undeserved grace

***Disclaimer #1: when I say “God told me” I never hear an audible voice; it is His Spirit speaking to my spirit, a quickening of my pulse, a racing of my heart, a deep knowledge that I am being called to do something. Although it is often contrary to what human wisdom tells me to do, it never contradicts God’s word***

***Disclaimer #2: Although I never hear God’s audible voice, most times when I am arguing with God, I am speaking out loud in MY audible voice. When I am in agreement with Him, it is almost always in the quiet of my heart, my spirit responding to His, a recognition and submission to His way***

***Disclaimer #3: when I say someone needs Jesus, I am most often speaking of the life-transforming encounter with UnConditional Love Personified. There is nothing more transformative than realizing you are loveable and loved by Creator. It is in that simple child-like place that you can receive and believe***

ready for a redemptive tale? a miracle that can only be ascribed to God? I certainly never believed it would happen to me. never dreamed or prayed for such beautiful grace. but I have seen with my own eyes the great and awesome wonders of my God.

my story begins about 20 years ago after we visited the Nashville area for the first time on a family vacation. Never have l felt so at home in a place. that I belonged there. that my heart was there. it was an instant kinship to a city.

after we returned home to Colorado, I began praying, asking God to move me to where my heart was. after many weeks of praying God told me “Molly, I will move you to Nashville one day”

my heart sang. and I thought God certainly meant He was moving my family there. and soon. but as the years passed it didn’t happen. we visited the Nashville area yearly and each visit I was reminded of God’s earlier promise. as the years progressed, I began to think God meant when my then-husband retired, we would move there, the two of us.

and then my life kinda blew up. in a dramatic way. and we stopped visiting Tennessee as we grappled with life. and I forgot God’s promise. because I was surviving. and then this past October, my stepdad passed and I was once again headed to Tennessee. and I remembered the promise given to me oh so long ago.

when I came home I began to pray over what this meant. what seemed like a grand adventure when I had my family with me in what I thought would be OUR move, seemed daunting as a single woman. I didn’t think I could actually make it happen. I spent a good amount of time in counseling processing the fear. and began to see that this long ago given promise was a sweet gift from my Savior. a fresh beginning. a new chapter. something God knew oh so long ago that I would need at such a time as this.

I believed that my 2 court dates in April would be the beautiful ribbon tied on this gift. that they would signify the time for me to end things here in order to prepare to move to Tennessee.

and then GOD.

God stepped in. in an amazing way.

I met with my attorney 2 weeks ago to prepare for our first court date that would determine my new maintenance. my ex was at this point in California for the second time in 6 weeks, this time for an extended visit of over 3 weeks. he was not responding to his attorney’s phone calls. we decided that postponing court until we had real answers concerning his possible early retirement made sense. in the course of the conversation, my attorney asked where my ex stayed while in Cali and I said I assumed it was with his parents. she asked for their phone numbers and I told her I did not think they would answer if I called and she said she wanted the info to give to his attorney. in case his attorney wanted another way to reach out to my ex. all this info was passed onto his attorney. his attorney called his parents that afternoon to be told my ex had left for home just a few hours earlier. the next morning, my ex mother-in-law made a call to the attorney to tell her that my ex was profoundly depressed when he left. I received all this info via emails as we (the attorneys and I) filed the motion to delay court. when I read the words “he was profoundly depressed” my mother’s heart reached out to my mother-in-law. if that was my son, I would be beside myself with worry. as I drove home from work, God told me “you are going to call your in-laws” and I said “absolutely not, that puts me in a very vulnerable position” and God just said “yes you will” and so I called them that evening. they didn’t answer but I left a message with my heart pounding, telling them I didn’t know what to say except my heart went out to her, that I knew I was supposed to call them and that when it was so apparent that my ex was the one who had changed and was struggling I couldn’t understand why they believed everything he said about me when I had never changed, and I hung up.

the next day, a fluke snow storm had me sent home early from work and God told me “you are going to email your ex” and I argued. and then I obeyed. with this one sentence. “are you home in Colorado?” six hours later a response came. “no, I am struggling. the death of my friend and being home was a lot harder than I expected. I am stopping every few hours to sleep.” and then this “molly, I am sorry for all that I did. that I was not the husband you needed or deserved.” wow.

and I replied. “do not kill yourself. I am sure it was hard to be home and was filled with many triggers. thank you for the apology. I appreciate it. I know (and I named his offenses) and I forgive you. I want you to get onto the business of forgiving yourself and get the help you need and deserve. stop hurting yourself. please”

his reply was “thank you for your kind words. it means a lot. you are a good person” I told him about the motion to delay court, and asked that he let me know when he was home. Friday morning he replied he was home. via more emails between attorneys, I found out he had an appointment with his attorney the following Tuesday.

his attorney’s office is right next door to where I work. right next door. so when Tuesday came I felt like God told me  would see my ex that day. in my sassiness I dressed extra cute that day. and I expected to see him while I was on my lunch break. but that didn’t happen. ok, I thought. then an hour later he walks into my store, asks for me. when I come up to the front he says he came to thank me. for what I ask? for delaying the court dates, for reaching out to me, for caring. it means a lot. then he tells me his mom wants me to call back, that she wants to talk to me.

wow.

then I tell him he needs Jesus. that only Jesus can help him. change him. that alcohol isn’t working. drugs aren’t working. women aren’t working. he needs Jesus. and I tell him it absolutely kills me that our kids were dragged into all of this.

in simple terms a God-bomb went off in my life. I received an apology that I never thought I would get. I had come to peace with that fact. I stood before my ex and didn’t freak out, didn’t get triggered, didn’t fall apart. I spoke my truth . and I spoke God’s. I now had not just closure but healing. I was released.

and in that sweet-ness I heard God say “GO! Go into your future knowing you are not alone! Just go!”

so I gave my notice at work. I told my kids. my family. my friends. and I go free. released.

I believe God will end this in a much sweeter way than it has been up until this point. we will have a new agreement soon. this will all be behind me. and behind my ex. and behind our kids.

a God bomb went off, and it is beautiful and messy. in one of his emails to me my ex thanked me for the undeserving grace I showed him. and I told him that it was I that was being showered with God’s undeserved grace. I am overwhelmed by His love. UnConditional Love Personified.

that kinda LOVE changes everything.

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