We have a treat for you today! Today’s post is the first from Judy!!!!! I had asked her to write about Grace for us back during Easter and I am just now getting it posted, totally my fault. Hopefully I can convince her to do a bi monthly posting. I know she has lots of wisdom and important insights. So here we go…
I love Philosophy’s fragrance Amazing Grace. On the bottle their definition of grace is, “in the end, it all comes down to one word, grace.” On their candle it says, “when the road seems dark, grace is your light source. It is a beacon that illuminates the way and leads you towards brighter days. Grace will light the way.” I believe both these to be true.
As a child growing up in the small conservative Churches of Christ that we attended throughout Kentucky and Tennessee, I didn’t hear the word “grace” very often. When I did, it was usually referred to as the “grace only” doctrine that the Methodists believed. So , what I heard was that “grace” was not something that we needed to be concerned about.
My journey of learning and understanding about grace began when I entered into a treatment center for alcoholism in 1980. Up until then, to quote the words of Karen Casey, “because I didn’t understand the source of all grace and love, I had turned to men first, and then to alcohol and drugs, where I found an even deeper level of despair.” As a child of five, and continuing until my teens, I had been sexually and physically abused resulting in addictive behaviors that kept me participating in my own abuse.
I began attending a church in 1984 where the preacher, Rubel Shelly, preached weekly on grace while combining the ideas of 12 Steps of Recovery. Sunday after Sunday, as I absorbed his words, grace became a living and breathing part of my life and my idea of God changed from a harsh judge to a loving father.
In the story of the prodigal son, the father is seen as running toward the son. That to me is Grace. Today I am covered by the blood of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He takes my pain, my shame, my fears, and in place gives me unconditional love, joy, serenity, courage and wisdom.
Max Lucado says, “A man is never the same after he simultaneously sees his utter despair and Christ’s unbending grace.” And I have never been the same since seeing the light of our Father’s amazing grace.