A new blogging season has begun, and I’m writing from a bit of a different place these days. I know that the entirety of my life has been wrapped up in the beautiful grace of God, but my understanding of that grace has changed quite a bit over the last year. The grace isn’t new, but it feels new. I guess it’s been about a year and a half since God started me on a journey to discover new layers of his grace that I’d paid little attention to before. He began to peel back layers of legalism that had a tight grip on me, surprising me with insight into my messed up heart and showering me with his good, gracious love. And He hasn’t let up! The journey continues. His grace is changing me. I may be changing slowly, but his grace does not and will not stop working. And for that, I’m incredibly grateful. From that gratitude flows my desire to write again, to share how he’s illuminating for me some of these truths about his grace.
If I could summarize these grace lessons in a somewhat concise statement, it would be this: God has directed my mind and warmed my heart to the great need I have for the gospel today. His gift of grace – Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross – was not useful just for the day I received his forgiveness, put my belief in Him and became a Christian. It is for EVERY day. It is for the right now struggle going on in my heart, and only the gospel (grace) has the power to transform me, grow me, make me anything I should be as a child of God. My own efforts mean nothing, and I’m just now beginning to get that. My understanding of it is small, my awareness of it young, but my heart is captivated and I’m eager to learn more. I realize more and more how little I know about the sweet gospel of grace that both saved and presently empowers me.
In many ways, it appears to be this huge, multi-faceted and mysterious concept that I’ll never conquer knowing, so why would I put the word “simple” alongside it on the title of this blog? Here’s the deal. Learning grace hasn’t been simple. But I can testify that every bit of grace grasped simplifies my spiritual life. My relationship with Jesus has been important to me for a very long time, but I see now how much I’ve worked at it, missing out on the freedom he longs to bring through grace-informed living. I’ve added so much to it and pursued way too much “doing” without truly being motivated by thankfulness for his grace. My daily service to him, my ministry opportunities, the disciplines of Bible study and prayer are all simplified by a focus on grace, a belief in the cross as enough and that I do not have to make myself better. He has done everything. And he will complete the work he began in me. So I plan to write about those things I’m starting to see through this new lens of grace – the treasures in God’s Word that work on my heart as I study the Bible; the roles that I have as a wife and mother; the experiences I have in serving that right now involve things such as foster care and mentoring through a local ministry to low-income children but might be something entirely different tomorrow. I hope this blog is compelling for those of you who want to know more of Jesus – that it moves you toward Him, but my other hope is that it is a breath of fresh air for all who read!