Grace, Grace, and More Grace


It happened so fast.

I couldn’t believe it.

I’ve been “born again” since July of 2011 {Yes, I did look it up on my Facebook timeline just to be sure I had the year right…} Where in my minivan, driving the 1,100 miles from Rochester NY to Alexandria MN, I listened to a book on tape: Joyce Meyer’s “7 Things That Steal Your Joy”, and realized I was missing out on something. I’d been living a life believing in God, but I hadn’t been letting him give me joy and peace. I’d been fighting and striving for it all on my own which is just plain dumb. Why have I been doing it the hard way?

Fast forward 2 and a half years to a girl standing in her kitchen. Still struggling. Still striving. Except this time, God had given this girl revelation regarding grace. And even though she didn’t quite understand how to use it’s power fully in her life, she got it.

I got it. Grace isn’t just something people talk about for fun. It isn’t just a nice sounding song. It’s REAL. And it’s all mine for the taking.

I can receive any amount of grace I want to, through faith in my Savior Jesus Christ.

I realized this in an instant. By a miracle of the Holy Spirit, I just got it. Really, really got it. Inexplicably.

It’s taken me 2 and a half years of devotions, online sermons, intense prayer, church services, endless book reading, MOPS, reading through the whole bible… you name it, I’ve tried it to get closer to God. And have fallen short time and time again.

But today, standing in my kitchen, I wanted some nachos so bad. There were the chips on the counter, left over from the littles’ birthday party. And then began the justifications… We never have chips in the house, I should take advantage. I worked out this morning. One time won’t hurt. It’s not that bad. Losing weight can wait. I’m going through a really emotionally tough season. On and on.

But you know what I did? I ate a salad with a few chips and a little bit of cheese sprinkled on top.

And I get it, you’re going… hmm, thats just plain common sense, Joanna. You want nachos, you really need to stick to your diet plan, so come up with a plan B. It’s not rocket science.

But thats just where it becomes amazing. It’s not rocket science, because it’s not science at all. It’s grace.

I am a self proclaimed food addict, that can justify my way into a plate of nachos any day of the week. Sure, I have great weeks and months where I do everything right. But that only inevitably leads to days of self-destruction and nachos galore. Because I’ve always been trying to do it on my own. I know everything I need to know about nutrition and weight loss. I’ve read the books. I’ve done every workout you can imagine. I’ve tried it all. Lack of knowledge has absolutely nothing to do with why I’m stuck in my weight loss journey.

I’m stuck because I’m not letting God in 100%.

Today I did.

Salad instead of nachos may not sound to you like a miracle, but trust me, in that moment, it was.

Because all I did was pray a simple prayer.

“Lord, please give me the grace to make a better choice.”

And there was the container of baby spinach, kale, and chard staring at me. And suddenly I wanted a salad. It wasn’t a compromise. Something inside of me shifted. Something I have never found the power to do on my own consistently. It’s not as though I don’t like salads. I do. It’s that having nachos fulfills an empty place inside of me, that so desperately desires to be filled  some days I feel as though I have no control.

But let me tell you something- that salad tasted better to me than any nachos would have. And now I don’t have to live the rest of my day in guilt. Taking that guilt out on my children. Probably leading to another poor choice for dinner.

To many of you this sounds just plain stupid. I know. Because even a few months ago it may have sounded that way to me.

But God has given me revelation over the power of Grace. And I can begin to use its power in my life. I don’t have to give in to nachos because God is more powerful than the lure my flesh feels for delicious food to fill up my empty spots. God can fill up my empty in that moment, allowing me to make a choice based on the nutritional needs of my body rather than the food-filled desires of my broken heart. All I have to do is believe God can give me the grace, the power, to do whats right. To follow His plan for my life.

And poof.

I’m eating a salad.

And it was easy.

I didn’t even have to debate back and forth. My desire just changed in an instant. My dear friends, that is POWER!

More power than the devil can shake a finger at. And all I have to do is believe God wants to give it to me. That He wants me to live a victorious life, and shine my light all over the world. Show others how insanely wonderful following Him truly is.

I can’t do that if I’m living a non-victorious life. No one will want to learn from me. No one will want to follow me. My light won’t shine.

So picture me, Joanna Price, a messy, imperfect Jesus lover, standing in my kitchen. In one hand waving my lit candle from side to side in a ferocious manner, the other hand holding my nachoish salad. Hear ye, hear ye. We all get grace. And if someone like me can learn to use it’s power, so can you.


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