rhythms of grace

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

     Ephesians 3:14-19

Some say there are four seasons in a year. But our spiritual calendar springs and falls on its own clock.

Work, music, art, Church, home, heart. A season for everything; for He makes everything beautiful in its time.

On Thursday evening, after work, on my way to Victory World Church, I rounded the corner of the long winding Buford Highway exit, remembering a time when my view was reversed, and this exit was an on-ramp on my way home from my third job in Georgia. That was a challenging job. An underpaid position, an under-heated office, an ungrateful boss. A long commute. And yet, I did it for 7 months.

I sigh and I laugh. God, thank you for seeing me through that season. The grace you gave me in that place, in that season. What grace.

As I lean back in my driver’s seat, one hand on the wheel, the other hand popping Trader Joe’s Gingermints in my mouth, I think back on the plethora of positions I’ve held over the course of my life.

I smile as I remember the six months of selling succulents and centerpieces at a high-end family-owned florist in Greenwich, CT. God gave me grace in that season, too. The grace to stand on my feet for 8 hours, five (sometimes six) days a week; the grace to carry heavy boxes up and down two flights of stairs multiple times a shift. The grace to reveal through the physical labor a pre-existing tear in my tailbone, and the grace to stand the pain through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and, the busiest of all, Mother’s Day. (Side note, the Lord healed me from that ailment during a Sunday evening service at International House of Prayer shortly after moving to Atlanta. He still heals, y’all.)

Throughout every season, God has taught me this: If He confirms your position, He will give you all you need to walk in a manner worthy of what He’s called you to do. He will give you specific, personalized, supernatural grace for that particular assignment. The purpose of this grace is two-fold: that you may grow in the knowledge and power of His love, and that He may be glorified.

This grace will come in many forms. It may present itself through other people’s personalities and meaningful conversations.

I remember a day at the florist when grace came through a conversation with young female customer and her mother. Earlier that month, my friend and womentor Katie Nelson had given me a necklace with a copper coin attached to a chain; the word “Rooted” hammered across the coin’s radius. That was my season, a season of allowing the Lord to root my identity in His love. I never took it off.

One Saturday afternoon, as I stood behind the counter manually typing each item’s price into the PC’s Point of Sales system, the young woman complimented my custom jewelry.

“I like your necklace,” she said shyly.

“Thank you!” I responded cheerfully, now hand-wrapping their hand-picked flower arrangement. “My friend Katie gave it to me. It’s in reference to a Bible verse in Ephesians about being rooted in the love of Christ.”

She smiled. “I love Jesus, too.”

And there was grace.

There, in that moment, was the grace to encourage her to continue courageously living her high school years, not for the approval of her friends, but for the delight and love of Christ. There was the grace for the conversation to occur in front of my unbelieving coworker, to allow her to see the power of God and the the miracle of the Church. There was the grace to witness His glory displayed in a high-end flower shop.

Back to Atlanta.

As I make the last left turn on my route to church, I pray out-loud in the car to my Father in Heaven, confident that He’s heard me and that He will answer.

“God, what are you giving me grace for in this season?”

I pull into the church parking lot, grab my purse, and open the door. I walk into Victory World Church, chat with Robert, make myself a hot mocha, and take my seat inside the the main room.

At that moment, God spoke.

Healing. I’m giving you grace for complete freedom and healing.

And so, I beseech you: what is God giving you grace for in this season?

Ask Him; and He will speak.

 

Author: Gina Maria

28-years-old. Greek & Italian. Amy Winehouse's long lost Jesus-loving sister.

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