She Calls Me Grace

She’s called me “Grace” for as long as I can remember.

All my birthday cards from her are addressed in that elegant handwriting “Grace.”

When she used to call me inside, I’d hear it ring out through the many pine trees behind our house, “Grace!”

On the day of my high school graduation, she walked up the driveway with tears in her eyes, something rarely seen, and when she wrapped her arms around me she whispered, “You make an old woman proud, Grace.”

My name is not Grace. My name is Madelyn and my middle name is Grace. All but one person have always called me Madelyn. But my grandmother does not. She calls me Grace.

I did not deserve to be called “Grace” the first time she held me. Before I could walk, before I’d earned her love, before I even knew what it meant to be loved, before she could even witness how graceless I truly was, she called me “Grace.”

I trip, I fall, I crash, I snap, and I regret. I am neither gracious nor graceful, yet still, she calls me “Grace.”

In her voice calling me by a name I do not deserve, I hear echoes of the greater One who also calls me by a name I did not earn, “Mine.”

He chose me, though my given name was “Enemy.” He shed His blood to call me by another name, He stood in my place and declared that He would call me “Mine.” Every time I hear that title in Scripture, my heart is filled with wonder that such an undeserving person as I should be called by it. What wondrous love is this? To be given a name you do not deserve by someone who knows all things? It is grace. The unmerited favor of God.

My name is “Grace.” She has always called me “Grace,” and He has poured it out on me.

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas on

My grandmother has always called me “Grace,” but I bet she didn’t know how each time I heard it, the mystery of being given a name I did not deserve would overwhelm me, and the old story of the King who called the girl once known as “Enemy” by a new name she did not deserve would calm my doubts and still my fears.

For though I do not deserve it, my grandmother calls me “Grace” and my Savior calls me “Mine.”

It is grace. All is grace. She calls me Grace.

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