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Here’s the Story

January 9, 2009

I was recently given an assignment…to recount the ways that grace has been present in my life, up to now. I read it to my small group on Wednesday evening, (that’s right…I read it. My preggie brain might let me down if I depended on it to remember all of this) and I thought I’d share it in this space as well. I know it’s more lengthy than my usual posts, so I have interspersed it with photos to keep you interested til the end! Ha! See how clever I am? Anyway, it was a little more difficult than I had imagined, pulling it all together. Funny how a person can write here from time to time with little or no effort, but when given a specific task with a specific topic, it becomes more difficult. Well, here’s the story…

I grew up being taught the truth. I heard the gospel on a regular basis. I knew it and could recite it. ‘Grace’ was a word I could accurately define, yet I didn’t truly understand it until later. I confessed Jesus as my Savior at a very early age, and most of that memory is based on what my parents have told me about it later. I had great parents who loved me, provided for me and sacrificed to send me to a Christian School. Grace had been bestowed on me in generous portions, but I didn’t recognize it for what it was. Despite all of these surroundings, I acted as if my belonging to God’s family had something to do with my own merit, which made for a lot of inner conflict. I was a good kid, with no interest in getting into trouble. It was easy for me to follow rules, which made it difficult for me to view my position before God as ever being a precarious one. However, when I went to college and was on my own, I began to notice a little more rebellion in my heart and that made me question things more closely. Seeing my own sin in an obvious way made grace a little more real to me.

It has taken me quite some time to be able to rest in God’s grace, to trust fully in what Jesus did and not in anything I have done to make me worthy of being a part of His family. It has become clearer and clearer in my life that it is not so important that I accept Jesus, but that Jesus has done the work of atonement for me, and that his work was acceptable to the Father. So being in Christ is the fulfilling of my deepest need and the center of my life.

Becoming a wife was a circumstance in which I began to understand all of this to a greater degree. Besides the fact that I married someone who was willing and patient to teach me, I was also confronted with many of my shortcomings on a regular basis. When I began to recognize imperfection in myself, I became far more aware of my need for grace and much more grateful that it had been freely provided and that all

the work was Christ’s.

My goals along the way have remained much the same. I can’t really remember a time when I wanted to be anything other than a wife and mother, although there were plenty of times when I questioned whether or not it was enough. Living life in these roles has only made me surer that this is where I belong, and that it’s okay to enjoy serving my family. I know now that my life is and is going to be about obedience and serving. My husband’s purposes are my purposes, his goals are my goals, and his work is my work. I am happy about this.

Eve was designed as a helper for Adam, a suitable helper. This is what my life is about. Part of my husband’s vision for me is in extending a vision for the grace of God in our children’s’ lives. I am an educator, a nurturer, a cook, a companion, an editor, a sounding board for ideas, a manager, a bookkeeper, a teacher of truth, among a hundred other things. Our family motto is taken from John 1: “Grace and Truth.” This is what we want to communicate to others and my husband has encouraged me to increasingly look for ways to extend those values in whatever spheres of influence God may give me, inside and outside our little family. I am blessed, and am happy about God’s plan for my life. I don’t need to have the same role and the same avenues for service as my husband. I am learning more and more to love the way God has designed us differently. I feel sorry, not in a proud way, but with genuine pity, for those women who believe they cannot be satisfied unless they are given the roles of men in the home, in the church, anywhere. I believe it is part of my calling to happily model an alternative to this culture of envy and resentment and to embrace with contentment my place in the world. I am a child of God, by the work of Jesus. I am a wife and a mother, grateful for where God has placed me. I hope to have the attitude of Mary, who was humble and obedient.

There are days when it’s easy for me to feel like all is as it should be: I’ve accomplished a lot and everyone is happy and healthy. Then comes the day when nothing goes as I have planned, whether it’s pukey sheets in the middle of the night, a hard day of discipline with the children, or even miscommunications with my husband to worry about . Something that I have learned about all of this besides the blessing of grace in abundance is the importance of dwelling on the truth, first and foremost. My feelings and my circumstances change constantly, but the truth about God never does; whether I’m feeling good about life or like I’m failing miserably on every level, my actions and reactions don’t change my standing with him. What a relief! I’m far from perfect and knowing how far is often depressing, but putting my focus back on the truth always brings me back to a peaceful state of mind. Through scripture and often music, I am able to fall back into rest.

I’ve previously posted the words to a song that has become so precious to me, among many. For this post, it seems appropriate to include. Also, these pics are all old…haven’t been taking a whole lot lately. Case in point below…do you think I can really see my own feet right now?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. mKhulu permalink
    January 9, 2009 9:20 am

    I recall what JB from Topeka remarked to Samuel at your wedding rehersal: “You married way over your head!”At risk of tempting you to pride, you are my favourite.

  2. jena permalink
    January 9, 2009 11:17 am

    A great encouragement and reminder – thank you!

  3. rebecca permalink
    January 9, 2009 1:00 pm

    Wow. I hate it that we missed hearing you share this on Wednesday, so I’m extra thankful that you decided to share it here, too. I love you and appreciate your encouragement to embrace what is right. Thank you.

  4. Jessi permalink
    January 9, 2009 10:52 pm

    Thanks, Gina, for your encouragement and for helping me to see grace and truth. You’re a willing vessel God uses in my life.

  5. jessica permalink
    January 14, 2009 3:27 pm

    Beautiful thoughts and encouragement, Gina. Thank you for opening your heart.

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