Working it Out

Working It Out

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Lois Robinson. This is a great testimony of faith and following God’s lead!]

I got married at a young age – 18 to be exact. My husband, who was the pastor’s son, and I had been dating for a couple of years and we knew that we were following God’s plan for our lives. We were planning to get married one year later but felt God pushing us to bring the date one year closer. My parents were not happy about this change, but we agreed to go forward with the plans.

Our wedding day turned out to be perfect and we were so thrilled to be joined together. We visited Paris, France for our honeymoon and when we returned to Long Island, NY, we moved into our little one bedroom rental house.

We visited my parents a few days later to give them gifts that we had brought back from our trip and left. If I had known what was about to unfold perhaps I might have done things a bit differently.

A couple days after, I received a call from my sister telling me that our dad had passed away. He had collapsed and had a heart attack. I was in total shock as my father had no known sickness or disease other than the fact that he was overweight.

When I was finally able to get the pictures from my wedding, I cherished them more than ever because they are the last pictures I have of my father. If my husband and I had waited the extra year like we had originally planned, I wouldn’t have had him to walk me down the aisle.
A year later I got pregnant and my husband’s mother became very sick with cancer. We were frequently visiting the hospital and praying for her healing but God called her home and she didn’t get to see her expected grandchild.

It was at this point that my husband became really burdened about his calling in life. He wanted God’s direction and wanted to be totally sure before stepping forward. Everyone expected him to be a pastor but he wanted God to direct him in this. He went to work one day and a stranger began to speak to my husband about things he could not have known. This brought a change and my husband took this as God’s way of speaking to him.

My husband began to assist his father in the ministry by preaching when his father was ill. There were days when his father could not get out of bed.

We had two young children at this time. Our first child was a boy and our second was a girl. We were happy and had been married for 5 years now. The state of Pennsylvania had become our home as the cost of living on Long Island had become very high.

It was only a couple of months later that my husband’s father passed away and we were to bury another parent. Our lives had seemed to turn upside down and filled with grief with the passing of our parents.
Yet, God was working to prepare my husband and I for the calling He had placed on our lives. In 2010 our lives changed yet again as my husband became the pastor of the church and it is here that we serve His people. No one could have known what the future held but God was preparing us and holding us for “such a time as this.”As my 30th birthday approaches, I look back and see that God had called us long before we realized it. He gave us the strength to withstand it all: the trials, the grief while raising our young family. God will also give you the strength to bring you through whatever you have to face in this life.

As a pastors wife, mom of 3 young kids, student, and blogger, I certainly have a busy schedule! I am passionate about helping other Christian women improve their marriage and family relationships which is why I started my blog called Loftforum: Living Our Faith Together.

Continue Reading

Experiencing God’s Love

Are You Admiring or Experiencing God’s Love?

(Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by contributor Agnes Amos-Coleman. Did you miss Agnes’ last post? Here is God’s Way or Your Way.)

For many years, I admired God’s love – I was born and raised in a Christian family, went to church regularly, was legalistic about my beliefs, and was afraid of the Lord instead of having the fear of the Lord.  Then, the truth of God’s word in (Ephesians 2:4-5) was illuminated in my heart

 But 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.”

So, what is standing in our way of experiencing the love of God – is it the voices of insecurity; doubt; comparison; accusation; fear and unforgiveness or other voices?  I don’t know about you but these voices certainly stood in my way of experiencing Him.

My friends, how can we transition from admiring to experiencing God’s love?  We must accept the truth of God’s word that:

  • God made us to love us – this is a simple but irrevocably true message of the gospel that He loved us so much and gave His only son Jesus to die for us on the cross so we might have eternal life (John 3:16). There is no greater love than this.
  • By the power of the Holy Spirit – we can choose to walk in victory to defeat all the voices that are stopping us from experiencing God’s love (Galatians 5:16).
  • No one stands alone – the spirit that marked our Lord Jesus Christ is that nobody should be alone. Engage with others in a Christian community – ask what you can do for others – not what they can do for you (Romans 12:15).

Christ follower, choose to experience God’s love and not just admire it.  If you are currently not a Christ follower, choose to believe that Jesus is the only way to eternal life (John 14:6).

All glory to God!

 

Agnes Amos-ColemanAgnes is a leader with proven business acumen in a variety of industries. She holds an executive MBA from the University of Hull, United Kingdom, and is also a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP). She is the author of Transforming Business with Godly Governance: Nine Characteristics for Workplace SuccessGod Cares for Me in Every Season: Godly Insights for Singleness, Marriage and DivorceThe Provisions of God: Insights from a Cat Named Mascot, and  Weekly Insights for the Workplace: A Devotional for Christian Professionals

 

Continue Reading

I AM

I AM

[This is a guest story by Nekia Foxx. Those two little words, “I AM” are so powerful! Hope this is an encouragement to you today.]

“I AM.”

It’s funny how such a simple word proceeds the most Prolific AND POWERFUL elements of self. I’m grateful to have experienced life those far from many different angles. I’ve chosen after it all to put me FIRST… I’ve taken the route of pouring into another vessel expecting them to do the same… epic fail every time. I’ve headed the route of needed constant validation from another which only drained me dry… At the end of the day you ate your biggest, cheerleader, prayer warrior, teammate, lover, friend and the list goes on.

I’ve come to the conclusion that no one will love you more than the LORD. And by building a relationship with him he will show you your true self and teach you how to love yourself like never before.

Something as simple as getting in the mirror and looking at yourself straight in the eyes. Telling your essence how POWERFUL you are. How beautiful and proud you are. How much you LOVE EVERYTHING about yourself your strengths and weaknesses.

I am the most amazing vessel in the world. I am chosen for GREATNESS. I am meek, gentle, kind, thoughtful, loved and loving, patient, bold, brilliant, prosperous, motivated, victorious and the list never ends of the goodness of God that resides in me…

Until I made a decision to just BE. with or without I am STILL…. ALL OF IT. I had to get to a point were nothing else mattered but how I felt about myself, my GOD and my LIFE…

The enemy sets you up to attract everything you don’t want until you see your own worth. The moment you acknowledge your own worth you begin to operate in the essence of ABUNDANCE and the lack connection is stripped away from you.

Growing up I constantly sought the attention and love from my father. And this AMAZING man of a dad wasn’t allowed to reciprocate the LOVE emotionally that I so yearned for. Which lead to me thinking I was never enough. I would go far and beyond to do everything to just get a “GOOD job” from him. But nothing ever seemed like it was enough. I was an overachiever, cleaned the house, didn’t sneak out with boys, my name wasn’t around town, made good grades but no matter what I still got the same treatment. Which over time I built up a wall to protect my feelings and got so cold hearted internally as a defense mechanism. I carried that on for years…

Even in my adult life I attracted lots of men that knew I was an amazing woman but just couldn’t express it. Which caused me to repeat the same cycle from my childhood over and over again. Not receiving love, and expecting the worse… so Ms. GUARDED was my name. That disposition has gone on so long until It started to affect everything about me. I was constantly defensive, always confrontational and abrasive and in reality I was just scared. I finally got to a point where the depression and lack of sleep could no longer continue. Remind you from the outside everything was GREAT, Very successful, looked cute but miserable… I cried out to GOD… and he showed me the root cause of my pain. It all stemmed from me not loving my own self which made it hard to even receive GOD’S LOVE, which was the only way to really be healed from it all.

At the end of the day the old route was continuous torture so I wanted more. I didn’t want my biggest fears to stay my constant REALITY. Which was not living my best life and never being truly happy.

That’s when I got the courage to BELIEVE I was AMAZING… even if no one else said it agreed I started to BELIEVE it. I noticed my spirit coming back into my body… It was a process but through GOD Grace and MERCY he restored my soul… the depression started to leave, my heart started to beat again with hope and I finally was able to smile just to be alive…

 That’s why loving THYSELF is the biggest task that yields the greatest rewards in our lives. I’m grateful to stand in my power TODAY because this chocolate sister fought long and hard to be here, in my right mind and in the NOW…

YOU ARE EXACTLY HOW YOU SEE YOURSELF…

YOU are the best thing that has ever happened to this earth and I want you to know that I love you but, GOD the great I am that I AM…  LOVES YOU MORE👼


Nekia Foxx also known as the ” Transformation Engineer ” is a Master Stylist and CEO/ Founder of Nekia Foxx & Co. better recognized as ” The Transformation Place”. She is a transformational thinker and an impassioned speaker, best selling Author and Certified General Contractor.

 

 


 

Thanks for reading! Blog comments are closed. You can follow Devotional Diva on Facebook here, on Instagram here @devotional_diva, on Twitter here @devotionaldiva and email me, Maggie, at editor(at)devotionaldiva(dot)com anytime. If you’d like to join our email list to receive new posts, please follow this link.

Continue Reading

When it Rains…

when it rains

When it Rains…

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by contributor Maria Drayton. Here is her last post if you missed it, “Wait on God.”  Incredibly, Maria sent me this devotional right after the sudden loss of my grandmother when I really needed it. God is amazing.]

The forecast was seven days of rain with possible thunderstorms.  I’m not a fan of rain.  Though, I lived in Seattle for most of my life, where the forecast always seemed to be either overcast, cloudy or rain for most of the year.  You might think that I would be used to it by now, I’m not.  I love the summer, thrive in the sun and the warm summer nights.  Even this winter tested me, the winter months seemed to never end and some days the high was only six degrees.  But after many months I had hope, we had a couple of sunny days where the temperature reached 90 degrees and I was ecstatic.  “It’s almost here!!!! Summer!!!” I thought to myself.   If I could stay in summer forever, it would not be a bad thing. But it doesn’t, it can’t.  In life we have similar seasons.

At one point in my life, I cried out to the Lord, “When will I get to have joy, peace and happiness? When will it be my turn?!”  The rain never seemed to end, I felt like my life had been flooded.  If you are going through your season of rain, be encouraged that it does not last forever.  Solomon explains it perfectly in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…”  The sun will come out, you will persevere and come out stronger and wiser.

“These things I have spoken unto you, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world” (John 16:33-NIV).

Rain is necessary.  It’s necessary for growth.  I wish I were exempt from pain, trials, suffering and the like, but I am not-we’re not.  Matthew 5: 44-45 (NIV),

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.  He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous.” 

I remember one day when it rained so hard it poured in my life.  I had just left one of my clients in route to another when my phone rang.  I was finishing out my last week of my job and had just recently found a new job that required me to go to training in Chicago for a week.  It was my uncle.

“When was the last time you talked to your dad?” he asked.

“Last week,” I responded.

“Well, he was found yesterday and he passed.” 

It was like a ton of bricks falling on top of me all at once.  I swerved to the side of the road and parked as he continued to talk.  “We don’t know how he passed yet, but I just wanted to call and let you know.”  I was devastated.  All of a sudden the anxiety of a new job seemed nothing in comparison to my immediate loss.  I thought back to the last time we spoke and I remember us laughing together and him giving me much needed advice, “pressure will burst any pipe, be careful you’re not stressing over things you can do nothing about.”  Now my mind was swirling, trying to understand, trying to make sense of it, trying to cope with my new existence.  I had already lost my mother a few years earlier, now my dad?  That night I couldn’t sleep.  I tossed and turned, longing for one more conversation.  My dad had lived in Chicago, so I hadn’t seen him since my last visit.  I cried all night.  I felt alone with no more parents in this world.  Life always seemed to deal me the worst-case scenarios.

I called my new boss, as they had already bought my plane ticket to Chicago for training, but the funeral was in Mississippi the Sunday before training was to begin.  I couldn’t figure it out, how was I going to go to a funeral and then a week of training?  How was this even my current dilemma?  The new job switched my flight to Mississippi a couple days before.  All I had to do was buy the ticket from Mississippi to Chicago.  They could not delay my training.

Two days later as I was cleaning my desk out at my job, my aunt called.  “Your grandmother passed last night.”

“What?!” I exclaimed.  “This can’t be real!”

I explained to her my dad had just died a couple days before.  She explained that they would be having the funeral, Sunday of the following week, the week right before my training, the same day as my dad’s.  I couldn’t understand.

“Now, I have to go to not one funeral but two on the same day?!”

My grandmother had lived in Mississippi as well.  My faith had been shook.  “Don’t you love me? Don’t you see what I’m already going through?” I had cried out to the Lord.

I went to both funerals that next Sunday and cried all day.  I wondered to myself how a body could even hold so much water.  The tears just kept flowing.  I left the next day for training and arrived in Chicago where I had to push past my grief and focus on a new job.  But constant reminders stayed in my suitcase- I had packed both Obituaries so my losses were on my mind the whole week.  It was finally Friday and my training class had become new friends that supported me the whole week.  But shock was all I experienced when the class was asked to share a memorable moment they had during training.  A classmate explained, “One thing I learned this week was about life and persevering.  Maria, to me, is the strongest person in this class, I can’t imagine losing my dad last week and then coming to training the whole week without being able to grieve.  I admire Maria’s strength and learned from it.” I guess you never know who’s looking and how God uses us.

So, I’ve had my share of many years of rain in life with thunderstorms but I’ve come to understand that it’s necessary for my growth.  Although seven days of rain is not a lot at all.  It can make you tired, weary, and craving sun.  Especially after a long winter.  When the sun came I rejoiced, I was grateful, and I celebrated its arrival.   Just like “life seasons”, I know they are not going to last forever- things will change.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4 NIV).

2 Corinthians 4: 17-18 (NIV), “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Maria DraytonMaria Drayton, originally from Seattle, Washington is a graduate of Washington State University and has a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism through the Edward R. Murrow School of Communications. Maria currently resides in Deptford, New Jersey with her husband and son. With a passion for the Lord, she desires to bring a young, fresh, new look into intimacy with the Lord. Purchase Maria’s newly released book, “The King and I: Steps for Living in Today’s World Through Intimacy with the Lord” on her website: www.mariadrayton.com !

Continue Reading

Aint No Mountain High Enough

mountain

Aint No Mountain High Enough

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Lynare Pipitone. This is an amazing health testimony by Lynare today! God can move any mountain you have!]

I love looking at mountain peaks; from my window, while sitting in a comfortable recliner, wrapped in my favorite blanket. That was the scene in February as I relaxed into my usual morning routine of coffee with Jesus before I tackled the day. However, as I read my daily devotional a sentence jumped from the page and put a very definite check in my spirit. Prepare for a steep climb. I am teaching you a difficult lesson but do not be afraid. I am with you.

 I knew without a shadow of a doubt this word was for me.

The idea of some sort of struggle stayed with me all day. I was not prepared to leave my safe and comfortable mental state to climb a mountain. That night I wrestled with God. Lord, I complained, I am in no physical condition for a test or trial.  I’m too old for this. I can’t handle one more thing. I’m happy hanging out in the lowlands where I’m comfortable. 

I’m sure you get the picture. I was speaking out of fear. The next morning, I sat on the recliner, coffee in hand, and asked for forgiveness. I knew in my heart my savior and friend had my back. I began to memorize scripture verses to repeat each time fear tried to get the best of me.

“Don’t be afraid (insert your name), for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10(NLT)

February and most of March came and went. My husband and I planned a quick vacation and we were really looking forward to some R&R. I hated to tell him I made a visit to see my doctor because I was having symptoms that sent up a red flag. The doctor sent me to the hospital for a stress test. Sure enough, a cardiologist met me at the door and told me I had a blockage that needed to be treated immediately. He sent me home with Nitroglycerine and implicit instructions. Total rest until after a Heart Catherization.

The next few days were a blur. The images from the stress test conclusively showed a blockage that was confirmed by two other specialists. Because of my fatigue, breathlessness, and heavy pressure in my chest they scheduled the procedure right away. I immediately called for prayer back-up and thanked the Lord for letting me find the problem before I had a heart attack or stroke. I felt truly blessed and ironically not afraid.

We arrived at the hospital amid an unprecedented snow storm that hit the entire east coast the first day of spring. The surgeon explained that he would reach my heart through a main artery in my wrist and when he located the blockage they would use a stent to keep the artery open. I waved goodbye to my husband and daughter as the team wheeled me into the operating room. I trust you Jesus, I repeated in my mind.

When I opened my eyes, my husband was smiling. “You won’t believe this!” He said. “The doctor was amazed. He said for a woman your age your heart is so clean it was impossible to measure any plaque in your arteries!”  One scripture verse jumped to my mind.

“Nothing is too hard for the Lord.” (Genesis 18:14)

The surgical team called their mistake a “False Positive.” I call it groping for answers. I learned a lot so far climbing this mountain. I am confident that no matter what the circumstances look like I don’t need to let bad news throw me off course. Instead of stressing about things I can’t change I need to let the Word of God saturate my mind and emotions while I follow life’s path to my final destination. Ultimately, our lives are in His capable hands and we can trust God with the outcome. Do I think my climb is over? No Way! I am looking forward to the journey and reaching the summit.

Lynare Pipitone is a wife, mother, successful business woman and Real Estate investor with a desire to share her Christian faith. She became an author and blogger eight years ago to encourage other believers to finish the race God set before them with passion and purpose. Her work appeared in Grandparenting through Obstacles, a collage of true stories about the changing role of grandparenting in todays society.  She hosts an inspirational blog, Voices From the Wilderness, and is finishing her first novel.

Continue Reading

How I Found My True Calling

true caling

How I Found My True Calling

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Oris Morolani. I love Oris’ story!! Seriously, we live in a world that is possible for you to find and live your true calling. Pray and listen! And after you do, come back and share your story here!]

Mary had plans for her life but I’m certain none of those plans involved being pregnant by the Holy Ghost and birthing the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the whole world. Her dream was to raise a family with Joseph, live quietly and build a loving home but God had another plan for her life.

My story is similar. Well, not as grand as Mary’s but similar because my story is about a change of plans – Letting go of my passions and embracing His purpose instead.

It’s a story that began with my absolute love for all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle. A passion that developed from childhood, watching my mom sit in front of her dressing table, applying one stuff or the other on her face and body. Being the only daughter, we spent a lot of time together and she taught me so much. I started retailing beauty products in college and opened my dream cosmetics shop a few years after getting married, retailing well known skin care and make up brands. I very well remember the store opening. Was I glad or what! Another plus for me was that I had more time for the home front because I was self employed.

Everything seemed fine. I was living the dream, pursuing my goals as we are commonly told to do these days but I noticed that I didn’t feel fulfilled. Many a times I questioned the validity of my feelings because here I was following my passion and embracing it as what I do for a living but I just wasn’t fulfilled. Looking back now, I still remember those moments when I would sit in my shop and feel very strongly that I was being pulled in an entirely different direction, leading to many days praying to God for direction and peace and here I am today.

At the beginning of the year,  I started teaching and mentoring young ladies about faith, personal growth and character development. I also started writing and will publish my first book very soon. Dare I say that I feel like a square peg in a square hole. Time flies by when I’m teaching, counseling or even writing. Besides, I still get to share beauty and style tips during personal care/ grooming classes.

God sure had it all planned out!

My story continues as each day unfolds with many twists and turns but I continue to trust God’s leading. Mary must have been overwhelmed when the angel visited her and told her that her life as she planned it was about to change but she was willing to let God have His way.

There’s so much talk about following your passion and your dreams which isn’t at all bad but this one thing I know now –  your purpose will involve living beyond you. You were not born to live solely for yourself. This is the reason why people who live lives centered around themselves feel a certain void and emptiness inside. We are to pour out knowing that God fills us again and again.

Another thing I know for sure is that, even if there’s something else you’d rather be doing, if you make a choice in favour of your true calling, you will be deeply satisfied and fulfilled.  You may not see the future, but if you’re sure God is leading you, know that He will fill you with his peace and He will see you through.

My name is Oris Morolani, I teach and mentor young girls and teens about character development and personal growth.

 

 

Thanks for reading! Blog comments are closed. You can follow Devotional Diva on Facebook here, on Instagram here @devotional_diva, on Twitter here @devotionaldiva and email me, Maggie, at editor(at)devotionaldiva(dot)com anytime. If you’d like to join our email list to receive new posts, please follow this link.

Continue Reading

Longing for Loneliness

longing for loneliness

Longing for Loneliness 

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Ann Grace. Boy, this devotional hit me hard. Ann is a remarried widow and military wife and mom of five with just an amazing story. Her heart inspires me. Look out for more devotionals from her because she’s got a lot more to her story, and a lot more to say. This devotional in particular is about “longing for loneliness.”]

I thought I knew what loneliness was, and I avoided it at all costs. Before my husband
died, there were many times I felt lonely and ran from it. I filled my schedule with errands, my days with household chores, and it seemed to help.

Life of this wife and mother of five was endless hours of cleaning and chauffeuring children to and from their schools. Don’t even get me started with helping with homework while holding a newborn and trying to cook a healthy dinner to be warm when my husband came home from work. Life was busy. It was chaotic. There was always something needing to be done. The laundry seemed like it had a vendetta against me, and orphaned socks were constantly screaming at me to find their pair!

I grew used to filling my lonely heart with the busyness of this life. I read my daily 5 minute devotionals, said my prayers before meals and went to countless Bible studies. My husband loved the Lord as much as I did, and we did our weekly ritual of attending church. We both strived to live for Christ as best as we knew how.

For years, the presence of my husband and kids seemed to be all I needed in life. Or at least that’s what I thought should be enough. I never admitted feeling lonely to anyone, myself included, unless I was ready to be judged. And I wasn’t ready. Where I grew up, being lonely was almost shameful, like you were ungrateful for your life, family, etc… It was kind of like there was something wrong with the person, you know?

The night my husband died, I asked him if he was in any pain, and he whispered ever so softly that he wasn’t. He closed his eyes and fell asleep. That would be the last time I spoke with him as he had a heart attack in his sleep. I remember thinking as I was by his side in all this, “Lord, how am I going to face being alone? Why won’t you heal him?”

I desperately feared being alone.

And in that moment of heartbreak and disbelief, loneliness once again showed up to greet me. Within minutes of his passing, friends and family arrived to comfort me. But no one knew just what to say or could understand how lonely I was feeling. And honestly, all I wanted was to be left alone.

Then the Lord allowed me into a season of loneliness.

He allowed a season of loneliness in my life to create a deeper longing for Him. Husband or no husband, my heart was crying out all these years to go deeper with my Savior. To be alone with Him. To hear His voice. I needed now more than ever to know who I was in Christ.

What was my calling? To be a wife? Mother? Widow?

My life was now being redefined in the midst of this loneliness.

My identity was so wrapped up in preventing a void of loneliness that I forgot to know my King. I let the fear of loneliness drive my life into a pit of even more loneliness. In the end, the Lord allowed heartbreak to reveal a need for Him alone. He saved me. He called me deeper. He called me to love harder. He called me to a season of widowhood so that He could save me from the pit of loneliness I’d crawled into.

In the years following his passing, the Lord has shown me many things, but maybe none more profound than the gift of loneliness. And you know what was most comforting, knowing that Jesus needed to be alone too. If Jesus needed to be alone many times in order to spend quality time with God, then why would I think a busy life, husband or quick devotion would be enough?

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16 NIV

Dear Lord, help our lonely hearts long for a deeper need of You. Comfort us in our times of pain and heartache. Let us bask in our season of loneliness knowing You are with us. Take our broken hearts and fill them once more with your unconditional love. Amen. 

ann grace

Ann Grace married her first husband, a Marine and Firefighter in 2002 and they were blessed with five beautiful children. She was widowed in 2015 and re-married in 2017. She had a stillbirth in 2017 and now seeks to share her passion of how Christ rescued her with other grieving women and children.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading! Blog comments are closed. You can follow Devotional Diva on Facebook here, on Instagram here @devotional_diva, on Twitter here @devotionaldiva and email me, Maggie, at editor(at)devotionaldiva(dot)com anytime. If you’d like to join our email list to receive new posts, please follow this link.

Continue Reading

Where There Is Peace

where there is peace

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest poem by veteran Diva writer Ana Nunez. A little over a year ago, Ana submitted a devotional called “Fully Known and Truly Loved” (read that here.) and this year, she said she was working on some poetry. I feel like Ana’s poem, “Where There Is Peace” is such a good companion piece to that first devotional about God’s love for us!]

Where There Is Peace

I want a garden to watch plants grow into what I should be
Healthy and whole, entirely free
I want to paint, to create worlds, in colors only found in the heavenly
I want to work hard at putting the earth back to how it should be
How it was before it fell
What I know it could be
I see potential in everything
I want to plaster photos on walls of trees to remember that despite the chaos

There are perfect little moments in between
Untouched by sin
Unsigned by heat
I want to read words that describe worlds where all is well
And hear stories of pain that is not my own
But comforts me in knowing I am not alone
I want to string together words that paint pictures of perfection in your mind
not any two visions alike

Every desire inside of me to create here points to the eternal embedded in me
I long for what once was, what should be, and what is in another world already
But I fear I’ll mistake my longing of that world for something here presently
I’ll try to find that feeling in a person, a place, or a thing
I’ll imagine experiences not yet had as true purpose and in the end be disappointed
I’ll confuse the physical for the spiritual
I’ll place too much pressure on what I can see

And in the end watch it break apart under the weight of my desire for it to fulfill me
Slip through the cracks because it was not meant to be held onto so tightly

There are no solutions from what I can see
So I’ll wait for the Maker to put it back together

Brick by brick
Piece by piece
I’ll wait for the builder to use gold to pave our streets
Wait for the shepherd to find His sheep
Behind all of this, there is a King
He holds the keys to freedom and He Himself shall be our peace

 

Ana NunezAna is a freelance writer & English major. She loves Jesus, reading, meeting with people in coffee shops, taking photos on her iPhone & obsessively editing them, & writing her heart out. Ana is a wife, a sister, a daughter & a friend. Her desire in life is to write to women, helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus and become all He desires for them to be. She was born & raised in Miami, FL and currently lives in St. Petersburg, FL with her husband of one year, Malik.

 

Thanks for reading! Blog comments are closed. You can follow Devotional Diva on Facebook here, on Instagram here @devotional_diva, on Twitter here @devotionaldiva and email me, Maggie, at editor(at)devotionaldiva(dot)com anytime. If you’d like to join our email list to receive new posts, please follow this link.

Continue Reading

The What If’s

 

The What If’s

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by contributor Agnes Amos-Coleman. Probably the worst things I worry about are “the what if’s” and it is so toxic! This is a really liberating devotional today. Thanks Agnes!]

What if…

The Doctor’s diagnosis is cancer; I can’t pay my bills; I get a pink slip from my employer; my business sales is down; I can’t feed my children; I am single and can’t find the right husband or wife; I can’t find the right job; my husband or wife files for divorce; my friends and family betray me… the list goes on and on.

 

My friends, none of us is exempt from the what if’s of life. I was recently meditating on my what if I am too old to see God’s promise of having children come to pass in my life.

 

It was at this time that the Holy Spirit provided me with the comfort I need in His word in Psalm 27:13.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”.

 

What does it mean to remain confident and see the goodness of the Lord when faced with our what ifs of life?

 

It means bridging the gap between what you see and what you cannot see with the eyes of faith. (Mark 9:23) when Jesus said everything is possible for those who believe. Surrendering the situation to Jesus through prayer with acceptance that we are never in control of our lives – but Jesus is. He knows our yesterday, today and tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but I have found that this is a very comforting place to be when I am helpless with my what ifs.

 

It means un-learning your fear as God walks you through the process of finding solutions to your what ifs. Fear is the greatest enemy to achieving and fulfilling our purpose in life and that is why the Bible mentions “Fear Not” 365 times. And yes, we can un-learn our fear. You do this by knowing what your fear is, naming it and taking it to the Lord in prayer. (1 John 4:18).

 

It means Implanting into your life the truth of God’s word in Isaiah

41:10So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”.

 

Christ follower, bring your what ifs situation to God through prayers because He cares for you. If you are currently not a Christ follower, the first step is to accept Him as your Lord and Savior and He will help you with your what ifs.

All glory to God!

Agnes Amos-ColemanAgnes is a leader with proven business acumen in a variety of industries. She holds an executive MBA from the University of Hull, United Kingdom, and is also a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP). She is the author of God Cares for Me in Every Season: Godly Insights for Singleness, Marriage and Divorce; The Provisions of God: Insights from a Cat Named Mascot, and Weekly Insights for the Workplace: A Devotional for Christian Professionals and Transforming Business With Godly Governance: Nine Characteristics for Workplace Success.

 

 [Closing Editor’s Note: If you have any questions about accepting Jesus into your heart, or just want to talk about Jesus, as a Christian this is my duty! 🙂 I would love to help answer any questions as best I can. My contact info is below.]

Thanks for reading! Blog comments are closed. You can follow Devotional Diva on Facebook here, on Instagram here @devotional_diva, on Twitter here @devotionaldiva and email me, Maggie, at editor(at)devotionaldiva(dot)com anytime. If you’d like to join our email list to receive new posts, please follow this link.

 

Continue Reading

What is God’s Version of Success?

gods version of success

What Is God’s Version of Success?

[Editors Note: This is a guest story by Katie Pezzutto. This is one devotional I read and thought, “this is going to make a difference for a lot of people.” In my humble opinion, young adults are way too hard on themselves and push themselves harder than ever. Thank you Katie for your story!]

One year ago, I was on a fast track to finishing my double degree at the University of Lethbridge. With grades as high as my BC relatives, my hope for admission to the Schulich School of Law was bright. A well-known modelling and acting agency in Calgary had signed me on earlier that year. That summer, I finished writing my first YA novel and had found an agent in Toronto who was interested in representing me to a publisher.

My intricately laid plans were bulldozing along. 

But as my second practicum came to a close, I found myself covered in blistering hives, a subtle result of the massive amounts of stress I was under. I slapped on some bandaids, took a couple days to “rest” (aka: catch up on practicum related work) and brushed the incident off.

In those days, my Bible sat on my bedside table, collecting coffee mugs and dust. I offered a prayer now and then. I rarely stopped to listen. I wanted to do things my way, the best way, no exceptions.

I was so hard on myself. Not just in school, but in everything.

My hair was too frizzy and short. My body was constantly under scrutiny. The expectations I had for my friendships and relationship with my new husband zapped my energy. Whatever I did, it was never good enough. But I spent time with people anyway, convinced that the more friends I had, the less of a loser I was.

Depressing? Yep.

The December after my practicum, my husband and I flew to Hawaii. That’s when my body broke down again. This time, the repercussions were worse. Between a frantic trip from the toilet to my cup of ginger ale I heard God’s voice, loud, clear and gentle as a dusting of mist.

“Katie, do you know me?” I almost choked on my saltine cracker.

“What? Yeah. Of course.” He was silent for a moment before continuing.

“Then why do you strive?”

“Uh…” I was left speechless, with an attractive half-eaten cracker hanging from my gaping mouth. He continued, His points hitting their mark, “Katie-bug, I don’t measure success by what the world sees. Millions of people might applaud you, but it won’t make you happy. My affirmation is all you need. In the end, you will stand before me, not them.” I nodded my head, stunned at hearing His voice so clearly.

“When you stand before me do you know what I’ll ask you?” I shake my head, no.

“Did you learn to love?” I dropped my head into my hands, my heart wrenched. Tears started streaming down my face. At this point, I didn’t know how to love God, much less people. Truth be told, I hadn’t even learned to love myself.

After that conversation, much prayer and wise counsel I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. With one practicum and four classes left, I chose to not finish my degree. I didn’t apply to law school. I started modeling less and auditioning for fewer acting gigs. I took a low-stress job with the City of Lethbridge and released myself of writing deadlines.

As the Lord gently led me beside still streams, I started my time with Him on my knees, hands lifted, giving my dreams to Him. I sat with God and listened, dove into scripture and sought His Fatherly heart. I received less attention from people but I felt peace, so much peace.

The more time I spent with Him, the deeper in love I fell. Instead of anxious pandering and tears of stress, joy filled my mornings.

I have discovered that the joy of knowing our Abba is nothing compared to human accomplishments. That’s not to say that God is going to keep us from our heart’s desires. Far from it, He tells us in Psalm 37:4 to delight ourselves in Him and He will “give us the desires of our hearts.” The key is: we spend time with Him and become enamored with what He values. When that happens, our will comes in line with His. We get to partner with God, not with the world.

Not only do we get to live a life filled with peace, we can escort others into the multifaceted, backwards thinking delight known as the Kingdom. There’s nothing more valuable than leading God’s beloved ones deeper into His crazy heart.

Nope, not even a law degree.

With much love,

K.L Pezzutto

Katie Pezzutto lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her business-dude husband and freak circus budgies. She is currently working on her first novel “The Fisherman’s Daughter” and earning her Masters in Old Testament theology from Briercrest Seminary.

 

 

[Closing Editor’s Note: If you have any questions about accepting Jesus into your heart, or just want to talk about Jesus, as a Christian this is my duty! 🙂 I would love to help answer any questions as best I can. My contact info is below.]

Thanks for reading! Blog comments are closed. You can follow Devotional Diva on Facebook here, on Instagram here @devotional_diva, on Twitter here @devotionaldiva and email me, Maggie, at editor(at)devotionaldiva(dot)com anytime.

Continue Reading