[Guest Post by Ashleigh Slater – I always appreciate returning the favor when a fellow author lets me share about my book on her blog. This is Ashleigh’s first book entitled Team Us. I appreciate her sharing wisdom on 4 steps to practice patience with …
[Guest Post by Hannah Anderson – I met Hannah through my friend Lisa Velthouse, founding editor of PickYourPortion.com. I always appreciating meeting new people through others. It excites me even more when I found out that they are also (shocker) a writer! Please welcome Hannah …
[Guest Post by Emily Rose Massey – When she asked if she could share her story, it was hard to narrow it down because this girl has gone through so much! Her testimony is as huge as her heart. I know you will be encouraged by her story. If you currently feel stuck under the waves of life, you are not alone. Stand and have faith with Emily today!]
Our faith is tested under waves of faith, and in the weight and pressures of life.
It’s in the fire, the trials, and the storms of life that we are truly strengthened. We can choose to rise above the chaos or allow it to overtake us.
Recently, my husband and I endured a time of testing and trial as we lost our first baby at just 6 weeks along in my pregnancy. I carried that child for two weeks before ever knowing that the baby was with Jesus and not going to be a part of our family here on earth.
Our faith in Jesus Christ is what has been our anchor through all of this.
Having an eternal perspective definitely helps you put one foot in front of the other when you are going through a storm. God’s overwhelming love and amazing grace has overshadowed us and carried us. We have felt His arms hold us close and we are thankful. We are also so grateful for the prayers of so many friends and family who have continued to lift us up.
As someone who doesn’t like to admit weaknesses, not out of pride, but because I constantly declare Philippians 4:13 over my life, I have had a hard time realizing that it is okay to grieve and it’s okay for grieving process to take time.
I have heard the grieving process described as “coming in waves,” and I can definitely attest to that.
Grief becomes a danger when you allow those waves to pull you under instead of rising above and riding those waves with the grace and strength that the Lord pours out for us. Just because you have God’s grace and strength to endure difficult times doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to face sadness or grief.
Just like all attacks from the enemy, the Lord gives us the armor to withstand whatever is thrown at us, as well as a firm foundation beneath our feet. One of my favorite pieces of our armor is the sword of the Spirit because it is our offensive weapon to cut down the devil’s lies with God’s Word.
Faith comes by hearing the Word and that faith is released when we declare God’s truth and promises. Those promises are what give us hope. Jesus promises us in John 16:33 that we will have trouble in this world, but He also promises us that we are safe because He has already overcame the world.
Whatever you are facing has an expiration date.
You won’t have to live with that trouble forever; it cannot overtake you, unless you let it.
So take heart!
Stand firm on the foundation of your Rock, Jesus Christ. Let nothing shake you because you have been made an over-comer through Jesus’ victory on the cross. Sadness and grief will come, sometimes like a tidal wave, but you have an anchor of hope and His name is Jesus! He gave you the power to walk on those waves and He will not let you sink. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
I am praying for those who may be going through a season of sadness, grief, or loss. Lift your eyes up to the hills where your Help comes from. He will keep you from sinking!
Emily Rose Massey is the author of The Vessel: From Marred to Honorable, a true story of a life delivered from the mire and filthy pit and bondage of sexual sin and molded into a vessel for the Lord to flow through to reach others for His Kingdom. She and her husband are both active in many areas of leadership at their church, including worship ministry, drama ministry, children’s ministry, and youth ministry. In addition to teaching and preaching the Word of God, Emily also pours out her passion for the Lord through her songwriting. Her songs spring forth out of a forgiven heart full of thankfulness and devotion unto God. To connect with or learn more about Emily, visit www.emilyrosemassey.com.
[Guest Post by Wendy Griffith – I really resonate with her story and not throwing your life away. If you find yourself struggling with your worth in Christ today, be encouraged! You are not alone.]
My heart was crushed—but somehow I was still breathing.
It had been just a week since my breakup with a man whom I had once believed was the love of my life when Dr. Pat Robertson, founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, called me into his office.
Like a concerned father, Pat gently commanded, “Wendy, come in here. Tell me what happened.” The compassion in his voice caused the tears that were already close to the surface to come flooding down my cheeks. I reached for the box of tissues on his desk and told him everything. Robertson, a man who has sat down with presidents and kings, a man who once ran for president of the United States and who formed a global media empire, wanted to hear about my heartbreak. I was deeply moved.
After I had finished talking, Pat gave me some heartfelt advice.
“Wendy, you are special. You are beautiful, and you are talented. Don’t throw yourself away!”
At the time I wasn’t quite sure what Pat meant by, “Don’t throw yourself away,” but apparently God wanted me to remember it, because Pat said it over and over during our short time together. “Don’t throw yourself away!” Later I figured it out. He meant, “Don’t settle. Don’t throw yourself away on a guy who is not worthy of you, because you are worth so much more than you realize.”
The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it (Matthew 13: 45-46).
Ladies, the Lord wants you to know that you are a pearl of great price, a treasure worth pursuing and protecting. You are worth fighting for and, like the pearl in the parable, worth everything it might cost a guy to obtain you. You are worth someone sacrificing his time, his routine, his comfort, his money, his whatever in order to have you. You are worth it!
One of the most inspiring love stories in the Bible is the story of Jacob and Rachel. In fact, it may be one of the greatest love stories of all time.
Jacob had been sent by his father Isaac to find a wife from a relative’s family. He traveled a long distance to his mother’s family, and when he met Rachel at a well, for him it was love at first sight. Jacob single-handedly moved the great stone cover off the well, perhaps trying to impress Rachel:
“When Jacob saw Rachel, daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud” (Gen. 29:10-11, NIV).
Interestingly, it wasn’t Rachel who cried but Jacob. He seemed to know with certainty that Rachel would be his bride. Rachel ran to her father and told him about the young traveler. Rachel’s father, Laban, ran out to meet Jacob, and then he hugged him and kissed him and invited him to his home.
Jacob stayed with Laban’s family and within a month fell deeply in love with Rachel. He was determined to marry her. But before he would allow Jacob to do so, Rachel’s father convinced Jacob to work for him for seven years. Jacob agreed. Jacob was so in love with Rachel that the Bible says the time flew by: “They seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her” (Gen. 29:20, NIV). Wow, talk about romantic! I’d like to see a modern romantic comedy come even close to depicting this kind of love and sacrifice.
Jesus Is the Ultimate Example
There are many examples of men who “paid the price” for their brides, but the apostle Paul says that the greatest example of sacrificial love is Jesus: “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9).
What kind of love sacrifices its very life so that we might live? The love of Jesus does—and the Bible calls men to love their wives with that same kind of love:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself (Eph. 5:25-28, emphasis added).
You are a prize to be won, and so am I! You are worth fighting for. You are not only worthy of love, but you are worthy of “I love you” period.
You are a royal daughter of the Most High King, a princess in the palace, a pearl of great price and beautiful beyond measure.
Wendy Griffith is an anchor and senior reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network and cohost of CBN’s flagship show, The 700 Club, with CBN founder Dr. Pat Robertson. She also co-anchors two other shows for CBN: Christian World News and CBN Newswatch. Wendy is the coauthor, with Craig von Buseck, of Praying the News. More information can be found on YouAreAPrize.com.
(Adapted from You Are a Prize to Be Won!, by Wendy Griffith. Copyright (2014), Gospel Light/Regal Books, Ventura, CA 93003. Used by permission.)
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[Guest Post by Arlene Pellicane – I just love the question she asks because so many women ask it before getting married. Now that I AM married, I can honestly say she speaks the truth! Don’t be afraid to wrestling with this question yourself, and be …
Singles need love this holiday season.
The month before I met my husband Marc was the loneliest month ever. I hated the thought of spending one more holiday season alone. After spending almost my entire twenties single, December and I did not get along.
That is why I am excited to announce I will be on the board for ChristianMingle in 2014. I look forward to encouraging many singles who feel like they have lost hope in finding a godly mate.
If you are or were anything like me–singleness has a tendency to wear on you (especially during the holidays). Between the dinners, party hopping, and family events, it can be quite difficult to feel comfortable in your own skin. Then there’s the dreaded question asked every year. Please don’t ask me why others presume the single most important question to ask a single person during the holidays:
“How was your love life–why are you still single?”
May I please apologize on behalf of every married person who has ever asked their single friends why they are still single? This is unacceptable and pathetic even. In good faith and to show that I’m trustworthy, here are a few paragraphs from my journal during the month of December.
“I’m really struggling. Nobody to hide behind. No crushes…No more chasing boys. I can see that it’s the right thing to do–and how the timing isn’t right…Please take away my singleness. After all these years. Please [Lord]. I need you to show up strong in my life.
Lord, I want a husband. I’m so sad and I’ve never felt so alone. I’m doing the right thing…People are so ignorant. I hate feeling passed by or jealous over something or someone that’s not mine…I feel left out…The fun parts…The emptiness I feel inside. The lack of joy…[I am left] with a depressed feeling I’ve never had before. And I don’t get depressed…Lord, don’t you care?”
If you are single this Christmas holiday season I want you to know that you are not alone.
Instead of feeling stuck at the kids table like you don’t belong–here are seven ways (call it a singles survival guide) to help you survive and thrive through the New Year.
1. Bring A Friend
Instead of feeling like you’re in the center of attention–why not invite a girl or guy friend to come along? Spice up your family dinner festivities, wacky office party, or random party invite by adding someone new into the mix. This way if–I mean when–the conversation turns sour, you can rely on your wingman or woman for help. Don’t forget to warn your friend ahead of time what they’re in for and the two of you can develop an early exit strategy if things get too awkward.
2. Drink Responsibility
If you are over the age of twenty-one, always make sure to ask a friend to be your designated driver or DD. Any time alcoholic beverages are involved–emotions tend to wander more freely–even when drinking responsibly.
This holiday season I encourage you to try sipping on some hot chocolate or apple cider if you think you might end up feeling sorry for yourself for being the only single at the party. That way you’ll be in control of what happens after the party (no drunk dialing, texting, calling your ex, etc).
3. Hugs Make Great Gifts
The economy makes it difficult to buy Christmas gifts for those you love and care about. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have this holiday season–grab a cup of coffee and a hug with a close friend. You’ll soon find hugs have the best currency and make great gifts too.
4. Talk To Someone
The holidays may be full of people and events, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to go around pretending everything is okay. You certainly don’t want to tell everyone you meet how alone you feel. Maybe your dad has always been there for you. Maybe your Aunt is a great listener. Or maybe you’re more comfortable talking to a bestie, roommate, or coworker. Don’t be afraid to find this person and let them know the holidays aren’t exactly your favorite time of year–I am sure they’ll understand and do their best to encourage and be there for you.
5. Be Spontaneous
Singles don’t quite understand how much free time they have. Parents or roommates don’t notice as much when you’re not around–but not your spouse. It’s a good thing to want to do everything with your spouse, but it can be more difficult to be spontaneous. If you’re single, don’t be afraid to go straight from work or jump off the couch and try something new and festive around town.
6. Volunteer Locally
There are plenty of chances to volunteer your time and money. You can serve meals to the homeless through the Salvation Army, local soup kitchen, or your church. You can collect toys, put together shoeboxes through Operation Christmas Child, or give a special one-time donation to a missionary who counts on this kind of support during the holidays.
7. Host Your Own Holiday Party
No matter where you live–there’s always that guy or girl who is willing to host. Partner together with other singles and throw the biggest and best Christmas or New Year’s Eve party. Ask people to bring food. Host a white elephant gift exchange. Bring your own games. Whatever it takes to celebrate the birth of Christ and ring in the New Year with those you love and care about.
This holiday season I encourage you to find what works for you.
Even in this list there might be one or two things you know you could do–but it’s up to you! Maybe you don’t struggle with feeling lonely in December, but you know someone who might. This holiday season I encourage you to foster a generous spirit for Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous man [or woman] will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (NIV84).
See me talk more about the subject on my video for ChristianMingle below!
*If you are single and live in the Los Angeles area, you can join ChristianMingle and Los Angeles Regional Food Bank on January 11th, 10:00 am-1:00 pm to do good (and date good too). Register at GoodDeedDating.com!
[Find the original 7 tips here]
[Guest Post by Rebekah Snyder – We tend to judge our bodies most during the holidays. It’s supposed to be a time to celebrate with family and friends, so why are we so quick to judge ourselves and weigh ourselves? Maybe it’s because we eat too much. …