The biggest lesson I learned in 2013 is just how big God's grace is.
Grace is unmerited favor. I used to think of it only in terms of forgiveness, but it's so much more.
God's grace is about absolutely nothing we deserve or can earn. I've learned in a new way, through marriage, what this means. Christ loved His Church so much that He gave up everything for Her. My husband has lived this out this year and I've experienced it in a way that's made me understand what that picture is about. Christ put His Church first. My husband puts me first. Christ loved His Church despite its failures. My husband loves me in spite of my failures. Christ seeks His Churchs' good over all else. My husband seeks my good over all else. There's nothing the Church did to deserve that and there is certainly nothing in me that deserves the love of my husband.
God's grace is about forgiveness. It's beautiful in forgiveness - unmerited favor when I deserve punishment. God has seen me through many failures this year and given me that unmerited favor. God has given my sweet husband extra grace so that he could give me grace - often. God's grace is about forgiveness.
God's grace is about strength to face the challenges He sends. I witnessed extraordinary displays of the grace God gave my parents this past year in caring for my grandmother during her last weeks on earth. I saw unmerited favor in the form of perseverance through them in a way I didn't know was possible. God's grace is about strength.
God's grace has come alive to me and has been the biggest lesson I've been taught in 2013.