Saved by grace | 500 Words on Grace
by You Have My Word
I would have liked to start this by saying that my first thought on grace was something amazingly inspired and profound. Unfortunately, it was more a thought of confusion. Of course I’ve heard of the grace of God, I know it’s beautiful and fantastic and wonderful, but somewhere along the way I seemed to have forgotten to ask exactly what it was.
Far too embarrassed to actually ask anyone about it, I headed for the dictionary. Here I found a myriad of definitions, the most pertinent being “the freely given and unmerited favour and love of God”. Oh. Right. Well I knew about that.
Continuing onward (and feeling rather glad that I hadn’t asked anyone the mortifyingly obvious), I thought of my own experiences of this beautiful, constant, overwhelming grace. I went back to the very beginning of my story.
Turning thirteen was filled with the usual teenage angst. It was also the year I discovered that other parents didn’t treat their children as I was by mine. I truly thought it was normal for my mother to scream at me for hours for accidentally making her lunch incorrectly, I was used to being called a “bitch” daily, and it was run-of-the-mill to be hit a few times if I had an opinion that differed from hers.
I quickly learned that such things were not quite as ordinary as I’d previously perceived and I slipped into a severe depression, something that still stalks me every day. So at 15, suicide was not only looking more and more appealing as each day passed, it was becoming my only option. I knew I was days from reaching my breaking point.
After I displayed some rather colourful swearing on an orchestra tour, a cellist responded by instigating the most important conversation of my life. We sat for hours as he told me of the gospel. This is where I first learned of God’s grace, his unconditional and undeserved love. And I didn’t understand. This can’t be real. It must be a fairytale.
I had never felt love. In my family you had to earn love and I was told daily that I was never going to be good enough. Doomed for failure. And here I was being told that I already had God’s love and I didn’t even have to do anything for it?
I still struggle with the concept of grace because being loved is more foreign to me than I’d like to admit. I still mess up all the time, and it’s difficult to embrace knowing that God will always love me no matter what I do or have done. So no, my mother doesn’t love me, no matter how hard I’ve tried to be her version of worthy. But God does love me, without having to do anything more than exist, He loves me. I don’t deserve it, and I don’t really understand it. My flawed nature will never let me truly understand what it means to be loved so unconditionally. But knowing that saved me.
I was saved by grace.
I’ve recently started getting to know Camille more and I’m thoroughly enjoying the discovery process. Her strength runs deep and I’m excited to watching her journey of grace go beyond these 500 words as she discovers Jesus more. She writes here and you can follow her here.