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Sola Gratia

I hope in something bigger than myself. It’s how I can find the desire to get out of bed in the morning.

I hope that there will be a bigger truth than what we often see. For most of my life, I have looked at the world and tried so hard to make sense of it. How there are orphans, and sick, and homeless, and heartless, and so much pain. How there are disasters and tragedies and so many things that I have no power to change despite great desire to. But it’s not the end of the story. I have to hope that there is still good to come out of these places. Beyond that, I hope in the fact that someday, all that is sad will be made untrue.

I hope I am not the arrogant, hyperactive force I was in college. There are days I miss the energy I had, but I certainly don’t miss the lack of impulse control that I daily demonstrated. I hurt some people, I made dumb decisions, and I had to grow from all of that. I miss the energy I had, but I am glad that I do not still demand that so much attention is drawn to myself.

I hope I’m not the timid, wounded person I tend to be these days. If I am, I hope it’s not for long. I love people too much to shy away from them when I sit one-on-one with them over a meal or a cup of coffee. I love honest conversation too much to hide when people want to get to know me. I don’t want to be the person I used to be, before difficult times made me withdraw, but I don’t want those withdrawals to control me.

I hope I’m as good a friend as those who have been great friends to me. When they are in times of need, I want to be there for them in much the same way they’ve been there for me. Helping out, caring for, or even just listening. And I hope that if you read this, you have some of those people in your life as well.

I hope you know how beautiful you are. I hope you can look at yourself and honestly see that the worth you have far outshadows your insecurities and mistakes. You may screw up, but you are not a screw up. You may feel lonely, but you are not alone. You may worry about what lies ahead, but you can still enjoy and embrace all that is happening now. And it’s through grace that we all have the gift of understanding our worth.

I hope you know how broken you are. That you see your desperate need, and your inability to save yourself through yourself. I hope you understand that your desperate need is met. Met in something much, much larger than yourself. Because of that, you can see that your brokenness doesn’t put you above anyone else in this world. Their brokenness doesn’t put them beneath you. When we understand our own brokenness and need of something more, then we are free to treat each other the way that we should. It’s where we start to see ourselves for how we really are.

I hope we never stop asking questions. I hope we wake up each day curious, and we go to bed each night with more understanding than we started out with. Each day brings new things to learn and more experiences to have. Let’s not lose sight of that.

I hope we see the unimportant things for what they are. We shouldn’t stop having opinions, but we should stop letting our opinions control us. When we take unimportant things and make them more important, we lose sight of the things that actually matter. Suddenly, there is no grace to show to others, because we value ourselves more than we ought. Perspective is invaluable.

I hope in these things because I have to. When I wake up in the morning, if I see only the brokenness of the world and of myself without also seeing the beauty, I have missed something. If I don’t have curiousity, then the world doesn’t have anything to offer me. But if I keep a constant reminder that this life, this beauty, this brokenness, and these questions are all gifts? If I wake up and remember the grace of it all? Then I see how grace has affected every aspect of my life. It is through grace alone that I can even get out of bed in the morning. I don’t want to forget that.

I hope that you see how much larger it is than anything you can see or think or accomplish. It is all a gift to embrace. These are all the things that I have to remember every day. I hope you remember them too.

I hope you live through grace alone.

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About The Joseph Craven

I'm tall, but not so tall that people point and stare.

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