Gracefully Truthful

Faces of Grace

Every redemption story points to the Grand Author who writes the very best stories of all!

I heard the phrase, “relationship over religion.” I had a lot of religion, but no relationship with Christ.  I began to wonder if my lack of relationship was why it was so hard to “follow the rules.”

Even as a child, I understood I was a sinner in need of forgiveness. I could identify sin in my own life, such as when I would disobey my parents or lie to them. I knew God was holy and I was not.

I felt useless and was sure God would abandon me like my friends had. Satan heaped on the lies and I believed God couldn’t use someone as messed up as me.

Pits…..Sometimes we choose to dig our own. Sometimes they are dug for us. While I was saved as a small child, my testimony didn’t become powerful until a few years ago.

I was born and raised in the LDS (Mormon) church, baptized at eight, and went to church every Sunday. I left the church for a season, but my desire for truth drove me to continue searching.

My family basically lived at church. I don’t remember at what age I accepted Jesus into my heart. But I do remember that I started to be more aware of who God was to me.

While my upbringing was a solid foundation for my faith, I believe that God really set me on the trajectory to where I am today during my first year of church camp when I was 11 years old.

My story is one of shattered dreams, broken hearts, and deep pain. I wanted to give up. I had no purpose. I was empty and hurting. I had no hope. But… Jesus changed everything.

I was surrounded by rules. Trying to live by all the rules was hard, and I knew I was letting God down every single day. As I got older I began to feel I did more things wrong than I did right.

While I was home for Christmas one year, my dad announced to us that he no longer loved my mom and they would be getting a divorce. I was heartbroken and confused.

I grew up in rural Kansas in a blended family of Christ-followers.From my earliest years,I knew of God’s love, but somehow I failed to really grasp the gospel and what it meant for my life.

He’s teaching me humility, possibly one of the hardest lessons to learn. He uses traffic, an aging parent, and the ladies in Bible study to make me realize that I’m not in control. (I have a lot to learn!)

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What is my lovely hidden gift? A special needs child. In my case specifically, one on the Autism Spectrum. My heart sobbed as therapist after therapist explained my son’s disability limitations.

As far as I can remember, attending church was routinely regular. Living a regular and routine Christian life was my story. Until the un-ordinary, un-routine God, turned my world upside down.

Holding on to His truth and promises results in hope and joy and peace and fulfillment, even if those are only realized once the waters recede and the heat of the fire withdraws.

For as long as I can remember, I have heard about my need to be redeemed from my sin and that Jesus was that redeemer. My life is not my own. It is Christ’s.

In reality, I confessed with my mouth that Jesus was Lord, and believed with my MIND that God raised Him from the dead . . . but my heart wasn’t involved. I only had a vague idea of true Christianity.

I felt like a statistic. I couldn’t believe that this is happening to me. Why? I don’t deserve this. I’ve done everything right.” I ended the phone call with my friend and broke down in tears.

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