God has been teaching me so much the last few months about his love and the grace he is constantly extending. His love and grace do not change based on circumstance. Taking notice of some life events, heartaches, frustrations, strange times (2020 anyone?) I was desiring a mindset of grace and love where I felt empty. I began praying over the places in my life where I was not living in love and grace. I experienced a sweet moment with God regarding my prayers to live grace and love filled, I wanted to share how God answered this request of my heart and is teaching me his ways.
My Goal: Live daily in grace, love & peace filled myself & toward others.
Step 1: Realize, become aware of what or who am I allowing to steal peace, love and graciousness.
Recognizing certain situations and certain people brought struggle, drawing me away from being who I want to be, led me to pray. I began listing what I was discovering to God in prayer. Discovering is empowering. Discovery makes a way for change and equipping to live according to God’s will. To do this, it is necessary to seek God for help, seek his counsel to reveal these problems. My human strength wains and I need God continually filling me with love and grace so I have it to give. I can’t give what I don’t have, and I knew these areas desperately needed God.
I was facing a particular situation where my struggles were deep and did not bring out the best in me. Being tired of living in defeat, frustration and anger, I asked God for victory, strength and help this time. I very much desire to live extending God’s grace and love. I knew I was facing some “triggers” that had caused me anger, fear and emotional pain, tending to leave me lacking grace & loving words and stealing my peace. God has spoken over and over in his word, do not be afraid, and “I am with you”. I was already bothered and I realized this time I did not have to be afraid or angry or frustrated. Huge lightbulb moment!
Step 2: Prepare ahead of time=spend time in prayer
So here’s what happened. I stepped into my challenge implementing what God had taught me, doing what I knew would keep me grounded in the goal to live lovingly & gracefully. I literally wrote on my hand, “your grace has found me just as I am” (which is a lyric from a Michael W. Smith song) to remind myself God has compassion for me, he knows my struggles. I did my best to be engaging and kind, but found the struggle was intense due to past hurts. I ended up having to retrieve an item from my car outside. Once outside I asked God, “Please help me live and respond in the love, grace and peace you came to give me,” as I was noticing my thoughts were leading me to think and respond opposite of grace, love and peace filled.
Those simple words, “help me live in love, grace and peace”, a cry of my heart, became a beautiful new empowering outlook on life. I then heard a whisper in my heart, Grace. Grace. At that moment I took a few steps and in those steps I spoke the words “grace walk”! I am on a Grace Walk! God’s whisper to my heart was, “come on a Grace Walk with me!” I felt so much peace. I was safe and secure knowing he was with me and knew exactly how I was feeling in that moment, he had grace for me, and he strengthened me to have grace for others. I knew he was speaking the answer to that “help me” prayer from the few days before.
Step 3: Keep practicing and praying, practicing and praying
I took many Grace Walks that day. Some were very close in time proximity. Some conversations and circumstances bothered me, bringing forward my triggers. Instead of feeling fearful (which is the emotion of lacking love) and so uncomfortable-no peace, even had tinges of anger and frustration. I took a little Grace Walk. Reading my hand “your grace has found me just as I am” and it brought to mind, God’s grace has found them/the situation, just as they are too.
These little Grace Walks totally transformed my experience that day. I noticed I lived in the security of God to take a walk with him at any moment. Any moment my thoughts or emotions weren’t what I desired them to be, off on a Grace Walk I went. I became very aware of the moments I needed a fresh breath and for God to fill me up again with His love so I could live & respond in grace and love. This has always been available to me, but at this point it was the first time I ever asked for God to help me in this particular way, and realized I had to keep doing it, it wasn’t a one and done. I stepped away on so many “Grace Walks” that day and was so much more grace and peace filled than ever before.
I am so thankful for God’s love pouring out to me, and he has it for you too. And this year…..just wow. There have been so many moments, headlines and situations that have done their best to steal the peace and security that God extends. These Grace Walks will be part of the rest of my life, and I wanted share this. I don’t always remember to take the Grace Walk, but once I do it feels so good to step aside with God and feel him helping me along.
How to take a Grace Walk:
A Grace Walk can be taken when I realize my response will not be as loving or as kind as I would like. I can step away with God and ask him to help me, take some deep breaths and reenter the conversation/situation with more love and kindness than I could have otherwise.
At the office, after a very tough call or email, a grace walk can be taken. It can be as simple as a walk to the printer then back to the desk, or a little longer walk to the hallway and back, and or a quick step outside for a breath of fresh air. The great thing about a Grace Walk is it can be long, or only 5 steps before returning, but there is huge power in stepping away with God for a moment. This works great at a business office or home office!
A Grace Walk can be taken after reading a headline or hearing news that brings intense emotion or unrest. One can turn off or set down the source and take a Grace Walk with God. There is so much importance and empowerment reaching out to God, because many things we come across we cannot control, but going to God takes the concern straight to the source of the one who can truly help, and is in control. All that even has to be said is simply “help”. Simply say, “God what do I do with this information, or God you are needed, send help.”
When the children are all demanding attention after an intense day of daily tasks a Grace Walk can be taken. The Grace Walk might be as small as a lap around a bedroom. But a Grace Walk none the less. A crucial pause with God to change our heart to breathe in God and return to our children with God’s help, love and grace can be redeeming in a tough day. We can also teach our children to take a Grace Walk! They have hard times too.
As exercise trends continue, how about a Grace Walk? An exercise of walking and pouring out to God all our thoughts and feelings about the day and struggles and victories and concerns and questions. Walking with him on the sidewalk and asking him for all we need…..like we are supposed to do anyway 🙂 Savoring the grace he extends to us and letting His love in.
We need grace so much now, and we need to be able to extend it to others too. Everyday something is challenging what our normal was; and we already had plenty of challenges. Stepping aside with God, take a moment with Him, let him pour some grace into us and then we step back in to face the challenge. If we realize when we step back in we still don’t have the grace we need, we can take one more immediate Grace Walk with God and try again. Grace upon grace!
Never more have I needed or perhaps, never more than now have I realized I needed to take God at his word and receive his grace than this year. Taking a moment to be refilled by grace can help one live with more peace and be able to be at their best.
I pray this helps you like it has helped me. I need so much grace in every moment and definitely know I need to be extending grace to everyone around me. I also know I cannot do this on my own, I am empty on my own. I must continually step aside with God and let him love on my heart and speak grace into me. Then I have grace to give others and myself in the situations that arise.
I pray you are blessed with numerous Grace Walks with God. There is nothing like the sweet time with God! I would love to hear your grace walk stories, or if this helps you. I think sharing this with each other can lead to so much grace filled encouragement that is so needed.
I am praying the beauty and experience of Grace Walks with our loving Father God, bless you in more ways than imaginable.