In Others’ Words: Inner Grace

Beth Vogt Faith, In Others' Words, Life, Uncategorized 26 Comments

Inner spiritual grace AMLindbergh 3.3.14The first time I read Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s quote about achieving a state of inner spiritual grace, I thought “Yes. I want that too.”

I just didn’t know the journey I would need to take to “function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God” was going to be so arduous.

Inner spiritual grace sounded so beautiful … so delicate.

And yet it has been a battle to claim grace.

I’ve had to face some harsh truths about who I was.

I’d lived decades of my life believing a lie. I wrestled with God for months before I stopped fighting him about the truth of my past … telling him I couldn’t handle the truth. When I finally stretched myself out before him, facedown on the carpet in the sanctuary in a small church in Florida, and said, “I’m done fighting. Help me learn how to live with the truth of what happened” — his grace surrounded me.

Accepting the truth of who I was, while the first step of healing, meant people I loved weren’t going to agree with me. Weren’t going to support me. Ultimately, those people were going to walk away from me.

You can’t label a lie as the truth just to keep someone happy.

Walking in the truth, however feebly, was the first step to achieving my longed for state of inner spiritual grace.

In Your Words: How have you discovered inner spiritual grace? What helps you function and give as you were meant to in the eye of God?

Are you functioning & giving as you were meant to in the eye of God? Click to Tweet

Thoughts on achieving inner spiritual grace Click to Tweet

“You can’t label a lie as the truth just to keep someone happy.” Click to Tweet

Comments 26

  1. What a lovely, wooing idea. Every time I think I’m getting close to inner spiritual grace, I confront something that shows me how far I am! But I think, for me at least, it ebbs and flows. I am grateful that the flowing never stops.

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      Yes, Kimberly, inner spiritual grace ebbs and flows. But I’ve also discovered beneath the ebbing and the flowing there’s a sense of something fundamentally true that anchors me.

  2. This is a beautiful post, Beth. I’ve actually had several serious conversations about walking in truth lately…and how I can talk all I want about the beauty of honesty, but if I’m not honest with myself, well, all that talk just falls flat. And it’s impossible to be at peace (or have that inner spiritual grace) when I’m not honest with myself.

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  3. I’m not sure I ever achieved anything like inner grace. It’s a bit like satori – you can only be there if you’re not there.

    What works better for me is grace through action. I’m fundamentally unable to feel an epiphany, and praise & worship don’t do anything for me. I’ve never felt the closeness of God.

    So I do what I can, with the clearest motives that I can muster. I try to burn off the dross and the ego, and keep the posturing to a minimum. To this end, when I do anything or say anything, I do a quick evaluation – is this designed for an external purpose, or is it something I’m doing to serve ‘me’?

    Hope it’s good enough for God.

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      I think, my friend, you and God journey closer than you realize.
      It’s like the men who Jesus walked with along the dusty road after his resurrection… and they didn’t realize who their companion was.
      In all your “hoping it’s good enough” you’re missing all the ways God is smiling at you and saying, “Wow, I like this guy.”

      1. I think you have a point, there, Beth.

        The fight’s gotten a bit hard in the past few days, and I’m blinded by dust and smoke and blood (the last, quite literal).

        I can’t necessarily see Him, but I do know that God and I are back to back, fighting what may be this last battle.

        We may lose, but in losing we will – together – gain our ultimate victory.

  4. What helps you function and give as you were meant to in the eye of God? He does. And learning how to forgive. Forgiveness doesn’t come naturally. At least not for me. It is only by His grace that I have been able to forgive people in my life who have deeply hurt me. And it didn’t happen overnight.

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      Nothing God does happens overnight.
      Not forgiveness.
      Not redemption.
      Not inner spiritual grace.
      If it happened overnight … we’d miss it.
      We’d miss his touch in our lives.
      We’d miss the miracles.

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  5. I had someone tell me, point blank, to look in a mirror and tell myself that what I ‘see’, my pointy chin, the dark circles under my eyes, the grey roots…that is not that Jesus sees. He sees the creation of the King of Heaven. The woman worth dying for.

    I mean, think about it? WHO would you die for? WHO would you hang on a cross for??

    That is who Jesus sees. That is who God allowed His son to die for.

    So when I know that person is in there, it’s much easier to be that girl, to be that person for whom a life was traded. To be as grace-filled as I can be, and strive to stay that way.

    1. Jennifer, thank you. Just last night I was thinking of how many times I fail God, that I am not good enough. God reminded me that Jesus, in His sacrifice, made me good enough. Hearing your story this morning confirmed that for me. Thank you for sharing your heart. I really appreciate it.


    2. For whom would you die? How about, whomever it’s in my power to protect?

      Calls to mind Kipling’s quatrain, “The Convoy Escort”

      “I was a shepherd to fools,
      causelessly bold or afraid.
      They would not abide by my rules,
      yet they escaped. For I stayed.”

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  6. Beth, what a beautiful post. Sometimes what we think is beautiful and delicate is… but it takes raw fight to get there, which isn’t always so lovely a thing. The end result is that tender grace, and the journey makes us appreciate the beauty of it even more.

    My desire to please God is what pushes me to give as I am meant to. Yesterday, as the winter thunderstorm Titan rained sleet on my world (all day long!), little birds came where I usually hang a couple of bird feeders. They were scratching at the ground trying to find remnants of seed that had dropped to the ground pre-ice storm. Knowing it was way too windy to put out the feeders, I did the next best thing. I bundled up, went outside–scaring away the birds for a few minutes–and scattered bird seed over the white fluff building up. It was fun watching the birds throughout the day–from the warmth of the other side of the window, mind you. I had to spread more seed a few times because it kept getting covered up, causing the birds more work to dig through several layers of icy fluff. I thank God for the opportunity to bless His birds. To give when I’m meant to. Getting a bit chilled was no big deal compared to the joy of seeing those birds eat freely as the wind ruffled their feathers.

    Blessings to you, my friend.

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      I love the picture of you blessings those birds. Braving the storm to do so.
      Isn’t that another image of God — how he came to us — through all the ravages of this world — and met our needs, no matter what?

  7. Beautiful post, Beth. I think you’re spot on in coming to an acceptance of who I am. I tried for years to be someone else, to fill the gaping wound in my heart on my terms. It was only after a prophetic friend helped me to see why I had no contentment, why I couldn’t walk in grace that I was able to see who I was. When I came to a place of acceptance that my past had shaped me up to that point in my life, I was able to turn to Him for the healing of that gaping wound. It’s not totally healed, but my past doesn’t whip me and drive me the way it used to. God began changing me over lunch with my friend that day.

    He’s helped me to understand how much He loves me. He has helped me to grow in seeing myself as HE sees me not as I see me or how I think others see me. It’s a continual reminding myself of the truth that matters most: God delights in me. He not only loves me, He also likes me. Walking in the truth of these thoughts has grown inner-grace within me.

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  8. Carpet time can accomplish so much in answering questions and ushering in greater peace. I’m glad for every grace and hard-won truth, wouldn’t go back, in spite of the price paid.

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