LEARN: Receive By the Spirit — Receive Grace

LEARN! … By the Spirit™ with Jerricia J. Ulmer

Receive Grace

© 2011  Jerricia J. Ulmer, M.Ed.

June 13, 2011

I am a recovering perfectionist.  Actually, that’s just a nice way of saying I was a goody two-shoes!

I used to try to be perfect in everything, in all of my pursuits.  Anytime someone charged me with a task, I wanted so badly to earn the approval of that person through good works – excuse me – perfect works.  Parents, school teachers, Sunday school teachers,…even my manipulative older brothers!  And I was critical and judgemental of others whose performance or persona I deemed not perfect or anyone not following the rules (whatever rules there were).

From an early age, I believed I could work my way into Heaven – or at least out of Hell – by pleasing GOD, by being good.  We’re told all the time when we’re little to”be good” (which I think is just code for “conform”), and I took it to heart.  And apparently, the meanings I gleaned from the prayers, words, and rituals in church made some indelible mark on my brain and my spirit: liturgical chants about not being worthy, paying to light candles and “have masses said” for somebody’s soul, audible confessions to a judge dressed in black who sentenced us to penance based on the severity of sins, and having to attend service on “holy days of obligation.”  And all that talk about original sin…heck, I was starting out behind the eight ball!

Maybe I’m giving too much credit or criticism to my religious upbringing.  (I thank my grandmother and mother for raising us in the church and giving us a solid foundation.). But I was 33 before I truly grasped the concept of GRACE.  Before I truly realized that was the purpose of Jesus, The Sacrificial Lamb.  I’d been baptized as a baby, but it wasn’t until then I began to feel truly saved. 

It started as a fast at a spiritual retreat and a breakthrough ushered in by my mother, my oldest friend, and some retreat center library books.  Then, it came again in waves of tears on a freeway overpass headed home from work one evening, my vision so blurred I had to pull over. I yelled to Jesus that I was tired of trying to do it all, and that He could have it; I needed Him.  I was struck again a year or so later on my morning commute while listening to a sermon CD given me by a coworker-friend: GRACE had been given and it wasn’t something I ever had to work for.  A message and a concept so seemingly simple yet so eye-opening!

GOD continues to bless me with revelations that bring greater understanding of His Perfect Trinity and Divine Plan and closer in understanding HIS immeasurable love for me.  Wow!  And when you understand GOD’s GRACE, you learn to value and appreciate yourself, and soon thereafter, others.

There is nothing we can do to separate ourselves from GOD.  Your relationship with HIM far surpasses your performance – good or bad.  HE has given us The Perfect Bridge to HIM.  HE sent Jesus Christ – HIS Son, our Savior – as THE living sacrifice.  And Jesus has done his job.  He has undone what Adam did in the Garden (Romans 5, 1 Corinthians 15).  He has mended our broken relationship with GOD.  GOD’s GRACE and mercy abound through Him.  Already it is done!  All you have to do is believe.  

And GRACE is a gift.  It’s not based on anything you’ve done to deserve it.  It’s unmerited favor shining upon you.  It’s HIS desire to be close to you and love you like you’ve never experienced.  So, you can stop struggling.  Stop beating yourself up.  And walk across The Bridge; smell the fresh air…feel the weight lifting off you…breathe for the first time…there’s freedom there. It feels good, doesn’t it?… He’s waiting on you…

Welcome.

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7 Responses

  1. Another powerful article Jerrica! Always an inspirational read!

    Much love,

    Grace

  2. I am gonna keep trying to make the changes but i know in time i will have to sit down and talk to someone that can help me put all these thing in place that i;m going throught because no matter how strong everyone think i am i;m going crazy inside because i’m there out let but i don’t have a out let for myself.i’m a artist and i use to draw for hours and get away but i can’t do thjat anymore it’s so much on me i can’t creat anything and art is my life i can go anywhere when i draw,

    How do i get back on track i’m getting there but i’m side tracked at the same time.I’m gonna keep trying.

    Well tell next time sisters much love to you all i’m out.

  3. Hello how ru doing?i feel a little better i’m trying to make change in my life to see how things will turn out.I pray all the time and try to make a lot of changes everyday and i can see some changes in the way things are coming my way.and i always write and read the spirit because they always have a lot of good thoughts to read and resopnd to and i enjoy what i read.keep it coming and i will always keep reading your thoughts.
    Tell next time sister much love to you all tell next time i’m out.

  4. People work hard to make their lives go the way they want them to. I’m not opposed to action. But freedom comes when you’ve done all you can do and know ultimately you’re not in control. And peace comes with faith, when you know GOD has your very best interest at heart and the best plan in store. It’s hard, but it’s a daily conscious effort to turn it over to HIM. But when you do – man, oh man – the freedom and peace you’ll feel!!!
    I have faith in you, Denise. You sound like you’re well on your way, closer than you think. Go with what feels right. Live By The Spirit.

  5. I feel the same way i want things to be perfect and when things don’t go the way it’s plained then i can’t get back on track i want things to change like yesterday and if it dont then i’m lost for the rest of the day.
    There are so many things that has gone wrong that i would love to change but i can’t do i keep trying to change them myself or put it in gods hands.
    Should i keep trying to be perfect or just let things be.They say when you love someone set them free but what you set them free and they don’t come back do that mean they were not for you or did one of the good ones get away.
    And how will you know if theres another good one out there?Sometime when these saying come out i don’t know what to think.I’m looking for someone special but they never come so should i stop looking and when someone come along should i give them a chance.My life is very crazy and i don’t know what i should do.
    Tell next time sisters much love to you all i’m out.

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