Grace has become a rippling, raging mystery to me in the past few days. But it has also become as sure and certain as the sunrise.
It is, if possible, more ethereal and unknown in its depth and more tangible and unshakeable in its truth. Because as surely as I know (I mean, really, really know) I don’t understand it, I know with the same certainty that I’m living it. Breathing it. Sustained by it.
On Thursday, I stood in a hospital room, helpless as my beloved faded away. Helpless as they hit him to bring him back, as his room filled with strangers and a bright red crash cart and I’m not kidding when I say: our life rolled in front of my eyes. Our dating and wedding and fights and vacations played a sweet, sad song in the background of all that hospital chaos. A steady rise and fall of terror and grace. Terror, met by grace. Terror, consumed by grace. It would be easier to tell you there was no fear; to assert that all was grace as I felt life slipping away. Maybe more mature believers than I could pull that off, but that was not me on that day. On that day, when death prowled and I was nearly breathless with a kind of fear I’ve never experienced before, grace showed up and wedged its foot in the door. And once grace gets in, fear is eventually, inevitably undone.
Home now, with Steve out of the woods, I have felt nearly overcome by the weight of this new life. So much to do, to watch, to learn as caregiver to a man fighting such a fierce physical battle, drawing strength for life through a tiny tube. I don’t generally question God’s ability, but I daily question mine. I’ve been honest in this space that I do not feel like I am enough for this battle. I am impatient and selfish and not very calm under pressure. But into all that truth, comes Truth, greater still – He is enough. And in my weakness, He is not just sustaining me, but building something in me. Something new. Something I will be proud to own down the road.
And grace is at work in my marriage. I don’t know how to wrap this in words, except to say there is something truly magical and undeniably romantic about spending a long night in a hard chair in a hospital room when you are sleeping next to the one you love. Turns out, the “in sickness” part of the vows, while not as easy, is no less beautiful than all the rest. Because of grace.
Do you feel long on fear and short on hope today? Are you exhausted from your own plan-making and plan-scrapping and giant-naming? I wish I had a formula to work or a pill to swallow or a magic meme, but I don’t. I only have the assurance of grace that wins, redeems and recreates our chaos into courage and our helpless cries into shouts of joy. And I think, this far into our battle, I can say with confidence: this is the very post I would be writing had the outcome swung another direction on Thursday. In the face of life or death, grace still wins. It has and it will. It always will.
So, while there’s no formula, there is this (and this is good):
… Who are you, O great Mountain? Before our God, you shall become a road on which to walk. And that road will be paved with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!'” Zechariah 4:12 (personal paraphrase)
Wishing you grace,
Ang - Bo,
This has brought so much… Grace into the heart of my marriage today. Even just the notion that although destruction may attempt to destroy our marriage, Gods grace is strong enough. It sounds cliche, but it means something to me today. I can’t wait to hug my man when he comes home.
cathy - Grace!!! That has been my word for everything I do! My job my marriage everything!! As God told me today His mercies are new every morning! Glad you are home and steve made it through praise God!
Jami Steeley - I want to thank you Bo for sharing your struggles with us. I’ve learned so much and grown by reading your words. I’ve found myself digging deeper in my Bible to find the same grace, mercy and peace that I know God has for all of us and daily I’m discovering him in all places of my life. So, once again, thank you for being such a fierce women of God. I know I’m not the only one who is learning from your awesome example.
Stephanie - This was breathtakingly beautiful. Thank God for grace. Thank God He is enough.
JANENE WILDS - I have been reading your book and praying for you and your family. I love God’s word and soak in it daily–truly God has good for us and fresh new strength daily as we trust in him. Rom. 15:13 was his word to me for today. I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. I want to take this with me all through this new day he has so graciously given me.
John Allen - Bo, thank you for sharing, for being transparent and real. Praying for you, Steve and family.
Laura - Peace and Grace, two of Gods greatest gifts. My continued prayer for you and your family.
bo - Stephanie – I just read a few of your blog posts and I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet husband. You write beautifully and I think you’ll be so glad you recorded even the most difficult part of your life together. I am praying for you today.
Evangelist Steve Ost - Well hello Bo and Steve, It’s by “chance” I meet you and come across your beautiful story and hearts…well it’s not really by chance, of course. We know there is no distance or limitation with our Lord, and we know that we either will have an answer from Him in these conditions, or we will just have Him increasingly, which is an answer as well, of the highest kind really. But very unplanned I found out about you nice people some days ago and you are both just “there” all the time before me as it were…so He lets you know now this wonderful word: “My help cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth…” (Ps. 121:2). Help cometh not goeth. There is such a thing as help coming to us from the Lord. Jesus is in the problem but the problem isn’t in Jesus. He tells me He thinks you’re both special and He has something good in mind for you at this time: “He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them…” (Ps. 107:20).
Eve - Yes, a beautiful rose is unfolding!
Adriel Booker - Oh goodness gracious. Glennon Melton uses a term, “brutiful” and this is it – the beautiful, brutal truth. Yesterday was our sixth wedding anniversary and over dinner Ryan and I were talking about how although we’ve definitely had some challenges and storms that we’ve faced in our six little years, we recognize that we are still just babies at marriage (or perhaps reaching into our “preschool” years of marriage maturity) and He really has sheltered us in very tender ways as we’ve needed it. We’re so thankful to have role models like you and Steve to show us what mature love looks like, not just in the face of a little rain storm, but as you come face to face with a tsunami. There is just so much hope for the future and I’m humbled and relieved and glad for the ‘brutiful’ truth that Grace is already there waiting for us, no matter what life throws at us. Thank you for your beautiful heart and life Bo. You are truly a gem in the Father’s crown. I just adore you and Steve.
Judy HInds - Beautiful words Bo. Thanks for not just saying them but living them.
betsy sellick - Beautiful, Bo! I was struck by your proclamation that your words would be just the same even if the outcome had been different. I’m in awe of your trust in our grace-filled God! Thank you for sharing your heart of wisdom. I’ll continue to pray for your family, asking God to overwhelm you all with His grace!
Susan Baker - Bo, I am sooo in awe of your words, your heart, your love for people….I seen you at Prineville Eastside Church, when you were there recently…..And ever since, I have prayed for you and your family, thought about you and wanted to write to you…You and I are struggling all tho not the same sickness but the same battle, My beloved husband Floyd of nearly 36 years, has been sick now for nearly four years on hospice for a year and a half……We keep bracing ourselves as the drs. tell us it is near time for the inevitable, But GOD yet shows HE is GOD, and gives my Floyd more time……Tho, weak and loosing weight rapidly, his spirits are good, and he reads his Bible daily and he prays for people daily, with a long list in hand………I will ask him to add you too…..I know your hearts cry, and I know how you feel, when it seems like the words just wont come anymore…..I have a favorite song that talks about just letting my heart be quiet and listening to GOD, and boy have I learned to trust in that……In these words I have wrote to, tho no where near as elegant and beautiful as your words, I just wanted to let you know, you are not alone…….My heart reaches out to yours Dear Sister in Christ, May GODS love shine b
right for you and yours each day……Susan