Hey guys! My name is Kailyn. I’m 16 years old, going to be a junior next year (yikes). I’m Kane and Amy’s second kid, if that rings a bell. Oh, and I’m the sister of the ever-present Sammie Kuo, who (let’s be real) we just can’t seem to get rid of. I mean, we try to send her away to college and she keeps coming back.
To be honest, at first I didn’t understand why I would be a good person to share any “stories of grace”. My dad and I went into the outside world last week to get burgers, and that was the singular most exciting thing that has happened to me in like, five weeks. In other words, my life hasn’t been that interesting. I wondered why anyone would care what a highschooler like me had to say.
Having grown up in the church and attended Lighthouse for 14 years of my life, the term “grace” is one that has bounced around me ever since I was little. Classic Christian vocabulary, right up there next to words like “stewardship” or “repentance”. But I soon realized that “grace” isn’t just a vocab word. It’s continuous pictures of God’s love, manifested in the mundane events of a quarantine teenager’s life.
The first example of grace that comes to mind is family. Memories of quarantine are memories of playing mahjong, learning to cook, playing doubles at the park, and eating (probably too much) ice cream together. With all of us at home 24/7, we get to see my dad every time he’s off work, sharing more conversations and laughs as a family.
Not only that, but I’ve been able to spend time with them individually, something that didn’t always happen when school and volleyball were a thing. Now, looking back at it, what I thought was everyday life was really blessings from God. What I thought was just shooting hoops or learning to cook on the wok with my dad was really a picture of kindness and patience. What was just helping my mom declutter or learning how she takes care of the house became a testament to her continuous servant’s heart. And 3 a.m. conversations with my sister are really an example of Christ-centered friendship.
On a more personal level, the pandemic has eliminated any excuse I had to not pick up my Bible (and believe me, there were many). Prior to this, my faith had been based on Sunday school stories, children’s bibles, and later, Sunday and Friday night sermons. All that I knew about God came from what other people told me, which made for a shaky and uncertain relationship with Him. I knew of Him, even facts about Him, but I didn’t know Him.
Now, I’ve only read four books, and to be honest I probably didn’t understand a lot of it. But it’s amazing how vivid God becomes when you read His Word. He’s no longer a cartoon man with a giant nose in a picture book- He is a living God, present in the stories of the Bible and present in my life today.
The Youth Bible Camp came around at the perfect time, and it’s been a joy getting to read and discuss with brothers and sisters in Christ. Although at first I was caught off guard by the amount of junior highers there were, their maturity and eagerness to learn about God has been an incredible encouragement to me.
I originally thought that only an awesome, dramatic life story would qualify as a “story of grace”. Looking back at the past couple of months, though- spending time with family, getting to read God’s word, fellowship with the church- I’m slowly realizing that it’s not my story I’m telling, it’s God’s. Grace is just letting me participate in that story. Recognizing my sin, being forgiven by God and being invited to have a relationship with Him is, by itself, already a story worth telling.