His Grace is Sufficient

Grace

(Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by contributor Maria Drayton. Maria’s devotionals are always so personal and build such a connection with the reader. Check out her last devotional, “When it Rains,” here.P.S. Devotional Diva is going on a two-week break after this post!)

 

I had a complaint-no I had many complaints.  These complaints I reviewed, meditated on, and professed every morning as I sat in my time with the Lord.  I complained about people, situations, people, things, events, people etc.  After I finished my complaining then I would begin my time thanking God.  I had always heard,

“cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you,” 1 Peter 5:7.

But the whole scripture says,

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 

So, I believed I was doing the right thing, telling Him all about my problems.  I felt like David in Psalms 143:1

Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.”

After I got it all out the only response I received, if any at all was, “My grace is sufficient.”  I hadn’t learned to sit quietly in my suffering yet.  In fact, I am really not quiet about anything let alone suffering.  Suffering always increased my complaints. The truth is I’m a whiner, a complainer, and I get frustrated when I don’t see the move of the Lord in what I see as a “dire” situation.  I remember days of standing in the bathroom looking at myself in the mirror crying.   I always found it was more effective when I could look at how pathetic I was.  I wanted to see what God saw.  Looking back, I was just pitiful.

Paul tells us in Philippians 2:14-16,

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.  And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”

I realize that I need to grow up and stop complaining.

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me,” 1 Corinthians 13:11.

I am learning to be thankful and simply praise Him for who He is.  I awoke this morning thanking God for those things that are “good, lovely, pure and praiseworthy.”  Philippians 4:8,

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

His grace alone is sufficient for me just because of who He is.

2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Not only is His grace sufficient but I am undeserving of even that.  But because of who He is, I have access to it.  Not because of who I am but who He is.  Thank you Lord for your grace.  By definition, grace is defined as, “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.” Also as “a virtue coming from God”, “approval or favor” or a “temporary exemption.”  I marvel at all these definitions of “grace” and know even further that I am not deserving of it, so why do I complain?

I am not worthy of Him or His grace but He willingly, undeservingly gives it to me daily.  And His grace alone gets me through each day.  Not only is He “grace”, but love and He is indeed concerned about my life details and the things that bother me.  Although I don’t see any quick change in my “situations”, I know He is faithful and is moving despite my “seeing” it.  I will not complain.

So this day I am thankful, thankful for this day that He allowed me to see, thankful for his mercy, thankful for my blessings, thankful for everything He brings me today, and most of all for His grace to continue on in my faith walk without complaint.  His grace is indeed sufficient.

 

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 !

 


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.

 

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Appointed Turning Points

transitions

Appointed Turning Points

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by contributor Ann Grace. Ann sent this to me after she read my June editor’s note, and it was such a blessing to me in my time of transitions! Thank you!]

These days, transitions surround me. Currently, I look at my eldest daughter as she travels through this passage into women-hood. She’s 12 and a half and is getting a hunch that Aunt Flow is about to visit her. She’s a bit nervous about the unknown and continues to earnestly ask the Lord to keep it away for another 3 more years. lol. I totally understand her desire to postpone the dreaded bleeding fest, but at the same time, I want her to be proud of becoming a young woman. But then again, is this really something to look forward to? Is it ok to be scared and ask the Lord to withhold this growth in life?

I personally dread unwanted transitions in life.
But without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I read this scripture the other day and was quickly reminded to not look at my past as a place I want to stay in no matter how easy it was or looked. Yes, transitions are hard and sometimes scary, but the Lord can use our failures and fortunes in life to grow us.

“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,
and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry,
for anger lodges in the heart of fools.
Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
an advantage to those who see the sun.”
Ecclesiastes 7:8-11 ESV

A few years ago, I was forced to figure out how to function joyfully without a husband, father and spiritual leader of our home. I was thrown into multiple roles I never even planned for! I had to decide whether the Lord was true in His promises. Would He truly be a Father to the fatherless and a husband to this young widow like He said? Many sleepless nights drenched in tears brought me to a place of surrounding my wish to live the way it “use to be.” I had to accept this unwanted change no matter how much I wanted to rewind to my mediocre past. After finally getting the hang of being a widow and raising five young kids, the Lord changed everything on me again.

The Lord would bring me a handsome, God-fearing Air Force officer who would swoop me off my feet and become my second husband. What a whirlwind of change awaited us. New military orders were given and the purging began. This included selling two houses, one car, buying another, moving to a new state, getting pregnant, having an unexpected stillbirth and now expecting a new bundle of joy in a few short months! We are exhausted from the sudden changes in life and desperately want to be left alone.
But the Lord, in His mercy, was and continues to break us. Breaking me from my selfishness and pride. He wants my heart to change. To grow. To rely on Him once more. And that means Him showing me my character. My failures. Me. I need to be reduced in my pain in order to continue to be blessed. I need His strength to shine through my weakness.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV

I am slowly learning these days that I can’t just sit back and expect my heart to change overnight. I must work at it. For me, this takes actions that include going to Godly couple’s discipleship and seeking the Lord daily with prayer and reading His Word. It’s been tough to see my fault and failures in life, but it is forcing me to surrender my pride. I am constantly being humbled as I realize the need to apologize daily for the ugliness my heart still has.

I know my heart will never truly be completed and pure until I reach Glory, but in that changeover from this earth to heaven, I take heart knowing that the Lord will walk these hard roads of transitions in life with me making everything beautiful in His time.

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.

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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.

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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

 

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Glad You’re Here (I Guess)

Glad You’re Here (I Guess)

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Heather Ream. I really resonated with this devotional because my mother also had to care for my grandmother before she was put in a nursing home. It is hard work. Thanks for sharing your story, Heather!]

I’m big on boundaries.  Growing up in poverty with a single parent in a dysfunctional household demanded it.  My home is neat to the point of severity.  I have a highly edited contacts list – few people reside there.  I follow a strict diet to maintain my weight and health.  My social calendar is sparsely populated so that I may rest after work, and it is scheduled months in advance.   And nothing – nothing –  makes me stamp my (somewhat) dainty Southern foot harder than an uninvited guest.  Unless, of course, it’s an uninvited guest I fear will never leave.

Sweet sisters, I’m sure it’s obvious that my routine rigidity is borne from the lack of control I felt as a child.  It haunts me to this day, and I continually struggle with trying to out-equip the Lord.  It’s not that I don’t trust the Lord – I do!  (Well, some of the time.  I just want to make sure that in case He forgets about me, I’m prepared.)

I am painfully aware that one of our most cherished duties as Christians is to show love, patience, and largesse in our homes, even when it’s inconvenient or comes at a difficult time.  After all, Peter exhorts us to

“offer hospitality without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9, NIV).”

Without. Grumbling.  Impossible for me!

However, all things are possible with God, even the things we wish weren’t possible.

Recently, my mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia following a series of mini-strokes.  We knew something was wrong, yet it was still a shock to hear this from her doctors.  She has rapidly declined, and my husband and I began the long process of enrolling her in a program that would help pay for a nursing home.

She was unable to continue living independently, and we could not afford 24-hour home care for her, so that left only one choice – she had to move in with us while we awaited approval, a process that could take months.

She had to move into our small house filled with delicate figurines and hospital corners, every item carefully chosen and crafted to be efficient and lovely.  Mom has never been one who radiates the delicate side of femininity, so I dreaded the inevitable destruction of my home and the complete upheaval of my household, further compounded by her illness.

I am not a gardener.  I find no pleasure in it.  The family who lived in our home previously must have been master horticulturists, however.  Despite my deliberate attempts to remove the bounty they planted, once the warm Tennessee spring begins, a bumper crop of sunny daffodils and vibrant gladioli appear.  A stubborn magenta rose vine grows up the latticework no matter how many times I lop off the plant.  Each time I do, I’m fascinated (and irritated) by the healthy green stalk that re-appears.

I am reminded that I have been treating my spiritual life the same way – ignoring the beauty and growth that exists in a situation that our Lord gives to me, and instead choosing to recklessly shear in a manner that I think is best for me.  It would be so much easier (and much more obedient!) to learn to co-exist in a new way.  Isn’t that the heart of hospitality? 

Becoming Mom’s caretaker has indeed cut me to my proverbial quick, and my house now stays messy and cluttered.  The paperwork, doctors’ appointments, bathroom emergencies, constant reassurances, and food management seem never-ending.  However, I am still standing – both physically on my feet and spiritually on His Word.  I pray our Lord will use this time with my mom to prune my impatience and self-isolation, so that I can focus on the joy of serving Him through serving others in my home. I must remember that the process of sanctification is not easy, but He is the cultivator, and I am the seedling.  It’s true that I will never be a prize-winning specimen, but perhaps I will not become choked with weeds.

Precious Lord, may I snip my brightest buds to send away with others, as a parting gift.

Heather Ream is an emerging writer from Knoxville, Tennessee.  She is happily married to Ben and enjoys serving her church and community.  You are welcome to drop by anytime.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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