clarity

i was driving up to canada a few weeks ago with my parents for a conference. we left at five in the morning, at my request (what? there’s no one on the road at the time so no traffic). anyway. as i was driving somewhere in the hills of pennsylvania, i noticed it was extremely foggy. the further up a hill i went, the more it looked like i was literally in the clouds. as i descended the hill, into a valley of sorts, the fog dissipated and i was able to see clearly. 
it was then that i heard the voice of the father say to me that sometimes you need to be in to valley to get some clarity on things… that hit me hard as i’ve been having a bit of a difficult couple of months. 
as sad as it may be, it is true that oftentimes we look to god most when we’re in trying seasons. when things don’t look so good. he doesn’t bring us to valleys as punishment, but to give us clarity on things that we saw on the mountain top where he gave us perspective. 
dear ones, do not despise the valley seasons. he has a reason for every season we go through, even though some seasons are much harder than others. there is always something for us. he never ever leaves us empty or lacking. in your valley seasons and on the mountain tops, i pray that “god, i look to you” becomes the daily, even hourly, cry of your heart. 
so much love, 

marygrace

Advertisements

grace

my aunt who passed away shortly before i was born wanted my mom to name me grace. something to do with the arabic language and culture (which i do not understand) caused my parents to put mary in front of grace and thus my name. marygrace. and i have seen immeasurable grace in my life, so far. 

it is no surprise that we, as humans, are prone to making mistakes. there is no such thing as a perfect human (aside from jesus) on this side of eternity. but the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair (yes, i just quoted relient k. judge me.). but that lyric is just so good. grace means the unmerited favor of god and unmerited means undeserved. we could never and have never done anything to deserve the grace of god. it isn’t fair for us to receive what he freely gives to us and that is the sheer beauty of it. we could never boast in ourselves because we couldn’t earn his grace. 

so often we find ourselves sick with a guilt and shame that keeps us from opening our mouths and sharing where we’ve been and what god has graciously brought us from. we don’t exactly realize that grace means all my mistakes serve a purpose instead of serving me shame. no longer is our past a weapon for the enemy use to destroy us, but it is a tool for the father to use, through us, to reach people who may be exactly where we were and need to hear of the grace of god and how he does bring us through. 

dear ones, he’s got more than enough grace. his mercies are made new every morning. there is literally no end to the grace and mercy of god. you can’t use it all up. the enemy likes to lie to us and say that we’ve done too much, not enough, we’re too far gone, the mistake is too big, god doesn’t care, we can’t go back, it can’t be fixed, there’s no use… the list goes on and on and on. i just come against those lies right now and speak the truth of the word of god, that his grace is sufficient. it is enough. 

so much love,

marygrace

perspective.

luke 1:45 – “blessed is she who believed that the lord would fulfill his promises to her”

so often it’s hard to believe in the promises of god. it doesn’t always match what is currently happening in your life. because god is outside of time, he views thing from a different perspective. the verse doesn’t say “blessed is she who believed when she saw the promise fulfilled”. she believed without seeing. don’t forget the promises of god. remind him of them. you’re allowed to do that.
it’s sometimes hard to remember the promises when what you’re seeing isn’t matching what god said. it’s easy to forget what it looks like from the top of the mountain when you’re standing in the valley. the mountain top gives you perspective.

so often when the people of god were facing a battle he spoke of it in past tense. “behold i have delivered jericho into your hand”. he spoke of a future battle with a declaration of a victory that was already won. the things that you face are already won in your favor. the promises of god are yes and amen. keep pressing in for those things. he is faithful.

so much love,

marygrace

if you want me to.

the first time i heard the song “if you want me to” by ginny owens, i was in california for my cousin’s funeral service. i was in the car with some of my cousins and one of them (either marianne or monica) played this song. i remember the lyrics hitting me so hard as it talks about going through the valley and the fire (process) if he wants us to. in the twelve years since then, that song has stuck with me. there’s a line (probably my favorite line) that says “cause i’m not who i was when i took my first step and i’m clinging to the promise you’re not through with me, yet”.

looking back, i see that i’ve come so far. that he’s brought me so far. it’s so easy to see that we aren’t where we want to be, where we thought we’d be, but we so often overlook how far we have come in the process. dear ones, you have come so far from where you were. the grace of god has brought you so far. the enemy loves to lie to us and get us to focus on how far we have left to go (which, according to philippians 1:6, is a never-ending journey on this side of heaven) because if we focus on that we lose sight of how far we’ve come.

i had a friend (looking at you, ariel) once say to me “if he brought you here, how far will he bring you? if he brought you to this point, how far will he bring you? it’s from glory to glory, not glory to stuck.” and it hit me. my god wouldn’t allow me to go through everything that happened in my life only for that to be it. the same thing goes for you. i don’t know what your story is or what your life has looked like, but if you are here on this earth right now, it is for a reason. he uses everything. every. single. thing. for our good. know that. trust that. cling to his promises. he isn’t through with you, yet.

so much love,

marygrace

the cancer (monster)

“the scan isn’t to see if you have cancer or not. you have cancer. it’s to see if it spread.” with those words i sunk to the floor of my dorm room at liberty university. suddenly, it all made so much sense. my dad’s sudden and fervent request that i stay home and start university the following january. my cousin’s facebook message saying how strong i was and that she was praying for me.

the reality of the situation didn’t sink in. even up until the day of surgery (the first of what would end up being six surgeries in just one year and ten months) in october of 2012. i hadn’t fully grasped what was happening. “we’ll take out the large intestine and give you a colostomy bag” (aka poop bag… any grey’s anatomy fans out here?) the surgeon said. three months later they’d put the end of my small intestine back inside of my body and all would be well. as it turned out, that was not the case and i had quite a roller coaster of two years ahead of me.

fast forward to a couple of weeks post-surgery (silly me thought i was going back down to school just shy of three weeks after surgery. ha. no way.) and i get the sit down with my family. turns out that the cancer had indeed spread. “stage 3a cancer”, they called it. chemotherapy would be the next step. my brother-in-law (who wasn’t there) called and, in true fadi fashion, made me laugh with a well-timed comment “well, i know you’ve always wanted to shave your head and see what it looks like… now you might get the chance to.”

the hardest thing for me was seeing how hard this was for my family and for my friends. i, by the sheer grace of god, was okay. i wasn’t too happy about all the needles and blood work and i.v.s that i had to sit through (neither were my tiny veins), but aside from that i was genuinely okay. when the oncologist told my that i should freeze my eggs i was just a little freaked out as he was simultaneously telling me i should begin chemo as soon as possible. but i wasn’t worried or scared because i knew my god was faithful. i had hope in my god for all of his promises are yes and amen. he doesn’t lie. he is a good father.

may 21st, 2014. i went in for my third surgery (with hopes that it would be my last) and woke up four days later. i lost around three liters of blood and had to get opened back up a few hours later when they discovered the internal bleeding. they couldn’t stop the bleed so they packed me with gauze and left me open with a mesh covering. i was sedated in an induced coma-like state for four days. over the course of those four days, they went back in again and were able to stop the bleeding. it was in these four days (and the summer that followed) that i most tangibly saw the hand of god at work in my life (thus far).

because i know who my god is and i know that he works every single thing for my good, i was able to walk through that process. i used to be a very “i can do it. i don’t need help” independent, head-strong woman. (who am i kidding? i’m still pretty independent and head-strong). with several belly button to waistline opening surgeries and the toll that chemo took on my body, i was given no choice but to ask for help with things. god used that process to show me that relying on other people at times and letting others help me was not a sign of weakness. that i cannot do this thing called life on my own and that i have family (both natural and church) that will stand with me and support me when i literally don’t have the strength to stand on my own.

i used to view this disgusting, repulsive thing called cancer as a monster, but i have realized that every single thing will bow at the knee before jesus. my god is bigger than cancer. my god is a healer. he is a miracle-working god. he is the god who spoke everything into being. he is the god of the impossible. he is the god of restoration. he purchased my healing with the precious blood of his son and i am so grateful that he’s not done with me yet.

those of you facing health problems of any kind, i stand with you in prayer. i pray the healing power of the blood of jesus and the finished work of the cross on calvary over you right you.

so much love,

marygrace

hello

welcome to whatever it is that this is. to be quite honest, i am not entirely sure what this is or what it will become. but i am certain it is something i need to do. my hope is that, as i tell my story, it is what you need to read. that the hope i have found in redemptive love leaps off of this screen and into your soul, bringing you the same breathe of air that it did me.

for now i want to tell you that there is beauty to be found in your process. as difficult and as painful as that process can be at times, i promise you, dear ones, that there is beauty to be found. the process you are going through is preparation for the promises that god has spoken to you. the dreams that he has for you. this process is your training for when those promises and dreams come to fruition. don’t despise it for, though it may not seem like it now, one day you will look back and know that this was precisely what you needed.

 

so much love,

marygrace

FullSizeRender.jpg