Over halfway through this year, and it occurred to me recently that one word seems to keep replaying in various ways of my life, like a scratched record resting on a single naughty word:
Mercy.
I’ll provide a quick pause break for us all to reminisce over how much we miss the Full House gang and how very nice to look at John Stamos somehow still is.
Anyway, back with me?
Over especially the last year and a half, post-post pardum depression, I have struggled to pull myself out of the regular kind of sinking sand chasm of depression. Most of it comes from several circumstances piled on top of each other, like a lame birthday cake for a party of one, sans candle. And as if I didn’t feel empty enough some days, it’s usually those days that a certain keyword comes into play.
You guessed it. Mercy.
Those circumstances that keep me sinking in darkness…several of them have to do with a few relationships. Still others have to do with milestones, losses, how some scenario played out, or goals not anywhere near being reached. It’s in these places, I hear it whispered:
Have mercy.
On those I share relationships with in a season of testing and of Hell-fire, of milestones and relationships missed, forgotten, and lost, of grace not extended.
Show mercy.
On myself, on others, on circumstances.
I reflected on what the stripped-down version of Christ is. That is, without all of the man-added garbage of tradition, translations, and ideals. Because, isn’t that what we’re all struggling for, to know Christ and to show a hurting world who He is?
Unconditional and radical – grace, love, forgiveness…mercy.

Grace Love Forgiveness Mercy - Theme Your Year - Discovering What You're Supposed to Learn From This Year - GrowingSpangs.com
Every heart fiber of King David constantly pleaded with God for it, throughout his Psalms, his poem story journal. Those coming to Jesus looking for a miracle in their darkest places usually said it. “Lord, have mercy on me.”
Seven months into this year, I realize the single word, annoyingly whispered to me in my deepest thoughts. Mercy. Ashley, show them mercy. Ashley, show yourself mercy. Ashley, show My mercy. I hear it most when it’s not the expected reaction…when it most needs to be the reaction.
Unconditionally. Radically.
How about you? What word or phrase keeps showing itself to you this year? You don’t need to make it faith-based…but I would honestly love to hear your thoughts behind your own scratched record message. Feel free to email me, if public isn’t your thing.  I’d also love your comments over on Instagram, where I’m working on gathering an authentic community.

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