By Leah Martorana
Grace. It’s a word casually tossed around in Christian circles. But have you ever stopped to think about what it really means. How have you experienced God’s grace in your life? What did it feel like? Do you consider it a gift? Sometimes we are so busy trying to be enough that we completely miss the point that God’s grace is enough.
This year I faced physical illness that left me quite literally knocked down. I had bouts of dizziness, extreme fatigue, rapid unexplained weight loss, allergic reactions to food, and a whole slew of additional symptoms. For months I could barely get out of bed. I struggled to complete basic tasks like cooking, grocery shopping, and laundry. I was in so much pain I didn’t want to do anything fun like playing with my kids, meeting a friend for lunch, or going out on a date with my husband. And I without a doubt had no ability to be the go-getter, goal-driven, overachiever that I typically am. I had to let all of it go. ALL of it.
Besides the physical toll on my body, I was spent mentally and emotionally. I went from doctor’s appointment to doctor’s appointment without any answers. I even had several doctors tell me there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. I wondered if I was losing it.
I’m happy to report nearly a year later I do finally have some answers and I am on the road to healing. But here is the part I want you to get. When I hit that deep dark place I had nothing left to give. My body was literally wasting away. I couldn’t be the Disneyworld mom. I couldn’t be the social butterfly. I couldn’t be the superstar entrepreneur. I couldn’t be the ideal wife. All I could do was sit back and receive God’s grace. I had to believe that it was enough. And you know what? It was.
Webster’s dictionary defines grace as: “Unmerited love, help, and favor of God to human beings”. When you’re in a dark and helpless place, when you can’t do anything in your own power, when you feel weak, the grace of God shines through in such an amazing way and it covers every single place you don’t feel enough.
God’s grace was enough for my kids. He taught me to show them love in simpler ways. Maybe we couldn’t go to a theme park but we could curl up on the couch and begin a series of chapter books. Or we could make PB&J and have a picnic right outside our house. And if it was a particularly bad day? Then maybe they just needed to crawl in bed with me and watch too much TV while I ran my fingers through their hair.
God’s grace was enough for my business. He sustained it, provided through it, and made me a better leader. Delegating has never been a strength of mine. Giving up control? Not a fan of that. Well, this year I had to do both. I was certain these changes would be detrimental. But you know what? They weren’t. God said, “Just relax. I’ve got this too.”
God’s grace was enough for my marriage. He strengthened it like you wouldn’t believe. There is a reason why “in sickness and in health” is part of wedding vows. Having gone through this year I can honestly say, I’ve never felt more loved by my husband. Being cared for when you are at your worst is more special than any candlelit dinner could ever be.
What if instead of trying to “fix” every weakness we began to embrace them? What if we let ourselves begin to rest in His strength and truly let go? What if we realized the gift of experiencing God’s power in the midst of our pain? What if we stopped trying so hard to be enough because He is enough?
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10