“Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.” John 1:16 (NIV)
I grew up believing in Jesus and going to church occasionally, but I didn’t know Him personally. The most I talked to God would be when I was going to bed. I struggled with having terrible nightmares so I would pray for peace and protection every night as I drifted off to sleep. But that was the extent of our relationship.
As I grew, I still believed in Him, but I believed in what the world was telling me more. I believed I had to look a certain way to receive love. I believed I had to achieve certain things to receive validation. I was chasing down anything and everything to fill me up, but I felt like I was running in circles and no matter what I did, I still never felt good enough.
It was only after my parents’ divorce in high school and a summer of rebellion that followed that I finally found myself in church again. Nothing was able to fill the void and I was turning to God as a last resort. It was in this moment that I was able to drop everything I was holding so tightly. All the anxious thoughts I was carrying and all the shame and regret that had built up over time finally fell away. I felt free. Free from the lies of the enemy and free from myself. I was safe in the Father’s arms.
I was desperate for this new relationship with Jesus and couldn’t wait to dive in. But I still had so much to learn. As powerful as that moment at church was, I still found myself going back to my old struggles. For too long I had let the world around me and my own thoughts within me consume me. I was finally in a relationship with the Father, but I wasn’t sure if I would ever escape the shame that had been weighing me down for so long.
It’s funny how my prayers before knowing Jesus and after knowing Jesus looked very much the same. It wasn’t nightmares keeping me up anymore, but I still had that longing to feel protected and to experience peace. And in the Father’s kindness, I finally started to experience that love as I learned about His unending and unfailing grace.
My name is Courtney Fidell. I am a Jesus follower, a mother of two toddlers, and a pastor’s wife. I am also broken and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I have struggled with anxious thoughts and have wasted too many days letting my insecurities define me. But that is not who I am.
There is grace.
I have experienced the Lord’s mercy time and time again in my life and I no longer have to crumble under the weight of my own guilt. I continue to fall short. I continue to let myself down. But this does not define me. I have a new identity. My sin was paid for on the cross. I am a daughter of the King. I no longer have to live in shame. I get to live in freedom.
There is grace.
And it is available for you too.
You don’t have to try harder. You don’t have to be good enough. You don’t have to keep searching the world and coming up empty. The Father loves you just as you are and wants to shower you with His grace so you can live in freedom as well.
In the Gospel of John, we read we have “received grace in place of grace already given” (John 1:16) and we see the emphasis John is putting on the word “grace”. John goes on to explain that “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (verse 17) to further confirm that through the coming of Jesus and His death on the cross, we have received grace for our sins in full. When we believe and receive that truth and grace over our lives, we are a new creation.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” -John 1:12-13 NIV
If you too believe in His name, you are a child of God. Your old life is gone. That baggage that has been weighing you down has been put on the cross and is no longer yours. If you’re willing to step into it, there is freedom available. If you’re willing, you can experience peace. If you’re willing, there is grace upon grace through the power of Jesus Christ.
It is my prayer that even through the uncertainty of this world, you would look to Jesus to be your hope and that is the heartbeat behind my new book, Grace Is Enough. I put my heart into these pages with the hope that you would find healing. Throughout this book I share the many times the Lord has come and pulled me out of the pit and into His saving grace. I describe the many times I struggled to find joy and hope in certain seasons, but turned to the Word for my strength. Through prayer and the redemptive stories of Scripture, I have found that I am not alone and have found my identity in Him. I want to share that good news with you. My heart behind Grace Is Enough is that you too would find the freedom that I have found in Jesus.
If you choose to dive into Grace Is Enough, my hope is that this devotional meets you right where you are. I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know your struggles are real. But I also want you to know there is hope. We have a Father that is available and He wants you to experience His love and cover you with His perfect grace. However, the only way to encounter this grace is through God’s Word.
You can’t receive the grace unless you know the truth.
Before you open up any other book or devotional, you must open up the Word of God. It is through Scripture you can come to know the God that loves you and you can grow in relationship with Him. He has so many great gifts waiting for you, but you must know Him to truly live the beautiful life He created for you.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 1 John 1:14 NIV
It’s time to step into the life Jesus died and rose for you to live and it’s time to live out of the grace He has already given you. Don’t miss out on the freedom. Don’t miss out on the peace.
His grace is always sufficient and His grace is enough.
Courtney lives in Auburn, AL with her husband and two little girls! She and her husband planted and lead Auburn Community Church and she recently came out with her first devotional, Grace Is Enough! Courtney has a passion for sharing the way Jesus has transformed her life through His grace, but in her free time you can find her spending time with her family, going for a run, or grabbing another cup of coffee!