I’ve experienced more grace in my life than I ever thought possible. Because my heart is so overwhelmed with grace I’ve received, I hope to share that with others! It was the most exceptional gift I’ve ever gotten, and came at the most raw and ugliest time of my life. I never thought I would sin like this.
At the time I didn’t know how it happened, but now I do. I grew up with a strong Christian influence in my life: my mom. I accepted Jesus in my heart during VBS, and started walking out my faith. I stood out like a sore thumb in school; I was very innocent and had a hard time fitting in because of it. At some point I believed I’d always stay that way. That was my first mistake, thinking I was immune to a certain type of sin because I never believed I would struggle with that type of temptation.
Whatever you think you’re most immune to becomes your most vulnerable area.I started to become prideful in my heart about it, mistake number two. It’s easy to get blindsided when you’re not looking. As the years went on, I experienced greater difficulties in life (who doesn’t?) and I learned it was easy to waver in my faith during that time. I started looking for a way out, an easier life I could live than my current one. I wanted to escape my fear of the future, fear of not being able to do what God called me to. I was constantly busy with college, work, and volunteering at a church. My stress was through the roof, and I frequently got sick as a result. I wanted a reason to be excused from it all. Then, my first mistake of thinking I couldn’t fall prey to immoral behavior showed its ugly head. My safety net was gone, I felt I had no one to turn to, and I gave into sin. I couldn’t be more ashamed of myself.
My identity crisis continued, and I knew I was in a million pieces. Pieces, it seemed, that could never be put back together. Guilt made its stamp on me, and I didn’t see a way out. I realized how much pain I was causing those closest to me, and it further crushed my heart. Who was I? And how did I get here? I didn’t guard my heart.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”Proverbs 4:23
Now that I was so broken and humble, God showed me love I couldn’t fathom, and he used my boyfriend to do it. I was painfully aware I wasn’t deserving of marriage, or even forgiveness for that matter. Opening up about my shortcomings was just as painful as carrying the burden myself, yet I knew it needed to be done. Any joy or dignity I had prior to this was out the window. I knew that my most cherished earthly relationship hung in the balance. It was the price of my sin, because sin always comes at a cost. What happened next can only be explained by grace.
My future husband chose to forgive me and accept me as I was, bless his heart! It was the most humbling experience I ever hope to have, and was quite literally my (second) saving grace! I had drifted apart from God, and have no idea where I would be without that abundant display of grace in my life. We are now married, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the unconditional love he has showed me! It wasn’t an easy road of recovery, but after lots of tears and prayer, I’ve found this to be true:
“But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.”Psalm 9:18
If ever there was a single experience in my life to help me understand God’s gift of grace through salvation, this was it! I saw how truly wretched my sin was and how desperately I need Him to continually renew my heart and mind. Have you already received God’s saving grace? Has someone ever given you a really nice gift or done a thoughtful gesture for you that you knew you couldn’t repay? That’s how grace feels. Maybe we’re never able to pay that person back, but we can certainly honor God with our lives for the grace he’s so freely given us! Being called to reconciliation with God despite our sins is the greatest gift we could ever receive!
Rachel is a Michigander at heart, no matter where she is living. She is an ESL teacher and loves teaching kids! Flowers, mountains, and pretty much anything in nature she loves! She’s a simple girl who loves adventure and laughing. It’s a dream of hers to speak worth in women who don’t feel loved. You can find her on Instagram at @yoderrachel