Grace is something that I am in need of daily. If you knew my family and how I was raised, you wouldn’t expect the life I’ve lived. I was the good girl, in church with the whole family every single time the door was open, I sang in the choir, served in the nursery… I did all the things a Christian girl was supposed to do. Yet, it didn’t get me anywhere. I was lost, in need of a Savior.
My mom told me growing up that I had accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was around 5 years old. The problem was, I didn’t remember it. At all. Being from a Christian family as a youth we were required to have daily devotions, at 12 years old I was fascinated with the book of Revelation (still am in fact, I LOVE the Left Behind series). It was during my personal devotion time that I came across these verses…
Revelation 20:14-15, “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
That night it hit me that I was one of those “whosoevers” that it was talking about. I knew that my name was not written in the book it was speaking of. I knew that I was lost. I was blessed to have my mom by my side that night as I knelt and ask Jesus into my heart. It is a memory that I will never forget and I’m thankful that I listened to the Lord pressing onto my heart my need for Him that night.
I can’t tell you that from here on out that my life was lived for the Lord and that I honored Him more than I didn’t. It just isn’t so. Even after becoming a princess of The King, I didn’t always live for Him. My teen years and young adult years were times that I was often need of an extra dose of grace.
The hormones that hit you as a youth and young adult are brutal, they come on with a ton of bricks and if you aren’t prepared for them, then you’ll end up in quite a mess. Before I was 16 I had lost my virginity and then had my heart broken by him and his family.
The best summer of my life followed that heart aching time in my life. My grandparents allowed me to accompany them to Mexico to spend the summer there working with mission teams coming from Texas to work with the local churches. It was exactly what I needed, a time away from life back home and a focus on the Lord and His work. I was geared for heart break again because as my grandfather told me, “You wear your heart on your sleeve”. I ended up leaving Mexico despising all men and swearing to never get married.
Never getting married didn’t last long. I said, “I do”, just shy of 2 months after I turned 18. While this marriage ended in divorce less than two years later, I was given a precious blessing during that short time. I became a single, divorced mom, but I walked away from physical, and emotional relational abuse that forever left it’s mark on me. Grace was a word I didn’t feel I deserved, but was something that I so desperately needed.
I am stubborn and tend to think I can take on the world and don’t need anyone’s help. At times I’ve even thought I didn’t need God’s. This was a downfall several times throughout my life, but through it all God’s grace prevailed. At 21, I became an unwed mom, living at home with my parents and my two little blessings. Before my next birthday, I said “I do” again and we became a family, a blended family with yours, mine and ours.
Over the last 9 years we’ve been hit with many blows to our marriage, but through it all God’s grace has been there. Just as it always has been throughout my life. Without God’s grace I never could have found my way through separation, adultery and resolution in my 2nd marriage. If I chosen my own way as I’d done throughout the rest of my life I would have been divorced a second time. Yet, I finally saw that going my own way had never gotten me anywhere. I knew God’s grace is what would see me through, through to His plan, His will for my life. I took a leap of faith and decided to trust and follow Him this time.
It’s amazing to look back over all the bad choices, see the signs I missed, the things I should have done but didn’t, and see God’s grace throughout all of it. He never let me down, His grace is what saw me through it all…it prevailed through everything. His grace is enough for me. For all the things I’ve done, the things I never did, the life I have now and whatever the future holds for me.