Oct 11 2013

Transforming Testimonies of His Grace…A beautiful Grace Story from Amber Durgan

Tonight, I have the pleasure of introducing our amazing Unwrapping His Grace reader, Amber Durgan, who has graciously volunteered to share her story with all of us in hopes of encouraging women in our UHG community who may wonder about God’s timing and plans…when they don’t look like what WE think they should look. And, yes. Amber is as bubbly as she sounds! :)





Hello everyone I am the 25-year-old blessed wife and helpmeet of my amazing husband Lance. we are Christians and lean on the Lord daily for His strength and inspiration. I blog at Chronicles of a Twenty Something Year Old.


Here is my story…


I have learned that I am very much a person who writes up elaborate dreams in my heart and then gives them to God to edit and critic after I am done creating them. I am working on this, but you will see this mindset reflected in the story I am about to tell you.

Today I am twenty-five and if you would have asked me ten years ago where I saw myself, I would have without hesitation told you, married with at least one child, getting close to having our second.

My mom was married at nineteen years old and I set that as a bench mark age for me to be married by. When it didn’t happen, I struggled with thinking that I would never get married and started wondering what was wrong with me. I was never one to date, which some may think didn’t help me in this endeavor, but God had bigger and different plans than I did for my life. From the age of 18 to 23 I was in college and focusing on my studies and finding out who I was as a person, away from my family – what made me who I am. I needed these years to grow closer to Christ and learn who I was – not to focus on building a marriage, in retrospect my now husband was going through the same things.

During the time that I was in college, I was praying about where to move afterwards (another thing you should know about me is that I am a restless soul and I LOVE traveling). God, clear as day, told me that if I would move to Montana I would meet my husband. Montana had been on my list of places I would consider moving, but once God said “husband” I was all in. So move to Montana I did and a month and a half later I met the man who would become my husband, my sweet Lance. Don’t you just love Gods plans?

Okay, so here I go with my fairytale dream like self again. I met Lance online. The second day of knowing him, I knew that we would marry. A few months later, when Lance knew too – I wanted to get married soon there after, but Lance had a conviction in his heart that we were to know each other for at least a year before moving from courtship to engagement. And so, again I handed my plans to God to edit and waited a year and 4 months.

Our engagement was as close to perfect as can be though, during a beach vacation – where my a lot of my family along with Lance and I were staying at the Oregon coast on nearly free beach front property for a week. It was such a joy to be able to tell all of my family in person rather than having to call them, and oh! This is another story in itself but how he asked me to marry him, memories I will forever cherish.

So, on April 27th 2013 [my Grandparents 56th wedding anniversary] Lance and I committed and vowed our futures to God and each other and became one. Said to be the most beautiful wedding many of our guests had ever attended. Again, much more than I had ever dreamed or planned my wedding to be.

And now that we have been married for five months, with no children – I see God surpassing my dreams and plans daily. Don’t get me wrong, I long for children and pray every day about His perfect timing in this, however I have been blown away by how much God has grown and changed me even in the five months we have been married.

I have learned to love someone (my best friend) more than I ever thought I was capable of loving another. I have learned truly what the words behind 1 Corinthians 13:4-7a mean.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 New Living Translation (NLT) 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Learning to love each other teaches us how to love God more. I have learned this to be especially true in loving the one God created for me.

I have learned to be content in all circumstances.

Philippians 4:11-13 ESV Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. God has written so much into our short five months of marriage. From family illness to job changes to me attending school … a lot has changed. But in each circumstance we confidently walk through it with Christ and each other.

I have learned more about becoming a Proverbs 31 woman.

God continues teaching me just exactly what it means to be the type of woman He has created us to be. This is a work in progress and of course I am still very much learning and growing however I AM learning and growing because of Him. I struggle with keeping a tidy house, I struggle with keeping the laundry load down. I am not the type of girl who has dinner on the table when my husband comes home and to have the house just as clean and sparkly as possible in fact, I don’t like to admit this but my husband cooks more than I do because I never learned.

So my friends; may I encourage you to leave your dreams on the altar for God to revise and put them back into your heart as He would have them to be? I am so much happier than I would have ever dreamed of being – even though as you can see my life is not being lived how I had it planned.

Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us, Amber!!

God has a very special plan for each of our lives and it may be different than we imagine because He has special plans for your life story to become your unique and beautiful testimony. Comparing ourselves to others rarely helps, we are all in different places in our life journey and our journeys with the Lord. God gives each of us our own stories and opportunities to share how He walks with us or carries us through the very real and messy struggles of life so that we can testify to His transforming grace and power in our lives. His grace is sufficient…but that doesn’t mean it is always easy to live through.


How is God working in your life journey? Can you relate to Amber’s story?

We would love to hear your story! Will you share an example of how God is working in your life in the comments below? Are you struggling? We would be honored to pray for you. I know it would mean a lot to Amber to hear from all of you!


All for His Glory,


Mary Joy and Amber


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About the author

Mary Joy

I am a broken daughter of God and a work in progress. I am passionate about encouraging women to embrace God's grace and faithfulness as I discover and share His faithfulness, grace and even joy in the messiness of my journey as a widowed (less than 2 yrs), homeschooling mom with a missionary's heart. I am in awe of how God fills me up and carries me through each day. My Heavenly Father leads me as I continue to parent and home school my two recovering and very active boys and encourage my beautiful teenage step-daughter (long distance) during her first year in of college. In every moment I see incredible evidence of God's healing love, grace and faithfulness. I am so blessed to be the creator, manager, and an author of Unwrapping His Grace as I lean on my Savior to lead us in this special web-ministry.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.surrenderedlivingnow.com/2013/10/11/transforming-testimonies-of-his-gracea-beautiful-grace-story-from-amber-durgan/

  • Gina Marie

    What an encouraging article, Amber! It’s such a timely reminder for me, as I am waiting on the LORD for something… and I have been feeling discouraged lately. Your willingness to share your heart means so much to me – and I know it’s a blessing for so many others to see your testimony here.

    I am praying for you as you grow in intimacy with your husband and in faith daily turn your heart’s desires to the LORD to wait for His best for you. <3

    praying for you – sending love.

    Gina Marie