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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.

The post Glad You’re Here (I Guess) appeared first on Devotional Diva®.

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Devotional Diva by Maggie - 3d ago

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 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 !

The post When it Rains… appeared first on Devotional Diva®.

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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.

The post Aint No Mountain High Enough appeared first on Devotional Diva®.

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I wanted to open June with a quick note from me. I don’t check in enough, and take a backseat to editing instead.

2018 is really turning out to be a year of surprises and uncertainty for me. I really thought I knew where this year was headed, and I’m completely wrong. We plan and God laughs, right?

Without going into tons of details in this short post, stress is high. My grandmother suddenly died. My husband’s deployment is ever-changing and lengthening. And I am continually reminded of God’s commandment to rest. I may need to put less pressure on myself as I tend to do.

Even though my grand plans for this year may not be working out how I’d like…well, I’m not the one really writing the plans here.

You might have noticed I updated the DevotionalDiva logo and theme! That’s part of the #Diva10 DevotionalDiva 10th anniversary celebration. I’ll have more to share with you when DD actually turns 10 in the fall.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

The post June Editor’s Note appeared first on Devotional Diva®.

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Devotional Diva by Maggie - 2w ago
The Race is On

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by contributor June Windle Bare. This is June’s story of completing her local YMCA’s 5k race this year! Great job, June! See June’s previous devotional, Not Nice or Knot Nice here.]

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3: 13-14 (ESV)

Every year our YMCA organizes a 10K run and a 5K walk. I walk. When I first started out participating, I had this notion that I should be able to win. Soon I learned that the winners are 30 years old, not senior citizens. The next year my goal was to win in my age class. I didn’t. But I finished. Finishing should have been the point of the race, not winning. Now we’ve come to another year. By the time you read this, the race will be history, and the only award I may receive is for finishing—a tee shirt, a coffee cup, and a card for a treat at a local restaurant. That competition isn’t terribly fierce. I had a couple of weeks to work on it, but I didn’t beat last years’ time. My goal is to enjoy the race, get in there with other people who have a like purpose, do my best, and finish.

The Apostle Paul’s metaphor doesn’t say anything about self-glory or beating the socks off someone else. So, what does he say? He says focus on the heavenly prize—the prize of God’s calling to us through Christ. He says to forget about the past—the missteps, distractions, stumbling, sins. In the day-at-a-time race, those things are not to hinder the long-term goal. Confess—forsake—press on toward the goal.

As I walk the course of the 5K, I have sub points that I press on to reach. I can’t see the end from the beginning. The course is marked each mile. I go to the first marker, set my next sight to a friend’s house where I know her son will be there with water for us. Then I get on the cross street and head for the second marker—toward the park, up the long hill, left turn, two more blocks. The finish-line. No, I won’t win, but I still get the prize of completion.

In contrast to the 5K, our spiritual race is not competitive. Rather we encourage our fellow racers. On the other hand, there are several ways that the spiritual race is like the 5K:

Distractions: We don’t want to get distracted by side issues that ignore the Gospel. Yes, there are many good issues that we as Christians must address, but to do so to the expense of the race is to get off course onto a tangent route. Each issue has a measuring stick beside it to line it up with the purpose of the Christian life.

Dawdling: Life happens. When we allow life to interject a busyness that pulls us away from our walk with the Lord, we are spiritually dawdling, no matter how busy our life becomes. To avoid the dawdle, we communicate with the One who went before and completed the race in order for us to remain on course. The Word, prayer, and then the day ahead that He gives us.

Shortcuts: On our 5K there are several cross streets that cut through to the other side of the course. Cutting through would take a mile or so off the course. If a racer attempts to sneak through that way, there are monitors at each corner to catch him. Disqualified!

Distractions, dawdling, or shortcuts—to avoid these is a matter of discipline. Paul addresses the issue of disqualification when he wrote,

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9: 27)

Discipline and training are key to the race. A well-disciplined athlete will not cheat; an athlete who has trained well is well ready for whatever the game requires. This includes discipline and training in diet and rest as well as exercise.

In the spiritual sense, our diet doesn’t simply consist of “eating up” God’s Word. It requires that we should live the Word. We take as spiritual nourishment the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) as our daily nourishment.

What is our spiritual rest? It is relying on the blood of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than striving to work our way to heaven (Hebrews 4:10).

Our race is on, because our Savior has run the race.

June is a retired nurse, poet, and widow, living in southern Georgia. Now in her eighties, she remains active in her local church. Among other church responsibilities, she teaches a Sunday school class of her peers. She writes a weekly blog on Facebook, entitled “Monday Musings.” Prior to moving to Georgia, she was a regular contributor to “The Watauga Democrat” newspaper, and “All About Women,” a monthly magazine, both in Boone, North Carolina.

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.

The post The Race is On appeared first on Devotional Diva®.

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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.

The post How I Found My True Calling appeared first on Devotional Diva®.

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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 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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[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 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.

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The post Where There Is Peace appeared first on Devotional Diva®.

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