Words of My Life: Grace

When I turned 70 more than a year ago, I committed to writing posts throughout the year on the words of my life. I kept going for a few more months because Wow! I had no idea how many words were significant for my life. This will make 33.

This will be my last word in this series (though I’m sure there could be more). I believe this is the summary word—the one that has come to cover so many aspects of my life.



This was not a word from my early life. I wanted my own way and pursued it relentlessly. I wasn’t usually mean, but I didn’t give a lot of grace.

I didn’t have much grace either. I couldn’t dance (still can’t). My friend Susan and I would compete for “clutziest” title. It seemed strange—I was quite athletic, but it didn’t give me any grace of movement.

When I met Jesus in high school, I began to get a glimpse of grace.   After all, I was “saved by grace through faith.”

I remember sitting by the pool at Arrowhead Springs, looking out over the valley, asking, “Why me, God? Why am I so blessed, so privileged?” Another hint at grace.

Looking back over the years, I see how the grace of God protected me from some wrong choices: He extracted me from the wrong crowd in high school. He said if I married the good man I was engaged to, I wouldn’t be able to do what He wanted me to do. More grace.

And the work God called me to: living my dream to be a magazine writer and editor—for Him! Amazing privilege to work with Bill Bright! Meeting humble servants of God, writing about what God was doing in people’s lives, all over the globe.

It didn’t feel like grace when I waited and waited for Steve Douglass to decide we should get married. But when he (finally) proposed to me, I was overcome with God’s grace to give me such a man.

Children are great grace instructors. It took a lot of grace to make it through Debbie’s first months—a hurting tummy and constant tears. Gratefully Michelle slept much of her first year—a kind grace from the Lord.  And they have been grace to me throughout their lives.

As is true for all of us, comprehending something of the grace of God takes a journey—sometimes a long one. God didn’t give up on me—He kept pouring it on, opening my eyes and heart to see grace and even showed me how to give grace to others.

My greatest teacher? Our son, Josh.Oh, the grace.

God gave grace to this boy to lift him out of his unstable situation into a home where he received love and security and many advantages.

It was grace to me to send me what I needed to go much deeper in understanding how God has shed His grace on me. Grace to endure and persevere through Josh’s wilderness journey.

Grace for me to give, extend, repeat, offer, sometimes grudgingly, sometimes through tears, but increasingly freely and joyfully.

The grace to give and to receive that I learned from Josh has been extended broadly and deeply to family, friends, coworkers, strangers. I understand more each day that God calls us to be His arms of grace to all those we encounter.

And yes, to me. Oh the grace He keeps giving. Including a grandgirl named Grace!

Which makes me dance for joy. I may not always look grace-full, but I know my life has been full of grace.

What about you? Where have you seen grace in your life?

C2015 Judy Douglass

I would love to have you join the Kindling family.  You can subscribe in the upper right corner.