Long time no chat. I hope you’ve had a great winter and holiday season. I’ve been enjoying time at home with my family and taking time to rest.
I’m finally officially opening up submissions for this spring round of devotionals and inspiring stories! As of today, you can email me anytime at editor(at)devotionaldiva.com to inquire or send a story in. For more details on submitting stories, please check out the Become A Diva page.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Ann Grace (please see her last Diva post for more on her journey). This is the finale of Diva Christmas 2019 – the reason for the season! Merry Christmas.
I woke up this morning excited to start this new day only to find myself struggling to complete each tasks with a merry heart. You see, as I prepared to change my flannel sheets, I looked at the various patterns to chose from only to be struck with tears as I saw the sheets with vintage truck carrying a Christmas tree. Why was this such a trigger of emotions, you may ask? Because those same sheets reminded me of Christmas with my little one. And this year, I have no idea as to whether or not I will be reunited with him this holiday season due to this horrible custody battle. Have you ever been asked to wait patiently? Suffer joyfully? Or better yet, to trust the Lord in the midst of so much uncertainty? In life’s messy moments that seem to only flourish with the holidays, sometimes I am tempted to complain about all the trials and heartache I am facing. I mean, lets face it. We say we “trust” God with our impossible Aunt Kay or something as serious as a terminal illness, but, then find another reason to worry that just keeps us from being merry! I can’t help but think about Jesus being ask to wait patiently for his big “reveal” only to know that he would have to die for a bunch of sinners who will laugh at him and eventually kill him unjustly. Jesus was a man acquainted with grief. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:3-5 ESV Can you imagine grief as your constant companion? The truth remains that we live in a fallen world and one thing we can count on as believers in Christ are trials and persecution. James 1:2-4 ESV Are you merrily trusting this day in God’s perfect timing for a situation in your life? Maybe it’s waiting for a tear filled prayer to be answered? Or a supernatural healing that only God can do? And then there’s the constant pleading with God to bring repentance and salvation to your spouse or loved one… 2 Peter 3:9 ESV I still can’t guarantee that the Lord will ever bring me back my baby taken away from me unjustly or give me a front row seat when swift justice and redemption occurs, but, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that we serve a mighty God who loves us and our little ones more than we could ever! And He will be our comfort, strength and hope this holiday season. He is faithful and knows what is best for us even when it doesn’t make any sense! He can see what we can’t. And if that means we are destined for a future of trials and tribulations in order to refine us into someone more like Him, then, it is worth it! “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV
As we prepare to celebrate our Savior’s birth this year, be solemnly reminded that unjust suffering was apart of God’s plan for JESUS. And if we are called of Jesus Christ, we will also face suffering like never before in these last days. But, take heart as Christ will keep us in His hands! If we remain faithful and endure til the end, one day very soon, we will rule with Him! Wishing you and your family a MERRY holiday season!
I am not a blogger, professional writer, photographer or foodie. I’m simply a mother of five (soon to be six) who has walked a road of grief after losing a husband and baby. I continue to encounter a Lord who is faithful. My desire is for others to know Him like I do and let Him be glorified in all I do say and do.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Sheila Ingle. This is the 5th post of Diva Christmas 2019 – reason for the season!
Legend has it that we enjoy singing Silent Night, Holy Night because of a broken church organ.
In the village of Oberndorf,
near Salzburg, Austria, was the small Church of St. Nicholas. Some stories say
that mice or rust was the cause of the ruined organ, but there would be no music
at the Christmas Eve service. It was 1818.
that music was an important part of worship, Parish Priest Josef Mohr took a
longer way home on the icy night. The slower path took him up over a hill
overlooking the village, and he remembered a poem he had written a couple of
years earlier. Looking down over the quiet, snow-covered countryside, he
visualized the scene when the angels announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds.
next morning, he took the poem to the organist Franz Xaver Gruber. This
talented musician created the melodious melody that could be sung to a guitar.
Christmas Eve at the Midnight Mass, the little Oberndorf congregation heard
Gruber and Mohr sing their new composition in German to the accompaniment of
Gruber’s guitar. They quickly picked up on this new song celebrating the birth
organ builder arrived the next month, heard the song, and shared it in other
villages, as he went about his work. In 1834, King Frederick William IV of
Prussia heard it. He then ordered his cathedral choir to sing it every
Christmas eve. By 1863, the carol had arrived in America.
an amazing history.
The simple words of this song even helped halt a battle.
The year was 1914, and soldiers on both sides of the battlefield somewhere
in France were enduring a dark and frozen Christmas Eve night. World War I, the
Great War, as it was called, eventually took the lives of more than 10 million
people. But it is doubtless that the mostly-young men of that Christmas Eve
were contemplating much more beyond their longings for home and warmth and
When soldiers on the German line placed candles on small Christmas trees and
raised them above their trenches it touched the hearts of their enemies. These
men — thousands of them on both sides — spontaneously began to sing the carols
Londoner Graham Williams described it. “First the Germans would sing one of
their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O
Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn
to the Latin words Adeste Fideles. And I thought, well, this is really a most
extraordinary thing – two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of
What began in those moments became the legendary Christmas truce. Weapons
were put down; men gathered in No-Man’s Land, and they agreed on a truce to
celebrate Christmas. A miracle, if you will, where British, Belgian, and French
soldiers put down their weapons to fellowship with their enemies.
No shots were fired. Men on both sides buried their dead, took off their
helmets, and held memorial services. Turning, they headed for their respective
trenches. A voice broke the stillness with the opening words of “Silent Night,
Holy Night” in French. From not far away, another voice, this time in German,
joined in. Soon both sides sang about the “heavenly peace” that was far away.
It has the style of a lullaby. In fact, this
is the carol I sang to our son Scott on his first few Christmases, as I rocked
him to sleep. The words are tender and quiet, and the peaceful tune would send
him to dream land quickly. As I held Scott, I couldn’t help but think about
Mary and how she felt when she held Jesus for the first time.
Round yon Virgin, mother and Child,
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
There is no question about Who is in the
manger. He is “Holy Infant,” Jesus! His birth is God’s gift to us, because “Christ,
the Savior is born.” The world is changed in an instant, because He is “the
Way, the Truth, and the Life.” This is Christmas. The “sweet, little Jesus boy”
has brought peace to you and me. As the words declare, “Jesus, Lord at thy
Shall we sing this beautiful carol with the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir?
South Carolinian Sheila Ingle is the author of five books about unknown heroines who lived in SC. She blends history and fiction to create memorable women. You can read more about her at sheilaingle.com, @sheilaingle, Facebook Sheila Ingle Author.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by June E. Titus. Here’s a great devotional to end this week’s Diva Christmas 2019 – reason for the season!
Here are some of the phrases we
hear as we approach the Christmas season: “So, what do you hope to get under
your tree this Christmas?” “I hope the family can get together for Christmas.”
“I hope this Christmas is better than last year!” Reminds me of “The Griswold
Family Christmas” . . . not the kind of Christmas most of us really want as
part of our celebration. We sold live Christmas trees from our farm in the
North Carolina mountains. They were shipped all over the eastern part of the
United States. To many people, it isn’t Christmas without a tree. To some
people Christmas is an industry
Those superficial comments about
the Season above and the holiday industry never get to the heart of the reason
for the season. The reason is Jesus. Pure and Simple. Indeed it goes deeper
than our hopes for favorable gifts, family, or fun.
Our Christmas hope is a noun rather
than a verb.
Hope as a verb: expectation that something will
be the way we think it should happen.
Hope as a noun: expectation based on a promise
and a reality—Hope based on what has been “poured into our hearts through the
Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
But more. There is a “reason for
the hope that is in you.”
The reason goes back, yes, not only to the manger when our Savior was born, but
also to the cross when He “suffered once for our sins, the righteous for the
And even more. Jesus not only died,
but He “rose again,” and will return for us and we “will always be with the
Eternal Hope—that is a reason for the season.
But shall we go even deeper? Hope
is one part of it. Hope is our “noun.” It is what we grasp hold and cling to.
What was Jesus’ reason to give us that hope? His reason is a verb. He loved us
and gave Himself for us, a “fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
So then, what is our verb? Is it to
wish for some gift or experience to make us feel good at the Christmas season?
Is it decorating our place, putting up a tree, cooking a big family meal? There
is nothing wrong with these things in proper perspective. When we get a whiff
of the pine or balsam, or smell the aroma of that turkey and pecan pie, we
might think about the true fragrance of His sacrifice to God. Why? It was His
love for us.
We, too, are to be a fragrant
reflection of His love—a verb, demonstrating His love in our hearts to others.
Eternal love—His for us—ours for Him and others.
Now that is a reason we can celebrate
at the Christmas season and every day.
June Titus is a retired nurse and poet and mother and grandmother, living with her husband in southern Georgia. Now in her eighties, she remains active in her local church. Among other church responsibilities, she teaches a Sunday school class of her peers. She writes a weekly blog on Facebook, entitled “Monday Musings.” Prior to moving to Georgia, she was a regular contributor to “The Watauga Democrat” newspaper, and “all About Women,’ a monthly magazine, both in Boone, North Carolina.
This is a guest story by Devotional Diva founder Renee Fisher! Here’s the third installment of Diva Christmas 2019 – the reason for the season!
One Christmas, I spoke on the 3 Keys to Unlocking Christmas at a woman’s
tea. I started with my favorite phrase from my book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me.
“Thereis freedom from your past hurts, present circumstances, and future fears.”
There. Is. Freedom. From. Your past hurts. Present circumstances. And future fears.
Saying that out loud still haunts me today.
The key that unlocks the past is forgiveness.
and I may not have a perfect past. It may not be filled with magic like a Disney
movie, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from it.
demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the
knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to
Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV).
time you replace an ugly lie or half-truth with the Truth of the Gospel — you
help turn that key even faster to unlocking any bitterness, hurt, grudges,
or unforgiveness from the past. Take that first step today and learn
how to forgive others including yourself!
key that unlocks the present is faith.
waited 12 years, 10 months, and 24 days from the day I knew God promised me the
best Christmas gift ever to the day Marc proposed down on one knee in Coronado.
recently celebrated our 8 year anniversary in the North East seeing the fall
leaves change, and I was so blessed to check off another botanical garden off
my bucket list of seeing a garden in every state.
what did I do while I was waiting on my big dreams? I learned how to practice
my faith muscles by getting involved in my church, the community, and starting
a business. I wrote like mad through each and every health problem.
Through each low valley and high mountaintop experience.
present may be filled with many roadblocks, bumps in the road, and all sorts of
pot holes — but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have faith in the journey. My
Type A personality took many years to learn that progress (the journey) is more
important than perfection (the destination).
the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and
self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV).
key that unlocks the future is grace.
Good News (Jesus) is the key to the future, which is grace. By grace we’re
encouraging verse to unlock the future says,
because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with
Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been
saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly
realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the
incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ
Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not
from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For
we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God
prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:4-10, NIV).
you have not yet accepted God’s gift of grace, I encourage you to pray this
prayer with me today:
confess that I have been blaming myself for too long. I cannot be good enough
to get into heaven or earn your grace. I need your free gift. Please forgive me
of my sins so that I can accept your Holy Spirit into my heart. Wash me clean.
Set me free. Give me a bright future full of hope and grace. Thank you for loving
me! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
news! If you prayed that prayer — God now calls you His friend (John 15:15).
just found out today that at least one of the women prayed to
receive Christ at the women’s Christmas tea — Praise the Lord!
It is my prayer that you and your loved ones will have a Merry Christmas. May you use the 3 keys to unlock your best Christmas yet!
Renee Fisher is an author, coach, and consultant who owns and operates a full-service creative agency for self-publishing. She is passionate about defending dreams and spurring others forward to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). #DreamDefender Renee is a BIG fan of glitter and gardens. She is a graduate of Biola University and lives in Austin, Texas with her handsome husband and their fur child named “Starfish.” Connect at ReneeFisher.com.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Agnes Amos-Coleman. And this is the second post of Diva Christmas 2019 – the reason for the season!
My friends, this Christmas season reminds me of shepherds who tend, feed and guard their sheep. Jesus Christ symbolizes for us the Good Shepherd. The scriptures in Luke 2:8-11 talk about the announcement of his birth
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord”.
Remembering the birth of
the Good Shepherd – Jesus should cause great celebration in our hearts this
season and reassure us of His:
Protection – In a world where trouble and chaos is everywhere, we need the
protection of God from the rising of the sun until it sets and the only place
where we can find that protection is in the word of God where He promises to
save us from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. I urge you to meditate on Psalm 91 and you will be
encouraged on the assurance of God’s protection for you and your family.
Provision – Just like a shepherd would provide for his sheep, God is able to provide
for and bless us abundantly, meet our physical, emotional and spiritual needs
because the resources of the universe belong to Him.
Christ follower, as you
celebrate another Christmas, tap into the provision and protection of the Good Shepherd
this season. If you are currently not a Christ follower, come, let Him give you
Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Sheila Lloyd. Welcome to Diva Christmas 2019 – the reason for the season!
I stand before the nativity crèche , looking at it as I have so many, many times before… Enjoying the colors, smiling at the way the expressions are carved in each face, thinking about the artist’s choice of costume.
My eyes move to the center figure, the baby in the manger; and I am struck a new with wonder. That baby lying in the manger truly was King of kings and Lord of lords! In his eyes was all eternity past and all eternity future combined into a shining present moment. The Word that spoke the earth into existence, that made light out of darkness, had now become flesh. Once again, darkness would give way to light and creation would never be the same!
Every figure in that manger scene had a fixed gaze on baby Jesus–an attitude of wonder as well as worship. Lord, how I want that focus as well! The world creeps in with tinsel and to do lists, money and mall mayhem; and my heart begins to feel as if it’s cold hard plastic like the nativity figurines.
Forgive me. Fix my gaze upon Jesus–Not just the baby in a manger, but the Messiah on the cross, the risen Lord, and the reigning King! May my gaze be one of fixed wonder and joyful worship.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Sheila Lloyd is learning to live in freedom through Jesus Christ! Her vocational life has included teaching private piano lessons, writing, acting in and producing musical dramas, spearheading women’s retreats and other ministry outreach events, composing music, leading worship across the country, teaching Bible studies and mentoring. Shelia has two grown sons, one of whom has special needs. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Brian, since 1990. The couple experienced growth on the cutting edge of faith as Brian suffered a massive rehabilitating stroke in 2014. They published a book sharing God‘s powerful hand in the situation titled, It’s OK! I Had a Stroke. It was released on Amazon and Barnes and Noble May 2019. Website here. The couple currently shepherds a storefront church in Woodstock, VA.
Well, last week’s devotional wrapped up our fall stories. Now, I’ll be announcing our Christmas series and opening submissions!
I just moved (again, I know.) to Washington State and we are already SO excited for Christmas. Well, this year we’ve been excited for every single holiday because my husband has been able to be with us for them 🙂
I’ve been pondering what the Diva Christmas 2019 theme should be.
As Don Draper on Mad Men said, “Just think about it deeply, then forget it. An idea will jump in your face.”
That’s what happens every year for me when I’m coming up with the theme — I don’t think it’s a coincidence 🙂
My idea for this year:
Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season. I’d like to honor and focus on Him.
Diva Christmas 2019 is Jesus is the Reason. An ideal guest post can certainly be creative with its interpretation of the theme, but must remain centered on Christ. My hope is to celebrate Our Savior this season with personal devotionals that speak of Him, His love and His story. It doesn’t have to just be about “the Christmas story,” although it is definitely welcome.
If you are someone who wants to submit a guest post for our Christmas series, I am hoping that an idea will just pop into your head too 🙂
Please see our Become A Diva page for submission requirements. And email me with an questions: editor(at)devotionaldiva.com
I will be closing submissions in two weeks. However, if I receive a flurry of submissions I may have to close them early.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest submission from Sheila Lloyd. Sheila’s husband had a stroke in 2014, and this is part of their story of recovery. Thanks so much, Sheila!
WHAT DID I LEARN THROUGH THE STROKE? How I am more like Jesus because of this experience?
I WILL ADMIT, WHEN ONE OF MY EDITORS POSED THESE QUESTIONS TO me, I was at a loss.
So…as I am flying in a plane at 20,000+ feet, I will endeavor to dive into that question and see what happens. Couldn’t pay me to strap on a parachute and jump, but then again, this kind of feels just as precarious.
Do I wish the stroke had never happened? Yes! And No! What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. And in the timeless words of Winnie the Pooh to his best little pink friend Piglet, “You are stronger than you think.” Now, please understand that I am not trying to glorify myself or my own strength! Sheila, in the flesh, had no bucket from which to draw water from the deep well of the life-altering trauma the stroke had brought into our lives.
However, as 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me…when I am weak THEN I am strong. God’s power is made perfect in weakness.”
At this writing, we are 3 years, 2 months since the stroke. We have traveled many miles–physically, emotionally and spiritually to the moon and back. I have railed screaming, fists raised, at the heavens with the gut-wrenching wail, “WHY?!” I have soaked my old carpet with tears wrought from an internal void I didn’t think would ever be filled. I have looked out at the desert climate with eyes glazed over wanting desperately to go back to LBS (an acronym a friend lovingly tagged for “Life Before Stroke.”) I have often wondered how we could continue living in this new reality. Why did things have to change so drastically?
And then, one day I realized that I was no longer just surviving. We were no longer just recovering, or even the next phase, recuperating. We were starting to live again, to dream, to laugh truly without the empty horror lurking behind the edges. There is Life After Stroke.
There are still times when I wish Brian could be physically the big, bold, strong as an ox, football-player build of a man as he was before the stroke. He still experiences deficiencies and weaknesses due to that blasted brain bleed. The Lord has not YET fully restored his ability to play guitar or have the lightning quick reflexes normally contained in a functioning human hand. Does that mean that I didn’t hear God about “full, complete restoration, better than new” in those first hours and days? No! One thing I have learned loudly and clearly: God’s timing is not my timing. His ways are not my ways. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:10) I believe now, as I have from the beginning, that the Lord could completely restore Brian in the fraction of a blink. And He is.
But it is a process to which Brian surrendered. Numerous times I have had to surrender to the process as well. I have learned that the vows one says at a wedding ceremony can truly be put to the test through a traumatic health event. Marriage is more than passion, financial agreement, success or even friendship. It is a commitment. And I’ve learned that when those stormy seas are navigated (only by the grace of God) the ensuing relationship is sweeter, deeper and stronger for having survived the battle.
I’ve learned some things about myself, about God, and about others.
About God: He truly will never leave me or forsake me. He is utterly and completely faithful and dependable.
About others: We don’t really comprehend how people watch our lives, I think particularly those who claim to follow Jesus draw attention and inspection especially during crisis. People in this world are desperate for hope. Desperate for truth. Our stories can be used to encourage others in ways we will never know.
About myself: oftentimes in my life I think I’ve been characterized as a princess (and not the flattering meaning of the word.). Too often I have escaped hard work and have perhaps appeared as though I had more than my share of blessings. But through this process I learned that when the rubber hits the road, true character comes out. What my parents and God poured into me over the years came out. I’m stronger than I think.
For many years, my worst fear in life was losing Brian to death. Now I know that regardless of what happens in this lifetime, my Jesus truly does hold me firm. He will never let go. Therefore, despite the moments when I don’t think I can continue to draw breath, I will breathe. Because He is the very breath of life. He, not Brian, is my life, my sustainer, my Provider, my Hope.
HOW AM I MORE LIKE JESUS FROM THIS EXPERIENCE?
Wow. I’d have to say the main character trait I see He’s developed in me is in the area of being a servant. Not a doormat. Not a slave. But in considering others’ needs above my own. Servanthood was not a badge I was desiring. Except that Jesus desires it for me. Commands it actually.
I fail miserably. Often. Repeatedly. I serve at times looking gracious on the outside but seething on the inside. Or I serve seething on the outside and whining on the inside. Or at times I actually find that I am serving in joy. Must be His joy. Wow. Ok. Thank you Jesus.
How could I actually even consider saying that I don’t regret the stroke? Because my husband has become an even more amazing man. And who he is spiritually today would not have existed without that sub arachnoid hematoma which occurred July 10, 2014. The journey we have walked has shaped us and allowed us to minister to others (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) There are SO many experiences, people, insights, impressions, miracles, blessings, friendships, revelations we would have missed if this pathway had not been presented to us.
There have been hours of emotional pain, free-falling somersaults during which I felt like my heart was on fire ready to explode…or implode. However, because I was able to face the grief, feel the pain and navigate the pain with the Lord, I’ve been able to enter into others’ grieving to offer an ear, a hug, or a prayer. This I see as an amazing gift gained. Life isn’t fair, and it’s not easy. Even as Christians, we are not promised a life without pain. (John 16:33). But we are promised an abundant life because Jesus overcame the world. That means he overcame weakness. And death. And pain. And grief. And strokes.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest submission from Jennifer, the Sunflower Mom! Thanks for sending this in, Jen!
“Are you happy?” she asked me.
A friend I hadn’t seen in a few months asked me this question early one Saturday morning over coffee. She knew some of the depression I’ve been wading through the last few years.
“Yes,” I replied, closing the conversation so the discussion could move on to more comfortable topics.
Later that evening I thought about that question.
Happy is a fleeting emotion. When I look back at my life, I’d only describe one season as truly happy: those first few months of awestruck wonder when my daughter was born.
Otherwise, happiness comes and goes. It seems like an impossible goal, especially for someone who is crawling out of depression.
An accurate response would have been, “I’m content.”
Webster’s definition of content is “feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.”
If that sounds the same to you as “happy,” then you’re right, happy is a synonym of the word content.
This dictionary definition leads me to believe a promotion, a change in my singleness, or a new car will bring me contentment. Which I’ve all tried, by the way, and none of these brought me out of my depression.
To truly understand the meaning of contentment, I dug further.
After all, if in Ephesians, Paul can call himself content writing from a jail cell, surely it has nothing to do with singleness or possessions.
Philippians 4:11-13 NIV: I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
According to the Holman Bible Dictionary, the biblical definition of contentment is an “internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances.”
This definition demands I find satisfaction where God has me today. Not how I wished my life looked.
No mention of possessions or status or situation. Quite the opposite.
Giving up on the dreams I have for myself isn’t fun work. I never imagined I’d be 40 and a single mother. Those aren’t the goals young girls dream for themselves.
But it’s where God has me.
After years of striving for happiness outside of my life, I came to the end of myself.
Prideful, I was determined to do things my way and only give God what I wanted to give Him. I held onto relationships, hurts, and pride for years.
I begged God all the time to change my circumstances. Certain I knew the way to my happiness.
It wasn’t until one completely broken night that I gave Him all of me, and He fully met the broken me and restored me.
I now put my focus on what God has blessed with me with each day.
For me, that looks like pouring myself into my children in ways I never did before.
I no longer dread being their chauffeur. I look for ways to serve them, teach and prepare them to become human beings that make a difference in this world.
After years of putting my life on hold, I finally went all in: I went back to church. I took a vacation solo, I put myself in new situations. I’ve found blessings that have been waiting for me all this time.
Most of all, I asked for help.
I shelved my pride and starting with my doctor I asked for help. Then I asked a friend at church, then another one, and another.
Shockingly, I was met with grace and love.
God didn’t change my circumstances. I’m still a single mother. But now I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.