Be Free Fridays: free to mess up (Meg)

I have this problem.
Sometimes I open my mouth and say things that I regret even before the words come out.
It’s like inside, in slow motion, I’m going… “nooooo” just as I’m saying something to someone that I love. Sometimes, words can just plain hurt… knives going into open wounds.
And the worst part – those words usually come out to the people I love the most.
Am I alone in this?
The very people I want to hurt the least are the very ones that my words puncture the most.
This week I did this. And this weekend, I’m learning what it looks like to be free in the gospel in a very practical way.
I’m learning how to be free to mess up. I’m learning to be free to fall down.
If you’ve ever watched a small child learn to walk, you know that with every few steps they fall. They occasionally look around to see if anyone saw, and usually their loving parents, or anyone around really, will encourage them that it’s okay and help them get back up.
God is my father.
And how often do I fall? In his loving kindness, he looks at me and says, “It’s okay, Meg, you only fell down! Let me help you learn to walk.”
The gospel shines through these times in my life. God isn’t a father who demands his young child to learn to perfectly run before she has even learned how to walk yet. He has a standard of holiness, yes, but in his grace he sees us fall, anticipates it even, and then he empowers us to not just fall and stay there, to not just mess up and sit in our mess, but to get back up and continue to walk with him. Because he loves us.
My tendency is to try and pick myself up, to try and act like I didn’t just fall. My tendency is to try and not need his grace and forgiveness. Sometimes it’s hard to accept. Even from the people we hurt, much less from God himself.
But the reality is that God’s grace is sufficient – his power is made perfect – in our weakness {2 Corinthians 12:9}. The reality is that he isn’t expecting us to run when we’re just learning to walk. In his tender care and grace, as our perfect father, he gives us freedom to be who we are and to come to him. And he loves us.
So, this weekend: join me in resting in God’s grace and in the freedom that we have to mess up. Not to take advantage of, not to shrug off our sin, but to come to him as we are – learning to walk – and to experience his love… to ask him for help, to acknowledge our sin to him in its entirety, and to see him reach out his hand to us.
What are areas of your life that you tend to try and fix on your own? In what ways do you find yourself hoping God didn’t see you fall so that you can try and come to him with your act together? In what ways can you experience his grace by going to him, and seeing the freedom he offers through the gospel – freedom to mess up and to still be loved?
I’d love to hear how God is showing you this tender grace in your lives. Add a comment below to share of his goodness through the freedom you are experiencing! Praying for you girls this morning that you know the true freedom that comes from God alone. Happy Friday!

Be Free Fridays (Meg)

“Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest.”
– Jesus (Matthew 11:28)
Doesn’t rest sound like just about the most wonderful thing you can imagine sometimes? How often do we walk around flashing our “busy badge” and yet on the inside we are crying out for rest? For breathing in and out. For calmness and gentleness and all good things. A day by the water. A view from the mountains.
Oh, how I long to rest! Physically and spiritually! Don’t you?
A natural “performer” {in the “getting an A on my assignment” kind of way, not quite the “take the spotlight and come alive on stage” kind of way}, I often find it hard to rest spiritually. I often disregard the free gift God’s given me – the way He has called me His child in spite of myself – and I tell Him I want to show him I can do it. He should be proud of me, after all. Look what I’ve accomplished.
But this is not what it means to rest in grace! This is not the abundant life Jesus talks about! This is certainly not the freedom He has given me. My cycle of life goes more like: Work, work, work. Try to please God. Get tired. Work again. That sounds less like rest and more like bondage, doesn’t it?
The truth is, I cannot separate rest from freedom.
I find myself working “for” Him without resting in Him. I find myself going back to the yokes of my former slavery, the bonds of performance and longing for approval that so gripped my heart and kept me from knowing abundance and LIFE, all the while ignoring my identity in Him.
I am so in need of experiencing what it means to rest in grace, to be free to abide in God rather than in the things I’m trying to show off for Him. I’m in desperate need of reminders and this rhythm of rest.
So on Fridays, every once and a while, let’s take time to process through this freedom. Let’s process through this rest that is so preciously and purposefully ours in the gospel. Let’s set aside time to intentionally be free to rest in grace. Let’s start our weekends off well.
In essence, let’s ask: Am I awake enough to hear from Him right now, to be sensitive to the Spirit, to recognize the truth and reality of my humanity and God’s grace? And am I so abiding in Him that I may be free to live out what he has given me today, this week, this year in a regular rhythm of work and rest, seeking and surrender?
Lean in with me. Ask Jesus to grant you that rest, to help you understand that grace and freedom. Maybe your story looks totally different than mine. But the truth is, His grace and freedom and rest covers us all. His love has set us free.
Today, I pray that you may rest in Him. I pray that you may evaluate exactly where He is leading you to wake up and to surrender. What does it look like to be free in whatever and wherever he has placed you?
Because of His great love for you, I pray you would experience true freedom from “work” that bonds you – performance, the drive for acceptance, whatever – those things that keep you from God. This Friday, I pray you would be free. Free to love. Free to follow. Free to rest.
Good reads and listens for your weekend:
  * Psalm62 {a favorite psalm I’ve clung to in times of dire unrest}
  * “FindRest” by Annie Lawrence
  * “Nothing Holding me Back” by Bryan & Katie Torwalt
  * “Revive Me” by Christy Nockels
  * “Present over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist