Brave Second Chances

I wobbled to my feet, dazed, and wiped the blood from my nose. That’s one heck of a right cross. I’d just been knocked out by a forgotten resolution with a vendetta. Before I even realized I was in the ring, I was on my back.

In case you’re worried, this situation played out in my mind, not in real life. I had checked my blog post schedule only to find “year of brave” penciled in for today. That’s when it hit me: I’ve completely forgotten about my word for the year. I haven’t thought about it in over a month. Big deal, you say? To a recovering perfectionist with any kind of platform, the internal beating began.

Gee, what a fabulous example of intentionality you’re providing. Great job.

After the excuses and blame shifting and self-justification were all met by more biting sarcasm, Jesus stepped in to have His say.

“What a fabulous example of intentionality I have provided in her place. I have satisfied every demand on her behalf and gained the changeless approval of My Father over her. She can let down her guard and face up to her weaknesses because that’s where I show off. She doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s been accomplished for her, and it. is. finished.

Silence.

The accusations were gone; shame had fled. All that was left was the same grace that pulled the woman caught in adultery up from the dust so many years before. The same compassion, the same power, the same reckless love.

And grace becomes worship.

It’s interesting that praise can fit so perfectly into the space that remains when the enemy flees. Every stone dropped from guilty hands, once meant to be the method of execution, now piled high as a monument to the Bringer of life. Let me keep coming back to this altar. Circle me back around to remember who You were and are and always will be.

The gospel transforms my best intentions to show off for the Lord into opportunities to deepen my walk with the Lord. Maybe this year of brave was never supposed to be a showcase of my courage but a display of His goodness. Because He is with me, I can be more confident than I could ever dream of being on my own, and every time I stumble, I know I’ll be caught. Not by a gleefully observant critic, but by the One who is for me in it and with me through it. (If I ever wrap my mind around the grace-saturated absurdity of this truth, I’ll let you know.)

This is getting back up. This is being dusted off, kissed on the forehead, and offered His hand as we move forward together. This is a brave second chance. Tomorrow I’ll probably need another, but that’s okay. He’s already there, waiting for me.

He’s waiting for you, too. Where might you need a do-over? A chance to lean on His strength in your weakness? A song of His great love for you?

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