My aunt sent me a video the other day about Brennan Manning's newest book: All is Grace
You'll have to watch the video of it to understand the emotion behind the book... Anyhow, as I watched the video I was reminded of how Brennan Manning was one of the first people who opened my life to the idea of grace as a lifestyle. The next morning, I was singing "The Hokey Pokey" in the kitchen, with my kids of course, and it reminded me of how my journey with grace has been:
"I put my right hand in, I pull my right hand out, I put my right hand in and I shake it all about."
You see I have been dancing with the story of grace for the last 13 years. The names that have been influential in my story of grace have been Brennan Manning, Philip Yancy, Shane Holden, Wayne Jacobsen, John Eldredge, my father-in-law Keith, Erwin Mcmanus etc. You see, as I have danced through this journey, I've put myself in and I've pulled myself out. When I have put one body part in, I've danced and enjoyed it, but I soon pulled out. The Father, however, didn't stop pursuing me with this angle of love.
What kept pulling me out? One, it was too good to be true. Two, I've been reading my Bible since I was 8 years old and there were too many "scary" verses. Also, I often heard from pulpits that if I got too comfortable in grace, I would start down the slippery hill to hell. But as I've continued to immerse myself in the Word along with these conversations with others, my inhibitions kept unraveling. I think the piece that kept holding me back is that I still thought I had an important role to play to keep this thing together.
However, a couple weeks ago I listened to the sermon Understanding the New Covenant by Neil Rhodes and that put the last piece into place for me. See through this sermon he showed how the New Covenant that we live under was established between The Father and The Son (Isaiah 42:6). We are just beneficiaries of the New Covenant! It's taken a couple of weeks to settle into my spirit, but wow, it has been so freeing. For someone who has spent the majority of her life as a performance-based lover to find out WHY I didn't need to perform (in fact never needed to perform) was so freeing. So when I was singing "The Hokey Pokey" and I put my whole self in I realized that I don't need to take myself out anymore.
I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for dancing with me all along the way and knowing that there would be a day when I got it! I look forward to the next song, because I am now all-in on grace.