His Name Was Grace

Ok. You got me. His name really wasn’t ‘Grace’, but let me tell you why that name absolutely fits.

I was living far from home for the first time in my 23 year-old life, when I became the proud recipient of a shiny new medical insurance card. I felt so grown up. Of course I’d never have to use this card, I’m young and invincible.

If you want to make God laugh, make your own plans. A routine trip to the dentist turned into a not-so-routine trip to the oral surgeon. X-rays revealed four impacted wisdom teeth pressing on my molars and making a general nuisance of themselves. The time had come to rethink the rental agreement they had with my gums.

The surgeon told me that it would be an easy process (for who?). I’d have the teeth removed in his office, and I could have the procedure under local anesthesia (you can’t be serious) or IV sedation (now you’re talking). I’d need someone to bring me, take me home and stay with me for “a day or two.”

As I sat there, trying to digest that information, I wondered how I’d get the time off work. I had only been in Tucson a month or so. The only person I really knew moved there with me. She was a new hire at her job too. Even if I asked her to help, how would she get time off?

Who can you count on when you don’t know anyone? Mentally flipping through a short list of acquaintances, I remembered that guy in my apartment complex who was so helpful when I moved in. He had stored some suitcases of mine when I couldn’t move in right away. We had become friends, and I knew he was a student at the U of A. I wondered if he’d mind driving me to the appointment, and then checking in on me every once in a while.

Long story short, he did drive me. When I was done, he escorted my woozy self to his car, my jaws firmly clamped on bloody gauze – what a sight that must have been. He picked up my pain meds, 7Up and soup, and then slept on my living room floor for two nights. I never felt so cared for and safe.

My neighbor was grace. I was new in town, and I needed a friend. I sure had one didn’t I? If I never believed that grace comes through especially when I need it, trust me, I learned it then, and I know it now.

Grace. The power, the presence and the love of God, all wrapped into one. I have the eyes to see it now. I watch, amazed and grateful, as it flows through all of us who choose to become the hands and feet of Love in this world.

My husband-to-be was the embodiment of grace those two days, my gift from Love that didn’t want me to be alone. I never expected it, but through my ‘Grace’, I experienced the gentle, protective hand of God.


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60 thoughts on “His Name Was Grace

    • Hi Sandi! Thank you Sandi, it’s really a great memory. What a trooper he was! God knew I needed help, and he provided. And, I got a husband out of the deal too πŸ™‚

      Sunday blessings,

  1. What a perfect love story and LOVE story!! My oldest grandson is due to have that done as soon as he gets home from college in May before he starts summer classes and then heads to Chile for a semester abroad in late July. He is NOT excited, but would love your story!! Just so you know….I love finding you here on Sunday afternoon after a nap!!!

    Love and hugs,

    • Aww, thanks Pam! I love to see you here too, so it works both ways. (Kinda jealous about the nap though. If I nap, I never sleep at night!)

      Your grandson will do great, and be ready to go on with the rest of his exciting life. Chile? That sounds like a real adventure to me. I hope he keeps you and your family close in emails and Face Time chats.

      I didn’t know it then, but my experience was a two-time love story. From God who showed me how much he loved me, and then from my ‘neighbor’ who became my best friend. It is amazing to see how God works.
      Blessings to you my friend!

  2. Thank you for showing us a new side of grace. I’ve always wondered what you do when you have no one nearby to turn to in times like you described. How lucky for you to have found your husband in the process.

    Grace is a beautiful gift that pops up just when you need it the most. Thank you for this beautiful lesson today.

    • Hi Mary! I like the way you summarized it all. Grace does come just when we need it, the true life and power and love of God. I’m sure it happens a million more times than I’m aware of, and I’ll look forward to praising God for each one someday!

      Here’s to both of us finding the love of God in his grace…just when we need it.

  3. THAT is the sweetest and most romantic love story I have EVER read! Made me tear up, for you see one of my great fears is exactly what you described. What would I do? Even with family here-they are busy–very busy. Then along comes “Trust Me”–“Have faith in Me”–KNOW that I will surely take care of you. Exactly as He did for you—all those lovely years ago!
    LOVE this story My Friend!

    • Hi Lulu! Thank you so much for your kind words about the post Lulu, I really appreciate it. This experience made a huge impression on me. My now-husband went above and beyond in taking care of me. He did WAY more than I ever expected.

      And isn’t that just like God? I thought I was sunk for sure, but here comes this guy, ready to help. How good of him, how huge was this grace for me.
      Our families are so busy, it’s true. But I know that they’d drop everything in a minute to help you if you needed them. Families are a huge grace, aren’t they?
      Sunday blessings,

  4. What I wonderful story and love story. Although all God’s stories are love especially when washed in grace, aren’t they. Yes, your grace in action friend was and is definitely a keeper!

    • Hi Lynn! Such a good point. God’s work is always about love (although I may not see it that way at the time). He certainly took care of me, surrounding me with safety and care in this experience. How blessed I was! I think its a great exercise to look for those grace moments every day. They might not be as dramatic, but they’re there.

      Sunday blessings,

    • Hi Betty! It surely was. I know I was enormously grateful at the time, but not so sure I realized the gift from God he really was. I am never tired of seeing where God has blessed me. I hope I always look!

      Sunday blessings,

  5. Oh, Ceil, if I could reach my arms out to you through this post, you would get the grandest hug ever! Your story here so mirrors what Danny and I have experienced this past week. “If you want to make God laugh, make your own plans.” And how!
    Yet, as you will read in the weeks to come at my blog, God’s grace was there for us in so many amazing, incredible and caring people, just as He was when He brought your future husband to you. Wow!
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story!

    • Hi Martha! Drat! I could use a big hug about now…

      I can’t wait to hear your story and your journey Martha. You and Danny are so close, and such great parents and grandparents, I love hearing about your family and faith. How beautiful that you know God was with you in the people he sent to help. Yay!

      Thank you for your enthusiastic comment too, I love that πŸ™‚

  6. Oh, and one more thing, my friend. Could I use the “If you want to make God laugh . . .” statement in my next blog? I will certainly give you credit and include a link to your blog. Thanks, Ceil!

  7. What a lovely love story, Ceil. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Dentists are so frightening people, aren’t they? And you hear so many stories about dental experiences. I nearly got killed by a dentist once. I was driving down a narrow country lane and he came at me on the wrong side of the road. Now I avoid dentists at all costs.

    God bless.

    • Hi Victor! Thank you for your kind words. And oh my goodness! You have to watch out for those dentists everywhere don’t you?

      How do you know which driver is a dentist?
      Sunday blessings,

      • His car number plate was “I PULL EM” and he had a tooth fairy sitting on the back seat. When he stopped to apologise he said his name was Ivor Molar. But the real give-away was the dentist’s chair he had strapped on top of the car. He told me he made house calls.

        God bless.

    • Hi Estelle! Thank you for coming over to read and then comment! I love to see you here.

      I never know who I tell this story to, so it was a little surprise to me that you knew it already. Can you imagine? I must have looked frightful for days, I remember how much pain I was in, it wasn’t fun… God sure does know who to call on to help!

      See you tomorrow, unless you are on ‘baby duty’. And thank you for your FaceBook love too,

  8. This is the best post! It made me happy just reading it. Your hubby is a great guy, and we have an awesome God who planned that all out!

    • Hi Mari! Amen! We do have an awesome God! I really did ‘see how much love the Father has for us…’ through my neighbor (and eventual husband).

      I’m glad it made you happy, it was fun to remember it too. Although I don’t want to live through that again!

      Sunday blessings,

  9. I wondered if the “guy” would turn out to be the husband!!!! This is a lovely story of God’s grace. It goes right along with what He is showing me about trying not to figure it out but trust Him to provide. Beautiful testimony!

    • Hi Mary! I think I’ll be learning that for all my life. Trust! Such a tough thing for me, I think I can do everything. Talk about silly things!

      I hope I can get closer and closer to trust each day, and catch up to you. And thank you for your kind words about the post today, you are such an encouraging blog friend!

      Sunday blessings,

    • Hi Cindy! Thank you for coming over and visiting me here. It’s nice to see you!

      I would easily imagine that there are many who have lived this kind of service from the grace and generosity of God. Aren’t we the blessed ones? I really don’t know what I would have done without him.


  10. What a beautiful story, Ceil. Not many men would be willing to do that, nor could you trust many of them in this day and age. Grace…absolutely! God knew it all along and somehow you knew too, even though you weren’t aware of it at the time. I love how God works! Thanks for sharing this precious story….and how fun to be able to answer the “how did you meet your husband” question! πŸ˜€

    • Hi Debby! I actually met my husband while he was painting my apartment. I was supposed to move it, but there he was painting it. Not fun! But he offered to stow my suitcases, and for some reason, I agreed. You are so right, these days, who knows what would happen?

      Grace is a powerful thing, and I was certainly the recipient of it at that time in my life. I don’t think I saw it that way then though!


  11. I had a feeling your grace-filled friend would become a keeper! πŸ™‚ What a wonderful story, Ceil! I am blessed with just such a man and he is a constant reflection of God’s love and mercy to me.

    • Hi Pam! Then we are both graced aren’t we. God is so good, and brings us just what we need when we need it. I really had no idea how this all was going to work, but he did.

      I pray I’ll always see the grace of God at work in my life.

  12. I wondered if that “man called grace” was going to turn out to be your husband. It’s nice being right a time or two. πŸ™‚ Good story Ceil. Being grace to others should be one of our goals.

    • Hi Bill! I’m right with you there. Grace isn’t given to us to keep, we have to give it away.

      You were right! My Grace became my husband. God is good (all the time!).


  13. Good Post! Though I agree with your first statement. His name is GRACE. Whether it’s salvation through the Messiah, or the lady driving you to your appointment or your husband,

    God gives us

    Thanks for being faithful,

    • Hi Keith! What a great way to remember the benefits of grace, thank you for sharing.

      Grace comes from all places in our lives, including the neighbor who helps. As creative as God is, so is his use of us in sharing in grace. It’s fun to see it in action!


  14. Ceil: I love this story. It speaks to me in so many ways. We never know what God has planned for us. I remember reading in Proverb, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” I once read another way to look at our planning, “Man plans but God laughs.”

    Do your children know this story? It would make for a special memory for them, as well. Blessings on you and yours.

    • Hi Cecelia! I really appreciate your quoting this Proverb, it really does sound a lot like the “man plans…” quote. The bible is just chock-full of wisdom, isn’t it?

      I’m not sure that my kids know this story, that’s a good question. My daughter sometimes reads my posts, we’ll see if she did this week!
      Blessings to you too my friend,

  15. This is one of the most beautiful grace-filled stories I have ever read. Thank you for sharing such an intimate remembering, Ceil.

    • Hi Michelle! Thank you for commenting here, it’s so fun to see you!

      I’m glad you liked the post, it is a fun memory for me. At the time it wasn’t of course, but now it is. I think our lives are full of grace moments, most of which I don’t see until I look back. I have to get better at living in the ‘now’.

      Have a great week!

  16. Oh, my word! I LOVED this!!! It hit me while I was reading how sweet and neat it would be if this mystery neighbor guy ended up being your husband!! OH, what a precious story of love and grace indeed! I enjoyed this so much. Thank you for sharing. Sending love and hugs your way, sweet friend. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Cheryl! Thank you for your enthusiastic comment my friend! He did indeed become my husband, but we were friends first. And what a great friend he was that day…or days I should say.

      Thank you for your love too! I send it right back to you with a hug, and a hope that your niece is continuing to progress,

  17. AW!!!! What a beautiful story Ceil! Oh, how I adore this and that ending made me literally go “AW!!” out loud sitting her at my computer, smiling with tears in my eyes.

    Smart move marrying that guy. He’s a keeper for SURE.

    And his name is Grace. Such truth. <3

    • Hi Chris! He is a keeper, you’re right about that. I couldn’t believe how good he was to me when I really needed it. Such grace and kindness. That was God moving in him, and his response. It’s a great memory.

      Thank you for your kind words about the post, I really appreciate them. Have a great day!

  18. What a wonderful story of grace, Ceil. And a beautiful story of love, too. I kept waiting as I read, thinking, “Is he going to be her future husband?” And sure enough! πŸ™‚ I love your description of grace as the “power, the presence and the love of God, all wrapped into one.” Love and hugs to you!

    • Hi Trudy! I guess it was pretty out there that this would be my on-day husband. Such a great example of God working in him, and his response to that grace. I have been reflecting on grace lately, and that description really seemed to fit. I’m glad you see it like that too!

      Love and hugs to you too my friend. Have a great day πŸ™‚

  19. Hi Ceil, I’m sorry to be so late in reading and responding to this post. As I was reading about this young man, I wondered if he might end up becoming your husband. It’s amazing how God brings people into our lives at just the right time–sometimes for a short season and other times for an extended season.

    Dentists are interesting creatures for sure! And yes, I’ve had my own experience with wisdom teeth removal–I opted for only a local–my dentist thought I was a bit nuts but I had no one to help, other than a ride to and from. (I was woozy enough from the trauma; I wonder how bad I would have been if I’d been put under?)

    Blessings on your week,


    • Hi Kim! I can’t imagine having all those teeth removed without anesthesia. But, I totally get not having anyone to help you, I’m sorry you had to go through that alone.

      I really was graced to have help, and I realize that to the full now. God sure has funny ways of bringing me to my husband, but I’ll take it. He has such a servant heart.

      Blessings to you too my friend. It’s always great to see you here,

    • Hi Jean! I love that saying too, and I certainly didn’t come up with it. But I sure believe it!

      Thank you for your kind words about the post. I appreciate your supportive heart.
      Have a wonderful Wednesday,

  20. I found that one of the “clues” that my husband was the person God had for me was because I could trust him like I was born trusting my parents. It’s a gift from God! When I read your post, I thought that this neighbor who was so kind – and you trusted him with a God-given kind-of-trust because he was the one. Beautiful post on so many levels!

    • Hi Mary Leigh! That’s such a great explanation for how I just seemed to naturally trust this neighbor. He was also from a town not far from where I grew up, so that helped too. But to think that it was ‘God given trust’ really helps me to see it as a holy thing. Thank you!

      And thank you for your kind words for the post today. I really appreciate it!
      Wednesday blessings,

  21. I like the new photo on the right about your Speaking Ministry. Thank you for devoting your time to such good works.

    I remember some time ago you put a video of you speaking on this Blog. Perhaps you’d do some more some time.

    God bless.

    • Hi Victor! Thanks for noticing! That was just taken at a talk I did last month. And you’re right, I did do a video about two years ago. I meant to make it a regular thing, but then I decided to break my leg instead, so all my plans just sort of fell away.

      Thanks for asking about that. I will consider it for the future! You are a good blog friend Victor. I appreciate you so much.

  22. I love the end of this story. I was hoping the young man would end up being your husband. πŸ™‚ What a beautiful beginning of your relationship, an act of grace!

    • Hi Lisa! Aww, thanks Lisa! All ended up very well, from a beginning that was full of concern and unknowing. God was so good to me, helping me through my gracious neighbor. I didn’t know it at the time, but it also brought me my husband!


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