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Soft, Yielding Grace

February 20, 2012

All is grace, writes Ann Voskamp, because all can be transformed.

Even difficult, hard grace, is still grace. A gift that shows favor. And so we prepare for when the hard, earth shifting, grace comes, thinking this will be just for a season. But what when the difficult grace passes through, season to season, from first to ending breath? Will that difficult, lifelong grace transform to soft, yielding grace?

I can’t see that far. So as I learn to live day-to-day, I find small graces along the way.

A friend came eye to eye, heart to heart, with me last week. The weeks which graced me with a miscarriage and a move and a pneumonia-sick toddler were hard in and of themselves. But these present graces also served to resurrect and magnify many wounded, tender places, places that in this mortal life may never see full redemption. Hurt piled on top of disappointment upon frustration heaped on top of doubts. This weight of a thousand hard graces squeezed me until a friend pressured back against that heaping pile with words of love and hope.

As I struggle to understand the grace of Reed and his diagnosis, she says, I’ll tell you this – how I like to see things when it comes to you and Reed. I see how blessed and lucky you are to truly savor and relish in his small victories and developments. I think when you’ve got a child who has developed so fast, you miss out on the wonder of it all. But you and Ben, you are living the miracle of God’s human creation day-to-day and celebrating all the things a lot of other parents miss in the hustle and bustle from the busyness of life. You and Ben have been given the blessing of being there!

 As I wonder how this grace is transforming him, me, us, she says, Reed is making you an even better friend. The pre-Reed Allison would have been just like me in seeing that picture of Lauren’s baby sitting up – blind to the wonder of that achievement. I saw a sweet picture and moved on, but you saw so much more. Wearing the new lens of how you see things, how your world with Reed has shaped your vision, you were sensitive to the victory, the achievement of that baby sitting on her own. While the rest of us took that for granted, you were able to appreciate it, savor it and celebrate it with Lauren. I expect that you’ll be the one teaching me to slow down and to take note of God’s miracles as my own baby grows and learns and develops.

As I struggle to hope that other people love and see Reed for him and to see me as a normal mom with a beautiful child, she says, I hope you know I love Reed to pieces and see him as nothing more and nothing less than a very special piece of you.

These words, this friend, so many friends, gift me with the small graces that transform the difficult, life-enduring graces, to a grace that softens my heart.

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