“Grace, grace, God’s grace…grace that is greater than all our sin!” is part of the refrain from the song, Grace Greater Than Our Sin, by Don Moen. That lyric is a byline for my life. Even when I was still in my sin (Rom. 5:8), He chose me and saved me (Eph. 1:4-5). My testimony is too long to cover in this blog post, but I will share some excerpts as an example of the grace and mercy of almighty God.
I was fearless as a child, so my first brush with death came at around two. I was running like the wind down a steep hill of a cemetery while my parents put flowers on nearby graves. Tripping on the trunk of a small tree, reeling out of control, I landed hard and was later diagnosed with a broken femur. Next around four, I ventured into the river while my dad swam across the river. He looked back to see my long brown hair floating on the top of the water. I made it out safe and sound, but I was always getting myself into scrapes. I climbed on roofs, jumped off high places, and ended up covered head to toe with poison oak after one summer adventure. Those were innocent times.
At eleven my sixteen-year-old brother died in a sudden vehicle accident colliding with a train. The police reported the news to me (I looked much older than my years). His death was followed by my grandmother’s sudden death from cancer and my 46 year old uncle’s sudden death from a heart attack, leaving my six cousins all under the age of 18 to figure out life without a provider or protector. I decided at a young age that if I was going to die young, I might as well make the “best” of it while I could. Was it a conscious decision? I do not believe it was, but when added to my fearlessness nature, the combination lit a fire of rebellion that lasted the next thirteen years.
From age 12 to 25, many of my choices were foolish and dangerous. At 17, I came near to death again from Toxic Shock, surviving a 107-degree fever and other awful and painful symptoms. After 30 days of recovery, I got out of my house for the first time, only to be rear-ended by another vehicle, the force so powerful it bent the metal frame of my 1968 Mustang. While my daily life was colorful and full of friends, family, and school activities, my nights and weekends were often filled with edgy, darker activities.
I went to college with the help of my parents and student loans. I continued my sinful decisions and what had now become defiance toward God. I met a young man who knew God, but was not walking with Him. He tried to tell me about God and the devil, but his life was total hypocrisy to me, which was the only loophole I needed to push God even farther away.
Fast forward four years, I was living in another town and working at a small vitamin store, barely getting by. My coworkers were a witch (she said she was a white witch, the “good kind”), a prostitute, and a Christian (although I did not know she was a Christian at the time). The Christian woman was kind and hard working. She had a peace about her that I was attracted to and needed desperately in my life. Finally, amongst the strange environment (we were having break-ins at night), I asked the woman, “Do you go to church or something?” She replied, “Yes, would you like to go with me sometime?” I was in such a hopeless place and knew the only thing I hadn’t tried was God, so why not? Much happened in between, even a miracle that to this day I can’t explain, except that it was God. But after going to church with this woman less than a year, she asked me if I wanted to pray to have Jesus come into my life and by then I knew He really was the only way, the only truth, and the only life (John 14:6).
Maybe you are in a similar place. Your life is filled with fun and adventure, but deep down you know you are missing something. The Lord is the only answer to that longing. No amount of fearless fun can satisfy like He can. Accept Him as the way the only way, the only truth, the only life, and you will begin to transform into a fearless servant of the One True God.