A cold panic washed over her as she turned into the complex. She’d had such a great day leading up to this moment. She took her new car for its first drive along the beach. Windows down, radio blaring. It was surreal, a girl like her, enjoying a Saturday afternoon rather than wondering aimlessly around town, sitting in restaurant booth after booth until closing time, then finding a safe place to catch some sleep before the cycle began again in the morning.

When driving down the road, she almost couldn’t believe how different her life was now. The Taylors had graciously taken her in and welcomed her into their family. She was still struggling to get along with the two Taylor siblings, but at times she could tell they were trying.

Last month they had moved into a new house. She didn’t even know they made houses that big, but now she had her own bedroom and shared a bathroom with Lynn. Robbie had his own, but that was probably for the best. 

Two weeks ago, the Taylors had come home with a new sedan. As they all gathered around to, “ooh and ah,” at the new car smell. Mr. Taylor caught her eye overhead, winked, tossed her the keys and said, “Wanna take old Gracie for a spin?”

He always named their cars.

“Me?!” She’d answered incredulously. 

“Happy Birthday!!!” Was Mrs. Taylor’s giddy interjection.

Robbie clapped her on the back in affirmation while Lynn smiled shyly from her mother’s side. 

“Give Old Gracie a whirl and let us know how she rides!”

In a daze, she sat behind the wheel and slowly backed out of the long driveway and waved as she waited for the private gate to open.

It was there that she now sat. The daze of this morning now gone. In the excitement, she’d left her phone in the house. Ever since the move she had always driven with one of the Taylors who had a gate opener. Now, completely on the outside with no way to get in. Her stomach twisted into knots as she stared at the wrought iron gate with the Taylors happily inside of it. Fear and anxiety settled in like an unwelcome companion. She couldn’t bring herself to call the house from the gate intercom. She wondered if it were all just a mean trick to play on the poor little orphan girl. She pictured them laughing at her expense, tucked away in comfort. Comfort she dared to think she could actually have. As she looked at the gate, for the first time, she noticed a design in the iron. It gave her a semblance of hope. It was a long shot, but she certainly had nothing to lose.

She rolled down the window and entered the numbers 32484 into the keypad. She heard a squeak and then felt a rush of relief as the gate slowly opened. She floored it through the entryway and watched as the gate closed behind her in the rear-view mirror. As the iron clanked back together she saw the design take shape as it reformed the scripted word, Faith, once more.

Ephesians 2:8New International Version (NIV)

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

When I was doing my devos last week I came across this verse. It’s one of my favorites, which is weird, because I struggle to understand it. I don’t usually like or enjoy things that don’t make sense to me. Like math. But it was almost like BECAUSE I struggled to understand it, was one of the reasons I liked it so much.

Then, all of a sudden, it finally made sense to me… For it is by grace…by as in the vehicle through which we travel…plane, train, or automobile, it is by grace that we travel…THROUGH faith, the gateway…that leads to our salvation.

Grace is the vehicle, faith is the gateway. It reminds me to be grateful for His grace and my salvation…and to extend grace to others, if that’s what I’m riding in!