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I think that the revelation of grace is one of the best kept secrets of all time. People hear about grace, read about grace, talk about grace, sing about grace and even extend grace to others all the time, but very few seem to really “get it.”

I was raised in church my entire childhood. We were there every week an hour early for “Sunday School” and then stayed for the actual church service. We went to weekday services between Sundays, and I always attended or worked at summer Bible schools and camps.  I was blessed not to be in a fear based “hell-fire” atmosphere. There was a lot of love there and focus on giving to the poor. We were taught the actual Bible and not watered down stories even as kids so I had a very good foundation in teachings about grace, and one would think that grace would be a no brainer for me.

But my own experience is that grace really is a revelation or an epiphany that takes place in the soul or spirit. It is hard to describe it in words because it is almost beyond words. The word is “grace” and that does not really explain it. I have found that when I try to explain it to people they either light up with recognition because they have had this epiphany themselves or they look at me with eyes of confusion because they either do not understand what I am saying or they think that I am saying something wrong…I don’t know.

It was not until later in my adulthood that I had the realization of grace. And when I did I honestly felt as if I had been born into a new life.

I walked around in awe telling people “I feel like I have been struggling to get through a very tight dark womb and have finally been born into the light of the free world.”

The experience for me was so intense that I worried that people might think that I was a little “crazy.” They probably did.

I  remember saying, “Oh! This must be what those people mean when they say “born again!” But do they even know it?”

So what is it? How do I find the words?

Well I used to think that I had to try really hard to be “good.” I had to struggle to “do the right thing” all the time. I had to work hard. I had to help everyone that needed anything. I had to “be there” for everyone all the time. I had to strive and strain to achieve perfection, and with all of this hard work I would one day “arrive” at this Christ like state of being.

I would drop everything in my own life and help others…friends, family…no matter what. I was doing many “good” things for others. I was ALWAYS there if they needed me and not just there as a friend or in comfort, but I was there doing everything ..being everything…..I was playing God!

I was the one that they came too for literally EVERYTHING. I was very co-dependent. I was being their Holy Spirit. With me around no one had any need to go to God for anything. I had all of the answers and all of the help available 24 hours a day…Haha!

I was getting my self worth from “helping” everyone else…from being needed…from trying so hard to be good…to be God.

I was also getting more and more drained, depleted, and resentful. People never gave as much to me as I did to them. My own life and all of my own problems and issues were conveniently being ignored by me, and my own life was not going so great. I even dropped out of college several times because there was ALWAYS a big crisis in my dysfunctional family during the semester, and I would turn all of my focus onto that drama instead of my own life. Co-dependence is just another form of escapism.

So the revelation of grace did not happen overnight. I guess it was a lifelong process that finally came to a head, but when it finally clicked it seemed like it happened all of a sudden.

I realized that all of this trying and struggling and being everything to everyone was wrong. This is not the way to grow into the Christ-like being of love that I was hoping to emulate.

I realized that Christ does indeed dwell within me (Ephesians 3:17)…that the Holy Spirit is inside me (1 John 4:13)…that God which is love is within my very heart, soul, spirit and body.

I, like every human, am a unique creation. I am created specifically a certain way in order to express a unique aspect of God (love) on this planet at this time. I am created “in the image of God.” I, like everyone, am a unique ray of God’s immense love. This is cliché, but there has never been nor will there ever be another expression of God’s love on earth that is exactly like me so if I am not my true self…the “self” that I was created to be… then the world will not experience this unique aspect of God’s image ever again. In being my true “child of God” self I am fulfilling my purpose.

Grace is not about how hard I try, how much I do, how good I am, how much I struggle to be something.

Grace is about surrender…letting go…allowing the spark of God that I carry within me which is without limits…without fear…eternal and infinite to come alive on this limited 3 dimensional earth in this limited 3 dimensional body that I live in for this finite time.

It is nothing that I have or can ever earn by working hard and following rules, but as I surrender to this gift which is given to me because of the love of God that is within me and around me I am then COMPELLED to do the good things…the loving things that I was uniquely created to do.

I am no longer struggling to prove myself to God or others in order to earn love, approval, or status. I no longer have to wear myself out to do everything right and to be everything to everyone in order to achieve a Christ-like state of being.

When I let go of all of the struggling and trying and working, and I release myself from my inner task master in order to surrender to the spirit of love (Christ) that is within me I almost naturally but also supernaturally begin to walk on the path of fulfilling the purpose and doing the good works that God has purposed for me and my life……And that does not include every good work that my poor body can possibly do.

Yes…sometimes I catch myself slipping back into my co-dependent ways. I do not have it all perfectly figured out. I have not “arrived”

But I can at least catch it now at some point before it gets out of control because of the revelation of the grace of God which is given to me by the grace of God.

*”Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”   Matthew 11: 28-30 (Jesus’ words) emphasis mine

* “What I’m saying is, If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face. But if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.”   Luke 14:11 (Jesus’ words)(emphasis mine)

* “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”  Romans 8:1

* “If I was “trying to be good,” I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan.

 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.”   Galatians 2: 18-21

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We are finally here…the anxiously awaited year of 2012. This is the year that many have thought about, talked about and written about….and here we are. And I feel a buzz of excitement in the air. There is spirit of change blowing through this time and space like a hurricane force wind.

There are uprisings of people around the globe. All over the world people are finding the courage to rise up against oppression, tyranny and lies. People are demanding truth, and they are revealing truth of all kinds. Things that have been kept in darkness are being brought out into the light for all to see. There is an awakening of sorts happening. I see it all over the world.

I have been connected to people around the planet through the internet in a way that was not possible just a few decades ago. I hear the same message and longing from them all. People are calling for hearts to be changed and opened. People of the world are crying out for the truth to be revealed and for truth to be heard. People are longing for human connection and divine connection. People are daring to believe that a better world is possible. People are looking for something much greater than themselves alone whether they realize it or not.

I see great fear in people of the world, but then I see them fighting that fear with great ferocity through the power of  faith, love, and connection.  I see courage in humanity…courage to speak the truth…courage to stand up for peace, freedom, and love…courage to be themselves.

There is an opening right now like a beautiful flower that is just beginning to bloom. Hearts, minds, and eyes are opening globally and this is being manifested in many different ways.

There is also great opposition to the spirit if these times. That is the way that it is on planet earth. There is always opposition…light and dark, yin and yang, good and evil….everything has an equal and opposite reaction.

I feel a burning in my soul and a vibration of a higher frequency that is becoming more harmonious with the song of the creator’s love….Agape…unconditional love.

No…I do not always act in harmony with it, but I feel it in my spirit. As I allow myself to open more and more to the heart of God… the spirit of this great love flows through me and it makes me dance to its music.

These are amazing times to be alive. My cells are singing with anticipation of the things to come. I do not imagine it all to be easy as great things rarely are, but I am working towards surrender to something beautiful and new. I hope that you can tune in and feel it too.

Just like a mighty Oak Tree receives the light of heaven freely through its branches,

As I reach toward heaven the love of God flows freely through me by grace.

Just as the tree is nourished all the way to its roots by the sun,

So am I nourished through and through with the light of God.

As the tree sways in harmony with the breeze while remaining firmly rooted to the dark womb of earth,

I remain solidly grounded as I am moved in a dance like flow by the breath of the Holy Creator.

Everywhere I look nature teaches me about the love of the one who created it.

And in looking at the tree I am reminded that I too am a conduit between heaven and earth.
As I gently walk the earth in this dense physical body totally open-hearted and surrendered in spirit,

The love of Christ flows to me and through me, and I humbly become a bringer of heaven to earth.

Are overachievers just trying to prove to themselves and others that they are worthy of love, life, and value in this world by their achievements? Is being an overachiever a gift from God that allows a person to push beyond limits and adversity in order to gain success in this world? I believe that it is a combination of both.

Growing up and then into adulthood I was always an overachiever. I was self motivated and self disciplined, and I always pushed myself beyond normal limits. For example no one ever had to tell me to do my homework. No one ever checked my backpack or my work at home. No one pushed me to sign up for the most advanced classes offered. I just did it on my own.

I studied in my room for hours at a time. I had other students calling me for help in Chemistry and Trigonometry and English. I even decided on my own to get special permission to take Chemistry and Physics at the same time my junior year of high school so that I would have more time in my schedule to take even higher level advanced placement classes my senior year.

When I started college my Freshman year I did not have to take Freshman English and I started out the semester taking Calculus instead of Algebra like most people because of all the work that I had done in high school. I did all of this just to “see if I could do it.” I pushed myself. I was a perfectionist.

I also pushed myself in dancing, athletics and in basically anything that I did. I would not wonder if my body could do something or not. I would just make my body do it no matter how painful it was.

I was constantly proving to myself and the world that I could do anything that I set my mind to do, that I was as intelligent as anyone, and that I had great skills.

I believe that this is a God-given gift. There is a reason that I am hard-wired to be this way. I am a limit pusher. I am a person created to break out of the box and reach beyond what the world may tell me that I can or cannot do, and that is a gift. I can use that to do something great for the world.

However I also believe that this gift can also be used to feed a deep down longing to feel worthy and valuable. I believe that for other over achievers and for myself this drive to do more and more than is expected or even believed possible can come from a deep inner feeling of unworthiness.

We have to continuously prove our worth by showing that we can be successful and that we can do more than others believe that we can do.

I remember having thoughts like “I may be tiny and I may be a girl, but I can beat this guy in a race and I can score higher than him on the Calculus exam.” And I would do it.

That is competitiveness that comes from feeling that others underestimated me and my potential. I do not know where these messages came from. Somewhere I got the message deep down that I was not seen as valuable or good enough in this world. For some reason subconsciously I felt unworthy. It was never a thought in the forefront of my mind. I never thought, “I have to prove my worth because I feel unworthy.” My actions were just showing that I carried this belief. And many times it was tied up in my being female.

There seems to be at the core of many people and especially at the core of girls and women around the world that we are not as good. We are not as valuable, as capable, as intelligent, etc, and I spent much of my life pushing myself to prove that wrong over and over.

And I did.

I do not want to lose the gift of being a person who can push beyond limits. That is at the core of who I am, but somehow I do want to lose the deep core belief that I am never good enough. I want to help other over achievers to see that we are worthy of love, respect, value, and everything good in life even if we never achieve another thing in life.

I am especially passionate about this for women because it is such a rampant disease among women world wide…..the disease of feeling “less than” no matter how much we achieve and how confidently we portray ourselves.

Girls are constantly getting subtle and sometimes blatant messages from our culture, other cultures, and even our own homes that we are at least a little lower on the totem pole than boys. Sometimes the message is more severe in that we are downright second or third class citizens or that we are property in a way or that we need men to guide us and direct us in the world.

I remember being in high school and being floored when I heard my good girl friends saying that they would trust a man gynecologist more than a woman even though I pointed out that a woman should know more about women’s issues than men. They said that men were smarter. And one of these girls had the highest GPA in our class! When I asked her to explain this to me she said that it was just because the boys were not trying! These kind and highly intelligent girls really believed these negative things about themselves! My blood boiled, and it still does as I see evidence of these negative self images in girls and women everywhere…..even in myself as I constantly feel the need to prove myself and my worth.

We are constantly bombarded with these negative images and ideas of ourselves from both men and women, and frankly, it hurts.

I have come to the understanding in life that when I am passionate about an issue so much that my blood boils then it means that I have a purpose surrounding that issue. There is something that God created me to do and hard-wired me to do to address this issue because I am extremely passionate about it. I do not know yet exactly how it is to play out, but I do know that it begins with me learning and truly believing in my deepest self that I am worthy, valuable, lovable and as good as anyone in this world male or female.

As I do the hard work to come to that truth within myself  I will then be able to spread it to others more effectively, and that is an exciting prospect. I will use my God-given gift of limit pushing to push beyond these horrible lies about female unworthiness and to spread the truth of who we really are.

I have found that in order to experience the freedom that we all long for whether we realize it or not we have to come face to face with our fears and walk right through them. We have to face our demons so to speak. We have to look at those demons straight in the eyes and growl.

That is the reason that fear is so paralyzing. Sometimes we will do anything to avoid facing our fears. Fear holds us back from our highest potential and our highest joy. Sometimes we are even afraid of our highest potential so we continuously sabotage ourselves out of…fear.

Fear is a force in this world. It is almost the opposite of love. “There is no fear in love.” It tries to oppose us at every point of growth. It binds us so that we cannot be free.

When we limit ourselves it is usually out of fear. Sometimes we would rather remain miserable than face our fears in order to be free.

Fear has been an enormous part of my life. I feared for my life on a regular basis as a child. When I grew up I had different fears. I even feared adulthood. I remember collapsing on my mother’s bedroom floor one night when I was about 20 and saying, “I don’t want to grow up. I am not ready. I cannot stop being sad.”

I still carry way too much fear….much of my own…but much of it is shared family fear. I have realized in my adulthood that I carry the fears of my father and mother. I also share the fears of my siblings. I am carrying generational fear.

And it has bound me and paralyzed me and made me miserable in many ways. I see it all around me in my family.

I always said that I would be the one to break free not only for myself  but for my entire family. Why did I say that? I must have had a period of fearlessness, which I have had from time to time, when I announced that mission to myself and God.

That is scary! I am not that strong. But I know that there is a greater strength that I can draw from because I have drawn from it before.

And I have to get free. I long for freedom like a caged bird! That is the reason that I am Grounded Angel. I am meant to fly and soar freely, but I am broken and bound to this earth.

So slowly ….slowly…only as I can handle it… I am facing my fears. I have done it before. I can do it again.  I have done it so many times actually that I am tired. Sometimes I feel there is no fight left in me, but I am going to find my fighting spirit again.

And I am going to surrender to a power greater than myself which is also frightening! But I am! I just have to keep telling myself that I am.

I will face these dark demons that are woven all through out the roots of my family like thick diseased vines. I will face them, and they will break. I will be free. I have to be free. There is no other way to live.

I think I can. …I think I can. ….I think I can.