Grace

Please help me welcome my very first guest blogger to “Livin’ What You’re Given.” April Zoe gave this beautiful devotion at a writers’ meeting I attended in the Colorado Springs area earlier this month. I was invited to speak and share some of my truths/experiences as a writer. But it was April Zoe who gave the word from God that spoke into my heart and the tender spots of what I was dealing with that night. As you read this piece, see if it doesn’t speak truth into your life, no matter what your circumstances today. Then relax in the freedom of breathing grace.

Here is April’s devotion from Sept. 12, 2019

I went downstairs crying. My husband, sitting at the breakfast table, said, “Oh, are allergies bothering you, too? I kept waking up last night. I couldn’t breathe.”

“No. A friend from mine’s husband died last night. She’s in my running group. They were a great couple and they have three little kids. It’s hitting me hard.” GRACE.

The next day, I was walking the dogs. I was just cruising along and BAM! I twisted my ankle. I wasn’t even running. I’m training for a 50 mile run. I’m not sure how this is going to affect my training or if I’ll be able to run the race. GRACE.

The following day, I was hosting a gathering in the evening. One by one, they cancelled. Some cancelling that morning. One just didn’t show up. Only my two best friends came. GRACE.

The day after that was September 11th. Being a former military family, this hit me fairly hard. Our family was forever changed after that. As were many. It was a solemn day.  GRACE.

I had just purchased a new car and they didn’t pay off my trade-in. It had been four weeks and they were denying that they owed any money. I spent five hours on the phone until the second person at my bank confirmed that I was owed money for the trade-in. It took another hour to get the dealer to run the numbers again and admit they owed money. GRACE.

The next day, I woke up and checked the confirmation email to make sure that my writer’s group meeting room was fine. It wasn’t. There had a been a glitch and they only reserved the room for one hour, instead of three. And it had been scheduled by someone else for the time after that hour, making the room unusable for our group. The library helped me find another room last minute. It was smaller, but our writers were understanding. GRACE.

Psalm 4:1 says, “God, you are my righteousness, my champion defender. Answer me when I cry for help! Whenever I was in distress, you enlarged me. I’m being squeezed again—I need your kindness right away! Grant me your grace, hear my prayer, and set me free!” (TPT)

As a writer, there are many times that we need grace. When we didn’t get the contract that we were hoping for. When someone just published the book that we were working on. When your schedule isn’t allowing the time that you need to write. When someone said that they would help you and they haven’t; and after a few more times of reaching out, you stop. Or maybe you’re the one who needs to follow up with a friend. Maybe you have some unmet obligations that you’ve been putting off. GRACE.

Grace is forgiveness. Grace is acceptance. Grace is kindness in the face of unkindness. Grace allows you to walk when you think that you can’t. And this is God’s promise to us—that He will give us all we need to get through our trials and to overcome obstacles. He promises His presence that will never leave us. If the God of the universe is with us, nothing else that seems to be against us can take away Grace.

Grace is giving and receiving—to others and to ourselves. Who do you need to extend Grace to today? A friend? A spouse? A neighbor? Yourself?

Danny Gokey, of American Idol fame, tweeted, “You’re never going to white knuckle your way to a better version of you. The best version of you will only come forth in an environment of unconditional love. Love God, love people, and love yourself. God loves you right where you’re at, and not just the future version of you.”

Exactly. GRACE.

April Zoe lives with her family in the mountains of Colorado. She started writing when she was young and now blogs for military spouses at www.asparrowslife.com. She is currently working on a novel for middle readers about a military kiddo entitled Leaving Home. She leads a group of writers in Colorado Springs and is editor for the online magazine, Arise.

If you comment on this post, I will enter you into a drawing for a free copy of my latest book, “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Short Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments.” Winner will be selected at random.

Connect with me, Laura Padgett, on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

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