Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grace? Check.

St Ignatius of Loyola
Yesterday I wrote about my struggle with a decision about getting married and my ensuing chat with a statue of St. Peter, and a friend (Hi Shaun!) pointed out that in a movie, there would have been a response - a weeping statue, a pilgrimage... And in case you were wondering how it all turned out, here it is: I didn't get a response of any sort from the statue of Peter.

However, on another day, as I was thumbing through the brochures in the pew pockets, I found a prayer by St. Ignatius of Loyola that said this: "Your grace and love are wealth enough for me." When I read this, I thought about the place in 2 Corinthians where Paul tells how he prayed three times for a "thorn in the flesh" to be removed, but instead got this answer from God, "My grace is sufficient, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I realized that I was angry with God for not answering me and making it clear to me about what to do. But He didn't HAVE to answer my pleas because His grace is sufficient... and no matter what I chose, I already had all I needed.

I often look back on that time and wonder why that decision was so hard for me. Maybe I considered it "cheating" on God. As a single woman, I guess I sort of felt "married" to God... like a nun, but without the get-up. So getting a real, live flesh-and-blood husband seemed like cheating...? Like telling God He wasn't enough for me. I hope not...!

Our pastor, Jay Thomas, has been speaking on decision-making and he says these are the things to consider: Desire (Check - I REALLY love Tom and I REALLY wanted to marry him), Ability (Check - at 39, I was certainly capable of getting married), and Opportunity (Check - Tom had asked me, and was pretty enthusiastic about it). All this should be in the context of our pursuit of a real friendship with God... and I figured that sitting in a church for an hour every day talking to Him was what that was all about.

In the end, as you know, I took the matrimonial plunge, relying solely on the grace of God to forgive me if I chose wrong and power of God to make it a good marriage despite my weaknesses. It has been a strangely wonderful trip, and I have no regrets. 

1 comment:

  1. One time I was in a very ugly situation and told God I wasn't leaving the room until He spoke to me through our pet iguana. After sitting and sitting and sitting, I finally heard Him say to my heart, "Karen, you do not need me to speak through an iguana, you hear me just fine in your spirit." Like you said - amazing grace!