Grace and Gratitude for the College Girl
When was the last time you truly sat and pondered the concept of grace?
Probably not as often as you think about the mistakes you make and have made in your past. Before you read any further it is important to keep in mind a verse that makes all the difference:
"There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” -Romans 8:1
The more I think about the decisions I make, in college and in life, the more I realize the beauty of God’s grace for my mistakes. This does not mean that you simply can do whatever you want to and “get away” with it. It simply means that if your heart is truly in Christ Jesus and you make a mistake, it does not define you. God does not want us to sin against Him, but when we do, it must not overshadow the fact that we are still children of a great God.
For the first half of my college career I made the mistake of putting my relationship with God on hold. I found myself blocking out the spiritual part of my life because of a relationship, new friends, and pressures. Then, once I realized that it is okay to make mistakes I began remembering His grace.
Recently, I read a fantastic book called “1,000 gifts” by Ann Voskamp and one quote in particular got me through a lot of days when I struggled with remembering my past too much:
“Pain is everywhere, wherever the pain there can be everywhere grace, and yes, Jesus, I am struggling and I get turned around but I think I know now, at least in part, what I want. If I had never run, if I had never fallen, and here, I am not sure I would have known with BLAZING clarity how I feel now." -Ann Voskamp
Before my freshman year mistake of being distant from God, I was only content in my faith. I was lukewarm and felt like being a Christian was just something that was second nature. But, when my relationship with God faltered because of the decisions I was making I began to feel empty. It was then that I realized it was time to make a change in my life. So, I went running back to God and His perfect grace, finding humility and gratitude so deeply sewn into my heart.
“I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I may not sin against You” –Psalm 119:11
It is important for you to not get down about the path you are on now or that you have been. God places those struggles so that you may come running to Him with every part of your heart no matter how imperfect it is.
After being interrupted by grace, gratefulness fills your life. You begin to thank God for every struggle that He graciously put in your life. Because you suddenly realize that struggles cause you to come running to Him with every part of your heart. With that, He becomes enough, giving you trust and hope in every single one of His promises and plans for your life.
Even if you are not struggling with finding grace, I encourage you to spend more time with God. You will never grasp the entirety of His love and grace, but there is beauty in trying. Grace and gratitude is just waiting to be found in your everyday life.
Remember grace before you remember your past mistakes, because that is the only way to live fully in Christ.
// photo by catherine guidry via style me pretty