Because I Have Not Learned to Heed My Words

“Because sometimes the hardest person to grant grace to is yourself,” I wrote on Sunday.

Then I got to work on Monday, and the day did not go my way. Actually, the whole week kind of didn’t go my way.

“Overwhelmed” is the word I’ve been using most often to describe how I feel about my new job, and this week was no different. My overwhelmed-o-meter might even have gotten bumped up a notch. The amount of work I have to is probably about average, but because I’m still learning how to do a lot of it, everything takes me longer than it will in a few months or years. Emails clog my inbox, phone calls come in making requests of me that I’m not entirely sure how to handle, meetings and discussions are had about how to do things better better better…and I’m tempted to crawl under my desk and have a good cry.

Grace was the last thing I gave myself this week.

Internal pity parties? Oh yes. Wondering what right I have to sit in my office? Mmhmm. Discussions of leaving the country? Yup. (Mostly in jest…)

None of these are very grace-filled.

Considering my last post on the value I do have and my lessons in granting myself grace, I border on hypocritical.

“Hypocrite” might be a bit harsh. “In-process” may be more true, and fair.


Just because I write something doesn’t mean I instantly internalize it.

Just because I write something doesn’t mean I am done learning it.

Just because I write something doesn’t mean I am perfect.


This is what makes writing like I do, posting it here for the Internet to see, hard. I told the truth last Sunday when I wrote, “I am being reminded of all that I don’t know, and to be okay in it.”

And I’m writing the truth today when I say that sometimes I do a terrible, awful, hot-mess job of being okay with what I do not know.

These are the truths that are born when writing through something instead of writing after it. I have other stories I could tell with finished, wrapped-up, bow-tied endings where event A happened and I learned a lesson I applied to event B.

Real life is much messier than that though. It is made of tentative steps forward, backwards glances, sidesteps, trips, falls, leaps and bound, with the eventual hope of being further along than where I started.

If nothing else, my lack of grace for myself is making me more aware of the beauty in the gift of grace God grants me. It is a grace I can never earn, yet it envelops me and all my failings completely. I do a terrible, awful, hot-mess job of life sometimes, but God’s grace is so much bigger than that. It is grace that tells me I will never be good enough for it, and that is exactly the point. It is grace that is not mine to give, but to receive.


Til next time…


p.s. What life lessons are you learning?


2 thoughts on “Because I Have Not Learned to Heed My Words

  1. I received an unexpected email from Sallie Mae yesterday that my student loan payment was due THAT day — Say what?!!! I am still in school, I have two sessions remaining until I graduate, and I have an in-school deferment in place, so to say receiving that email was a bit of a shock is an understatement. I am placed in a delinquent status before I am even made aware that my loans have been placed in repayment status?!

    This morning I read a lot of horror stories on the collection tactics used if a student defaults on their loans and I was feeling pretty hopeless and doomed. Actually, my thinking became somewhat paralyzed – what exactly DOES one do if they can’t make the payment on the statement by the due date and Sallie Mae won’t allow one to select a repayment plan that will keep their head above water? (heavy hopeless sigh) And then for whatever reason I decided to Google “is there hope in Jesus with student loan debt” and your 10/18/2012 blog was the 3rd hit listed which landed me here. I read a few more of your blogs and in your 3/19/2013 blog re: writing to an empty room, you posed the question: Does writing ever feel pointless to you?

    So I am here to tell you that your writing is definitely not pointless — and please don’t stop! Your writing is a blessing. Even if you “only” reach one person on any given day, it may be that the words you write one day are actually God-inspired and specifically meant for a particular person and you were the vehicle He chose to use to reach out to that person who just happened to Google “is there hope in Jesus with student loan debt” and landed on your blog . . . and reminded me that this life and its haplessness and (student loan) worries is but temporary, but the grace of God is forever and His mercies are new every morning . . . and that I need to extend grace to myself for believing the lie that a higher education degree would be a good investment . . . and stop beating myself up about it.

    Your blog writing has been an absolute blessing to me today, Brianna. 🙂

    1. Janet, you are so kind! Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m so glad God used Google to bring you here and that these words were what you needed to hear today.

      Student loans can be so overwhelming and scary–I’ll be paying mine back for years still–but I want to encourage you that getting an education can be such a good investment. Thank you for reading and commenting, and I truly hope everything works out for you!

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