Saturday, March 22, 2014

Discovering Grace

For everyone it's different... How they get to the point. The point where there is not a single person on earth who could turn back the pages or make your aching heart feel better. It's in that hour of desperation that you have a choice to make... Press fully into God and His promises or desperately and unknowingly try to piece back together the broken parts of your heart yourself. 

I've been here before. I've experienced great loss. Friends and family. Friends who I cared deeply for regardless of the length of time I knew them or how much we were in each other's presence. Friends that could light up the room by walking in. Those who make you feel like they truly wanted to know everything about you. Family that you never expected to lose. Time cut way too short.  Nothing is as devastating as losing people you care deeply for to the hand of fate.

Well, except maybe losing people you care deeply for who made the decision to fade away. We can't ever understand Gods plan when he takes a young life, the process to try to understand causes ripples sometimes lasting for a lifetime. But when it's a personal choice and you're left on the end with the cut rope fraying in your hands the effects don't ripple softly. Instead they seem unrelenting as they crash intensely to the shore. One person can cut the tie with friends to degrees in the double digits. When there are people out there who you love with all your heart, who you would give anything to spend more time with but you can't, it feels like the storm of the century.

So here's the option... You can jump ship and try to swim to shore in a foreign land on the raging seas or you can anchor down to wait it out with all your hope while seeking The One who can calm all storms. Don't get me wrong, you don't only wait in the storm... There is still work to be done, you must prepare your boat to sustain the rough winds and high tide. But the storm is better in the shelter of my boat then it is clutching to a life raft in the middle of the ocean.

Friends, for 30 years of my life I tried to swim to shore. Surely it's safer there and I didn't have to worry about motion sickness on land. But here's the funny thing, I can't swim. Quite literally, I'm terrified of deep water and I'm terrified when I can't see what's below the surface. I don't belong out here by myself. Trying to navigate to dry land just drifted me further and further away. I would get caught up in the heavy current and find myself a long way off from where I started. Battered, worn, shaking and afraid. Some great plan, but what was I supposed to do with no one to guide me?

But here's the saving grace - my life-guard? He walks on water. He calms the storm. And when there's nothing else I can do but wait out the storm, He gives me hope as an anchor. 

And that's just it.. The moment of truth. The moment I felt most absolutely alone in my life with not a single person to turn to who would care or understand me, that's where I found God. [It was not at the corner of First and Amistad]. It was at the lowest point of my life. I couldn't see any glimmer of hope and I didn't want to face another day. I was desperate and pleading, surely this couldn't be all that my life becomes. I always thought maybe my story could be different then the way it was staged by my past but in this moment I didn't even believe that anymore. Lower than low. 

That's when it happened. I was crying out to God and just seeking comfort. In the middle of a full blown panic attack, I had a vision. I was leaning into Jesus and we were sitting on the beach. I was crying hysterically and he had his arm around me to comfort me. I asked Him to show me that things will get better, that there's a reason for this. What I saw next I will share if and when the moment arrives. Until then it's between Jesus and myself. Let me tell you something about that part though, what He showed me... in my moment of absolute devastation, in the middle of a panic attack, where I couldn't stop crying and I couldn't breathe, I was IMMEDIATELY overcome with joy. And this isn't a "Surprise! Here's a piece of chocolate cake for no reason!" joy ...[insert your pure joy moment here]... No, this was joy that surpassed all understanding. I truly cannot explain it other than to say that I have NEVER in my life been as happy and at peace as I was in that moment. It was just surreal. 

So thus my journey has begun. My journey to find the indescribable joy and peace I felt. To discover the grace of God that has been extended to me this whole time. I hope you will follow along as I share my take on my experiences. My new outlook on life. I hope that maybe it'll shed a new perspective for you. I don't claim to know what I'm talking about- all I can do is speak from my heart and trust that what I stumble upon has some truth. I plan on being as honest and open with the details as I can because I believe that if I do that it will encourage you, that whatever your storm looks like, that it's worth trusting God through it.

So my question is this: Will you wait out the storm with me?



  1. Hi Sheri! I just stumbled across your blog from shereadstruth and I LOVE it! Like, I feel like I want to be your friend cause we have a zillion things in common :) Haha is that creepy to say? I was just reading your first posts about the losses you have experienced in your life, losing people whose lives were cut far too short and experiencing intense loneliness--and it was like you were describing so many moments in my own life and my own journey. I'm so glad and blessed to hear of your strong pursuit of God in the midst of the storms of your life and that He is giving you a new outlook. It's an amazing thing that you're so willing to be vulnerable and share your beautiful start!! Can't wait to keep following along!

  2. Kelly! Wow. Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words! I woke up to this message and it really carried me through the whole day. I am honored that God would use me to reach you and others to speak of his grace. I waited until tonight to respond because I have just been so astonished that I was practically speechless!

    No, it's not creepy that we are going to be BFF's. After all, you were my very first comment! God definitely sent you to me, you don't know how much prayer I've been in about this all week. This comment? Exactly what I prayed for and so much more.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

  3. Okay, so I totally teared up reading this!! Like, wow! I'm really glad we've decided we're friends now :) Keep sharing, can't wait to follow along!