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  • Tara Joy Larrick

Transformation Guest Post Series: Dawn from Journeys In Grace

Welcome to the Third Guest Post in Faith In Every Day's Transformation Series! Where other bloggers are sharing their transformations: Mind, Body and Soul in Christ! It has been such an inspiration and encouragement to hear these ladies stories!

If this is your first time reading this series make sure you check out the other transformation posts:

Now I have the pleasure of introducing Dawn from Journeys In Grace. Journey in Grace is such a refreshing place to go and get encouraged on your journey with Christ. She makes you feel like you are not alone in this in such a graceful and honest way.

Transformed by Grace

"The quiet power of a life transformed by the grace of God is so explosive that it can redirect the course of human events.” – Richard Foster

When our lives have been touched by grace, there is evidence of change within their boundaries and even beyond. The power that is released in a life that has met with the extravagance of God automatically finds itself transformed from ‘death to life’, the old is made new.( 1 John 3:14, 2 Corinthians 5:17) And it is here that our stories, often unfold, to share a testimony of change, a paradigm shift that awakens our souls to hope for more. This changing and transforming, it can be both gradual and instant, sometimes one merging into the other, but both full of the power of His love completely.

Today I am sharing a bit about the journey that I have taken, this transforming power of grace over my life, for the last 21+ years, with Tara Joy at Faith in Every Day and a few other travelers on this faith journey. She asked us to share about the transformation that has occurred in our lives through our journey of faith. I love the way she is encouraging others to tell their story, and isn’t that just what we are called to do? Testify of the hope that lies within us, giving reason, logical and sound answers to those who are seeking? (1 Peter 3:15) Tara asked us to answer a few questions through our sharing, so I have decided to throw them in here and there as I tell my story.

We are always seeking, looking for that place where our heart knows it belongs.

I can say I was seeking most of my life. I was always looking for that one person who would truly know my heart. It was a futile effort friends, because I was looking for perfection in others and in myself, and it was not to be found. Thankfully, the Lord has taken that very confused young woman and done such a work of grace in her heart.

I was taught about God as a child at the hands of two of the most loving and precious hearts that existed, in my mind at least. Of course, we were quite taken with one another as grandparents and grandchildren tend to be. It is a given, really… a generational thing, I think… grandparents naturally understand the hearts of their grandchildren in a way that defies reason. I had that with mine. They took me to church, taught me to pray, and led me to Jesus. By the time I was 4 I knew I loved God with all my heart.

Then life happened, I lost my grandfather to cancer, and grandma didn’t go to church much after that. She went for a time, but slowly everyone stopped going … and then so did I. She still prayed with me though. She still taught me about God. She still revered Him in her life, and she loved Him deeply. She lived a life of faith that spoke without words. She would sing Hymns with me and she’d tell me about how she longed for heaven. It made me want to go to heaven, too, just because she did.

The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much and those prayers transcend the boundaries of time.

It wasn’t till I was an adult, though, that I began fully looking for the truth. However, I believe that it was because of the prayers of my grandfather, long ago still bearing the transcendent weight of glory over my life, and the precious woman God blessed me with in my last years of High School, right before I got married that I arrived at the threshold of grace and salvation. She will forever be my spiritual mom, because she led me to that Old Rugged Cross my grandfather loved to sing about and introduced me to the One who bore my sins so I could be free. I fell in love with the Savior as she told me about Jesus, I knew that I needed the grace that only He could give.

Tara Joy asked: Was there a specific event or time that you made a decision to believe and really follow Christ?

Yes, most definitely. I can remember it well. I know it was September, 1993; just 1 month after my new husband and I had walked down the aisle and said, “I do”. I had been reading through the book of Romans with my dear friend who had opened her home for a Bible Study. I was stuck in Romans 8 and 10 and realized I had come to the crossroads, I knew that the only way for me to find the peace that I longed for was to meet the author of that word itself.

Tara Joy asked: Was the transformation sudden? How did God change your heart? Did He change your mind? Did he change the way you dress or give you a desire for fitness?

There were some things that were instantaneous in my life. I had a joy in my heart, a real true joy that I had NEVER had before. I will never be described as having a bubbly personality, I am quite a serious person and I love to think deeply about everything. Sometimes I had a hard time finding joy in life, and I envied those who seemed to radiate happiness and laughter wherever they went. After finding Christ, there was a difference. I could actually grab onto that joy that shines, like it was tangible. It was even noticeable to one of my co-workers who asked me what was going on with me. I think it truly came with a sense of belonging, that I had always yearned for. I clung to passages like Romans 8:38-39 which tell me that nothing will separate me from Christ’s love and in that span of weeks and months, I immersed myself in His Word. It was the literal food my heart digested for living.

The more time we spend rooted in God’s Word, the more alive it becomes within our soul.

As I began to spend more time in the Word of God, I began to see more about what living for Christ, in Christ, and through Christ looked like; it made me look deeper at myself. I was pretty conscientious about my health, anyway. I walked often, worked out when I could, ate pretty well. ( I was 21, I rarely got sick and we are all invincible then, right?) Alcohol was not a huge part of my life, I had never really tolerated it well, so I didn’t find myself easily drawn to it, but I was a smoker. Yep! I was more of a social smoker than anything, but the moment I learned that my body was a temple of the Holy Ghost that was it for me. I just quit and that was that. I know it is not that easy for others, though, but this was just a moment of deliverance I my life that I can see his radical power of grace operating in.

The changing of my heart, was both instantaneous and gradual. I knew by reading His Word that my heart was now the home of the Lord. The more time I spent in the Word of God, the more I came away completely transformed by His love. Although, my heart was being transformed, my mind had a harder time getting the faith thing understood.

The Power of God’s Love conquers all fear, lack, loss, and impossibilities our living presents.

Much of my life had been controlled by fear and as a newly married woman, whose husband was on call often and out at all times of the night, I was a mess. I hated being home alone, I was terrified… literally. This was the first area of spiritual warfare I learned about in my journey of faith and it was the first place I had experienced the conquering power of a life transformed by grace.

I read about 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 and John 10:10 and the freedom and power we are given through Christ. However, the scripture that stood out to me in this time of change was Psalm 91. This Psalm of Security quickly became a daily visit during my quiet time. It was the first Psalm that I memorized, along with Psalm 1. Every time I would feel myself give way to fear, I would quote Psalm 91 and immediately peace settled in my heart. I began praying God’s Word over other aspects of my life, like this, and found my faith increasing more and more. In fact, the very first verse I memorized was Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” The more I planted His Word in my heart, the more my heart was changed. Not just my heart, but my thoughts, my words, my actions and ultimately my life.

Live your life bringing glory to God, in every thought, word and deed so that others see the transforming power of His life in you.

Tara Joy asked: How are you living out everyday to Glorify Him?

Recently I was asked by a friend to contemplate the reality of living ALL IN for Christ. In discussing the power of a life fully transformed by His love I realized that unless I am living my life, fully for Him not bowing to complacency that often comes in the form of people pleasing, then I am not picking up my cross and following after Him. I want Christ’s affirmation more than I want the world’s approval or applause, but I realized, that there is so much yet to submit and give to God to get there.

In all these years of walking with God, I have tried to live a life that honors Him, to be willing to share my faith and to learn to love like He does. As our children began coming and growing, we began homeschooling, and God brought amazing people into my life; Titus 2 women who taught me so many things. I began finding my comfort zone was behind the prayer bench and in my kitchen.

I often joke that I want to be like Dorcas, caring more about what others needs and spending myself like that. It is more truth than joke, though. This passion to serve others led the way to Journeys In Grace, my blog, and this journey to pen words that bring God glory. It also opened the door for me to begin speaking at women’s retreats and conferences where I can share the things He has done in my heart. I am amazed at His continued faithfulness as He leads me down paths I never expected to travel.

Every day is a journey to grace.

Every day is a new journey of grace for me, a new path to travel in His Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with others. This grace thing has gotten a hold of my heart in a big way and I long to share it with others, to bring people to the Table of Grace to share truth and wrestle with the big and little things together in prayer and in community. God led me to create that community here, and it is a safe place that opens the door to connecting and to sharing grace together.

Grace is a gift, none of us deserve but it has been given to us freely. It is the central message of the gospel and it meets us in the moment we believe. Extravagant grace is a reward for our surrender to this hope that Christ has set before us, eternal life flowing from the relationship that He offers to us through His sacrifice and shed blood.

It amazes me, the depth of His love… the power of His grace… the hope of His promise. And that, that is the awesome wonder of God. His goodness is abundant and it is transforming. It is powerful enough to alter a life in a moment and it is deep enough, strong enough, compassionate enough to also have grace on that heart and gradually bring us down the Emmaus road, opening our eyes to Truth and changing us moment by moment… from glory to glory.

I am so thankful that Tara Joy invited me to spend a little time with her here. I pray that you will be exposed to His Extravagant Grace in a new and profound way today.

About Dawn

Join me on FB at the Table of Grace, an interactive community of grace dwellers seeking to go deeper in faith through fellowship.

Thank you so much Dawn for sharing your journey with us here at Faith In Every Day! Make sure you all go check out Journeys In Grace, as well as encourage you to join her Facebook Group!


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