So often people say things like "I could have been a...' or if it weren't for X I could have done this...
Oh how we yearn for so much more. Are we ever satisfied I wonder?
Thing is, for me my 'I could have been' would probably be '...could have been dead' or '...could have been in prison', or '...could have been angry and bitter for my whole life', or '...could have been stuck in a dangerous or harmful relationship...' or could have been so much worse...
But in all these things I thank the grace of God that none of those 'could have beens' ever happened...
I sometimes think about what my life could be like if God wasn't in it. You see 20 years ago I was rapidly descending a slippery slope into a dark and uncontrollable world. I was into drugs, wasn't a fan of myself, didn't eat, really just wanted to get as far away from anyone who knew me as I could. And although of course I know God was there all that time, I certainly wasn't paying him any attention.
But now I can look back and see all the things that he rescued me from. Saved me from. Truly saved. There were very real times when I put myself at ridiculous risk. Risk of assault, attack, overdose, arrest and prison to name just a few.
I was an angry young woman. But by God's grace I am here today. And I am here with a wonderful husband and family. And I am happy.
And I know that none of what I lived with and went through will be wasted. Through all that I have learned compassion, not to be judgemental, I have learned to look past the exterior, to love people. I am so thankful for all that God has blessed me with because it 'could have' been so different. My life could have been so so different.
And that is what God's grace is all about. Getting something you don't deserve, but you get it anyway, a free gift. And what a gift it is.
I hope that I will always walk through life being thankful for what God has done for me, remembering where I could have been. Because although it's not nice remembering some of that stuff and it can be painful, it just helps me to remind me that nothing is about 'me', but it's all about Him.