The Mercy of Second Chances

Originally published Monday, 06 August 2012.


When I lived in Grand Rapids I went to a boiler room a couple of times that was near my neighborhood. According to another website, "Boiler Rooms are engine rooms driving God’s purposes forward. The Boiler Room is a youth initiative seeking to establish a praying community." There are boiler rooms throughout the country and world, where groups of people come together to commune with God and seek him intimately and worship him and serve him.

To me, that is a beautiful picture. It makes my heart say 'yes,' to be there, to be a part of that.

Yet, I only went to this boiler room a couple of times the whole almost-year I lived there. No more than 5 times I'm sure. What was it that held me back? I know it to be fear. Fear of feeling left out. Fear of being the stranger. Fear of not being "Christian enough." Fear of not loving the poor enough. Fear of not loving the Lord enough.

I was intimidated and let that intimidation run me away from this radical community. I still subscribe to their blog and love to read about the inspiring ways they are rocking that community and reaching out and being the hands and feet of Jesus. And yet, I turned my back on that opportunity.

Still, the Lord is a redeemer. He redeemed through Jesus once and for all, and he continues to redeem us everyday.

So it was the case for me.

After living in Grand Rapids for a couple of months, I noticed a little blurb in our church bulletin for a prayer group that met on Wednesday nights. Somehow, one crisp November night, I got up the courage to go and check this option out. I found my way to the room and was by far the youngest person in the small crowd. And yet there was something reassuring about that; it felt safe to my scared and worried little heart.

So I came back, week after week. My soul thirsted for that community of prayer and my faith was watered, seeing other people healed (inside and out), and finding healing and joy and providential answers in my own life. I learned so much from this community.

It was my second chance and it was what I needed. I'll never know whether the boiler room would have provided the same sort of support or resting grounds for me. But that doesn't really matter, does it? What matters is that God still met me where I was, lonely and in need, and provided for me. Even when I gave up in fear, he did not relent. That is mercy and grace.

I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end
he will stand upon the earth.

Job 19:25

Carmen writes the blog, Life Blessons, which provides an intimate look into her life as a twentysomething woman as she details her experiences learning how to live out her faith, enjoy the simple things in life and be the woman God created to her to be. Along the way, she shares the blessings and lessons that are a part of this journey, the things she likes to call her "blessons."

Feel free to learn more at her blog, Life Blessons.

Related Posts from Life Blessons
Learning About God's Loyalty Firsthand
Why I Keep Looking Back and Reminding Myself at What God's Done

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