I’ve been so embarrassed to ask for prayer lately because sometimes it feels like my life is just a never-ending drama. With all the seizures, OCD, depression, PTSD, new symptoms, other health illnesses we’re still trying to diagnose, and then the most recent OCD worsening, a new stomach issue, and over a week long lingering migraine thats the result of a head injury: it just feels like it should be the end of the ‘hard stuff.’ That there shouldn’t be more and if there is, it’s somehow my fault.
I have this little voice inside of me that tells me I’ve used up my entire allotment of sympathy and prayers; that life should be easy and painless and perfectly put together now because I’ve maxed out my quota for pain and people are tired of hearing about it already.
(Never mind that I am tired of living it already!!)
Against all the blaring sirens in my heart and soul telling me I am “too much” and “out of turns to ask for help” and I just need to “be quiet, suck it up and handle it on my own”…
I need prayers in this season because my heart is breaking in a new kind of way that I didn’t know was possible. Who knew there were more ways for it to break? And I cringe asking for prayers, because I wish more than anyone that it was all put together already and I didn’t need them. But I do. So can you please pray for me? Again?
As I wrote in my journal God so tenderly seemed to respond in my soul, “Who put a limit on mercy, Summer? Was it me? Did I say you were out of turns for compassion, grace and love? Who told you that you were a burden and that people were weary of walking alongside you?
Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive this brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus looks Peter in the eye and blows his mind. “I tell you not just seven, but seventy times seven.”
Jesus looked me in the eye and whispered the same thing over my heart this week.
Who am I to limit how many times I can be on the receiving end of mercy and grace and forgiveness and prayers? Should I receive the tenderj and fierce prayers of my community only seven times? Or seventy times seven?
God himself is reminding me: if forgiveness is not limited, neither is mercy.
Or prayers. Or grace. Or love. Or compassion.
Do I deserve it? Have I earned it? Do I need to re-pay it? Will I have to ask again? Am I a burden? This week I am practicing the art of silencing all these questions and leaning into the grace of friends who have not once shamed me and told me to “just be well already.” Friends who have stood beside me and not grown weary in their love and prayers.
And I am standing in awe of a God who keeps whispering “seventy times seven” over me.
Maybe you need to be reminded today that seventy times seven is for you too.
Maybe you need to offer more than seven shots at grace to someone in your life.
Maybe God needs to step into your shame and fear and “people are SO tired of hearing this story from me” thoughts and remind you that this whole Gospel thing? It’s about mercy…
and mercy and mercy and mercy and mercy… the unlimited, never-runs-dry, seventy times seven kind.