Business,  Creative,  Finance,  Health & Fitness,  Mindfulness,  Parenting


In our desire for things to go well in our lives, we can view anything that doesn’t go smoothly, progress quickly, or move forward easily as a direct reflection of our worth and value. When faced with tough circumstances, we may think that we are unprepared to deal with life’s inevitable challenges. Often hidden deep within us, is a secret desire we have to make our loved ones proud. At the same time, is a secret fear we have, that we will bring DIS-grace to them, and to ourselves. In this article, I unpack why you should not only give yourself grace, but embrace it as a treasured gift from the Divine as you seek to live your life fully for Him and steward it well. During my own journey of becoming, I came to know the son of God, a man called Jesus Christ, who during his time on earth, demonstrated mental toughness. In studying his life and principles, I learned a few methods that can help anyone build mental strength, especially during trying times when we really need it.


I love this quote from Allen Snapp, which says, “Grace needs to be the air we breathe, the atmosphere we live in, whether in church or in the home.”


I remember working at the library to support myself in college. And a study-abroad internship in my final semester added an additional workload to my study schedule. I didn’t care. What mattered was that I had done something that no one else in my family had done. I had obtained a degree from a great university, and I wanted more than anything to make my dad proud considering he sponsored me throughout my entire time in college. I jumped headlong into a career first in healthcare, then in pharmaceutical sales. And in less than five years, I was managing several investigational drug research study sites and top-rated facilities across America. There is nothing wrong with working hard. There is nothing wrong with wanting to honor those who have helped you by stewarding the time, talent and treasure you have been given. And there is nothing wrong with wanting your loved ones to smile and say, “I’m very proud of you.”


Oftentimes, we may even want to give the Divine all of the glory and make Him proud. But earlier on in my career journey, freshly having left the University and heading out into the “real world”, I was seriously lacking something essential in the stewardship that would follow years later. It wasn’t anything I could purchase. But it was a gift I needed to receive. It is a gift that you too need to receive, no matter what your journey looks like, or who is on the list of people that you hope will smile as they bear witness to your life’s journey. If I could go back in time and tell my younger self anything, it would play out exactly like this: “Hey Erica, do not give yourself away or put yourself in situations in the name of trying to scramble up just a little bit of love or approval. God has an unconditional, overwhelming, and overflowing amount of love reserved just for you and you don’t have to beg anybody for it. Breathe in God’s grace and allow yourself to receive it.” The truth is, you never have to beg anybody for love or grace because the Divine wants to give it to you, freely.


That’s right. Grace.


When you find yourself feeling stressed out, your inner dialogue may start predicting doom and gloom, a feeling often termed “anxiety”.  According to Max Lucado, “Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.” It’s easy to forget that even the most worthwhile of journeys will include times of long waiting, silent seasons, and moments that can spin us uncontrollably with speed and lead us to our tail’s end. Even dream jobs and enjoyable career paths will have less-than-dream days that feel like a nightmare. However, making catastrophic predictions, or “catastrophizing”, will drain your mental strength, fast. You and I need to receive grace in our day-to-day lives. Now I’m not talking about the popular “give yourself some grace” adage. This is more often than not a colloquialism for, “Lighten up and stop caring about what others think—just do what makes YOU happy”, blah, blah. That’s fine, yeah, you can do that, if you want to— but here I’m talking about receiving the life-transforming grace God offers His children—the grace explained in the book of Ephesians 2:7.


In order that in coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (New International Version Translation).


When a trusted friend gives you a gift, do you say, “That’s very nice – now how much do I owe you?” No, the appropriate response to a gift is Thank You. Yet often disciples of Christ, even after they have been given the gift of salvation, feel obligated to try to work their way to God. Because our salvation and even our faith are gifts, we ought to respond with gratitude, praise, and joy. We are reminded that we don’t have to work our way to being loved by Him. That same grace is a gift for our here and now. We become disciples of Christ through God’s unmerited favor, not as the result of any effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on our part. However, out of gratitude for this free gift, we can seek to help and serve others with kindness, love and gentleness, and not merely to please ourselves. While no action or work we do can help us obtain salvation, God’s intention is that our salvation will result in acts of service. We are not saved only for our own benefit, but to serve Christ, serve others and build up a community of people who also serve God. Consider the following words from Ephesians 2:10 also. .”For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”


Consider what it means to be known by the Divine, His creative glory etched and wired into every aspect of our lives, His grace poured into our days, thus making them graceful. Knowing this, whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed, commit to talking to yourself like you would a trusted friend. Ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend who had this same problem?”, and give yourself an optimistic pep talk. Remind yourself about God’s love for you. Doing this will allow you to take some of the negative emotions out of the equation and will help you tackle your problems with renewed vigor.


The origin of the word “grace” comes from the same word that means “thankful”. Allowing the fear of disgrace or of disappointing others, or even God Himself keeps us from growing in spirit and in faith, because it stifles our ability to give thanks. Embracing the gift of grace allows us to see God’s favor in all things, even those things that the world around us says does not matter or does not merit that favor. We are God’s masterpiece (work of art or workmanship). Our salvation is something only God can do. It is His powerful creative work in us. If God considers us his masterpieces, we dare not treat ourselves or others with disrespect or as inferior work. Receiving His grace therefore, is inviting the Divine to reveal His purpose and His power in and through every step of our journey. It’s taking Him at His Word when He promises us this.


That’s why we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28, the New International Version) God works in everything—not just isolated incidents for our own good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is very much prevalent in our broken world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. Note that the Divine does not work to make us happy, but to fulfill His purpose. Note also that this promise is not for everybody. It can only be claimed by those who love God and are called by Him, that is, those whom the Holy Spirit convinces to receive Christ. Such people have a new perspective, a new mind-set. They trust in the Divine, not in worldly or earthly treasures. Their security is found in Heaven, not on earth. Their faith in God does not waver in pain and oppression because they know God is with them.


Thus, a great tip to develop when undergoing stressful and trying times is to establish a helpful mantra. Harsh criticism and self-doubt waste precious brain power when you need it the most. Create a positive mantra that you can repeat to yourself to drown out the negative. Whether you tell yourself, “God’s grace is sufficient for me”, or “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, you’ll affirm your ability to deal with whatever challenge arises.



First, the gift of grace helps us learn to celebrate accomplishments, both large and small – even if they are unnoticed by those around us. Rather than questioning your ability to deal with adversity which wastes time and energy, recall the tough times when God’s grace enabled you to endure. God’s ‘here-and-now’ grace also helps us to embrace disappointments and failures. I remember when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020 which forced me to resign from my pharmaceutical sales job due to company layoffs. That layoff shattered my confidence. At that time, I was also being nudged to start my own business. I remember once telling myself, “I’m not sure I can do this.” I was afraid of another failed attempt at trying something only for it not to work. Shortly thereafter, God’s grace kicked in and the real work began. Fast forward to today and I now have a thriving business that allows me to serve others on a larger scale. God’s grace allowed the disappointments, failures, and losses to be just as positive to my growth as the big wins. God’s grace gave me the perseverance to continue building a passion-based business even when I had no clue what I was doing and with no clients in sight. In those moments, I was reminded to hang on to what I know to be true about God, which gave me the strength I needed to step up to the task.



Embracing Divine grace and seeing God’s favor in our day-to-day lives opens the door to seeing opportunity in the days ahead. When you’re really worried about what’s going on today, think about how much this will matter in the future. Imagine yourself looking back on today, one year, five years, and 10 years down the road. While some great events like matrimony, motherhood, and moving to new places can happen, some upsetting events like a job loss, may not be a big deal down the line, but other events—like the loss of a loved one—will still affect you (but perhaps in a less catastrophic way). The fear of disgrace has threatened many often. But embracing the gift of God’s ‘here-and-now’ grace has never failed to provide the strength needed to stay focused—and remember His favor. Imagining your future self can remind you that you will find a way to get through whatever tough times you are facing right now.



Many people throughout the world have discovered the secret of embracing grace. It would be wise to follow their lead. Right now, you can reach out and receive the best gift anyone can ever receive—receive Divine grace. Rather than avoiding or suppressing your emotions, acknowledge the truth about how you are feeling. Label them while keeping in mind that you might feel a wide variety of emotions all at the same time. Whether it’s fear, sadness, or anxiety, naming them helps you make sense of your distress and find healthy ways to cope. While you may be tempted to drown your sorrows with an extra glass of wine, temporarily escaping, avoiding, suppressing, numbing or repressing your emotions will only add more stress to your life. Some examples of healthy coping methods include journaling, exercising, talking to friends, community outreach and spending time in introspection and study of God’s Word. Take one small step each day. If after all of these, you’re still not sure what to do, find one small step you can take. Write a to-do list, make a phone call, or fill out some paperwork. Break down your problems one step at a time, and push yourself to take some action. No matter how small that step may seem, as long as you are moving in the right direction, your productive behavior will help you build mental muscle.



I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13, New International Version). In this scripture, Paul the Apostle could get along happily because he could see life from God’s point of view. He focused on what he was supposed to do, not what he felt he should have. Paul had his priorities straight, and he was grateful for everything God had given him. Paul had detached himself from the nonessentials so that he could concentrate on the eternal.


Oftentimes our desire for more or better possessions is really a longing to fill an empty space in our lives. To what are you drawn when you feel empty inside? How can you find true contentment? The answer lies in your perspective, your priorities, and your source of power. Can we really do everything? The power we receive in union with Christ is sufficient to do His will and to face whatever challenges, difficulties, adversities, trials, and tests arise from our commitment to doing it. He does not grant us the superhuman ability to accomplish anything we can imagine without regard to His interests. As we contend for faith, we will face troubles, pressures, and trials. As they come, ask Christ to strengthen you.

Did you enjoy this blog post? Leave a comment below!

**Erica weaves themes of transformative hope and grace-filled leadership into everything she shares on her blog. She’s an author, a speaker, and a life coach, who offers honest encouragement and road-tested wisdom about topics ranging from leadership and lifestyle, to discovering your God-crafted identity, design, and purpose.

This post is sponsored by:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *