Thursday, May 21, 2015

Advice to my 23 year old self: grace

My 23rd birthday was exactly one month before my wedding day. God had brought a young man into my life, though we lived half the world apart, who was godly and loving, quiet and fun. He was even taller than me and could play piano, my childhood dream come true! After a busy summer renovating, it was great to be able to settle into our new home and into our new life as a married couple.

There are two pieces of advice I would give to my 23 year old self.

First: Contentment.
Second: Grace.

In our first year of marriage we were not blessed with a child. However, most of my married friends at church had a baby that year. We trusted that God would start our family in His good timing, but it was often difficult to see my friends enjoying God’s good gift of children while He withheld that blessing from me for a time. The advice I would give to myself would be "Don’t forget God is good and He works all things together for His good and for my benefit."

We had two wonderful years of marriage before God did bless us with the birth of our first child, a son. Looking back I see what a blessing those years of marriage were for us and our relationship. We were able to devote ourselves fully to our marriage without also learning how to be parents at the same time. 1 Timothy 6:6 "Now godliness with contentment is great gain."

Grace is an amazing thing. Unearned, undeserved favour and kindness! I think the more we learn about grace and see its beauty, the more we know we don’t know. During our first year of marriage we were very involved in our church. It seemed that we could be at church doing something almost every night of the week: Ladies Mission Circle, Bible Studies, Choir practice, Boys & Girls Club, Sunday services, speech nights etc. Why did I do all these things? Perhaps I wanted to grow in grace. Or, perhaps felt obligated to.

Looking back I can see that my motives were not always pure, sometimes they were downright ugly. When we have a view of God that He is constantly looking down from His lofty throne on high checking up on us to see if we are behaving, our actions show it. Often we frantically try to run around ‘serving’ Him. I don’t doubt that I was a believer, but I do know that I wasn’t awed with His grace.

God has taught me much about grace over the last years. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that I can do that will make me any more pleasing to the Father. The advice I would give to myself about grace is "When God the Father looks at me, He sees Christ’s perfect righteousness covering me and He calls me His beloved daughter!" And that is reason for holy living, serving and learning.

Colossians 3:1-4 -- "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."


Amanda was my babysitter growing up. Hard to believe I thought she was sooo ooooold back then but not at all now! :-) I have many memories of "Mandy" coming to "play." Once upon a time we even glued coloured macaroni to paper. 

Thanks for sharing, Amanda!

(PS, Amanda is Jacqui's to have both Mom & Daughter contributing to the series!)

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