Day 11: Debbie Ericksen

2 Cor 12:9
"But He said to me, “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."
All of our sons and their families were home for Christmas. Their hugs, laughter and conversations filled every room and were food for my soul. I always treasure those moments in my heart and each time I reflect on them I am reminded of the tremendous grace of God. There is no place where God’s love and grace cannot go (Psalm 139).
I know what their journeys have been.
I know what my journey has been.
Throughout our years as parents, Bob and I have navigated some very difficult seasons with our children. Those seasons robbed us of sleep, filled us with angst and heartbreak, flooded us with tears, and always had us praying, “Lord, we can’t do this on our own. We can’t fix this. Please help us. Give us Your wisdom and guidance. Please.” Then we waited. We listened. We obeyed.
Galatians 3:3 says, “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” I think that’s often our problem. We believe in faith through the Spirit to get us started and then when the road gets bumpy and full of cracks and chasms, we resort to relying on the flesh to figure things out. It’s the human condition. And it’s seriously flawed. Enter Grace…
Webster’s defines “grace” as: “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God.” (emphasis my own) Once we accept Christ as our Savior, our debt is forgiven and we receive unmerited (i.e., not earned or deserved) assistance to become more and more like Him and to live our lives in a way that honors Him. Our lives become an act of worship.
So, in humble obedience, that’s what Bob and I have done. God’s grace did not and does not depend on us getting it right all the time.  Hence, unmerited because God knew from the beginning that was an impossible task for us. In His limitless and faithful love for us, He does it all. He requires only one thing…obedience. We have had to make some very difficult decisions with our kids and have had to stick by our decisions when the spiritual battles that ensued felt like full-on Armageddon. We were fighting with their flesh to win the battle for their souls. Those battles could only be won through prayer and reliance on God.
It's amazing what you learn when you’re on journeys that involve other people.  God uses our circumstances and situations to give us insight into our own hearts and shortcomings and to grow our faith. Growing pains hurt and I’m not a huge fan of pain. But it’s necessary and it has always been for my good and His glory.  
So, as I listened to the sounds of family being together for Christmas, I rejoiced in the fact that God is faithful and full of grace. He has helped our family navigate through some very difficult situations and provided love, forgiveness, and healing. Our sons and our daughters-in-law are at different places in their faith-walks, and our prayer continues to be that God would lead them to a place where they center Him in the middle of their lives.
"Father, thank you for your love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. We cannot do this journey without You. As we seek to care for our families, I pray You remind us that Your grace is enough. It’s all we need. And You generously provide it. Let our lives be a testimony to that fact as we journey into another year of walking in faith.”

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