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Daily Devotional ~ Don't Give Up

πŸ’œ Worship: If you'd like to play a song before you begin or while you read, may we recommend "Touch the Hem feat. Trinity Anderson" by William McDowell.Β 

❀ Daily Verse: We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
β˜†2 Corinthians 4:8‭-‬10 NLT

🧑 Let's Talk About It: When my son was one, I came home from work and entered my home to see my son strapped into his high chair. His left eyebrow was split open and bleeding. It was already starting to bruise. He had blood all over his abdomen and bruising sporadically from his upper thighs to his shoulders. His father, who was supposed to be caring for him was drunk on the floor picking food and broken pieces of a plate that had obviously been throw against the wall as condiments became the new wall decor, and bits of corn were ground into the carpet. I remember taking the steak knife and going at my son's father with it. Something had come over me. But right before I got to him, I heard a loud voice say STOP. I looked up at my son through a cloud of tears, dropped the knife, unhooked him from the chair, grabbed him, and ran out of the apartment. I was scared to death his father would come after us, but he didn't. After taking my son to the hospital, CT scans and xrays were done. I was told that the evidence suggested he was abused by his father. Luckily, he would only need stitches for the eyebrow.

Have you ever been in a place that felt so uncomfortable it made you rethink the value of your own life? Sometimes, in the middle of our trauma, we can be so confused, so hurt, so broken, that we can't see past ourselves. That was how I felt after that traumatic event with my son. I had full blown PTSD. I started checking doors and windows. I was always looking over my shoulder, wondering if his father would come back and hurt me (since he said I was the one who got him in trouble). I had multiple panic attacks a day. It was one of the darkest times in my life.

It was also the moment I turned my back on God. Instead of running to the one who could help me, I got angry. I blamed God, and I blamed myself more than anything else; 'If I was a better mom, that would not have happened.' 'I should have known better.' Those are just a couple of the thoughts that took up residence in my mind.

I see now, now that I have rededicated my life to the Lord, that even then, God had a plan. While I was refusing to speak to Him, He was still working on my behalf. But I also know our life could have been way better had I not given up on Him so easily. There were multiple blessings and opportunities we missed out on because I refused to let God heal those wounds.

Now, 10 1/2 years later, God has healed my heart. While it is still fragile concerning this subject and my son, who is a major trigger for flashbacks (if something happens to him, my mind automatically goes back to that moment and I am there instead of wherever I am). But God is still doing a good work. The panic attacks are no longer daily. I am walking in relationship with Jesus, and have an amazing husband who loves my son as if he is his own.

I am sure there are many, many people who are confused right now. You may not understand why you have to walk the road you're on. I get that. I still don't understand either. But if I could use this story, right here and right now, to help stop you from turning your back on God, then maybe it will have all been worth it.

It doesn't always look like God is still in control, but He IS. He loves you, even in the midst of your trauma, devastation, grief, or hopelessness. Jesus will never leave us. He never forsakes us. He is right there with us in the fire. He is our comforter. He is our hope. Listen friend, if you can't stand, can't walk, and are losing hope, just cling to the hem of his garment. I promise, you'll be made whole. It may not happen immediately. It may not even happen here, in our fleshly bodies, but we can trust Him because He is for us, NEVER against us.πŸ’œ

πŸ’› Additional Reading: That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
β˜† 2 Corinthians 4:16‭-‬18 NLT

πŸ’™ Prayer: Father, I thank you for this day. Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I turned my back on you. Thank you for helping me work through all these things that I can't seem to make sense of. Lord Jesus, thank you for laying your life down so that the Holy spirit would come and seal me, comforting me during times of confusion, desperation, intense hurt; all those feelings I just can't make sense of at times. Lord, I pray for those who are overwhelmed today. You know what they are facing and I pray that you would just walk right into their life and situation. Say "STOP" Lord, awaken them to your powerful presence so that they may see you are for them, not against them. Jesus, thank you for doing what we could never do for ourselves. Your perfect life and subsequent death testifies to our worth. Thank you, Lord, for making us whole, for making us new, for doing a good work that only you can do. I love you Jesus, and in your name I pray, amen.

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