Thursday, June 21, 2012

Speak Up Play by Play: Thursday

This might be me tomorrow during my publisher appointments!
If I don't write as it comes, it probably won't all make it on here and I don't want to forget what God does while I'm here in this great state of Michigan (where it actually rains!).

I just arrived at the Speak Up Conference and have a few hours to sit in the conference center before dinner.  The plane ride was full of amazing time with God and I am continually in awe of how He works circumstances to continually speak to my heart.  A few weeks ago, a marketing person contacted me about reviewing Anything by Jennie Allen (a fellow Austinite).  Since I've been singularly obsessed and consumed focusing on this book proposal, I haven't had a moment to read it, so I packed it for the plane.  I'll write a formal review later, but I wanted to highlight how God totally touched my nervous heart this morning.

So, the tagline to my potential book (which I'm sharing with publishers tomorrow) is "Pursuing purity, armed with God's grace."  (To those of you who may be new to this space, I'm writing a book with my husband about our journey through his porn addiction).  As much as I liked this tagline, I still wasn't feeling that it stated the entire scope of the message I want so much to convey.  Much of my book is about fighting for our husbands, but at the core is the foundational belief of surrendering control to God (hence the working title, Giving Up without Giving In).  Then, this morning on the plane, I read this from Anything:
"The gospel of grace fights every piece of pride in us.  When God gives us grace, he is also taking something from us.  He takes our control."  (p. 27)
I'm still processing this, but I'm taking this to mean that when we are armed with God's grace, the resulting fruit is a state of surrender.  His very presence has the power to affect us so greatly that the only things we see are through His eyes.  He is our filter and we have a clarity that is not marred by our own twisted perspectives.  For example, when I seek to control my husband out of fear that he will engage in porn, I find myself in a state of anxiety.  When I am anxious, I am much more likely to fall into other bad habits, such as comparing myself to others, being judgmental, and feeding my pride.  In this state, I see his potential to sin, his potential to hurt me.  I become defensive, thus fighting AGAINST him instead of FOR him.  If I continue to view him this way, I lose sight of the entirety of his person and there is no way I can treat him with grace.  Frankly, I end up treating him as a child, which does absolutely no good for our relationship.  But, if I am armed with God's grace, I see my husband as God sees him and I am able to see myself with clarity, too -- we are both sinners whose have great potential to flourish under God's redemption.  

With grace, I don't have to defend myself.  God is my shield.
With grace, I don't have to build walls around my heart.  God is my fortress.
With grace, I don't have to use the weapons of this world.  God has given me His Word, the Sword of the Spirit.

Am I making sense?  I've been up since 3:45 AM, so it's very possible that the spirit of my words is still  locked up in my heart.  Will you add to this conversation?  How do you see the gift of grace coupled with the surrender of control?


  1. Oh, grace and surrender- those two things DO go hand in hand. I think that when I'm trying to control anyone or anything- God, my husband, my children, my PLANS--then my hands are clinging to those invisible reigns of self and they are not free to receive the grace that God longs to give me. Praying for you as you meet with publishers tomorrow and "WOW" them with your eloquence and grace!

  2. Grace allows me to be honest with my fear and doubts and desire to protect my heart. And ... bring it to God.

    Jen, I just ordered this book today. Now I am very excited to get it.

  3. I just posted about this book a few posts ago!! Such a neat, neat message!! In my own marriage, receiving grace has allowed me to accept what I cannot control (my husband--strengths, weaknesses and all) and change what I can (My own character, my own heart and my own response to him--which all really stink unless I walk in what I've been given instead of how I've been hurt). Grace allows me to give freely and generously being led by God. Surrendering to God can only happen when we receive the full measure of His limitless grace and forgiveness for ourselves.

    You are gonna do great!!! Prayers from H-town.

  4. Grace, much like forgiveness, flows through me from God to others, if I allow it to do so. I have to throw caution to the wind—what if the kids don't behave? what if my hubbie doesn't take care of the home repair? what if my coworkers don't meet the deadline for their portion of the project?—and throw open the gate with all the trust and faith I can muster.

    I had never thought of doing that as a surrender, but it certainly is. Thanks for that perspective!

    Prayers winging your way. Just be delightfully, wonderful you, Jen. It's how God made you, and it is enough. He will do the heavy lifting. :-)

  5. Jen--this made me laugh (especially your ecard photo) and rejoice and think and are a gift. May God continue to help you unwrap yourself to our world.

    bless you.


Don't go yet! Leave me a note with your thoughts.