My Life … God’s Grace

©2010 by Teri Lynne Underwood ~ www.pleasingtoyou.com

My Life … God’s Grace

My Life … God’s Grace
a story of redemption

Teri Lynne Underwood

©2010 by Teri Lynne Underwood ~ www.pleasingtoyou.com

My Life … God’s Grace

I and They
I AM A SINNER.
I know this. I live in this reality. In fact, I - like David - know the truth that "my sin is always before me." If you knew me, truly knew me, and could see inside my heart - you would run. For often, it is black there. My sin, my past, my struggle never catches me unaware. But people ... their response to my sin …

THEY often surprise me.
THEY whisper. THEY point. THEY turn away. THEY judge. THEY hide behind a mask of self-righteousness. THEY hold stones. THEY hurt.
©2010 by Teri Lynne Underwood ~ www.pleasingtoyou.com

My Life … God’s Grace

I could tell you …
I could tell you the story of my sin.
How I was rebellious. Selfish. A fool - like the prodigal son who longed for "freedom" and the things of this world. I could tell you how my childhood messed me up. I could tell you how I just longed to be loved and how I sought that love in all the wrong places. I could tell you how I made one bad choice and how that snowballed ... how giving up my virginity ultimately made me want to give up my life. I could tell you how I was afraid. I could tell you how I tried to "fix" it. I could tell you how I felt I had no other choice. I could tell you what I've lost ... But all you'd see, all you'd hear is ONE word. A whispered word not spoken aloud.

It doesn’t matter what my particular sin is or was.
For to you, it's "the one sin" ... the one that can't be erased or overlooked. Here on earth, we rank sins. The least ~ the "small" ones, mere infractions we can overlook The worst ~ the ones "I don't have"

©2010 by Teri Lynne Underwood ~ www.pleasingtoyou.com

My Life … God’s Grace

I struggled and fought …
I was hurt and angry.
Judged by people who had never seen me. Never spoken to me. Judged and found wanting. I could hear God's voice calling to me. Scriptures I had cherished pulling at me.
“You are mine.”

And I struggled and fought. Arguing with my faceless accusers ... "I'm not that girl anymore." But deep inside, I wondered Maybe I was living a lie.

if maybe I was.

“You are mine.”

The Lord continued to whisper to my soul. But I was mad. I was hurt. And I was scared.

“Where does it end?” How many people have to pay the price for my sin? When is it enough?

©2010 by Teri Lynne Underwood ~ www.pleasingtoyou.com

My Life … God’s Grace

I wanted to cry. To mourn. To be furious. To cuss. To drink. To silence HIS voice in my head. I wanted to scream ...

“GO AWAY!”

©2010 by Teri Lynne Underwood ~ www.pleasingtoyou.com

My Life … God’s Grace

I can’t …
I couldn’t stop crying.
And I didn't want to keep hearing, "You are mine." Because right then ... that just seemed ...

NOT enough.
I was lying in bed and all I could think was "This isn't worth it!" and "I don't want to do this anymore!"

And the battle waged between flesh and spirit.
I knew HE wanted to comfort me ... I didn't want HIS comfort.
“I paid the ransom.”

Well, Lord, clearly that wasn't good enough for THEM ... clearly, I'm not ransomed ENOUGH.
“The fires will not consume you.”

But, God, I want them to!

WHY, GOD? Why even in the midst of this ... my deepest hurt,
my fiercest anger, my harshest frustration ... WHY do you keep calling me?
©2010 by Teri Lynne Underwood ~ www.pleasingtoyou.com

My Life … God’s Grace

“The waters will not overtake you.”

Let them. I don't want this.

The price is too high.

“I have called you by name.”

Yeah, and so have THEY.

“You are mine.”

Really? I don't know what to do, Lord. I can't hurt more. I can't risk more.

I can't.
I don't know.

But I do. Lord, I do know. Help me. Please.

And He did.
©2010 by Teri Lynne Underwood ~ www.pleasingtoyou.com

My Life … God’s Grace

HE sees …
Some have looked at me and seen “Disqualified” and “Unworthy.” I look at me and see “Sorrow” and “Yearning.”

But GOD?
What does HE see?

He sees “Forgiven” and “Child.”
My faceless accusers never apologized ... THEY may never even know or acknowledge the pain and sorrow they brought to my life. But THEY were a tool God used.

My crisis of faith became a part of the foundation of my faith ... for though I wanted to run from God, He pursued me.

I AM HIS.

©2010 by Teri Lynne Underwood ~ www.pleasingtoyou.com

My Life … God’s Grace

But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you go through the deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through the rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fires of oppression, you will not be burned up, the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Ethiopia and Seba as a ransom for your freedom. Others died that you might live. I’ve traded their lives for yours because you are precious to Me. You are honored, and I love you.”
Isaiah 43:1—4, NLT (emphasis added)

I pray you have seen that no matter what the sin you have ... no matter what others think ... no matter what you think ... there is a God who loves you ... who desperately wants a relationship with you ... who will relentlessly pursue you ... who says, "You are Mine." Maybe you don't know that kind of God ... maybe you've never met Him, never given yourself over to Him ... please know that if you have questions, I will do my best to answer them and to help you find someone to talk to and learn the depth of God's love for you ... the love that gave His Son to pay the ransom for your sin. I hope my story of grace will be an encouragement ... and a reminder that WE must never become THEY. Thank you for allowing me to share what God has done in me. All glory is His ... and I am humbled by His love for me.

~ Teri

Lynne Underwood

Please feel free to email me at PleasingtoYou {at} Comcast {dot} net.

©2010 by Teri Lynne Underwood ~ www.pleasingtoyou.com

My Life … God’s Grace

Grace is such a mystery ... that precious gift of something we cannot earn and don't deserve. Given freely by a perfect and holy God ... free but not cheap. A high price was paid for the grace I've been given ... the highest possible price. Sometimes, though, people don't understand grace. THEY think it's about actions and behaviors. THEY think it can be earned ... and lost. THEY forget their own need. But me ... well, I have my story and only I can tell it. My story is about the hurt THEY caused ... but really it's not. My story isn't about what THEY said. My story isn't about what I did. My story really isn't even about me. It's HIS story ... and because HE loves and gives grace ... I am a part of that beautiful story of GRACE. HIS grace ... amazing, marvelous, matchless GRACE

©2010 by Teri Lynne Underwood ~ www.pleasingtoyou.com

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