Learning to Walk in Grace

In May 2009 my life changed. Yes, I just got married, but that seemed like a small change compared to what God was teaching me about grace.


I returned from our honeymoon in Costa Rica very sick. Sicker than I had ever been before. At first we thought I had picked up a bug, but it quickly became evident that something more serious, something more permanent, had made itself at home in my body.

My husband and I both had a sexual past.

While we both had chosen renewed abstinence many years before meeting each other, our past entered our freshly committed marriage.

Turns out one of us, or both of us, had brought two viral STDs into our marriage. For whatever reason it had remained dormant in both of our bodies until our honeymoon. {God’s graceful way of hiding the carrier, making accusations impossible, maybe?} However, these STDs brought not only sickness, but a lot of emotional and spiritual turmoil.

You see, for years prior to getting married I had been a spokeswoman for abstinence. I’d publicly shared my story of a broken past, a past full of wrong choices and promiscuity.  I shared that I had walked away from this lifestyle, and I was grateful that the Lord had saved me from the physical consequences of my choices.

I thought I lived in His grace, I thought I walked in His grace.

And I continued to be an advocate for His ministry, His heart’s desire for young women {and young men} to flee from sexual immorality.

I was His advocate and I was proud He was my Protector.

The day the doctor called to tell me my diagnoses, I was shocked. I fell to the floor and cried. I don’t think I stopped crying for days. I felt as though my life’s work, my life’s mission, had just been taken from me. I felt like He had cheated me out of my calling. And I felt like my Protector had let down His guard, like He forgot to protect me from this.

As time went on—and I humbly came to my Father, I realized, His grace in this situation was overflowing. You see, I had stepped outside of His best. I had allowed for the lusts of my flesh, the world’s carefree mentality to drag me away from His design—and there are consequences to that.

Yes, I was facing the physical consequences for the first time—but the spiritual consequences were even deeper.

Even though I had come to my King and repented of my former way of life, that didn’t mean that I had accepted His forgiveness. It didn’t mean that I actually walked in the grace He so selflessly died on the cross for. Yes, on the outside it may have looked like I was walking in His grace, but my heart was still tied to reliving my past, berating myself for the choices I had made. I hadn’t crossed into His graceful presence. I hadn’t allowed His blood to wash me clean. And that is precisely what He wanted to show me.

Pure Grace

We all have a past.

We have all stepped outside of God’s best at one point or another.

But when we choose to turn back to Him, we have the opportunity to truly walk away from our ungodly choices. We have the opportunity to truly be washed clean.

It’s granted to us—this gift of pure grace—we just have to learn to walk in it.

It took me a while to learn this. I had to retrain my mind, dwelling on His grace alone, instead of the ‘crime’ I had committed. But once I learned to truly see myself as He does—pure, clean, free—that’s when I experienced real living. That’s when I began to see that these apparent afflictions were a reminder of His grace—not a punishment for my behavior.

We have the choice to take Him at His word—to own His grace, to walk freely in His love. When we choose to walk down this path instead of the road of condemnation, we find freedom. We find love.

I pray that you would walk in His grace. Allow His blood to wash you clean, sweet sister, and own the freedom He died on the cross to give you.


If you need His grace today, turn to Him.

If you need our prayers and community, please join us in a GET Connected group. I co-lead the one for 16 – 26 year old girls and I’d love encourage you over there today.

6 thoughts on “Learning to Walk in Grace”

  1. Mandy, your beautiful heart! I am so grateful for your vulnerability and your willingness to stand with Him, continuing to share your even more beautiful story of redemption and hope. Stunning, girl. Thank you.

  2. Wow, Mandy, thanks for having the courage to share this. It is easy to miss God’s grace in the face of consequences. My heart breaks for you in this trial. Thank you that you continue on with your ministry to help others not tread where you have stepped. I pray for God’s blessings upon you!

  3. Thanks for sharing and you are so right when you stated that we need to walk in his grace and accept all the work was done on the cross. Thankyou

  4. Ladies,
    Thank you for your sweet comments. I pray that He would be glorified and that I would continue to press on sharing His story of redemption. Sometimes it’s difficult to be so open about this side of my story because the Church doesn’t always approve of me talking about sexual immorality–but the truth is, with the direction our society is going in terms of sexual promotion, I cannot help but fight against it. Thank you for your encouragement!

  5. Pingback: Purity is Worth the Price | More to BeMore to Be

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