Arise!: Giving Thanks

Blessings Family,

Isaiah 40:31:

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Praise The Lord!

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is already upon us! And we have so much to be thankful for!

What beautiful reminder Matthew 5 is, that no matter how bad things get on earth, poverty, sickness, mourning, oppression, testing, cruelty, strife and discord, persecution, if we remain faithful, we have a future devoid of all that.

An inheritance that includes, the Kingdom of Heaven, comfort, a new earth, righteousness, mercy—an eternity with God. Thank you, Jesus!

Thanksgiving can be a difficult time for my husband and me. It was on Thanksgiving Day, thirty-one years ago, that a confession triggered the long, painful death of my first marriage. My daughter, Hannah, died the day before Thanksgiving, twenty-five years ago, and my husband’s late wife, passed away the day after Thanksgiving, nineteen years ago.

So, while we busy ourselves with Thanksgiving preparations, I sometimes feel a heaviness in my heart that makes me a little more tired, a little more somber.

2009 was especially hard—on my husband, because I was so ill. An orange-sized tumor was growing out of my sacral nerve sheath, and we weren’t certain I’d see another Thanksgiving, here. This had to bring back some bad memories of losing his first wife And on me, not only because of the physical pain, but the emotional pain of what it was doing to my husband and kids.

Today, despite the dreams I had of my five children and all their children filling my house and table for the holidays, it remains only my husband, myself, and our youngest daughter. Our four oldest kids are no longer speaking to us.

But, in spite of all this, I have seen the promise of Isaiah 40:31 come alive.

My first book, Loved So Much It Hurts: Purpose in the Pain just won a Global Book Award, and my devotional and companion journal, Promise of the Day Devotional for Victorious Living, were published last spring. My mystery, Dreams and Illusions is scheduled for release next October, followed by another nonfiction book for Teens, The Demon Slayer’s Handbook. As I keep my focus on God, I continue to hear from people asking for prayer and sharing their victories, and God continues to be glorified in the work He gives me.

I don’t know why it’s so much easier to focus on the pain than to get back up and move ahead. Maybe because we are human, and the flesh is so weak. Waiting on the Lord is equally difficult. In fact, it’s impossible on our own. But we have a secret weapon on our side. The Holy Spirit. When I give my grief and pain to Him and trust Him to lead the way, He gives me a peace and joy–and strength that transcends my grief and pain.

Waiting on the Lord requires patience, but this, too, is one of His gifts to us. We receive all His gifts when we dwell in Him: joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. All these gifts He gives out of His love for us. He gives us what He already has. He gives us a piece of Himself, because He is all these things–and more.

Waiting on the Lord is essential for our spiritual growth.

It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can endure great suffering and, not only keep our faith intact, but become even mightier in Christ.

The enemy comes to steal our joy and peace. When he can steal that, he takes our hope, and in turn, our faith. Then, he has won, and we have been robbed of our victory—our future.

I’m writing this to encourage those of you who are struggling right now. Hold on to Jesus. Immerse yourself in the love of Christ, drink up His Word, and praise Him in all things. Keep your focus on the Author of Your Life, and He will not only sustain you, but bless you.

Though it may not seem like it now, you will mount up on wings as eagles and soar on the updraft of His joy. For, “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you; His angels will surround you and minister to you, and the enemy will flee.

No circumstance is bigger than our God.

You are so precious to Him, and He will never leave you. He promised, and He does not lie.

This life is so short, compared to the eternity of joy just ahead.

So, please, don’t let go.

If you are not struggling right now, please pray for those who are. Pray without ceasing, storm the gates of Heaven for those who are weak. They need you more than you know.

I pray this Thanksgiving we all take time to count our blessings and give thanks for them. Those we already have, and those yet to come. God is so good. No matter how bad life gets down here, we have a future worth celebrating, and praising God for!

I also pray for your healing, peace, and joy.

God’s grace and peace be yours,



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