, a neighbor knocked on the door. She had read the blog and instead of sending an e-mail or making a comment online, she decided to walk over and chat in person. She is struggling and sad, but it was truly a sweet moment of connecting over painful circumstances in life, just knowing that there are similarities to our stories and acknowledging that we are not alone.

As I stood on my front porch talking to my neighbor, I was reminded of a line from the movie, Amazing Grace. My husband’s birthday was last Friday, and he wanted to watch the movie, his favorite. There’s so much about the film that moves him. While I’ve seen it before, I wanted to catch the things I may have missed before so I grabbed a pencil and paper to write down some of the quotes or thoughts that came to mind as I watched it. The one that popped into my head when I spoke with my neighbor was this: “When people stop being afraid, they rediscover their compassion.”

That is exactly what was happening to me. I had just poured out my fears, my secrets, and in doing so, the fears lost their power and I was able to focus on someone else instead of myself. Instead of being prisoner to my own pain, I could now empathize with my sweet neighbor. I was alive and aware of her presence and all that she was saying, instead of existing in a fog.

Today as I sat in the hospital with my husband, I noticed how he watched the clock carefully for the first two hours. If any sort of infusion issue or fatality were to occur, it would most likely happen in the first two hours. As his friends and I sat around him, we watched and asked if he felt anything strange. Nothing. No nausea. No chills. No labored breathing. Nothing. He felt totally normal. We joked how anti-climatic it was. Yet, I imagine I speak for all of us when I say it was a relief knowing he was fine.

I wish I could have seen what the angels looked like today as they went about their mission to watch over my husband. I wish I could have heard what God heard as His people prayed on my husband’s behalf. Words cannot express the gratitude in my heart for the number of people who have encouraged us, loved us and prayed for us. How incredibly humbling to receive the gift of grace. Philip Yancey, the author of What’s So Amazing About Grace said, “Unearned gifts and unexpected pleasures bring the most joy.”

These past few days have brought me incredible joy as I read my Facebook comments, e-mails and texts from others who have spent time thinking of me and my family and who have prayed, either on their own or with their small groups. The e-mail I sent a small group of friends a few days ago has made its way across the country and has multiplied the number of people who prayed for us.

So, thank you. All of you who have reached out and loved us from near and far. I am filled today.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

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