The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 13, 2012

A true story of uncommon grace

By Sarah Thompson
Enid News and Eagle

A note from Just Hold On’s Ruth Ann Replogle: I am pleased to introduce my niece by marriage, Sarah Thompson. A few months ago we got to talking and the Lord impressed me to ask her to share her story with the world. I think you will laugh, cry, be touched and be blessed by her. She will be alternating space with me every other Friday. Without further ado, here is a word from her in her first column aptly called Uncommon Grace ...

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You may have never met me, but I am sure you’ve met someone like me in your life. I’m the girl who has a smile plastered across her face when I’m really hurting on the inside. You see, I have faced some things that no one should EVER have to experience.

But, I have found good in the midst of incredible odds. And that, my friend, is what builds hope. You need a whole lot of hope, and a sense of humor to get through this life. Even if you don’t have hope, with a sense of humor you can make it through a lot. If you don’t have a sense of humor, go to Walmart. That place is full of material.

I began writing a few years ago when a friend encouraged me to tell my story. When I handed her my first poem, I had no idea it would turn into a blog and eventually a newspaper column.

I believe God has given me this opportunity because he wants to use my story to help others. You see, my life is not this awful story of abuse but a story of overwhelming grace.

Grace is the only reason any of us are here at all. Grace is the reason we  weren’t born into a country where mothers watch their children starve or where everyone in our family dies of AIDS. Grace is the reason we aren’t forced into the sex industry or martyred for our faith.

Thank you God for your grace. Help us to remember every one of us is a story of uncommon grace.

I worked with my brother-in-law a couple of months ago doing some contract work for a realty company. I can’t say I was much help except for holding a screw here or there. When we left for lunch, I forgot to shut the toolbox on the truck, and thousands of nails spilled out onto the road.

Other than stopping traffic for 10 minutes and listening to shouts from angry drivers, it wasn’t so bad. While we were scrambling to pick up the nails, I thought about how angry my brother-in-law deserved to be. Surprisingly, he wasn’t angry at all. After a good laugh, we went on about our day. That small act of kindness released me from the shame I was feeling.

As we worked together that afternoon, I was once again reminded of God’s love toward us. Instead of giving us the punishment we deserve, He offers us the gift of His grace. My brother-in-law didn’t realize it, but he preached a whole message that day without ever having to say a word.

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love.” —Psalms 103:8

 

Follow Sarah Thompson, who is a social worker in the Enid area, at mysemi-dysfunctionallife.blogspot.com or email her at uncommongrace1@gmail.com.