As a Christian, I've been taught that Grace is "unmerited favor"; a gift I have done nothing to earn. Poppa is very much in the Grace business. Sometimes, I think I am His number one customer.
This is all my feelings, thoughts and conclusions about my life and spirituality. I am not pushing this on anyone. It is just me.
How He has Graced me throughout my life I could never begin to tell. But how He has Graced me the last few years? Oh, my!
My Second Daughter, Debra, says I cry a lot in church. It is very true. I have always Believed, always been a church-goer. But for all those years, I never knew the joy that is talked about constantly. For Fifty-plus years, I tried to hide my secret from my God who was not then my Poppa. I knew He knew, but I still tried to hide. And then came the day when I quit hiding, when I stood before my God in my spiritual and emotional nakedness and ... and ... and He Loved Me! How could I not cry?!?!? To know that He knows everything about me, my deepest secrets, my greatest shames, and He still Loves Me! It's a wonder I ever Stop crying! This is His Grace.
In His Love, His Compassion and His Wisdom, he introduced me to a young woman gravely wounded by her parents. I, without my children at the time [and still, but there is hope], was equally broken. And we became friends. In time, I came to see her like a daughter. And she began to call me Momma. In time we grew to be truly Momma and Daughter in every way but blood. We have been there for each other through the good times which have been multitude and very good, and the very few bad times. Poppa made us a family. This, too, is His Grace.
A year ago, I met another young woman, Annabelle, a transsexual woman, who was going to get her surgery. I knew that I had some resources that she and her mother might make use of in the process and I freely offered it. I came to know her mother, Sandie, and became frriends. I developed a very close connection to this young woman and discovered I do "Mom" really well Annabelle didn't need a mom; Sandie loves her dearly and has supported her in everything she has done. But her Mom lives in New England. So our relationship has grown to be something like Mom and Daughter. Then her Mom graced me no end. She told me I could be her daughter's West Coast Surrogate Mom. To be trusted with her flesh-and-blood Daughter is a Grace-thing so special! [I don't cry just in church...] Over the last year, Sandie and I have become Sisters-of-the-Heart. So my family has grown with another Daughter and a Sister. This is Poppa's Grace, again.
At a turning point in Debra's life, she met Johanna and they became BFF's. I like Johanna and I really like her as Debra's friend, but the relationship between Johanna and myself has always been ... complicated. I tend to throw my heart at people and Johanna rather resists that. She and I process things different but we have one thing in common to the depths of our souls, our love for Debra. By Poppa's Wisdom, or His Humor, We have come to love each other dearly. A Grace-thing I will Never be able to stop thanking Poppa for!
I met Lisa through Johanna more than any other way. A very vibrant, firecracker of a woman! And incredibly intelligent and wise beyond her years. We have become good friends, very good friends! I have asked her to mentor me in a number of projects. She has been there for me to cry on. She says my presence is calming and sometimes she needs a lot of that. She helps me wth my cooking and I am very happy to be her Taxi. She has stretched my mind with her addiction to Words for Friends [Do friends let friends play Words for Friends?]. And she is constantly knitting or spinning yarn! She gives me a lot of balance. She is a dear, Dear Sister to me. And a gift from Poppa I never would have imagined.
Poppa's Grace comes in unexpected circumstances. When I had my stroke recently, it was a very precious gift to see my ex-Wife at the hospital concerned about me. I don't see her much anymore and, frankly, I miss her. But it's time to move on with our lives. But it was something that choked me up to see her there at the hospital for me. My brother Tim and his family came and blessed me with their love. and a huge surprise, huge gift was to see my brother Bill there for me! My son, Jake, had called to see if he should come from Canada. I miss him, laughing with himand talking with him so even though I was well enough that he didn't need to come down, it was a blessing that he Loved me still. But as wonderful as all that was... That my First Daughter, my Becca, my Pride and my Joy! came to see me! We didn't get much chance to talk. But she hugged me and Loved me for the first time since I came out! We have much to Love our way through, but by Poppa's Grace there is hope! And I had just about found my Hope jar empty.
I shake my head in my unbelief at how much Poppa has Graced me! I cannot imagine being so very special and so very loved but so many people. Debra would tell you that I deserve it! Every bit! But it's hard for me to embrace that. Worthy or not, I can accept and thank Poppa for all His Love and all the Ways He has watched out for me. It is so far from the relationship I had with Him before. I hope I am able to be used by Him to give His Grace to others.