More Grace

This past July I had the opportunity to attend the 2014 Essence Festival in New Orleans, LA. My friends and I had been talking about going for years, but things never panned out.

But in 2014, I was determined to be in the building because one word….PRINCE! The purple one was going to be performing in the flesh and Stacy was going to be front and center! Seeing the Prince live was a life goal of mine and he was EVERYTHING! I may or may not have cried when he sang Purple Rain.

The entire trip I had a feeling that my friend and I were going to have an amazing time, and I prayed that God would divinely connect us with people who would change our lives forever.

During the festival, Sarah Jakes, the daughter of Bishop T.D. Jakes, held a book signing for her latest book, Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life. I first connected to Sarah’s story when one of my friends introduced me to her blog, specifically the blog post titled, Lost and Found.

This young woman whom I had never met articulated everything that I had gone through in my past and the feelings of uncertainty that I feel as a twenty-something woman navigating through life.
So I had to meet her! She was so sweet and, of course, I told her she was my best friend in my head (I wouldn’t be Stacy if I didn’t tell her that lol).

She autographed my copy of the book “More Grace”. I did not think anything of it and enjoyed the rest of the festival. Recently during one of my times of uncertainty, I looked at the autograph again, but this time I really pondered on it. Why would she write “More Grace”?
What is Grace? In the Christian belief, grace is described as the free and unmerited favor of God. It is what every believer prays for and sings about (hums Amazing Grace).
Oftentimes, we use grace as a noun, but I was interested in the usage of grace as a verb. As a verb, grace means “do honor or credit to someone or something by one’s presence.”

By this definition, the only way to “rightfully” deserve grace is to be present. WOW! So just because I exist, I receive Grace.

As a Christian, I am constantly asking God for more grace. More grace to get a new job, become best friends with Beyonce (hehe), or to get through a tough situation. I am so desperate for God’s grace, but do I give other’s the same grace that I so desperately seek?

Am I honoring every single person that I come in contact with? Do they exist? Then they deserve my grace. It is not my job to decide who deserves grace. If God can continue to grace me despite all of the wrong that I have done and will do, then I don’t owe anyone judgment. I only owe them love and grace.

Could you imagine what a wonderful place America would be if we learned to honor one another just because we exist?

Today, I have made the conscious decision to grace or honor everyone that comes into my presence and it will not be based on how they treat me.

If I only showed you love because you love me too that would not be grace. Grace is undeserving.

Thank you Sarah for that lesson and reminding me that, in order to receive more grace, you must be willing to give more grace.

Your sister in the Livin’ Like Maya movement,



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