Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I hope that The Lord allows me to use this to help you in some way. I am on a journey of discovering the great love that The Lord has for me in spite of my many, many shortcomings and mistakes. Because I have failed Him so many times, I struggled with, and am still struggling with believing that He doesn’t see my sin when He looks me, that instead of my sin He sees the precious blood of His Son Jesus.
Yesterday, my family went four wheeler riding at Bankhead National Forest. It was so much fun, and we made some great memories. We don’t all have four wheelers, so there was a lot of double riding. My parents rode together, my grandparents rode together, my cousin rode with her boyfriend, the boys rode together, and I rode with my brother. My brother drives every with a motor like he stole it, and he will tell you that proudly! Yesterday’s ride was no different. Thirty seconds into a four hour ride, I was already airborne TWICE. I spent the entire trip holding on to the bars behind me for fear of life and limb. I’ve got a blister in the palm of my hand, and my shoulders are so sore! I was told afterwards that had I held on to the one who was in control and relaxed, the ride would have been much easier.
That reminded me of the way we act as Christians. How many times have I been through a storm and held on for dear life to the things of this world and come out on the other side so much worse for the wear? I could have held on to The One Who controls it all and relaxed in His care and came out so much better! I was homeschooled for 8 years, but when my family moved to Alabama from Louisiana my brother and I were enrolled in public school. For a very sheltered 15-year-old girl, public school was truly a storm! The very first bus ride to school I heard kids younger than me using language that was never heard in my house. I was equal parts shocked and disgusted by the things my classmates discussed out loud about their very private lives. There was a group of boys that sat in front of my locker every day that called me all sorts of terrible names. I was terrified of them.
In my bitterness against my parents for uprooting us from Louisiana, I didn’t turn to them for help. I didn’t turn to The Lord for help because I knew that that was what my parents would say to do. I spent three years in misery with myself and my parents. I ruined my Christian reputation by participating in the conversations that had once disgusted me, and using the language that had shocked me. Instead of accepting responsibility for my actions and asking The Lord for forgiveness, I blamed my sin on other people. Instead of admitting that what I did with that boy was wrong, I told myself I was doing it because he loved me, and my parents didn’t. I was holding on to the world so tightly. I was blistered and scarred by the world. My heart was bruised and broken by the storm of life that I was facing and thought I could weather under my own power. But I couldn’t do it. I ended up so broken inside after my storm, and even more broken after trying to piece myself back together, I thought I was a lost cause. I didn’t think that The Lord could change me, and I continued on in misery and bitterness. I could have saved myself 4 years of pain if I had just trusted The One Who is truly in control! I am so thankful for a mother who never stopped praying for me and loving, even though I was not loving towards her. In the past few months of trying to grow in The Lord and His unfailing love and amazing grace, she has been a wonderful mentor and guide. Even though I’m still hard to love at times. My first name, Alaina, means “awakening” and my middle name, Shea, means “grace.” I can see you now, scrolling back to the top of the page. I didn’t call this blog Awakening Grace because it’s my name. I called it that because that’s what’s happening in my life. God is awakening His amazing grace inside me. I see it fresh and new every morning.
May God awaken His grace inside you.