They name their fifth child—yes, that would be me—Lois Ann. Lois, it means “battle maiden”. Ann, it means “full of grace”. A Warrior of Grace: a name I carry with me for the next 21 years, 6 months and 7 days, when, in an act of feminism, I drop Ann at the wedding altar, and retain my surname along with my husband’s. Walking out the church doors that cold winter night, I leave grace behind.
For the next several years, I search. What am I to do? What is my purpose? Who exactly am I, anyway? Pursuing the other half of myself—the original version of me who God created in my mother’s well-broken-in womb. I was her fifth, after all—there was plenty of room to stretch out and move and breathe…pure grace.
Grace: the unmerited favor of God; the unforced rhythm of life that we get to live when we keep company with Jesus.
So here I am, a half century later, and I am finding my way back to grace, back to living freely and lightly with Jesus. It takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. Yet it does happen every time we return to the altar, that place of covenant communion with God, and take up grace where it awaits.
A Warrior of Grace, amazing you. God’s amazing grace.