When some people hear the word Grace, many things may come to mind. Perhaps Grace Kelly or the thought of a ballet dancer floating across the stage at the Nutcracker Suite. Or even how someone handles an adversary in a congenial manner. I can understand why people think of those things, but what I think of when I hear Grace, is G-O-D!
I have had a trial or one hundred in my life. I grew up with a very supportive mother, but was never close to my brother who is eight years my senior and my parents got divorced when I was seven. I did not have the pleasure of having a father around to baby me and make me feel special. My mother did that for me. But I’m not sure that it was quite enough.
I had a nice home growing up with a big yard and nice clothes, we were not wealthy by any means, but I never went without. My mom was a career woman, with great responsibility at her job, but she would still be room mom in my elementary school. As I got older, she would serve concessions at football games during my band and flag corps years. I think my father showed up once. The lack of a dad in my life really set me on a course that wasn’t so good.
Towards the end of my senior year, I became more than a bit rebellious. That rebellion hit me even harder when I was a freshman more than one hundred miles away from home with no parental guidance. I did not do well in my classes, I made poor choices and I started to become another person. I could not relate to my friends from the past, I was not the same. So, after my second year, I moved back to my hometown because I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror.
I wanted to have more stability in my life. But what happened over the next couple of years was far from stable. I didn’t have a close relationship with my mom for a while because of my stepfather. I had a boyfriend who was not good for me. And I had a roommate that brought a lot of unnecessary drama to my life. So, when I was twenty-two, I moved to a larger town and made changes. I lived on my own and got my finances together and started to figure out what direction to go in, finally at the age of twenty-five my life stabilized.
Looking back, I realize how much of a late bloomer I am in many respects. I did not finish college until I was twenty-nine. But I completed my degree on my own dime, while running a business. My life took a while to get on track, but through God, I was able to make it happen! I started going to church around that time, and started reading my Bible and honestly, started surrounding myself with people that were living Christ-centered lives. I am positive that my life changed because I put God at the forefront of everything. And once again through His Grace I prospered and was saved.
Sometimes I still feel like that doe-eyed younger person still unsure of what the future may hold. But I am still here and I have a lot to share and teach the younger generation, particularly my own child, because of my mistakes. None of us know what is around the bend or what may happen from one moment to the next or what path some of our choices may lead us to. But one thing we can be sure of, is that with a dose of faith and a pinch of forgiveness, we can make it through anything. Which reminds me of my favorite scripture, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
He not only strengthens us, but He gives us second chances. He never loses faith in us even when we do not think that we can go on. He also forgives us, even when we cannot face things that we have done. God is the only reason that I, and all of us are still working and living and breathing and typing. J He knows what our purpose is, and if we become close with Him and seek His face and open up our hearts, it will be revealed to us. Many people never find their true vocation. They go through life blindly because they do not turn to God for guidance and direction.
I wish in my younger and confusing years, I could have understood how many times God had my back and saved me from myself. What I failed to realize then, is that somehow, I always made it. I did not come in harms way (for the most part) and I got out of sticky situations that I should not have been in, virtually unscathed. Now, in my fourth decade of life, I finally understand the importance of this thing called life. Things are coming together slowly, but surely. I am still not where I want to be, but I am working towards it with confidence and vigor. Having God as my navigator makes it all possible.
I may not have had it easy. I have had to work harder than so many people that I know and have struggled with many things. But I am blessed. I have a beautiful daughter, a loving relationship and have all the things that I need. Through God’s Grace, I have been able to learn from my many, many mistakes. For many years, I was not even close to the realization that everything was going to be okay and through my many emotional scars, I would survive. To be assured that one day I would be able to reflect back and realize how good I have actually had it. After a long time coming, I do…
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind, but now I see.”
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