• Gladys Olivia Murray

Floating On Grace


Amazing Grace is probably one of the most universal hymns in existence. Whether you grew up in the church or grew up any and everywhere else, 9 times out of 10 it’s a song you’ve heard before and has appeared to be befitting for almost any occasion. I always knew Amazing Grace, but I never really understood the weight that it carried. I never knew why people were so emotional whenever that song was performed at an event or sang in a church. For so many years, I only knew it to be that common, popular, commercial hymn.

But over the past couple of months, I’ve had an opportunity to really spend some quality time with God. I’ve made a conscious effort to pray more often, meditate more often, and actually take time just to sit and read my bible. And over the past year but specifically these past couple of months, I have seen a series of things—both big and small—truly work out in my favor when I least expected it. There has just been this domino effect of provisions and opportunities that can only be attributed to the hand of God.

Now, if you’ve kept up with my blogs, you’ve had an opportunity to somewhat come along on my journey. Just one year ago, I felt like I was floating in a sea of disappointment. I was disappointed in people, disappointed in loved ones, and even disappointed in God. There was so much going on in my personal and professional life that I decided I wasn’t even going to deal with it anymore. You’re probably wondering how I did that and, well—the answer is simple; I didn’t do anything at all. I floated, day after day. I made a conscious effort not to invest in anyone or anything out of my frustration with what seemed to be inevitable disappointment. From the middle of 2012 to the middle of 2014, it felt like the universe kept subjecting me to heartbreak after heartbreak. And once I reached my last straw, lost my last nerve, and finished the last of my fight—I floated.

For a while I just kept swimming, but when it appeared that that sea of disappointment had no shore, I decided I wasn’t putting any more energy into working for a happy ending that I never seemed to get. So I floated; and in the midst of my ears being submerged in the water, I turned a deaf ear to the voice of God. And I stopped going to church for months, because the two occasions I tried to press my way and just go, my spirit would not rest whenever I heard the pastor speak about anything that alluded to how God would reward those who diligently sought Him, because I felt like given my situation it was all a lie. I became so bitter and bothered that I just stopped going altogether. To be quite frank and completely honest, I had an attitude. I was hurt and I had an attitude because I felt like everything that had happened in my life was in His control. I didn’t feel like He made it happen per say, but I felt like He let it happen. Like He sat back and watched me get hurt, but didn’t do anything about it.

So I decided that if regardless of how much I prayed, fasted, or believed God for what I wanted Him to do, at the end of the day He was still going to do whatever He wanted—why pray at all? Why ask at all? Why believe at all? And I floated. And while I was so busy being upset with God about not having my back, the only reason I was floating was because His grace kept me from sinking.

This post is for the person who feels like God has forsaken them. Every time you turn around it seems like God is looking out for everybody but you; even though you prayed, even though you worshipped, even though you’ve done right by people—you just can’t seem to get a break. And you’re mad and you’re sad at the same darn time, and you’ve decided that you’re not even going to deal with it anymore, so you won’t do anything at all, and you’re just gonna float. Tonight, I have to let you know that in spite of your selfish, bratty, undeserving, indebted, ungrateful self – God is being gracious enough not to let the waters that you wallow in overtake you.

I had to get over the notion that God owed me something. When you praise and worship God and do your best to live a life that’s pleasing in His sight, your investment in the faith is not something God owes you a return on. Every promise He has made to us in the Word is a direct result of His grace, but He does not have to do anything that we ask—yet and still, he makes perfect all that concerns us, and lets good + bad + ugly work out for the best, because of His grace.

I had to get to a point where I wasn’t concerned with giving thanks for everything, but giving thanks in everything. But God didn’t wait for me to get there before He started working things out in my favor in a realm that I could not even see. Because regardless of how I gave Him the cold shoulder, His love was not contingent upon the condition of our relationship. And one day I realized that in spite of how nothing I planned for or wanted had gone my way, everything in my life eventually started to come together out of nowhere; it was almost surreal. I got an internship that afforded me opportunities most people will never have in their lifetime, I got a new car after being car-less for months, my makeup business started flourishing, I was able to get a brand new DSLR camera I’ve been wanting for months to start vlogging with (and I didn’t even have to pay for it, my Mommy surprised me), and I’ve had the opportunity to work as a talent escort for some of the biggest awards shows on Television and meet people I’ve only ever seen through a screen. Not because I was good, but because God is good. And most of all, over the last year God has given me joy unspeakable—and it was only the journey that I had that could’ve prepared me for the purpose I’m walking into. And in spite of it all, I’ve cultivated an inner peace that is unmoved by life’s hiccups, because I know that there is no obstacle I can face in which God’s amazing grace won’t be sufficient to overcome it.

So whatever season you’re in, no matter how long it has been—I just want you to know that trouble doesn’t last always. The grace of God is what has kept you afloat you thus far; even when you stopped swimming, even when you stopped believing, and even when you stopped hoping--grace was making provisions for you. Your experiences have not broken you, they are building you. And God is looking out for you even when you don’t see a change in sight. His will will never lead you where His grace cannot protect you. Don’t give up on the journey; you’ve got grace for this.

Look up and,

Liv.


18 views

 GLADYSOLIVIA