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Family Grace
By Shawnelle Eliasen

Completely Loved

A few weeks ago, during my quiet time with the Lord, I came to these verses:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
you know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
And are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord,
you know it altogether.
(Psalm 139:1-3)

Since then, the truth continues to wash over me. It settles on my spirit. It ebbs into my heart. It’s like a flower, with petals of revelation opening sweet and deep.

Today the thoughts come again. I’m in the car, transporting children, doing the yo-yo drive that is a part of my day. To the pool and back. To the church and back. But the miles offer time to think. And here’s what drifts over my soul:

How much effort do I put into trying to create who I am? Or cover who I am? All this energy spent on presentation, so I’ll be known and accepted and esteemed and loved. I may not even realize I’m doing it.  And all the while, the Lord is there. He looks through the layers of effort and concealment and he sees my true heart. It’s beating raw and uncovered and fully exposed. He knows my thoughts. He knows my words. My motives. My ambitions. My ways.

And there’s no earning or hiding. He sees me for what I am, and he meets me with love and compassion and grace.

The chatter in the car grows louder. We near our destination. I’ll drop a child off. Gather another and go.

But the wonder of being so known, yet so loved?

That goes with me all the way.

Shawnelle Eliasen and her husband Lonny have been married for twenty-five years. They have five sons and raise their bevy of boys in an old Victorian near the Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. Their sons, Logan, Grant, Samuel, Gabriel, and Isaiah, range in age from twenty-one to six with Shawnelle home teaching the youngest three.

Shawnelle has been writing for six years, contributing regularly to Guideposts magazine, Daily Guideposts devotional and other inspirational publications.  She would say that life with her men moves faithfully, on fast forward.  But it’s her heart’s desire, her passionate prayer, to see God’s goodness and glory in the fullness of her days. She longs to see Him in the unexpected moments, unexpected places, changing the ordinary to extraordinary and bringing quiet, sustaining grace.