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Monday, July 23, 2007

There's Only Grace

Psalm 51
1Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.


This passage of Scripture is a little longer than what I normally share in my posts, but it's been a very good while since I've posted, and this may turn out to be a long post anyway.
Well, as I promised, I am back to blogging. It took me a little longer than I intended to come back, but certain things had to be done before I could share my heart here.
For over a year and a half I have shared my heart on this blog. I've shared many of the ups and downs of my life with you guys. I've shared things God has taught me, both the easy way and the hard way. Well, in the last few months, He has been teaching me the hardest lesson I've ever had to learn.
See, I've done some confessing on here before. I have very often admitted that I'm far from perfect. But a few months back, I did something that I was so ashamed of that I only admitted and confessed it to God. However, though we confess our sins, at times we still must face the consequences of them.
In my case, the consequence is that I'm pregnant. Eleven weeks and 1 day to be exact. I must admit that sharing that here is harder than I thought it would be, though several of you VERY ENCOURAGING Christian ladies have informed me that NO MATTER WHAT, God can still use me. (Those ladies will never know how much their words of encouragement have meant to me, as I have faced this time of uncertainty.)
Anyway, the reason for my break is that I knew this is something that I couldn't hide because I want this blog to be nothing, if not honest. And I am honestly far from perfect. And there were others that needed to be told about the situation before I shared it with the entire blogging word. Anyway, I know God has forgiven me, and I know that this baby is a miracle. I have prayed as David did in Psalm 51, and I believe completely that God has renewed a right spirit within me and given me a clean heart.
And God has already used this situation to make me realize several things.
I've learned that resting in God's grace is an amazing feeling. Over the last few months, I've faced some very hard times. First when I had to tell my parents that I was pregnant. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. But I knew that God was with me. And I could feel His arms of grace wrapped around me.
Then He was with me as I told my grandparents (my grandpa is my preacher.) Again, this was extremely difficult, but with God's help, I was able to bear it.
Last Sunday night I stood before my entire church and offered a public apology and asked for love and support. This was something I felt I needed to do because I held positions in the church. Let me just say that I felt SO loved. There was not one person in the church who did not cry with me. There was not one person who didn't wrap me in their arms and offer their prayers and support. There was no sign of unforgiveness. And God showed me His grace through people that have been like my family my entire life.
So I have found that in the face of my failures there is only grace when I lean on Christ. I'll leave you today with the words to this Matthew West song:

There's only grace,
There's only love.
There's only mercy and believing it's enough, it's enough,
My sins ARE GONE without a trace,
There's nothing left now,
There's only grace.

15 Comments:

At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Teri said...

Oh THANK GOD for his unconditional GRACE. Without it where would any of us be? I know I need it desperately every day. Heather I love you, love your humble spirit, and love you heart for the Lord. I am reminded of the song. Just As I Am, without one plea, but that your Blood was shed for ME and that thou bid me come to thee, Oh Lamb OF GOD, I come, I come. I have to come to that precious Lamb often and always find HIS GRACE and forgiveness is there!!

keep blogging for the Lord. You bless me every day and I know he has used you in so many ways to encourage and uplift my spirits

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Diane said...

I have been praying for you Heather...and am so glad to hear you have been held in the palm of His hand....throughout this time.

Let me begin by saying......I have always been impressed, even amazed by your profound wisdom and love for the LORD....in spite of your youth! What a joy it is to stop by your blog and hear you testify and teach of God's amazing love and grace. The fact that you are now walking in that grace with such respect and humility....only intensifies the deep respect I have for you.

You continue to bless, when others would curse. You continue to point to Jesus when others would simply point blame. You are HIS miracle in progress....and I pray you will not forget that! You are teaching so many around you...and certainly unknown internet-others....what it is like to walk in human nature....but led by God's supernatural power. Never be ashamed of that.

I look forward to sharing the joy of this journey with you...and if I can help in any tangible way--please let me know. Blessings!!!!

Diane

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger Margie said...

I will be praying for you. How blessed are you that you feel God's grace. I am a single mom, one who just didn't learn about God's grace until... well, it took a long time.

God can still use you, and how wonderful that you will have a beautiful baby, to put before Him for His glory. You will be able to help so many. It's hard to admit we make bad choices, but I am sure with that heart of yours, you will touch the lives of your son or daughter who need to be loved. I am not sure if any of my ramblings just made sense, but i will pray for you, and love you through it all.

 
At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Dawn said...

I'm so glad you are back. You are a true blessing girl to all you touch. You give so much of your heart. You are a giver and I'm so glad that you are receiving the love and support from your family and friends. You already know how special you are. I'm excited to read your blog and be a part of this next chapter in your life. Much love to you Heather!!!

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Vikki said...

random 3rd time visitor to your site, just wanted to say thanks for sharing all so boldly. The devil loves secrecy, so he must really HATE the new blogosphere of honesty!

2 Cor 7:10-11 has resounded in my heart this past week....
"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done."

I pray that this new development *grin* in your life produces earnestness, eagerness & longing for the things of God and indignation and alarm at all things not of God.

 
At 8:47 AM, Blogger GiBee said...

Oh, honey ... well done. I'm so proud of you, and proud to call you friend. I know this, as well as all the other steps you've taken, are hard, and feel insurmountable, but you have done so only by clinging to the cloak of Jesus.

Love you!

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger staceyhoff said...

Who hasn't been here with you, Heather? If not the excat same circumstance, similar. I was where you are too when I started going to church in 2002 and I was living with my long-time boyfriend, now my husband, but not then, and we also had a child togeather, a little boy born in Feb. 2002: Only a few months after I moved in with my now-husband, I got pregnant. We were not married, and although the church was gracious for a long time, eventually they had to call this to our attention and encourage us to stop living together in sin. Luckily, for us, we were ready to be married and this just gave my husband the little extra spark he needed under his tail end to get things moving with that (ha ha), and he was able to move into his parents house for a couple of months ( saving us from a mortgage AND rent payment those months.) We were able to stay in the house, and he moved back in following our marriage ceremony. This is not your exact situation, but I know our hearts are the same in this so I thought I would share. I know in my heart that your heart will be to give birth to this baby, whether for adoption or to raise as a single mom or married mom. Let us know if you need ANYTHING, Heather. We love you and would love to serve you in any way we can from Pennsylvania ( CERTAINLY with prayer cover, but please, if there's anything else. E-mail me, Hoffs4@verizon.net.) God bless you and remember: We all love you! And no one is judging you ( as if anyone could.) LOve u! xoxox's

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger staceyhoff said...

Who hasn't been here with you, Heather? If not the excat same circumstance, similar. I was where you are too when I started going to church in 2002 and I was living with my long-time boyfriend, now my husband, but not then, and we also had a child togeather, a little boy born in Feb. 2002: Only a few months after I moved in with my now-husband, I got pregnant. We were not married, and although the church was gracious for a long time, eventually they had to call this to our attention and encourage us to stop living together in sin. Luckily, for us, we were ready to be married and this just gave my husband the little extra spark he needed under his tail end to get things moving with that (ha ha), and he was able to move into his parents house for a couple of months ( saving us from a mortgage AND rent payment those months.) We were able to stay in the house, and he moved back in following our marriage ceremony. This is not your exact situation, but I know our hearts are the same in this so I thought I would share. I know in my heart that your heart will be to give birth to this baby, whether for adoption or to raise as a single mom or married mom. Let us know if you need ANYTHING, Heather. We love you and would love to serve you in any way we can from Pennsylvania ( CERTAINLY with prayer cover, but please, if there's anything else. E-mail me, Hoffs4@verizon.net.) God bless you and remember: We all love you! And no one is judging you ( as if anyone could.) LOve u! xoxox's

 
At 5:29 AM, Blogger Shalee said...

Oh Heather... well done, my good friend. I'm so proud of your well-worded confession and your clinging to the grace of God. You've shown true character and trust in God (and us). It's going to be rough at times and at other times you will find unexplicable joy in the sweet blessing inside of you, but no matter the situations, continue to cling to God and his unwavering love.

Love you, Heather and your good heart.

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger Janet Rubin said...

Heather, you are forgiven. I've been there. Let His mercy and grace just wash over you. God isn't surprised. He knows are weakness and He sent Jesus to pay for the sins He knew we'd commit. He treasures you. I love you too, sweet sister. Want to know a secret? We are all far from perfect. We are all a mess, just beggars are the throne of grace. And Satan will always be there to attack and tempt those who are serving and blessing people. He will try to make you feel less worthy now, shamed, useless... DON'T LET HIM. You keep dwelling on truth. God bless you and keep you. I'm proud of you for your honesty and for coming straight back to God!!!

 
At 6:32 AM, Blogger Kelly Klepfer said...

Heather,

I haven't been to your blog in awhile so I'm a little late to comment, but I will anyway.

Do you know my story? I have a big old scandal in my backyard. One where people who wore crisp white shirts and ties and clung to Baptist beliefs had to be told about our sin and the 3-D consequences. My husband had an affair and fathered a child.

Oh, I played the victim for awhile. But then as I discovered my part in our affair, I realized that I held as much responsibility for the ugliness of our marriage as he did. I was full of pride, and contempt -- hideous, harmful sins. His sin, his physical act was aired for all the world to see, but mine was quiet and eroded our relationship and poisoned our children. I dare say my sin did more damage than his.

No one can cast the first stone. No one except the One who won't.

I grieve with you over your sorrow and shame. But I rejoice with you over the discovery of Christ's forgiveness and grace. I rejoice over your baby as it grows inside of you. God is knitting her/him together as you read this. I am proud of the courage you've shown. And I know that God will use your story and that it will not return to Him void.

 
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