Today, I will be featuring guest blogger Jen of With Grace & Lace. Jen is wise beyond her years, passionate about Jesus Christ and a new friend that I have been blessed with through the blogging world. We have never met in person, but we share a common bond through faith. I hope you find hope and encouragement in her story today and that your hearts discover the ultimate sacrifice that was given this day over 2,000 years ago. ~Blessings this powerfully Good Friday, Nikki
It’s challenging to know what to share when you’re posting on someone else’s blog. You don’t normally stop by Nikki’s to visit little ol’ me so I haven’t really earned the right to be heard by you yet. If you do take the time to read it through I would love to hear what you think – if you have had similar experiences, if you disagree, have questions etc. I just love a good dialogue!
I’m not going to assume that everyone reading is a follower of Christ but I am going to write like what I’m saying is fact; because in my experience, it is. I hope that is in no way offensive but what I’m going to say I DO believe to be truth so I hope not to color it any other way. So on with it, right?! Here’s a little glimpse into my story.
I was a sinner: lost, insecure yet conceited, self-absorbed and selfish. I didn’t consider myself a “God-hater” but I lived my life that way. I looked for life apart from the Lord constantly & was only concerned with myself, my happiness, my rep, etc. I sound like a complete wretch but it was reality. I had a cushy life with very little trials, a wonderful family & fun friends. I was completely broken, and the craziest part is that I was completely unaware of my condition. I was buying everything that the ‘world’ was selling.
I had built a shallow life on a shaky foundation by the time I was about 15 years old. The things that held the most significance to me were fleeting & momentary, yet I thought that I “had it all.” (I’m laughing at myself for writing that). Through the perfectly planned orchestration (that even in my best effort couldn’t be destroyed) the Lord was at work. He showed up over and over through friends, mentors, family & circumstances to show me more and more of who He was. Over time I learned what I had been ignorant to all my life. The truth was that I had a Creator who cherished me dearly, that desperately wanted to draw me back to Him & desired to make me something new. Someone that would glorify him instead of grieve Him.
In hindsight, it is so amazing to see how a person like me could ever come into the good graces of the Lord. What kind of Holy & Perfect God would look at a flawed person like me, someone who blatantly said (not verbally but in action) “I can do this on my own. I know better than you.” and respond to her with “I’ll take you back. I want you regardless of your mistakes. You are mine; you were bought at a price. I’d lay down my life for you”.
The crux of the Gospel is grace. We are undeserving of any kind of favor from the Lord and yet…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He did that so that we might have life & have it to the full! Not a shallow, purposeless existence but rather a life that is filled with adventure, true joy & real love that was designed by the Creator of it all. Christ died that we could be in a right relationship with the Father again & how blessed are we to have the opportunity to turn and run into the Father’s arms again?
It is crazy how news so huge, so life-changing, so earth-shaking can be boiled down to such simplicity. The most crucial part of the gospel is grace & grace is the most crucial part of my story too.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:1 (KJV)