By Devin Hudson: This is my confession.

statisticI still remember the feelings of guilt and shame I experienced the first time I was unfaithful to my wife. I believed my secret would not be exposed, and I attempted to stop with my own willpower. I lied. I covered up. I did what was necessary to protect myself and my reputation. But eventually my sin caught up to me and my world came crashing in.

We were caught in one random, unexpected moment. The lies were exposed, and suddenly everything I knew was gone.  I will NEVER forget the cries of anguish from my kids. I will never forget the pain I caused my wife. Even as I type the words, that memory still hurts my heart deeply and brings a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes.  But it was the result of my own selfish choices.

My life now is a direct result of a cycle of selfish choices. I got divorced. I relocated. I remarried. I don’t get to kiss my kids every night before bed. My life is different than anything I have ever known or experienced.  In short, I've become a statistic.

Enter Grace.  Grace is the difference between life being over, and life starting over.

Statistics suggest that my second marriage will fail. Grace says otherwise.  Statistics say that I will be unfaithful to my wife again. Grace says otherwise. Statistics say I am finished. Grace says otherwise. Statistics say I am confined to the sidelines. Grace says otherwise. Statistics say my story is a tragedy. Grace says otherwise.

I don’t deserve grace, but I choose it. I believe in a God of second chances, and I believe I can be molded into something new.  I could condemn myself with labels: Cheater, Liar, Manipulator, Deceiver, and Hypocrite. But the God of second chances exchanges our labels for His: Loved, Forgiven, Justified, Accepted, Valuable, and Redeemed.

I was once a church planter and lead pastor with 2 Master’s degrees and a PhD.  But I allowed sin to destroy my life, and now I’m just a guy being slowly healed and rebuilt by Jesus.

Maybe you were something too, once, but now you're stuck condemning your future with the labels of your past.  Instead, remember this: grace wins, every time.  You may not know how the next chapter of your life will read, but let those be the final words.

My story is just getting started, and so is yours.  Welcome to People of the Second Chance.

Photo Credit