Grace & Gumption

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Title-1024x384.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cropped-LJ-Icon.jpg

As is always the case, we learn as we go.  As a writer, I am amazed by the number of books out there intended to help us find answers to the tough questions we all face.  But I keep coming back to the thought that there is no cookie cutter answer for everyone.  We are all different, from the tips of our toes, to the hair on our heads.  God created each of us with our very own DNA, and our own fingerprints.  Even down to the unique flecks of color in our eyes.  Wouldn’t it make sense that our trials, joys, and stories all be different as well? Obviously, the solutions or the outcomes will be just as varied. 

We can absolutely find comfort from others who have experienced similar circumstances that we are going through.  We are meant to find comfort from others.  God created us to need other people, and if you tell yourself and others that you are better off alone, you’re lying to yourself.  I’m the first one to seek solitude, often.  I need my space and I need time to pray and meditate on things going on in my life.  Sometimes I want to be alone just to take in the beauty of creation all around me. 

If fate doesn’t intervene, I imagine I have at least another thirty years of living to do.  Yes, Jesus could return today, and I would be absolutely fine with that.  I have many loved ones that aren’t yet ready for his return, so for that I hope he tarries a little while longer.  Don’t you agree, though, that thirty years is a long time to spend by yourself? 

God knows my heart.  For me, I pray for a second chance at romantic love to fill this time.  I feel like I’ve missed the best of that life, so I want a do-over.   Perhaps you’re someone who just wants a good group of friends to spend your time with.  Maybe just one good friend will do. 

My Great Aunt Marie, gone for some time now, was my idol.  She had been married and had a little girl, but both her husband and daughter died in a house fire when her daughter was only about ten years old.  She never remarried, but oh, did she live.  She had a companion who stayed with her who was wheelchair bound.  You can say they helped each other, keeping each other company.  But Aunt Marie didn’t let her circumstance stop her from living her best life.  She had gumption.

She was smart and managed her finances well.  She retired as a teacher from the Air Force, doing well for herself.  She would let her money build up for a bit, then she’d take a trip, wherever she chose to go.  She traveled the world all by herself.  I wish she were here now so I could ask her about the juicier details from her many adventures.  She was so funny and had a zest for life like no one else I’ve ever known.  She didn’t care one bit about what other people thought of her, smoked like a chimney, and drank her ‘hurricane comfort’ regularly.  She lived to be nearly ninety years old.  Sometimes I think I wouldn’t mind living the rest of my years like she did, but I’m not sure my circumstances have lined up in a way to make this possible.

No matter what my future holds, I’m trying to give it to God, and let him do what he does best.  I tend to make a mess of things on my own.  My biggest problem is letting him keep charge of my life, without my trying to take it back.  What I desire the most at this moment is grace.  I have a dear friend who to me is the epitome of grace.  When confronted, she responds with grace.  I don’t see her get rattled or angry.  She may tell me later she was mad and wanted to throttle someone, but you never see it in her countenance.

How do I show grace when my grandsons are fighting and screaming at each other?  How do I show grace when provoked by those who know how to push my buttons?  I admit, I’m better at showing grace to complete strangers than I am to my own family!  Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound… I have been shown unmeasurable grace by God.  How can I gracefully wait as he unfolds my future before me, in his timing and not my own?

And so, I wait, striving to find grace like my dear friend.  But I also believe in having gumption, like my Great Aunt Marie.  I will wait, but that doesn’t mean I will stay idle and watch life pass me by.  There is so much to be seen.  There is always something new to learn.  There’s work to be done.  There are people who need a helping hand, and there are lonely folks out there who could use a friend.  The same God who said, “Wait on the Lord (Psalm 27:14)” also said, “The harvest is great, but the laborers are few (Luke 10:2)”.  There is much to do, and it won’t always be easy, but God also tells us to “Eat, drink and be merry (Ecclesiastes 8:15)”.  Grace and gumption.  I like it.

Blessings,

Lisa Jo

Lisa Hudson
Lisa Hudson