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Grace Changes Everything


Grace Changes Everything. 

That’s the name of the sermon series taking place in my church right now.

As I’ve sat, listened, prayed, and searched, I came to realize something… grace changes everything, and it’s changed me.

Grace changes everything... and it's changed me. Click To Tweet

When I was 17 years old, I came to know the Lord.

I started attending church. I read my Bible. I was baptized.

However, teen rebellion rolled into spiritual rebellion, and I turned away from God.

I was confused.

I wondered if my eagerness to seek God was because I believed, or because I wanted acceptance and approval from my newly converted Christian parents.

I couldn’t come to terms with my thoughts and feelings, so I walked away from my faith and my heavenly father.

I was not spiritually void. I went through phases of reading the Bible. I periodically prayed. I found, though, that as I opened myself up, my brain would wrestle with worldly things.

I struggled with everything having to do with Christianity. I was full of frustrations with God. I didn’t want to believe in hell, or eternal damnation, or a God who allowed these things to be. I was terrified of my mortality. I feared that my desire to believe in Christ was simply because I was afraid of death and what comes afterward.

The words in the Bible confused me. I couldn’t align my mind and principles with what it was saying. So I came to the conclusion that if I couldn’t believe in all of it… then I couldn’t believe in Christ, and I was not entitled to salvation.

My questions and confusion kept me away from God for almost 20 years.

I gave birth to my second daughter 4 1/2 years ago. The experience was traumatizing. As I feared for her life, and mine, I called out to God. I begged Him for help, and I prayed for our health.

I believe that this singular moment opened the door and rekindled my spiritual journey.

Grace changes everything.

A few days after my daughter was born, I picked up the Bible that I had abandoned years before.

The first thing I read was about Jacob wrestling with a man beside the ford of Jabbok. I related to Jacob insisting on the Lord blessing him.

As I read the words, I identified with everything. I was struggling because I believed that maybe God didn’t want me back. I wondered if perhaps I was eternally damned because I had my chance and turned away from Him. After seeking some counsel from my dad, I decided to continue the wrestling match with God, and I started going to church.

Then something beautiful happened. The more I heard the message, I fell deeper in love with my heavenly Father.

I’ve never had an “A-HA” moment of realizing that I’m saved.

I’ve never had waves of goosebumps or a complete sense of peace.

I’ve never had a vision of God.

My spiritual testimony involves a gradual realization that living life with, and for, the Lord is my purpose.

At times, I’m terribly insecure in my faith. I wonder if my fumbling towards God even matters. I sometimes wish I had the big “A-HA” or a miraculous transformation because then I would know – without any doubt, that I matter to Him.

Yet, I’m repeatedly reminded that… grace changes everything.

As I wade and stumble through this relatively newfound faith, He reveals himself:

He shows up when I’m not sure what to do.

He lets me know He’s here for me, and He does it in the most amazing ways!

He even sends me messages to remind me that I’m loved.

He has even spoken to me – clearly!

I’ve never shared my full testimony here on The Deliberate Mom. I wondered if my story was ridiculous or even insulting. I wondered if my salvation matters as much as the story of a missionary sacrificing their life overseas, or the individual who spends their time volunteering to help the needy or the person who has turned from a life of addiction to a life of amazing redemption.

Grace changes everything.

For so long I thought my story was insignificant.

It isn’t.

You see, my story involves a shift in perspective. The God I thought I knew was a God of judgment and condemnation but the God I know now is a God of love, forgiveness, and grace.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 3: 16-17 ESV

Every soul, every person, everyone matters. Our Father loves us. He loves me. He loves you. He’s calling us, and it’s our choice if we respond to His call.

When we answer, we know with certainty that… grace changes everything.

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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, Deliberate Homeschooling and regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.

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28 thoughts on “Grace Changes Everything

  • Amanda || Growing Up Madison

    We have so much in common. I was the same way. I grew up in the church and went every Saturday and then I became a teenager and rebelled. However now that I’m older and have my own kids, I’ve started going back although not every week. I do believe in God and I do believe that he’s there for me throughout everything and all I need to do is to call on his name. His Grace does change everything and it did change me.

    • Jennifer Bly

      I find when I go to church (which is weekly), I’m refreshed and renewed spiritually to get through another week. I find when I don’t go, I’m a bit more clouded. Grace is beautiful – and I’m so thankful our Lord covers us with it any time we call on Him.

  • Rebekah

    I am so glad you shared your story Jen! I used to think my testimony was insignificant also( I was saved when I was 5) But you are right, it’s not insignificant at all. Each of our lives is a testimony of his grace no matter if we had a crazy transformation or we have walked with Jesus our whole lives. We all our sinners and in need of a Savior. Sharing!

  • Aimee Imbeau

    I LOVE your story Jennifer!! I love the title, too – grace DOES change everything – and that is what are stories are about – His grace. We all need it. I am so glad you were obedient to God and shared despite your feelings. There are many out there who have a story very similar to yours and just because nothing ‘big’ happened does not make your redemption and restoration any less significant. One person’s story isn’t ‘better’ than someone else’s. If it brings God glory, it is significant. And I’ll tell you a little secret…those of us who may have ‘bigger’ stories also feel like they are insignificant…I know I sure have felt like that – many times. It’s like “what happened was not a big deal – it happens to a lot of people”. But our stories do a lot of damage to the enemy’s schemes and plans…so he does not want us to share…and so he whispers lies to stop us from sharing. He hates it when we share what God has done. He hates it when we share God’s grace and redemption. He loathes it – and that spurs me on to share even more. It’s my revenge;)
    I am so glad you shared. I can’t stop smiling! You have made my day!

  • Jerralea

    Love this! I’m just like you: “My spiritual testimony involves a gradual realization that living life with, and for, the Lord is my purpose.” And as I mature, the more that purpose fills my entire life.

    By the way, love your graphic! I love pictures of crosses.

  • Stefani

    I love it, Jennifer! So many of us that have grown up in a Christian home don’t have that “AHA” moment, but our obedience is still just as precious and sweet in the sight if God! <3

  • Candace

    I’m so excited for you and every person you will inspire with your testimony, my friend! I’m a big fan of grace. The word is tattooed on my wrist to remind me constantly of this amazing free gift. Thank you for laying your heart and story out here, Jennifer. Beautifully done!

  • Abi Craig

    Beautiful. Grace really does change everything. We’re all saved from the same thing – worshipping and serving ourselves rather than God – and every life saved by grace is significant. So glad you shared. God makes all things, each one of our lives, beautiful in His time, in His way and for His glory.

  • Dianne Thornton

    I love your story, Jennifer. It’s the real stuff life is made of. I love how God brought into relationship with Himself! How you wrestled with it until it was yours. I know many people will be blessed as they read this. I know I am. A lot of people have a progressive realization in their faith. You validate that and will meet them right where they are! Blessings to you, sweet Jennifer!

    • Jennifer Bly

      Thank you Dianne! Yes, I wrestled with it like crazy! At times I was half-believing but throwing trust at Him – saying I need this, I want this… bless me Lord! Give me the wisdom I so desperately need.

      I appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts about this.

  • Tiffany-A Touch of Grace

    Jennifer, thank you for sharing this! I’ve had a post in draft for about 6 months about my faith and the struggles I’ve gone through, and still go through, with it. This has given me the courage to maybe share it some day soon. I’m glad I’m not the only one who hasn’t had an a-ha moment. I haven’t and wonder if I ever will.
    Just thank you so much for sharing your journey.

  • Belinda

    Loved reading your story. I think it is a lie that testimonies have to be grand – God’s work in our lives is God’s work – and it is always grand. As a person who grew up in a Christian home it is also easy to belittle the ‘grandness’ of a testimony. Thanks for sharing yours.

  • Betsy de Cruz

    Dear Jennifer, I applaud your courage, friend. Your story is NOT insulting or ridiculous. It’s beautiful and true! God wanted you back, indeed. Thanks for sharing your story on your blog today.I’m applauding you.

  • Chris Carter

    Oh Jennifer… YES!!! Grace truly does change everything. I absolutely love your testimony, because truly it is one that I believe is more powerful than the miraculous witnesses that are out there. Sure they are chilling and profound in many ways, and I do love a good God story! But yours? Well you reveal that God is the ultimate human whisperer… slowly reaching and waiting for us to open our hearts so He can enter, pouring His love on us if we let Him. Your story is about SO many thing SO many women experience. And God will use it to bless others as He will continue to use everything you do with all that you offer to Him, for Him. in His name.

    I’m so so glad you shared this. Sharing it everywhere! God bless you, my friend. Remember there is no such thing as an ‘insignificant story’ when it shows off God and it presents how grace can transform the human experience. Every word you shared was important. Nothing about God is wasted.

    • Jennifer Bly

      I’m delighted you enjoyed this Chris! Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. It’s funny how we let our minds belittle our experiences. I really thought my story was insignificant, yet since writing this, I can see how my story is similar to so many others’ stories and sometimes it’s the common story that speaks to people the most.

      Sorry it took me so long to respond. I’ve been busy with my trip to Ottawa. Now that I”m back, I’m playing “catch-up”. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share. You bless me with your encouragement.