Celebrating the Gift of God’s Grace and Second Chances

Margaret Roland portrait

When I contemplate God’s amazing grace, I am reminded of the Larnelle Harris song “God of the Second Chance,” which recalls how God made it possible for us to be born again through the saving work of Jesus.

In what ways has God’s gift of grace provided you second chances in life, ministry, and relationships? How is that reflected in your daily walk on a practical level?

As my wife, Pam, and I travel the nation as correspondents for national WMU, we have nicknamed our 25-foot RV “Gracie.” It is a reminder of the grace we need to share with each other as well as the incredible grace God has granted us to be part of His work in partnership with WMU.

A Compelling Case of Grace

During our travels, one memorable interview we conducted was with Margaret Roland, a Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) site coordinator in Florence, Alabama. Her life story is a clear and compelling example of God’s grace—and second chances. Here are a few excerpts from our interview with her:

“I grew up in poverty,” Margaret shared candidly. “By the time I was 13, my mother kicked me out of the house. That opened up the door to drugs and homelessness. I moved from friends to family. At the same time, I still was able to graduate high school.”

Although she made a profession of faith in Christ at age 16, she said she didn’t understand the need to change her lifestyle to match her newfound faith. By age 19, she was pregnant and single with little hope for a stable or successful future.

Asking God to give her a reason to quit using drugs, Margaret said her pregnancy became that motivation. “God was like, ‘OK, here’s your reason to stop.’ That’s when I quit doing the drugs. I wanted to be a better mother for my child than what I had growing up.”

Pursuing God on a Deeper Level

At the same time, Margaret said she began visiting area churches as she started searching for God on a “deeper level.” That led to a church member introducing her to WMU’s CWJC ministry.

Going through the program twice as a participant, Margaret acknowledged she “still struggled a little bit.” She later moved to Florence, got a job at an area hospital, and discovered through her CWJC classes, mentoring, and Bible studies, she had gained the tools she needed to succeed.

Sensing a need “to help other women overcome the same obstacles that I have, that’s when God started putting Christian Women’s Job Corps on my heart,” Margaret said.

“Having someone believe in me and not [give] up on me as a participant has got me to where I am,” she explained. “That same passion that was given to me is now what I want to do for others.”

Although “I feel like I’m not qualified to be in this role, the more I feel that way, the more I see that God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called,” she said.

That’s grace. That’s the God of the second chance.

Read Margaret’s full story here.

By Trennis Henderson, WMU national correspondent


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