The Flawless Life
Finalist in the prestigious Word Awards 2016!
Desperate. Grappling with her faith. And hope in things unseen.
Grace’s world was shaken when she lost her job. There was a first rush of concerns: How can she survive? She had her mother to look after. What will she tell her? Does God even know her circumstances? What started as an initial voice of anxiety and a sickening feeling had rapidly become a choir of condemnation and overwhelming fear and despair.
Now struggling in her Christian walk, Grace found herself tired to the core, and weary of running the good race. Life had been hard and now it felt even her heart had been stripped out of her, leaving a shell of the person she was in her youth. The blackness of despair closed in.
In a whispered breath, “You are flawless in my eyes” and a flood of understanding shook her very being. The truth – the core truth broke through her barriers and reached deep inside. It gripped her heart, confronted her mind. The brilliant light of truth shattered the chains of condemnation and guilt. How could she not have understood the obvious truth? The simple truth demolished her defences, blew her mind, smashed her bonds, and transformed her life.
If you are interested in a story of flourishing in a life crisis then this book is for you.
Buy The Flawless Life now and walk the path of carefree and flawless!
Chapter from The Flawless Life
1 | The Day Desperation Came
Grace arrived early at work, as was her habit. Her boss scheduled an early meeting to talk about plans for the upcoming year, so she wanted to gather her thoughts and some papers in preparation.
As she neared her boss’ office, she saw him talking to someone, so she stepped back to wait. He spotted her and called her in. As Grace entered, she felt the near-physical impact. This meeting was about her.
She knew the economy had affected the company, but every month management insisted they were finished with laying people off. Yet every month they packaged more people out. One by one the staff reduced, and here, this morning, was her time.
Experienced, they operated quickly. They ripped the bandage off in a matter of seconds, leaving her reeling. They walked her back to her office to gather her purse. The rest would be boxed up and sent to her. They collected her security cards and escorted her out the door. Done. Within ten minutes they completed their deed.
At the elevators she stood. Alone. Jobless.
Her heart pounded so hard, she felt it in her head. Her gut filled with anxiety. She felt sick. Her brain raced. How will I provide for myself and Mom? The room swam. What in the world will I tell Mom? How can I tell her I lost my job? They said it was without cause, they didn’t think they needed my skill set anymore. But what about the others who got shuffled to new roles? Am I not good enough? What had I done wrong? Why me?
Then the wave of self-recrimination ploughed over. She felt completely worthless. They don’t want or need me anymore.
One of her friends in the company arrived, and with one look at her took her across the street for a tea. She tried really hard not to let the tears take over, but they welled up as the emotions and turmoil overwhelmed what little control she had left.
She finally got a hold of herself enough to get to her car. With a deep breath she prayed, “God, I really need you. You know –” and with tears pouring out, she gulped, “I’m scared.” She said nothing more. She turned on the radio and focused on the traffic. She could fall apart after she got home.
With determined focus she managed an eventless trip home, navigating out of rote practice. As she pulled into the driveway, she gathered herself and gave a quick prayer. “Lord, give me your strength. I don’t know what to say and I don’t want to worry Mom.” Breathing out the tension, she turned off the car, walked to the door, let herself in, steadied her emotions, took a breath, and in her most cheerful voice announced her arrival home. Curious, her mom came out to meet her. The moment had come. She needed to be strong.
“Well, they have packaged me out. Over the last six months they reduced staff, and I guess I was next on the list.”
Grace’s mom, ever the practical one, and well seasoned by life, simply said, “God is in control. Does this mean you will be at home for awhile? You know I love it when you are home.”
With a grateful smile she said, “Yes, this means I am home until I can find another job.” Her mom gave her a big hug and asked if she would like a tea.
Well into her 80s, her mom struggled with memory loss and decreased cognitive function. Grace did not want to add to her stress, but clearly her mom trusted God without hesitation.
Her mom experienced this kind of trial of faith before. She told Grace about the time when they were a young family, her dad was unemployed for months on end and her mom became desperate. She said she became so desperate, she finally cried out in frustration to God, “Don’t you know what we are going through here?”
Grace could sure relate to that.
Her mom said from her perspective she saw no way out, but God delivered a job in time. Not in loads of time, but in time. She learned faith and trust despite how things looked from a human vantage point. And she knew from a lifetime of experience walking with God, He always delivered.
Knowing this with your head, and really resting in faith and trusting God are two vastly different things, she thought. Yes, she believed in the Bible where He promised to look after His own. If He cared for the sparrow, surely He will care for me.
Well, she understood the promise, in concept. But “in concept” is definitely not the same as “in practice.” She found it impossible to really believe it would be okay, when the weight and responsibility of looking after herself, her mom, the two dogs, and the mortgage overwhelmed her thoughts. Loomed. Dominated.
Over time, Grace read many verses of promise, trying to fill her head and heart with the truth, and get her focus on things above, but the responsibility, the weight of her reality would quickly pull her focus down to her earthly burdens. And this destruction of her determination would occur within a matter of minutes of trying to set her mind in the camp of belief and trust.
But on this first day, she couldn’t allow her head to get mired in the black hole of desperation and despondency. Reading the Bible failed to conquer her fears. The loss of her job traumatized her deeply, leaving a fresh, open and very deep wound. Even if she managed to regain the slightest control over her thoughts, within moments her mind gushed fear.
For today, she didn’t want to deal with fear, or the work of controlling her thoughts. She desperately needed a diversion. She watched the news for a few minutes, but needed something far more engaging, something pure entertainment, something she could lose herself in. She flipped through the guide, but there was nothing. She looked through the PVR.
No, what she needed was a good movie, maybe a comedy, something with a happy ending. So she moved onto Netflix and watched several movies that first day. She took a couple of Gravol to settle her stomach, which helped with a good night’s sleep.
For those who have read The Flawless Life the bonus content can be accessed here
Find out the impact on Kevin when a sailboat sinks and a bold rescue occurs.
They could see her sinking fast and squeezed all the speed they could from the wind. But they were still several minutes away when they saw the mast disappear …