Seems appropriate to write this on a humid, foggy August morning – it is a repeat of that morning eight years ago. After the nightmare that lasted nearly four years I was finally able to lay my head down at night knowing my adult daughter and her son were not only safe, but secure in the love and redemption of Jesus Christ.

My daughter refers to those years as being on tour, on the road, her rock star years. I refer to them as living hell on earth. But it was over. Every prayer I prayed had been answered; every tear I cried had been wiped away; every moment of pulling the sheets over my head and crying No More, Lord, No More, had been removed. My daughter was healed, clean, and addiction free – all of the messes of those years washed pure by the Blood of the Lamb. Free – free, at last.

However, those years took their toll, as hard times do. That August morning was the culmination of so many emotions I couldn’t unravel and I sat in that sacred space in the corner of our living room and cried out to the only One who knew my pain.

Why is it when we are in the throes of emotional tumult we lash out at those closest to us? For me, it was my husband, stepfather to all my children. He had ridden the roller-coaster of the previous four years with me. He was the one who would get me up on Sunday mornings and say, “Yes, you can go to church and you will go to church – now come out from those covers and get dressed!” All done in love and tender care. But that summer things got a little wiggy – daughter and rambunctious four-year old, toddler boy were staying with us and, although the miracle of Calvary had taken place three months earlier, the stresses of life and living were at an all time high. Financial. Little boy tantrums. Financial. You get the picture? Hubs and I weren’t good. We weren’t good at all.

That August dawn I sat in the small corner of our very large sectional, in the still and darkness of the morning.

Lord, I’m done.

Done with what?

I don’t love him anymore.

I know, but you love Me.

Yes, Lord, more than life and I’m so grateful. But I can’t live with him any longer. I’m done.

But you love Me.

Yes, Lord. I do.

Do you trust Me? I want you to stay and I will give you the grace to do that – I promise you.

O! Lord, I don’t know I can but I will try.

THAT day was the beginning of a journey of grace for me. It sounds crazy but my husband had NO idea I was so miserable, nor knew I pleaded with the Lord to let me leave – to this day he doesn’t, but it isn’t even needful because you see, God kept His promise. He didn’t just give the grace, He flooded me with it. Our marriage was in grace overflow!

It still is. Eight years later, almost to the day. I breathe grace. I walk grace. I talk grace. I sleep grace. I love with grace.

My journey of grace – God promised me grace if I would trust Him.

God is a Promise Keeper.

I love Him so.

susanshipeSusan Shipe is an encourager with a heart for women. The Lord delivered a message of hope deep within her soul in 2002. Jesus, the Hope-giver met her in her hour of need and her heart overflowed with hope – the theme of Susan’s life since that time has been HOPE! She began blogging in 2008 and became serious in the fall of 2010 when she hired a site designer. Hope|Heart|Home  are Susan’s three passions and one can find food for the soul, and the body, along with a lot of musing at her blog. 

Susan is the mother of three adult children, grandmother (a/k/a Mimzy) to 18-year old Hannah and 12 -year old Simon, and the wife of one man and together they love on their beloved dog, Sam. Husband, Lowell, and Susan attend Community Church in Mountain City, Tennessee. Susan enjoys writing, reading, organic gardening, traveling, and spending time with her family.

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Holly Barrett

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