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.
My name is Tara and I’ve been saved for twenty-four years. I just got married to my best friend last year, May 2016. I grew up in Charleston, SC but am now residing in Johnson City, TN. I have two cats, a love for books, and a passion for following Jesus and writing. The past year and a half have been some of the most challenging times of my life. It began with a whirlwind romance to my now-husband, Justin. We met online at Christian Mingle. We texted for about a week and then decided to meet in person. We dated for a month and a half. During this time, I prayed ceaselessly about him.
[Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Agnes Amos’ latest book, God Cares for Me in Every Season: Godly Insights for Singleness, Marriage, and Divorce. (I did receive a copy of this book so that I could pick out the excerpt!) Agnes contributes regularly to Devotional Diva and has become a good friend of mine, so I wrote this endorsement that appears in the book; I wanted to include it here, too:
Each of us goes through at least one of the seasons discussed in this book – singleness may be our total path, or perhaps we go through all three seasons into divorce. In today’s modern world, these seasons are indeed normal and like Agnes discusses, trials of faith. I receive emails from women all around the world in the same positions and I know these chapters of encouragement are much-needed. Singleness and divorce especially are not discussed enough in the church, which is why I think this book is so unique. The situations are not unique, but the conversation is. There has been so much shame and guilt around both singleness and divorce, but Agnes reminds us in this book that God never leaves us – not then, not ever. Singleness is not a curse. Marriage may not be perfect (I know mine is not! Marriage is work!) and divorce may be inevitable. But you are always loved, Child of God.]
God Cares for Me in Every Season
I am an avid walker—this is a hobby I inherited from my earthly father, Papa Amos.
Walking is a time when I seek God’s face for my life and for others, and it is during these times that the Holy Spirit gets my attention. So that I don’t forget what He says, I often record it on my cell phone.
For those of you who are wondering, “Does God speak to humans like us?” The answer is Yes, He does in many natural ways. Here are the most common: Impulse, Ideas, Inspirations. The Bible is filled with many examples of how God speaks to His children.
Personally, I am learning to listen when God speaks, and my life continues to be transformed by this experience.
It was during one of these experiences that the Lord laid on my heart to write this book to encourage global Christians (and non-Christians) on His never wavering care during every season of their lives, especially the seasons of singleness, marriage, and divorce. I have to admit that when the idea came, I was reluctant to respond, and asked the Lord, “Why me?” The reason for this question is because the season of marriage is one where I have failed woefully in the past.
I do not consider myself to be an expert in these three seasons—at least that is what I thought. But the Holy Spirit reminded me of a truism I have heard in church many times: “A faith that is not tested cannot be trusted,”
My friends, I have been tested, and have failed and been redeemed in each of the three seasons I share in this book—single, married, and divorced. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I am here to share with you the truth that the Lord is in every one of these seasons. I want you to know beyond a doubt that He is indeed interested in and present with you in every season of your life.
For many years, I found myself struggling in each of these seasons. I was walking through each season with one leg in the world and one leg in Christ. After years of failing to succeed in any season, I finally discovered that living God’s way in every season of life is the best decision I could ever make. I have now begun a journey into a new and fulfilling lifestyle in marriage by focusing on Christ rather than my marital situation. I praise God for the truth of His Word in 2 Corinthians 5: 17 that says:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
My prayer for you as you read this book is that you will be encouraged as you discover that our God is the God of the impossible. Nothing that happens in your life is impossible for Him to handle (Luke 1: 37). He will do the impossible for you in each of these seasons. He is the God that can convert your pain to gain and cause all things to work together for your good (Romans 8: 28). I had to learn that lesson, and you may need to learn it too. Perhaps, you will discover—like I did—the God who waits to help you in your seasons of singleness, marriage, or divorce.
Agnes 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
When I realized my marriage was over, I questioned everything that I ever believed about God. I questioned His goodness, I questioned His love and I wondered how a good God could allow something so devastating to happen. Days, months and even years of unexpected emotion would resurface and I would fall down on my knees to ask God why. God hates divorce, so then He must hate me, right? Then it hit me, God wasn’t trying to scold me, push me into submission, or teach me a lesson… He was actually showing me His love and goodness.
[Editor’s Note: Today I am welcoming back veteran Diva Sarah Coleman to congratulate her on the release of her new book, Together: A Journey Of Godly Marriage. Glad to have you back with this timely Thanksgiving piece, Sarah!]
It is the time of year when we are thankful. Thankful for the many blessings God has bestowed upon our lives. Yet sometimes there are blessings right under our noses that escape notice. Blessings we take for granted. People in our lives we forget to thank.
“Oh, they know how much I love and appreciate them.”
I met my husband when I was thirty-one. After ten years of my adult life as a single person I determined I would never take my husband for granted. I am thankful for the miracle Father did in bringing us together. I am thankful we are such a formidable team.
But I’m not sure I’ve told him lately. So this is a letter to the love of my life, father of my children and hero of my love story.
I’m thankful for you, Baby.
Thankful we do life together
I watch many couples do life in close proximity, but not together. I am thankful we were on the same page when we met, and continue to be on the same page. I am thankful for our synergy and the powerful force we create.
Thankful for your love
When we met your love for me was fierce. I am thankful it has never waned, but grown into a burning, inextinguishable flame. I love your unconditional love, patience and gentleness toward me. And I love you, Ben, with everything I am.
Thankful for our children
I am thankful God blessed us with two incredible boys. I thank God for the godly example you give them of how to treat a woman. They honour you and you are their hero. Thank you for making time for them, telling them how proud you are. And telling them every day that you love them.
Thankful for the way you treat me
Every woman wants to be treated like a princess. More than opening the car door, you open doors for me though your encouragement and belief in my ability. You have never belittled me but you have lifted me higher and allowed my talents to flourish.
Thankful you provide for our family
You have never shied away from your responsibilities as head of our home and provider for our family. You are a great provider. You work hard and stick it out through the rigmarole. I am proud of your accomplishments. Thank you for providing our family with the life we enjoy.
Thankful for your love for God
Most importantly, I am thankful I married a man who loves God. I am thankful you lead the way in our home when it comes to life in the spirit. I am thankful for the books you read and the podcasts you listen to. I am thankful for the conversations we share about what God is saying. I am thankful you seek God more than you seek me.
Thank you, my husband, for being a man of God and the man who chose to spend the rest of his life with me.
Sarah Coleman, together with her husband, is the Senior Pastor of Generation Church in Australia. She is a passionate advocate for strong, Christian marriage and today is the release of her new book, Together: A Journey Of Godly Marriage. To learn more visit sarahcoleman.com.au.
God Is Still In The Marriage Business [editor’s note: This post was originally published on Feb 09, 2016. Due to a recent glitch, I’m just republishing it!] My husband and I decided to get married because we wanted our lives to line up within God’s order. …
[Guest post by Samantha Hanni: Trying to conceive, infertility, miscarriages and pregnancy are difficult times and Samantha is right — it’s so important to have a female companion on the journey! God certainly placed someone like this in my life, and what an encouragement she was!]
Luke 1:5-36; 39-45; 56
Elizabeth and Mary. Two pregnancies against all odds.
A virgin birth? A pregnancy after menopause? Medically impossible. Highly unlikely.
Imagine the looks the teenager and grandma-aged lady must have gotten from neighbors, even friends. The suspected immorality. The arched eyebrows and whispered comments behind palms.
How trying and humiliating…to be pregnant is to be already vulnerable, but to be labeled as odd on top of that? I can’t imagine.
However, God in His tenderness didn’t leave these special women to fend for themselves. I believe He orchestrated these two dynamic pregnancies to coincide with one another to provide the support and encouragement the new moms would need.
Elizabeth’s husband, John, couldn’t talk throughout her pregnancy. How hard would that be to not hear the voice of your love, your closest friend for nine months?
Mary was not even with Joseph for a third of her pregnancy, a whole trimester. I fight anxiety when my husband is out of town for the weekend, so I can’t imagine being separated from him for that length of time.
God’s love and care is demonstrated by bringing these two women together under extraordinary circumstances.
They were women who had a unique road ahead of them. The friendship and pregnancy moments shared during those months they stayed together undoubtedly fortified them for the days to come.
Whether it’s in pregnancy, miscarriage or barrenness, God is faithful to provide companions to join you on the journey. You have to be willing to let God accomplish this work, though. Sometimes it means opening up a difficult part of your life. Sometimes it means finding friendship in unlikely places.
Bringing new life into the world and conversely, waiting oh-so expectantly for life to begin in you is a difficult road to walk. And while husbands provide the tenderness and support that few others, even family members, could provide, other women in the same situation understand subtleties of the journey that few others can.
Look around you. If you are struggling with feeling alone and isolated, I am willing to bet God has placed companions in your life who will pray for you, share your burden and join you on the journey of bearing life, or the journey of struggling to understand why your body has not borne life yet.
Maybe God is calling you to reach out to some women in your life.
I had shared with a friend at church that I was due to start my monthly cycle the day before my 25th birthday, and I was dreading the disappointment from another month passing with no change, right before my special day. And Aunt Flo came right on schedule- and that meant my birthday was a very PMS-y day. Yuck. She texted me that morning and later in the afternoon saying she was praying for me that I would feel peace and contentment in spite of the circumstances.
Those words meant the world to me because I knew she understood. She knew how it felt to have another month go by with…nothing. Nothing but cramps and emotions that were all over the place.
It’s the enemy who wants us to feel isolated and alone. He can wreak great havoc on those who are separated from the flock. God never wants us to feel isolated and alone. His word promises He is always with us, and He desires that we find companionship and support in the body of Christ.
Sisters, let us follow Elizabeth and Mary’s example and support one another, during such seasons as these and always.
Samantha Hanni graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2012 with a degree in journalism. Her passion is encouraging other people and seeing God’s truth make a difference in their lives. She is featured in the devotional book “Big Dreams from Small Spaces” by Group Publishing and blogs at mrshanni.com. Samantha and her husband reside in Oklahoma City.
[Guest Post by La Micia Genova: I’m thrilled for you to “meet” La Micia today because, although our stories are different, La Micia and I both dealt with depression before God gave us our knights in shining armor. I’m all about princesses and fairy tales and this …