Furious Grace


We were about 3 years into the restoration of our marriage when something came over me and it was like I was in an ocean and waves were desperately trying to consume me. They were surely trying to drown me, but not in the way that you think. 

Grace like waves.

It was as oddly typical morning. I woke up at the usual 5:30 am, made my coffee and had my Jesus time. The girls woke up and got ready for school without arguments and we rushed out the door on time, back packs and sack lunches in tow without any real bumps or hurdles. The day ahead seemed normal with plans of dropping the girls off at school, doing a quick 45-minute workout, then heading home to do laundry.

A normal Thursday. Thank God.

With the smell of warm pop-tarts still lingering in the air, I reached over and plugged my phone into the USB port, tapped iTunes and started playing Hillsong.

We were all three sort of in our own little world. The girls were in the back, heads down, eyes fixed on their phones as they were scrolling away looking for new posts on their Twitter & Instagram feed. I was thinking of my upcoming workout and trying to think of every excuse possible as to why I needed to skip the gym that day when my favorite worship song began playing. There’s a certain part within the lyrics that wreck me every time.

“For you chose to take the sinner’s crown
As you placed your crown on me.” – Aftermath, Hillsong United

And that’s when the waves started consuming, drowning me. But instead of taking my breath away in death, they were trying to give me life with perfect Love.  I was reminded of the grace that Jesus has for us, if only we will accept it.

There's only one kind of perfect love, and His name is Jesus. Click To Tweet

It was perfect Grace.

Furious GraceThe waves were the Holy Spirit, and it was one of the sweetest moments in an ordinary day that I’ve ever felt. Sobs that I desperately tried to imprison escaped and His presence flooded my car. The full-on ugly cry was showing itself in all of its glory. Only I wasn’t making a sound. I couldn’t because I didn’t want my girls to see.

Ever tried the ugly cry with no whimpers or whines? It’s not pretty, folks.

As I fumbled around looking for my sunglasses in the front seat, I heard a sweet voice say, “Mom, are you okay? What’s wrong?” I awkwardly looked up and her big brown eyes caught mine in the rear view mirror.

Where are those dang sunglasses?

I wanted to say, “it’s fine honey, go back to your social media scrolling.” How funny is it that when we need their attention, they can’t get their heads out of their phones, but when we don’t need it they’re all ears and eyes. Geesh. For the love.

The irony in that is hilarious.

I finally found my sunglasses and with as straight a face as I could muster I quickly smashed them against my face.

“Nothing, sweetie, it’s just that sometimes when I think about Jesus, it makes me so thankful and grateful that I can’t help but cry.” It felt like such a simple excuse for an answer but I didn’t know how else to describe it.

Shrugging her shoulders and satisfied with my answer, she went back to her scrolling. “Oh, okay.”

And that was it. She didn’t inquire or ask anything further.

God’s grace is like a tsunami, and the only way to experience it is to allow the tidal waves to carry you to places you never thought you’d go.

God’s grace and forgiveness is vast.  And while I’ve lived most of my life knowing all of this, I can’t fathom the truth of it all; and if I am honest, doubt can creep into my heart and wreak havoc there if I allow it.

When this happens doubt and shame more often than not turn into clarity and praise and it’s as if I’m taken to a different level in my walk with Jesus.

And isn’t this what it’s all about?

Dirty foot prints and nail-scarred hands.

Around the same time, it happened at church. I remember like it was yesterday. I hope I never forget. I was standing in the middle of the pew with my husband and my two daughters during the praise and worship part of service. I felt an enormous amount of gratitude, thankful to be standing beside my family. The worship pastor started singing “How He Loves” by David Crowder:

“And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way…
He loves me, oh how He loves me…”

I started weeping as each word, each breath of life began to overtake my soul. The arms of Jesus were holding me tight, reminding me of His love for me. I couldn’t breathe and the violent tears would not stop flowing. I suddenly realized I had two choices. I could either stand there shaking with the full on ugly cry (and we both know how that turns out) and threaten to draw attention to myself, or I walk out.

Choosing the latter, I walked into the bathroom, shut myself in a stall and lost myself in a rush of tears and emotion as I slowly sank down to the dirty bathroom floor. My hands covered my face as the tears splashed against the floor and looking down, I noticed a shoe print.

Rebelling against every clean-freak thought in my head, I took my hand and started to wipe away the dirt. The dirty shoe print was there, and then it wasn’t. It was gone. I wiped it away and it was erased, forever, never to be seen again.

In that moment my sin, my shame was the dirty shoe print, and Jesus took his beautiful nail scarred hands and tenderly wiped it away.

Oh, Jesus…

What grace He has for us if we will only accept it.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

I will never understand God’s grace and forgiveness. I don’t understand why He went through so much pain for me, and I pray I always take this posture at the feet of my Jesus who sacrificed so incredibly much to save my soul.

Do you get it, friend? Do you understand how much God loves you? No? I don’t either…

Although I don’t understand it, I do believe it.

And isn’t that the beauty of it?

Lord, please don’t let those overwhelmed-by-grace feelings ever leave me. Never let me forget your grace.

Never let me forget your furious grace.

Because where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more.

God’s furious grace and love is bigger than all of our sin. #fiercelyHis Click To Tweet

God’s grace is furious and it is bigger than all of our sin. Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?

Furious Grace

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  1. Deb Wolf says:

    Oh, Shannon, I can so relate to your words. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my own rebellion and God’s amazing relentless grace. It flattens me! And then gently lifts me again to wholeness. Thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable to shine glory on Jesus. You bless me!!!

  2. Tania says:

    Hello Shannon, God’s love is truly amazing. I am so thankful He delivered me from myself (most of the time we are our worst enemy). Your description of His grace is breathtaking. Tania from TheodoraLove

    • Shannon says:

      You’re so right- we ARE our own worst enemy sometimes aren’t we? I know that grieves God and something I have to work on daily! Thank you for reading!

  3. Alisa says:

    I love this, Shannon! I was reading about Grace this morning and found this: Grace is God’s love in action. It’s so true isn’t it? His love never fails to amaze me. His grace is more than I can ever ask for. Thanks for sharing this today. 🌸

  4. Such a beautiful picture of His fierce grace and love. It’s amazing how He pursues us.

  5. Meghan says:

    Shannon this is beautiful and I so get it. Something similar just happened here, and as much as I didn’t know how to describe it to the kids, I did want to let them in on how he moves in hearts. Thanks for sharing. You have such a sweet heart. Hope you have a blessed day!

  6. This is so powerful, Shannon! I’ve been overcome by God’s presence and grace too, in the most inopportune moments. I love how you infused this with a touch of humor. Sharing on FB and Twitter!

    • Shannon says:

      It’s so amazing to be overcome by His presence, isn’t it Sarah? I’m so thankful for those moments. Thank you for your kind words!

  7. Liz Rigby says:

    I think it’s wonderful and that’s something your daughters should see! It’s good for them to know His grace moves you SO much. Such a lovely post <3

  8. […] Oh, girl. I get you, I really do. I’ve said that exact phrase so many times I’ve lost count. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that my eyes were opened and I finally understood. […]

  9. […] First of all, you’re not defined by your mistakes, you’re defined by His grace. […]

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