25 Years of Grace Alone

My heart soared as we sang “Grace Alone” at church yesterday morning. It is one of my all time favorite songs. Why? Because it exemplifies our story.

25 years have passed since Diwakar officially became Sandeep Nathaniel Thomas. 25 years since I had the privilege of becoming a mother and Peter, a father. 25 years of God giving a little boy who was lost and feeling hopeless, eternal hope! Can you believe it? 25 years since he entered our family!

I almost missed testifying of God’s amazing grace in the midst of our many sorrows and griefs in the season we find ourselves in.  These are losses that bring us to tears, losses that inflict our very souls and make us crumble. Yet we know that there is a time for everything and this is a time to lay down our garments of mourning and put on our robes of rejoicing for God has done a marvelous thing!

Thomas Family ThenSandeep was loved and wanted by us before he even knew us…a child for whom we had prayed and waited for while he was confused and lost…a child for whom we would lay down our hopes and desires….because he was our chosen SON! That was enough for that covenantal bond to be formed. We desired that nothing he did was ever going to separate us…because he was ours!

Truth be told, we are sinful human beings who failed many times as parents. We had no idea how to parent a severely traumatized 6 year old who hated being with us..a child who was deeply grieving the loss of his first family. We did our very best with our limitations and prayed for God’s mercy.

So why am I rejoicing today? Because I was a spiritual orphan who had no eternal hope and my God loved me, chose me, redeemed me paying a very high price (His life) and gave me value and hope as His daughter! Just as Sandeep (and Sneha) came away from their lostness into our family and home, so too, I have the privilege of being a part of God’s family with Him picking me up when I fall, correcting me when I fail and loving me through the ups and downs of my life. I rejoice in this guaranteed hope of living eternally in my Father’s house soon. I also rejoice because as His child, I can rest assured that He has a good plan for us. He can take bring beauty from the ashes of all our lives. He chose Sandeep to be our son and it will be Jesus who will be faithful to complete the good work in his life! Sandeep can run confident that God holds him. That is GRACE!

That’s why we rejoice today despite our sorrow. We are grateful that God chose us to be Sandeep’s parents and we get front row seats to see Him work in his life. We are grateful that God has held onto him in very tangible ways over the years. We are grateful God has helped him navigate life with courage and compassion. We are grateful that God brought Shirley to him. We are grateful for love and relationship. We are grateful for his hard work. We are grateful for the sacrificial love he poured out on Pattima and Thatha the past few years. We would have lost so much if we had not stepped out in faith to shadow the grace of our God that we had experienced.

Would you please pray for Sandeep? Pray for him to rest in God’s love and to grow in faith and surrender to his Lord. Pray that God will give him the desires of his heart in accordance with God’s perfect will. Pray that he will be used by God to be a light in this dark world. “Sandeep” means light, God’s light. “Nathaniel” means gift from God. Please pray that God will be found faithful in Sandeep’s life on the mountaintops and in the valleys of his life. Pray for his dear wife, Shirley…pray that their home will be a place of refuge for the ones in need of God’s love and grace.

Sing “Grace Alone” with me today! Its one of Sandeep’s favorite songs too!

I was an orphan lost at the fall
Running away when I’d hear Your call
But Father, You worked Your will
I had no righteousness of my own
I had no right to draw near Your throne
But Father, You loved me still
And in love before You laid the world’s foundation
You predestined to adopt me as Your own
You have raised me so high above my station
I’m a child of God by grace and grace alone

You left Your home to seek out the lost
You knew the great and terrible cost
But Jesus, your face was set
I worked my fingers down to the bone
Nothing I did could ever atone
But Jesus, You paid my debt
By Your blood I have redemption and salvation
Lord, You died that I might reap what You have sown
And You rose that I might be a new creation
I am born again by grace and grace alone

I was in darkness all of my life
I never knew the day from the night
But Spirit, You made me see
I swore I knew the way on my own
Head full of rocks, a heart made of stone
But Spirit, You moved in me
At your touch my sleeping spirit was awakened
On my darkened heart the light of Christ has shone
Called into a kingdom that cannot be shaken
Heaven’s citizen by grace and grace alone

So I’ll stand in faith by grace and grace alone
I will run the race by grace and grace alone
I will slay my sin by grace and grace alone
I will reach the end by grace and grace alone!

-Dustin Kensrue


29 thoughts on “25 Years of Grace Alone”

    1. Oh, dear sister! I so loved this beautiful story! What an encouragement! I’m so thankful for you. Love and prayers for you and Peter and Sandeep and the others.

  1. Rejoicing with you and so blessed to have spent time with you all and seeing God at work in your lives.
    May the joy of the Lord continue to be your portion, today and always.
    Much love and prayers to you and your precious family dear Vanita and Peter.

  2. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of who we are in the Lord, and how he has adopted us into the family that began with Abraham’s faith. May God shower blessings on Sandeep and all the Thomas family! U myself am the wife of an adopted child, and I’ve never ceased to be grateful to the Godly couple who chose him and raised him as their son.

  3. James 1:27

    Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

    I have been blessed along with my husband to watch your family continue to trust in the Lord’s benevolence through trials and tribulations. Over the years it has been a privilege to pray for all of you. You have a special place in our hearts. Your dedication to the Lord has been an inspiration to many, including us. Our thoughts and prayers continue as we see the faithfulness in “That good thing He began in all of you, He will continue to the day of His coming”. Philippians 1:6. Amazing grace! Love, you all! Hugs!

  4. What LIGHT shines from your words dear Vanita! Praying for you Peter Sandeep & Shirley, all your amazing family. You’re a witness to us all of GOD’S Goodness & Grace, so grateful to call you friends. 🙌💕✝️🙏 In JESUS’ Wondrous Love
    Holly Messinger 🕯️💙

  5. Praising God with you, having been a witness to this wonder for most of these 25 years, albeit from afar and through your emails and posts.

  6. Absolutely amazing Vanita.Praising God for the wonderful 25 years since you both opened your home and hearts for dear Sandeep. May the Lord answer your prayers for Sandeep and may he encounter the Lord in a v personal way this year.God bless this blessed family

  7. So encouraged reading your journey ! God is a God of great long term benefits. Faith removes short sightedness. May the generations be blessed.
    Thanks for sharing Vanitha and always encouraging people to draw closer to God. Much love and prayers

  8. Dear Vanita & Peter,

    Very well spoken from the bottom of your heart. God Bless you and your wonderful family.

  9. Beautiful journey of Gods faithfulness and unconditional love showered on your family .. what a wonderful testimony .. to God be the glory Great things He has done in and through your lives ..

  10. God bless your whole family with best health, peace & prosperity. Sending Saneep special prayers to bring all his dream come true.

  11. Dear Peter and Vanita,
    Beautiful testimony of adoption of Sandeep. Sending Sandeep all our prayers and blessings.
    Will continue to pray for you all as a family. God bless

  12. Beautiful testimony of the goodness of God. You and Peter are wonderful parents to Sandeep . Yes, Sandeep is God given gift. Praying specially for Sandeep that God will keep him as the apple of His eye. Praying for your family too.

  13. Praise God for your willingness and faithfulness in this parenting journey. May He continue to endow you with more wisdom,grace and strength as you go through the seasons ahead. Many prayers & blessings

  14. Such a powerful and heartfelt testimony! Thank you for sharing, all glory to our mighty God who makes everything beautiful in His time and who loves each of us more than we could possibly imagine! Praying a blessing over your inspirational family and especially over Sandeep and Shirley, much ❤️ love!
    Semona, Michael, Lucas and Timothy

  15. All Glory be to Christ for HIS faithfulness in your lives , dear Vanita & Peter. It’s such an honest inspiring testament of God’s unfailing gripping love . Wishing Shirley and Sandeep God’s peace and love always. Lots of love and prayers upon your family🙏

  16. Thank you so very much for sharing your powerful story. You have been so stalwart in keeping your eyes on the Lord through the dark times, as well as through the victories. May the Lord anoint each of you in your precious family with His Love, Joy, Peace and all the other fruit of the Holy Spirit as you go forth one step at a time into a good future under His wings. It has been such a blessing to watch your family, as each of your children have grown. Sandeep has been a wonderful example through the years of how God has been working and using him in so many ways. You are all in our prayers asking the Lord to enfold you and bless you in every way.

  17. What a great testimony of God’s Grace. May God Bless your family and God be with Sandeep and shower him with His blessings and mercy.

  18. Beautifully written Vanita. A good reminder never to miss the opportunity to praise God for His faithfulness even in the midst of a storm. I will pray for Sandeep and Shirley, and all of the children God has given us. That they may grow in wisdom and knowledge of their savior.

  19. Vanita; I had not heard anything of this news and so the arrival of your note breaks my heart this morning. I recall conversations where you blessed me so much in parenting my daughters and you reminded me that God is good and in control in the midst of the deepest valleys. I am lifting you in prayer – never hesitate to reach out to me at amy@doingood.net and let me know how to pray more specifically. I am deeply sorry for your loss and pray for your family during this time of grief coupled with hope. May God show you tangible signs of His mighty love today! AMY

  20. What a faithful God we have —- Amazing experiences in the walk of faith. May the Lord continue to bless Sandeep and Shirley, and use them for His glory. Peter and you dear Vanita, have done your best and trusted the Lord, and His grace has been sufficient at all times. May you continue to experience His love, joy & peace.

  21. Bless you dear Vanita for sharing Gods faithfulness, love and grace with us. It builds my weak faith. True it is, that God is our Father and we have to model His ways of love, forgiveness and mercy.
    May God’s favor rest and abide with this precious family, I ask in Jesus name, amen.

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