We exchanged words online and you told me: your faith was faltering after a hard year, full of loss and disappointment.
I wished I could hug you in person and pray with and for you.
Although distance separates us, we love and believe in the same God. Thank you for trusting me with your real story and emotions.
So I share what faith I have with you because my friends’ faith carried me (many times) when I was weak. Their faith in God held me when my faith faltered.
In a life of faith, we will experience both his presence and apparent absence. If by God’s grace, we persevere, our faith, trust, and intimacy with God deepens despite our suffering.from 7 Days of Soul Care by yours truly
Although I wasn’t fully aware of it at the time, God was also holding me.
Though my story differs, I’ve felt like God has forgotten me. You read part of my story so you know I’ve believed lies about God and myself for years.
I know what it is like to work and see money go in and immediately exit my checking account.
I know what it is like to kneel next to my bed and cry a one-word prayer to God: “Help.” Over and over.
But I also know after decades of following Christ, God is faithful.
I may not understand His ways or his thoughts, but I’ve experienced his love holding me close (at times palpable and at other times, only visible in the rearview mirror).
Dear Father God,
I praise you for Jesus, who knew what it is like to live, breathe, love, and suffer as a human.
I pray for my friend and for all who suffer, may they come with confidence to ask for the grace and mercy they need. Give them the grace to believe You love them and you will give them what they need.
Come for my friend’s heart. Come for her. Wrap your arms of love around her.
Surround her with friends who will carry her when she feels too weak to continue.
As your Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and she birthed Christ, may your Holy Spirit overshadow my friend so she may birth Christ’s love, joy, and peace in her heart and life.
When you sent Gabriel to Mary, you came wrapped in soft baby’s flesh in a smelly manger. Your people had yet to see the promised Messiah and King prophesied by Isaiah during a dark time, hundreds of years before Jesus came.
You came to our broken world to save us from ourselves and to give us hope.
You promise to make all things right one day.
We don’t know when love finally overcomes all injustice and pain forever but we believe it will happen. Give us the grace to wait with faith and resurrection hope.
Give my friend hope that as you kept your promise to send a Messiah, you are working on her behalf even when it seems like you’re absent. You love her more than she can imagine.
Give her a felt-experience of your love. Let the light of your love banish the darkness she feels.
Enable her to speak aloud and write out your promises to her.
Enable her to believe spring is coming and winter won’t last forever.
May she focus on your promises and presence and not on problems.
Give her the grace to fix her eyes on you alone.
In your Son’s name, Amen.
Let’s encourage one another by sharing how God encouraged your faith this past year in the comments. Or if you need prayer, please share in the comments. Thank you.
My faith story for 2016
Thank you for your support as we’ve raised and donated $300 to International Justice Mission through book royalties. I walked by faith and donated the last $100 before it arrived because I wanted to meet IJM’s matching grant deadline of 12/15/16. The final $100 in sales came before Christmas.
Praising God for the $300–> $500 because of IJM’s matching grant. Pinch me. (Correction: the last $100 didn’t reach IJM till 12/21/17 so unless they use the postmarked date, it probably didn’t get doubled. Bummer. But I’m thankful for the $200 that was doubled. Thanks again to each person who bought a book and/or shared about it.)
As requested by several of you, 7 Days of Soul Care is available on Kindle now.
For a limited time, if you buy a paperback version, you can get the Kindle version FOR FREE. Or you can get the Kindle version for a limited time for only $2.99.
Subscribers: I’m working on a 10 Things I learned in 2016 post just for you.
Thank you for being here!