My Story of Grace // Shawn Green / by Jamie Hagan

Grace is a hard thing to write about because it typically involves uncovering wounds, whether they be wounds I inflected on others, or ones inflicted on me. Either way, stories about grace require us to come face to face with things we’d often times rather leave in the past.

My story of grace took place about four years ago. I was serving on staff as Outreach and Discipleship Pastor and it was a very chaotic season of ministry. My plate was full and I was stressed. I had no margin left in my life, so anything added to my to-do list was going to be the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.”

I was overseeing a recovery ministry during this time that met every Thursday night. On Thursday afternoon, the guy I had arranged to lead worship that night had to step out because of a work commitment. I felt my blood pressure rise, but I figured I’d just go into our worship ministers office and ask him to lead that night. No big deal.

Our worship minister, though, told me he wasn’t able to do it. He didn’t give me a reason (he didn’t have too), he just said he couldn’t do it and offered no other assistance in my time of need. That’s when I broke. I stormed out of his office shouting something about all the things I had to do and how everyone is so wrapped up in their own stuff that they never lift a finger to help anyone else. I was playing the victim looking for sympathy, but instead, I was acting like a fool. Literally. “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” Proverbs 29:11

After I came to my senses, I felt so embarrassed and ashamed. I locked myself in my office and didn’t want to face my co-workers, but I knew I had to apologize. So, after a few moments to compose myself, one by one, I went to each of them and asked for their forgiveness, starting with the worship minister. He stood up, gave me a great big hug and said, “Shawn, I love you and I forgive you.” Each of them showed me an incredible amount of grace that day and it made an impact on my life and my ministry.

It’s hard to say, “I’m sorry,” it’s even harder to ask, “Will you forgive me.” But grace can set you free when you own your shortcomings and ask for forgiveness.