Tag Archives: grace


There but for the Grace of God go I.

– John Bradford

I was in Chicago recently. 

I used to live there when I was in my 20s.

Now, in my 40s,  I see it in a whole new light. 

I kept thinking of the quote above. I guess as we get older, we become more intimate with our mortality.  We are not as brave (or clueless) as we used to be. I have no doubt angels were looking out for me throughout my life but I kept them especially busy in my 20’s. 

We were at the Vic for a concert.  I’ve been there many times for concerts and movies (Brew and View anyone?).  And now I want to say this: Thank you God for protecting me in the many crowded, dark places I frequented.  Thank you for getting me home safely.  I tested you.  I pushed my luck.  Thank you.

The bike riders were inches away from dying, cutting it close at every turn.  (Is this true or is it just my motherly perception?) Thank you God that I was never hit by a car or hit anyone with my car. 

Sitting there at the Vic, an overwhelming feeling of gratitude engulfed me.

I see it as a mother now.  Where I saw opportunity, now I see risk.  Where I saw fun and action, now I see danger and the unknown.  Where I saw freedom and escape, now I see chaos and a lack of boundaries.

So with my gratitude, Lord, today I ask for the ability to see like I’m young again.  To recognize that the need I had to experience the city may one day visit my children.  I may be driving their stuff down in a U-Haul for them to room with 6 girls in a one “bedroom” which looks a lot like a closet.  Give me the courage and the strength to let them go.  Not only to let them go but to encourage them to experience the fun, the action, the freedom and the escape that the city offers. 

You and your angels were strong enough to protect me.  I know you are not going anywhere.  I know you’ll be there when my kids are in their 20’s too… Right?

©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
picture of The Vic Theatre from flyingabruzzobrothers.com
picture of lincoln park street from chicago.ettractions.com

Amazing Grace


God is everywhere. He is in a sunset, a baby’s laugh, a cup of coffee with a friend, a kiss from your 1st grader, a hug from your husband or wife.  He’s in church, He’s on the beach, He’s with you walking the dog, He’s at work.  You may feel His presence or you may not.  Just because you don’t know He’s there or you don’t believe He’s there, doesn’t change the fact that He is there. 

 I went to a conference once and I heard a woman talk about God.  She said she found a lump and went in for a biopsy and then had to wait for the doctor to call her to tell her if she had cancer.  She said she kept telling herself, “Whether you get the news you hope for or the news you dread, God’s grace is the same.”  Then she repeated that same quote about three more times.  This was about 10 years ago and I have never forgotten it.

She said it with such conviction.  You could have heard a pin drop in the large arena filled with thousands of people.  I imagine everyone else was doing what I was doing… wondering if they could really believe those words if they were waiting for that same phone call.    

I’ve thought of these words of wisdom many times since then.  I’ve thought of them when I’ve gotten bad news.  I’ve thought of them when I’ve been waiting for the phone to ring.  I’ve thought of them when my friends have gotten bad news.  I’ve thought of them when people I love have died.  What I now realize is that even when I have changed, God has not. 

And now I believe…

On a good and sunny day, when all is well with the ones you love, God’s grace is the same.

When there is uncertainty in life, God’s grace is the same.

When all of your kids are safe and happy and healthy, God’s grace is the same.

When the world is literally turned upside down and the fear is debilitating, God’s grace is the same. 

When there’s good news of a new baby, a graduation, a promotion, God’s grace is the same.

When the night is dark and your heart is heavy with worry and doubt, God’s grace is the same. 

When I’ve made a mistake and I need to be forgiven, God’s grace is the same.

When someone I love has died, God’s grace is the same. 

Whether you get the news you hoped for, or the news you dread, God’s grace is the same.

Amazing Grace (Click on link to hear Amazing Grace)