I had one of those gut-clenching moments a few days ago. You know, like when a pit the size of the Marianas Trench yawns open in that hollow right where the two halves of your rib cage meet. Yeah, one of those moments.As I hopped over to Emily’s place and scrolled down to catch up on her last couple posts, I glimpsed a sight that took my breath away: the image of her soon-to-be-released book. It’s called Graceful, and when I saw the beautiful cover design, the word Graceful spelled out in delicate script, tears instantly sprang to my eyes.
Because, you see, the book I wrote (yes, the one I’ve been known to refer to as Stupid Book from time to time) was originally called Graceful. In fact, that’s what I still call it in my own mind, even though I changed the title to Leap Year right before I queried Rachelle. That’s the reason this blog is called Graceful – I launched the blog after I wrote the book.Now, let me preface this sob story by clarifying that my personal Marianas Trench is not in any way a reflection on Emily Freeman. I love Emily’s writing, I loved her first book, Grace for the Good Girl, and I love her (because I tell you, if you read her blog, it's totally impossible not to love her). Furthermore, I have absolutely no claim on the title Graceful, nor did Emily even ever know that my book was originally titled that. Nor, frankly, does it even matter, since my book is not contracted and is still unpublished.
But still. To see the image of that beautiful cover, to see what my dream might have looked like, had it played out as I had imagined and hoped – well, it was painful.So I did what any woman in her right mind would do. I emailed my good friend to whine and lament.
And that’s where I found God’s good grace in all this. Because when I wrote to Deidra and admitted that it pained me to see that cover, I knew I could tell her the bitter truth because I knew she would still love me anyway, right in the midst of my big, fat, ugly moment. And that’s exactly what she did.
“I love you I love you I love you! Yes!” she emailed right back in a matter of seconds. When I saw those words relief washed over me like a cool mist. And even though the pit was still lodged squarely beneath my rib cage, I felt better. Much better.“That’s why I love you so much,” I wrote back to Deidra, “because you forgive me for being human sludge.” And it’s true. Deidra lavished grace on me when I was decidedly ungraceful (maybe that’s what I’ll title my next book), and when she did, I somehow understood exactly how God loves me, too.
When's the last time someone lavished grace on you? And isn't it a beautiful thing?!