I have a bad driving record. Anyone who knows me at all knows this about me. You would think it's to the point where my friends would say that they don't want me to drive them anywhere ever. You'd think they'd stop trusting me. Needless to say, I was pretty tough on myself about getting in this last car accident. I was pretty sure I would never trust myself to drive a car ever again. So imagine my surprise when I got a call from my friend Jesse about a week after my accident, and he was offering his car to me for the next two weeks while he was at chapter camp. I thought to myself, "Do you even know what my driving record is like? Do you realize that I have a history of doing this?" I was so flabbergasted that he would trust me, all things considered, because I certainly didn't merit his trust in this particular area. Part of me thought, "Man, Jesse, what are you thinking?!" Well, actually that was probably all of me at first. It wasn't until later when I realized that Jesse was extending me grace. In spite of my driving record, Jesse didn't look at me like I was a screw up who didn't deserve trust with his car.
Due to my driving record, I've now been kicked off my parents' car insurance. After crying myself to exhaustion in the storage closet at Tabor, rubbing snot on my dress, and asking God, "Why did I have to get in another car accident?! This wouldn't have happened if it weren't for that accident!," I politely asked Him if He could turn back time a bit so we could just undo the whole ordeal. For some reason, He chose not to comply. But believe me, I know that I am a blessed woman. The problem is that it can be so easy to forget sometimes when I'm sitting on the floor in a storage closet thinking, "why me?" That's why I need to be reminded about grace sometimes...or more like constantly. I need friends and family to offer me grace and make God's love complete (1 John 4:12) because it's too easy to forget about my blessings when my circumstances start to drown me.
God's recent reminders of grace in my life have been humdingers (although, of course, grace is by definition always a humdinger!). I was so struck by God's grace one evening as I was waiting for TJ to come pick me up. It occurred to me that I didn't deserve TJ to be so nice to me. In fact, due to my experiences, I half expected him to feign disappointment and say "Oh well, I have stuff to do tonight anyway" when I called to say that my alleyway was blocked so I couldn't drive to his house. So when he said he would come pick me up, I didn't even know if I could accept the offer. But TJ was offering me a reminder of grace.
I know this doesn't sound like much of a humdinger, but the key background information that you need to know is that I had been running away from God not too long before then. I mentioned this a bit in other entries, so I won't go into details, but I had no desire to engage with God for about a month or so. And there He was in all His glory, blessing me anyway. I asked Him why He was being so good to me when just a bit ago, I hadn't even wanted to talk to Him. I told Him I didn't deserve to have someone like TJ in my life, being a white knight, bringing me flowers, offering to come pick me up. I didn't understand why God was blessing me when I was clearly undeserving.
But that's grace for you. I couldn't possibly earn it no matter how hard I'd try... and I think that grace really hit me that day as I waited for TJ to pick me up because I knew how I had blatantly chosen not to engage with God. So to experience blessings after going through a period like that was experiencing grace to the fullest because I couldn't possibly think I deserved any blessing.And after going through a period like that, I think I needed God to offer a big romantic gesture to remind me of His grace. That day, while waiting for TJ to pick me up, God was Derek to my Meredith--on top of a mountain, standing among paper bags with candles in them forming the outline of a house, exclaiming that He thinks we can be extraordinary together. There was no way to ignore a big romantic gesture like that. (God knows I go weak in the knees for big romantic gestures!)
Not all reminders of grace are big romantic gestures, though. Sometimes they're more subtle. But they're all humdingers because, well, how can it NOT be a humdinger when God shows you that He thinks you're worth it, that you're not just some screw up, that He wants something extraordinary with you?! And in a world where we are constantly faced with lies telling us that we are just worthless screw ups, it becomes absolutely imperative that we extend grace to those around us as a reminder that God blesses us and loves us, even though we really don't deserve it. We need to give reminders of God's grace so that others can keep having their Grey's Anatomy-like, extraordinary moments when, otherwise, they might have just cried in a storage closet about something or other.