Recently, my wife & I were sitting with someone and in the midst of our conversation, this person mentioned two very significant words that my heart latched onto: grace platform. In fact, this person seemed to underscore the incredible importance of building our lives upon a grace platform as we’re walking through a season of grief and loss.
In last month’s post, I shared that on September 11th, we tragically and unexpectantly lost my mom to suicide. It was an event that has impacted my life forever and one that I had no blueprint for. How does someone walk through losing a parent…let alone losing them to suicide?
Tracey & I recently began walking with a counselor for help in understanding how to grieve well. We’ve been blessed to have many people come around us and it was in a recent session that I heard these words “grace platform” spoken to us.
What does this even mean? What does it mean to live my life upon a grace platform? A few summarizing thoughts:
- It means being kind to your soul in the midst of struggle, pain, or loss.
- It means rejecting any kind of language that contains the word “should” or “shouldn’t” (i.e. “I shouldn’t be feeling the way I’m feeling or thinking the way I’m thinking”).
- It means allowing yourself to not only feel what hurts, but lean into those feelings to gain perspective.
- It means accepting the reality of what IS, not what you think it should be (see, there’s that word again!)
I can’t emphasize enough the power of living upon a grace platform. I’ve found myself over the years learning this for myself and encouraging the men I’ve worked with to do the same. In addiction recovery, the reality is that you ARE going to be triggered, tempted, and walk through moments of struggle. While it’s not healthy to give ourself a pass and do whatever we want, we have to also be kind to our hearts. There is tension when there is transformation because oftentimes it isn’t instantaneous – it’s progressive. This is where grace needs to be applied.
In our current cultural climate, grace is something that is neither easily given or received. If you don’t believe me, just hop over to Twitter for 5 minutes and you’ll see what I mean. That’s a whole other post entirely. We’re not talking specifically this month about giving grace to others. But more so learning to give yourself grace, especially when you walk through something painful.
As we’ve walked through our process of grieving, one of the key passages that has brought us both comfort and tension is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9:
“But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” (The Passion Translation)
Before this specific verse, Paul was writing about some kind of hinderance or struggle he was carrying in life. There’s no specific indication of what it was, but it surely seemed like it was something he wanted to live without. He begs God to remove it from him! And then comes God’s response in verse 9.
“My grace is ALWAYS more than enough for you…
…And my power finds it’s FULL expression through your WEAKNESS.”
From what we lack and feel most fragile in comes grace and power that overcomes it all.
The beautiful reality is this: God’s grace and power works more effectively in our weakness, not in our strength. Within in our brokenness, not in the appearance of having it all together. Within our surrender, not how tough we can portray ourselves.
So if the Lord is ready to give you grace, what’s stopping you from doing the same? Giving yourself the permission to receive His grace. I’ve found this to be incredibly helpful as my wife & I have been walking through grief.
You may be reading this and you’re not actually walking through some kind of loss right now. It’s ok, because all of this applies to your recovery as well. Those who go far in recovery realize the journey it actually is. The marathon. It can be filled with moments of growth, victory, & healing. But within that journey there’s also plenty of struggle. Slips. Relapses. Setbacks.
It requires MUCH grace from the Lord, from our spouses, and especially from ourselves.
Small Groups Online offers the kind of grace platform I’ve talked about in this post. Each week, you’ll be able to join others online in a safe, secure environment where you can be free to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. With NO judgement. Becoming apart of community is so vital for your journey.
This week, when expectations flood your mind of what should or what shouldn’t be in your life, give yourself the grace you deserve. Be kind to your heart. By all means, don’t take shortcuts to relieve your pain. But be authentic with yourself and others of what you’re thinking and feeling.
Frank is passionate about helping individuals live with sexual integrity. He also works alongside his wife Tracey in helping spouses who have been devastated by their partner’s addiction. Frank & Tracey live in beautiful southern Delaware with their two children: Nathan and Addison.