Blog  /  Advancing Grace  /  Advancing Grace :: Grace Brings Us From Guilt to Restoration

Advancing Grace, Family Matters, Grace Based Parenting

 

Family Matters encourages people to allow God’s grace to bring restoration into the deepest wounds.

 

Jenet grew up the youngest of three children in a strict orthodox home. Being a first generation American after her parents emigrated from Syria to the U.S. they carried with them a culture of idolatry and a set of strict religious rules.

When Jenet was 12 years old, her mother passed away and she was raised by her older brothers and father, who had grown very depressed and angry at God. Their home was a place of pain and bitterness. Jenet was heartbroken over the loss of her mother and recalls asking God to bring her a mom again-even though she wasn’t sure if He was listening to her prayers.

When Jenet was in college she developed a burning desire to learn more about Jesus. After attending a bible church for two weeks, she accepted Christ and entered into a relationship with Him as her Savior. When she told her father of her new faith he became cantankerous and he gave her the ultimatum to choose Jesus and her new faith or her family. That day she packed up all her clothes in trash bags and left her father’s home. Jenet recalls thinking, “If I am doing this for Christ- it’s worth it.”

 

Luke 14:26 Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.

 

 

Over the next year she learned about God and His amazing grace. She found a new family in Christ through her friendships and community at church. She understood the forgiveness that was offered through Jesus and she continually reached out to her father, only to be met repeatedly with the stinging remark “my daughter is dead” coming through the other end of phone.  Jenet recognized that God took away the relationships with her family to draw her close to Him and He was about to unveil His plan of restoration for her heart.

When Jenet was 24 years old she was mentored by a woman named Tracy. Jenet was hungry to soak in Tracy’s wisdom and maternal advice. Jenet, in such a fragile and insecure state, said after meeting with Tracy for some time the Lord put it on her heart to ask Tracy a difficult question. In Jenet’s words…

 

One day when we were meeting for coffee I said “I don’t need a mentor- I need a mom. Will you be my mom?” Tracy talked to her family and after prayerful consideration they decided to make me their daughter! Tracy and her family took me in like I was one of their own and this is where I truly saw God’s grace lived out in the lives of others.”

 

Understanding God’s grace was so hard for Jenet to understand because it went against everything she lived as a child. A life of guilt and shame, a home full of contention and unforgiving rules. God restored Jenet’s heart and provided a family for her to see grace lived out in everyday life and has given her A Strong Hope for her future.

 

Now as a wife and mother to two boys Jenet has come to find restoration from her past and freedom from generational guilt. She had this to say about the work that God has done in her heart… “He didn’t have to restore anything to be God, but he did it to show me how much he loves me.” In recent years, God has been slowly restoring the relationship between Jenet and her father. He joins her weekly for coffee in her home and she continues to share with him about her hope in Christ.

 

To hear more of Jenet’s story and why she and her husband, William throw a party every year on Cinco de Mayo to celebrate God’s faithfulness to their family, please visit: SBC My Story video

 

 

Michelle Broek is the Director of Advancement for Family Matters. She spends much of her time figuring out ways to advance the message of Grace. We have the privilege at Family Matters to see God change countless lives and then see those very people go on to become passionate ambassadors for the message of Grace. In the “Advancing Grace” series, Michelle shares some of her favorite stories of people turned ambassadors for a life-changing message.

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