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Grace Upon Grace

I earned my B.A. in English from Columbia College and my M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of South Carolina (USC). I have been a college English instructor since 2006, having taught at the Moore School of Business at USC, Harrisburg Area Community College, Lancaster Bible College, and Columbia International University.

I am also the founder and manager of a freelance writing organization named Write Right. I am a monthly contributor to The Glorious Table and have been featured on The Mighty and Her View from Home.

The thread of faith, though, is perhaps the most important part of my story.

God’s glory has shone brightest during the most difficult circumstances of my life, bringing with it a joy that that only the grace of God can explain. From the ashes of disappointment, setbacks, failures, and frailty, God is transforming my life more and more into the likeness of Jesus.

I spent the first 17 years of my life enmeshed in church life but far from God because I couldn’t see the reality of a very present, loving Father who was calling me to come home to Him. Because I was far from God when my family life imploded after my parents’ divorce, I had no solid foundation to which I could anchor my soul in the midst of upheaval.

Instead, my heart overflowed with anger that laid up layer after layer of bitterness. In His kindness and mercy, God put me in a context at 17 years old to encounter His heart; during the winter of 2000, I responded to Jesus’ invitation to “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). I confessed that I was far from God and accepted Jesus’ invitation to come sit with the Father.

Immediately, God began cultivating forgiveness within me. As forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation began restitching my life , I soaked up the words in Isaiah 51:3: The Lord will surely comfort Zion/and will look with compassion on all her ruins;/he will make her deserts like Eden,/her wastelands like the garden of the Lord./Joy and gladness will be found in her,/thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

As a young college student, the roots of my faith deepened as I studied scripture, immersed myself in Christian fellowship, led Bible studies, and helped lead two mission trips. God put me in a beautiful context to flourish and grow confidently in my faith.

Shortly after graduating college, God called me to pursue a career in higher education, so I began my master’s degree work at the University of South Carolina. Soon I began to question this calling. Had I truly and rightly heard God’s call to higher education?


The Spirit quietly countered my questions with “Do you trust me?” The answer scripture provided was Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

As God always does, He evidenced His faithfulness at each impasse, and each step of the way He confirmed His calling on my life to teach, invest, and write.

Worship has become the theme of this current season of my life. One of God’s greatest instruments of grace in my spiritual transformation has been my role as a parent. I have learned much about the character of God the Father, with His loving kindness and sacrificial grace, through parenting our three children, one of whom lives with a rare genetic condition that affects every aspect of his and ultimately our family’s life.

Seeing God’s provision and His leading as we walk this parenting road has challenged me to worship God even when life has turned out far differently than I imagined. In fact, I’ve come to see that worship has so beautifully transformed my soul from grace to grace.

As a family, God has taught us that we are not entitled to normal or typical, and in fact we have seen his grace in rather magnificent ways that we might have missed if “normal” had been our lot. We are confident that the particular road God has marked out for us has a greater purpose than even we can imagine. As the apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8:28 we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

As we walk forward in faith, our family chooses to worship God as He uses the challenges of parenting to grow greater compassion in our hearts and to extend the influence of our lives for the sake of his kingdom.

As 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (ESV) reminds us all:

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

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