Running Into Grace

I felt insecure.

I was just a child, but I already desperately yearned for love and acceptance.

I covered it up.  It was easier than dealing with the feelings.

Jesus was in my heart, but somehow I didn’t know how to give Him the pain.  He died for me.  I just couldn’t figure out how to live with Him.  I didn’t know Grace.

Jokes in class.  Disrupted teaching.  Picking on kids even more insecure than me.

Seventh grade.  Last year of elementary school.

Insecurity still woke me every morning, and walked beside me all day long.

One cool January morning she stood at the front of the room.  Our new student teacher, Mrs. Nelson.  Young, without preconceived ideas.  She stood.

“Jane, can I talk with you?” Mrs. Nelson asked a few days later.  She looked with compassion inside of me.  I wanted to hide.

“You are so important to Jesus.  He loves you.  He made you just the way He wanted.  You are special to Him.  Do you understand?”

Mrs. Nelson continued, “You don’t have to act mean and disrespectful.  Jesus loves you.  He has a wonderful plan for your life.”

It was grace.  I ran into grace.

No words of condemnation.  No harsh consequences.  It was grace.

I was never the same.  Teachers didn’t recognize me.  The shy didn’t cower in the corner.

Grace had spilled on my hurting heart.  Wounds were covered.  Grace invited freedom.

Grace started on the cross.  It flows looking for those who will give it.  The jars of clay who will pour it on others.  The flood leads them to the cross.

When others see me, meet me, are they running into grace?

Let me be a door of grace that helps keep the pain and insecurity out, and opens to the amazing grace.

They may never be the same.

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