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1. Call Me Graced

A Letter of Gratitude

I am so full of joy. I am so full of pain. I am so grateful. I am so full of You. I am so empty of me. These are the hardest kinds of days.

I believed before that there was nothing in this life harder than failure. Then I met success. To successfully know you somehow feels even heavier than living without you. My proximity to you will not let my heart detach itself from purpose. Not even for a moment. Thank you lies behind my pain. It does not roll from my lips today but it is there. It is there in the memories my heart holds of the pain it has caused itself before it knew purpose at all.

Thank you for making me beautiful. Thank you for making me great. Thank you for making me gracious and alive. Thank you for restoring a smile. Thank you for restoring a life. Thank you for strength. I don’t seem to have much but I haven’t quit yet, so I know you are there. You are so much in me.

It almost hurts to experience the amount of joy that you push out of me. I revel in the idea that joy is not based on the external happenings but comes completely from knowing You. I never considered that that meant joy would live in me and pour out of me in the moments when I was overwhelmed with pain.

I never considered the idea of not having a moment to process emotion because joy and purpose would preoccupy all of me instead. They selfishly keep my heart set upon you. I have clearly doubted Your power. I have clearly doubted Your plan. I have clearly failed to realize that nothing that You do is that light or fanciful. You are helplessly heavy handed with your own power as if You know not your own strength. You are overwhelmingly glorious. My heart submits and my flesh retreats. My life is flooded with your promises.

Your promise steals every moment I planned to hand over to good advice. Your faithfulness claims every second in which I wish to fail. You will not relent. You won’t let go. I am overcome by your presence. My soul is helplessly subdued by your love. It fights with me for me. It refuses all alternatives. It wants all of me. It cannot rest. It will not stop. It is extreme. There is no chill in its ways or hesitation in its attempts. It is not polite nor is it mindful of my day. It rewrites my thoughts into scripture without permission and wrecks my life without invitation and replaces my comfort with greatness. Without warning, without notice, without preapproval, You love me. You love the hell out of me. You love me until I am smothered with your presence. I surrender.

I never thought it would be this way. It has changed so much of me.

I thought I would settle and be happy. Today my heart cannot rest in the midst of anything less than greatness.

I thought I would wrap myself in the warmth of success at night. Favor seems to cover me just fine.

I thought I would have to pretend to enjoy You forever. I can’t get enough of us.

I thought I would die back there. I am alive.

I thought the tears would never end. My heart is a light in the darkness.

I thought I would never be heard. My song breaks chains.

You break chains.

You are my song.

I am so flawed. I am so human. I am so many mistakes.

You call me loved. You call me blameless. You call me graced.

Dani. M.

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