These past few months, the Lord has called me to a life of daily dependence like never before. It wasn’t my transition to managing our business full-time. Rather, it was a more private, intimate reliance - one that took place within the walls of my own home.
In the fall, Persimmon was growing – and it was exciting! We launched new, beautiful products and began selling on a larger scale. We cheerfully gave to our partnering non-profits, and felt so good about supporting their work. It felt like real impact.
I became so entangled with fighting on behalf of God’s mercy and grace - for my friends and family. For the lost, the broken, the voiceless. For those caught in the trap of sin and despair. For all humanity…
This mercy, this grace I so confidently wanted for others, I had missed it for myself.
I spent long hours, slouched at my desk, answering droves of emails.
I’d skip meals, and then would desperately overeat.
I’d guzzle a pot of coffee by noon, nearly everyday.
I denied myself of hobbies, creativity, and self-care.
I missed precious time with loved ones.
The exciting rush of work took hostage my body, my mind - my world.
Pain crept its way down my back. Some days, I felt sharp knifes slicing through my spine. Other days, my back went completely numb. Bones and cartilage shifted, like stacked rocks crumbling under my skin.
It was some of the hardest physical pain I’ve ever experienced.
Seeking help from medical professionals further exposed the pain deep within. Therapy worsened the torture, which increasingly accompanied me day and night. My body was broken and hopeless, and my mind began to follow suit. I became depressed and would cry for reasons I couldn’t explain. Publicly, I held it together. But privately, I struggled to see life beyond the next 24 hours.
It was during that time when I began to see what daily surrender really looks like.
My emotions and physical state would constantly change, but I held on tightly to God’s unchanging truth. In time, His truth unveiled this ‘self-denial’ for what it actually was: pride.
Oh, Pride... The very sin that ushered in the fallenness of our world had found its way into my heart, once again.
Pride’s lies said ‘pull it together’ in public, and deny myself behind closed doors.
But God’s truth offered me new mercies each day.
Pride’s lies wanted credit for accomplishments.
But God’s truth gave glory to my only deserving King.
Pride’s lies justified my works as worthy to save.
But God’s truth said that there’s nothing I can do to earn my Father’s love.
As I came to face-to-face with this ugly pride, our Pastor’s teachings on the Lord’s Prayer fell fresh on my ears, and in my soul. I more clearly saw how daily bread and surrender to my Lord brings much needed food – for both my broken body and my broken spirit.
It means knowing that I live each day, not by my own power, but the power of He who lives in me.
It means standing firm on His word, and claiming His truth for my own self.
It means believing that the One who created me would never leave or forsake me – through the pain, through the depression, through the pride.
Today, I choose to awake to His new morning-mercies, and walk because of His unmerited-grace. I choose His comfort in my broken spirits, and His presence in my pain.
He calls me to have mercy on others, and to see that my very existence is by His mercy, too. He shows me that extending grace is to receive the same grace for myself, and receiving grace means admitting I am unworthy.
It’s His love for me that helps me love and care for myself, and it’s by His power that my work is accomplished.
Surrendering is hard, but it’s in that very place where I meet Jesus, to continue living out my days here on earth, while having steadfast hope for what’s beyond them.
KACIE FEENEY is the founder of Persimmon Prints and lives in the Chicago area with her husband of 3 years. They have two malti-poo pups, Lucy & Rosey. You can connect with her & Persimmon on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.