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Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross: Day 21

You Heard My Plea

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Today's Text: Lamentations 3:34-66, Psalm 32:3-5

Text: Lamentations 3:34-66, Psalm 32:3-5

Sustaining grace does not promise the absence of struggle but the presence of God.
– Max Lucado

Lately I’ve filtered my conversations with God. Many of my moments with Him begin, “If You allow…, then I will…”  My vague threats quickly turn to silence for fear of what else my flawed heart might say.

I recently learned that I’m pregnant. It’s my fourth pregnancy, our fifth child, and yet only one of our children lives on earth. This pregnancy was a surprise, but even more surprising have been the emotions I feel toward God right now. I’m a believer, but I find myself doubting. I know He loves me, but I find myself wondering. Like the writer of Lamentations, I’m standing in the wreckage of what could have been, but isn’t—and I’m questioning aloud if God is here.

“If you let this child die, I will never forgive you. Never believe in you again. How can you claim you are sovereign if you continually let this happen to us?”

So my prayers are weak and unbelieving. Distant. Filtered. I avoid confessing my anger and my hurt. Will God punish me? Will He even care? I’ve always struggled with prayer, but now more than ever before. My own sinfulness delights in this withdrawal from God to near silence. Filtering my prayers and pleas, my hopes and fears, means allowing my human nature to take back over. Not bringing my true emotions into the light is just another way of delaying what I know I need to do.

I need to repent. Even here in this moment— especially here. I am angry for the loss of my children, I am distraught at these blows to my faith, I am hurt that God did not rescue us from the storm that caused this wreckage. I am tempted to draw a line in the sand and say, “No. My faith in You can not go any further.” And though it is painful to say it all aloud, I know His love for me and my children is not threatened by any of these emotions. I know He hears me. And I know He is here.

So like the poet, I turn back to God with all of me—even the angry, confused and weary parts.

“Let us search out and examine our ways,
and turn back to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to God in heaven”
- Lamentations 3:40-41

Sometimes, it’s just all we have left to wearily “lift our hearts and our hands to God in heaven.” We all are sinners, regardless of the circumstances we’re walking through. We live in a broken world where awful things happen, and we don’t get to choose what happens to us. But the choice we have is this: what we will do when we realize how much God loves us? Is faith truly faith if we set limits and issue demands? Do we love someone simply because they save me from the uncomfortable?

Does our Lord love us this way?

Paul reminds us how to strengthen our faith and turn to God in times of trial:

…a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”
- 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9

Paul pleads with the Lord. He keeps bringing his pain back to God—not hiding it from Him—so that God can administer grace once more.

Our God sovereignly waits for me to return to Him with my brokenness, just like He waits for you. I don’t have to waste away in silence. I don’t need to draw lines, set boundaries, or attempt to control any outcome. I need to repent of these things, allowing the Holy Spirit to bend my will to the Lord’s. Knowing my Savior also suffered, I accept His perfect “grace upon grace” in the midst of the chaos and confusion we will all experience.

Our pain and our emotions are real, but so is our God. His grace is enough.

Prayer is the breath of the new man, drawing in the air of mercy in petitions, and returning it in praises; it proves and maintains the spiritual life.”
- Matthew Henry


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  • Outsourced IT

    I deeply appreciate everyone's honesty. A lot of times I prefer to keep things cookie-cutter rather than really go deep. We always tell our high school girls 'God can take our ugly!' We don't need to pretend to be cookie-cutter good Christian girls. Let our hearts and our souls cry out for the real, for the Living God.

  • Hannah Dessel

    Diana, thank you for being vulnerable to so many people! I do not take it lightly… I can relate feeling the way you do, and I’m so glad you can be honest with us how that has been for you lately. Lamentations is perfect for those moments, huh?

  • Melissa Christine

    Wow. Thank you for your honesty, for using your story to bring others closer to God. This study has been teaching me to bring everything to God in prayer. The unbelieving parts, the mad, angry, shamed, guilty, parts… And always love the reminder that his power is strongest in our weakness

  • Deborah Ruth

    Prayed for and will continue to pray for you, Diane…thank you for sharing.

  • meaganlouiseranson

    Thank you so much for writing this. REALLY. After 3 consecutive miscarriages and no full term babies, I had closed myself off, and detached from not only God, but myself. I was refusing to deal with the storm that was swelling, and not letting God calm the waters. You challenged me. Like cold water thrown on my face, I felt stunned by what you wrote. But I couldn't stop thinking about it, and God used it to bring me back. Thank you for your honesty, your wisdom, and sharing an experience that took a lot of time and trial to learn.

  • meaganlouiseranson

    Thank you so much for writing this. REALLY. After 3 consecutive miscarriages and no full term babies, I had closed myself off, and detached from not only God, but myself. I was refusing to deal with the storm that was swelling, and not letting God calm the waters. You challenged me. Like cold water thrown on my face, I felt stunned by what you wrote. But I couldn't stop thinking about it, and God used it to bring me back. Thank you for your honesty, your wisdom, and sharing an experience that took a lot of time and trial to learn.

    Thank you.

  • In so so sorry for your loss. Your vulnerability is so precious and loved by the Lord. I recently had two MC’s and can at least in part, relate to your pain. It just sucks. But I am praying for you and your family. Believing for new perfect life from your womb! Thank you for your words!

  • Kendall_S

    is faith truly faith when I set limits or demands on it?

    this one i'm mulling over…..appreciate so much your honesty and vulnerability in sharing diana… :)

  • Many years ago as a new labor and delivery nurse I had a family come in and give birth to a very preterm infant, when their pastor arrived he was panicked. He was young and and had a month old baby at home. " I don't know what to say" . So we prayed. The Lord gave me a picture of a small child being held by his dad while the child kicked and screamed. I shared with this family that they could wail and pound their fists into their Father's arms. I also had a deep sense of God's grief and anger at this imperfect world. I have experienced that many times praying for families in similar situations.
    Like so many my heart is torn for the number of times ( like this week) I have been the toddler kicking and screaming while my father loves me because of the cross . Forgive me Father, Son and Spirit.

  • Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • This message hit close to home. I just had another miscarriage this past weekend. Each time this has happened to me I feel like God has forgotten me. Today, I picked up my Lent book to try and catch up and I read this message. Wow, I guess he wanted to get my attention.

  • I am praying for you, for a healthy pregnancy and child in Jesus name! thank you for this honest post. Hugs to you.

  • I am speechless and I am praying….that your heart continues right in the direction it is bent….confidence, UNCONDITIONAL confidence in God. This was such an authentic and raw post. The post of a genuine disciple, seeking her "let it be on Earth as it is in Heaven.

    David said it best…. (I'm paraphrasing)… I would have fainted, I would have given up, thrown in the towel, had I not believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!!!

    Praying with you sis! Standing with you on behalf of all of us whose faith is only strong because in our acknowledgment of how weak it is at times, we put it in the hands of ULTIMATE & ETERNAL strength, power and sovereignty. There and only there….it becomes strong and infused with grace to last…

  • I feel terrible because after reading this all I can think is … “But she has a baby”. I would love one pregnancy. One celebration because of two lines in the bathroom.Every single month that goes by and I bleed with an empty womb I feel deep loss. I’ve crossed over into the place where I feel like God knows what he’s doing and maybe I would just be a terrible mother and so that’s why my womb sits empty. I’m completely powerless, it doesn’t matter how clean I eat or how much I pray or do yoga or take supplements… It just isn’t happening. Time is ticking by and I’m tired of the waiting game. I’m starting to plan my life now without children. It’s so hard not to mourn the fact that I will never know the excitement of a positive pregnancy test, or the complete joy of holding my newborn baby in my arms, or seeing my child beam with pride in a school Christmas concert. But here I sit and I can still say in the midst of this battle that I believe that God is good and that he loves me. I have to find a way to let him be enough…

    • Brittany

      The woman that has been a mentor to me for several years struggled with the same thing. She’s the most amazing woman of God I’ve ever met and when I found out the depth of her struggle with not being able to have children blew me away because I never saw that struggle I just saw the same ol trusting and faithful woman I’d always known. But after five years of trying she finally got pregnant and now has a beautiful 18 month old baby girl AND she just announced last month that she’s expecting again! Moral of the story is, Gods timing is perfect. You will conceive a child when He wants you to according to His great and perfect timing. Or maybe, He doesn’t want you to have kids on your own. Maybe He wants you to save other kids from a life of darkness. Maybe your purpose is to adopt kids who may never know the love of Christ if it weren’t for you. Praying for your contentment and for these chains that bind you, that Jesus has already broken, to be shaken off and thrown in the river.

    • Sommer

      I understand and you aren’t alone.

      I love when you said “but here I can sit and still can say….” That’s HUGE! Praying for peace for you.

  • Brittany

    This series is wrecking me for real…. Man.

  • Kasey Tuggle

    Our circumstances don’t depict our joy- our Jesus does!

  • Oh Diana, I will pray for you and your family through this pregnancy with all my heart. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us, and for always bringing everything back to Christ. Know you have a whole fleet of women (and men!) who keep you in our prayers.

  • Rachel Bone

    As I read your devotional today I felt as if you were writing my story. How could you possibly know that I would be reading your words and they would be all too familiar. 4th pregnancy..5th child…only able to hold one in my arms… Thank you dear sister for encouraging me today…it is exactly what I needed. Thank you Lord for bringing me to this reading plan.

  • Honesty, transparency, that is what I like about this community. Diana thank you for having the courage to show and bare your true soul to us. It says what ever we hide will one day be shouted from the roof tops, but the better side of that is whatever is spoken out loud Satan can no longer use to entrap us. Praise God that our honesty and words can be used to set us free. The truth shall set us free!

  • So so what I needed this morning. Bless you heaps xx

  • Thank you for your honesty. This devotion is one of my favorites.

  • Thank you for this! I just found this group, what an amazing community of women. So thankful and cannot wait to read more. Thank you Jesus.

  • From the devotional to the stories shared here, this was intense because it is one of those topics that we really do not like to talk about. For me personally I feel like a bad Christian sometimes for feeling anger or questioning God, sometimes retreating to that silence. But you all have shown me today that it is ok to turn to God even broken and have those conversations with Him. Praying for you sisters.

  • Lyanelly

    I thabk you all foe sharing your experiences. This was an intense and much needed study.

  • Hello all. I was in a terrible head on collision last August. I broke 13 bones. Every time I go to the doctor I find out the same things. That God is healing most of my body, but my shoulder and knee hasn’t heeled yet. My knee shattered into 20 or more pieces and now has 13 screws in it and won’t bend more than a few inches. The doctor can’t do the surgery to make it bend until it is fully healed. I go to the doctor tomorrow to see if it has healed at all.
    This devotion couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I needed to be reminded of Paul’s struggle along with others in the faith. That every time we suffer we are reminded that Gods grace is sufficient. It is hard to put my faith and trust in the Lord in times like these.
    Please, if you all could pray that my knee will be healed, and that if that is not Gods’ will for me, that I would suffer well so that His name will be made known.

  • thisgalsjourney

    Diana….no words. Only the soul groans that the Spirit can discern. Prayers, love and hugs. Thank you for bravely and honestly sharing today.

  • LindsayBehr

    Oh Diana! Thank you so much for your refreshing honesty. We have a little boy with Jesus. I delivered around 17 weeks-stillborn. He was our second, and I'm about to have my 4th. This pregnancy has been filled with so much fear and so many questions. Begging, pleading, trying to "barter" with the Almighty God. I totally relate to the distance. And the anger. And the questioning. To be honest, it's a bit comforting to know I don't feel and wonder those things alone. I'm praying for you, dear sister. And while the grief of losing many far outweighs the pain of losing one, I stand here with you, mourning and suffering (Romans 12:15, 1Cor. 12:26)…and yet rejoicing that we have so loving a Savior! Thank you again, today's post most certainly struck a chord in this momma's heart.

  • Diana, thank you for sharing your heart with us. I, like so many of your other readers, experienced a miscarriage. Mine was followed by years of infertility and of anger at God. I'm praying for your baby and you and that you don't waste years of your life being angry like I did. I made peace with God and then He blessed us with twin girls. I have two other little ones in heaven.

  • I can’t even begin to fathom what all of you are going through…all we can do is have faith that His plan is greater than ours. Sometimes that’s all there is to hang on to… Praying for you ladies and your families, as I’m sure this is tough on all of you.

  • Diana, reading these words “I’m a believer, but I find myself doubting. I know He loves me, but I find myself wondering. Like the writer of Lamentations, I’m standing in the wreckage of what could have been, but isn’t—and I’m questioning aloud if God is here.
    So my prayers are weak and unbelieving. Distant. Filtered. I avoid confessing my anger and my hurt. Will God punish me? Will He even care? I’ve always struggled with prayer, but now more than ever before. My own sinfulness delights in this withdrawal from God to near silence. Filtering my prayers and pleas, my hopes and fears, means allowing my human nature to take back over. Not bringing my true emotions into the light is just another way of delaying what I know I need to do.”
    Made me feel better just knowing other believers feel this too

  • Thank you for sharing this. I felt the strong need to repent while reading this. I was praying very quietly next to my two year old daughter and I didn’t believe she was paying attention to me. She simply said, “they are weak but he is strong.” Thank you Lord for a message out of the mouth of a child. I too am praying for you that your pregnancy goes well. My aunt had five miscarriages, but now has two healthy children.

    • LindsayBehr

      This brought tears to my eyes! Out of the mouths of babes! Thanks for sharing.

  • “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” That is such a wonderful verse. At our weakest moment in this life, God is the most powerful. Amen!

  • Christina

    Like many women who have commented, I too have been struggling with this. I have been ttc for over three years. I have had two miscarriages and I actually just found out today that this last one was a tubal pregnancy. I have struggled with turning this over completely to God. I find myself angry and withdrawn at times because of my hurt and heartache. I hate that so many of you share the same pain. It is a long, dark road. I try to believe that God has our best interests in mind. He will fulfill every promise and one day we will all be holding our miracle babies in our arms. Thank you for the beautiful devotional.

    • Heather

      I’m sorry. I had a tubal pregnancy and two miscarriages between my first and second children. I didn’t understand then, and I still don’t, but I do know that God is present and He doesn’t abandon us. It is then that learned that faith is not a feeling. Someday I will see all of my babies and have that understanding that I so long for. God bless you!

  • LeslieFord

    This is my first time to comment but I feel like I need to today. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for over four years. We’ve completed every step of fertility treatment available to us and were able to get pregnant after IVF, two times, but then miscarried both times, once weeks after seeing a little heartbeat flickering on the ultrasound screen. Everything from our infertility to the losses is labeled “unexplained” or just bad luck.

    We recently made the decision to stop trying naturally due to complications with my body and I’ve been struggling with this decision and have been angry that we are here. I have questioned why I’ve been given this string of bad luck. I’m mad. I’m sad. I’m drawing lines in my faith.

    Then, today, SRT struck me twice. Once while I was taking the survey and saw the choice for ‘no children on Earth’ and once again when reading tonight’s devotional commentary. My losses are real and God knows that. I know it’s no coincidence and reminds me trust in God’s faithfulness.

  • Antimony

    Me to. Not pregnant. Never have been. Desperately want to be. Have been searching for answers. So upset with God. So many things. Last year I begged God, “God, if you love me … if you care anything about me … if you want me … show me a sign. Give me a child and I will believe”. And He didn’t. It’s not a matter of power. I do believe in God. I believe He could have done it. But He didn’t. So was I wrong to ask? Is that “putting God to the test”? Trying to manipulate God? I feel like I destroyed any chance I had when I did that.

  • I need to ask a question, I'm new to reading the Bible purposefully and I've spent a lot of time tonight reading over the piece from Lamentations for the devotional today. It seems that Jeremiah goes from calling out his grief and admitting that this was all caused by the sin of man, and then one God tells him he's not alone, he seems kind of cocky to me. Now he's asking God to give pay back to his enemies? Why doesn't he ask for God to help him learn to forgive? God gave him another chance essentially by answering his calls to the heavens, so why is his reaction this like…self righteous anger? Am I reading into this wrong? I'd love any feedback and commentary on this please.

  • I don't usually comment here. But I just have to today – thank you for writing so honestly – I am pregnant for the fifth time, with one child here on this earth. It's early – and I am scared and numb. Afraid of more loss and pain… so sometimes, bargaining happens here, too. I'm ashamed of that. He already has a plan for me and this baby (and YOU and yours). But sometimes prayers can get twisted, especially when I am feeling desperate and am not focused on Him. Pregnancy loss is just one of those things here on this earth that we will never fully understand. Your heart is such a painfully familiar place to me – I bet we could talk for HOURS, my friend. My only solace in the middle of all of this loss has been to ask God for peace. We know he wants to bless us and grant us peace… He has given me that peace, even in circumstances that are painful, peace is possible.

  • I don't usually comment here. But I just have to today – thank you for writing so honestly – I am pregnant for the fifth time, with one child here on this earth. It's early – and I am scared and numb. Afraid of more loss and pain… so sometimes, bargaining happens here, too. I'm ashamed of that. He already has a plan for me and this baby (and YOU and yours). But sometimes prayers can get twisted, especially when I am feeling desperate and am not focused on Him. Pregnancy loss is just one of those things here on this earth that we will never fully understand. Your heart is such a painfully familiar place to me – I bet we could talk for HOURS, my friend. My only solace in the middle of all of this loss has been to ask God for peace. We know he wants to bless us and grant us peace… He has given me that peace, even in circumstances that are painful, peace is possible.

    Praying for you and your little ones. Much love from KS. :)

    • Chris

      Bless you Amanda, praying for you and your family during this pregnancy.

  • This felt like it was written for me. My prayer life has become arid over the past few months, mostly because I’m struggling with anger and disappointment over certain life events. I know that it has been affecting my relationship with God and in my personal life but I haven’t wanted to admit this anger and resentment because I’ve wanted to be bigger than it. I wanted my faith to feel stronger out the gate.

    • Tamisha

      Diane I am praying for you and your family that god will wrap his arms around you.

  • When I was reading the psalm all I could think was that I am allowing my need of repentance to eat away at me. I have been using all my strength to be perfect and best myself up about things – my mood changes from elated to depressed every day when I get things wrong or my work or relationship with my boyfriend is not perfect – I really need an assurance of my faith. I want to know God and know that I know Him even when I don’t think I do – I am so hurt and lost at the moment and I am too scared to take a step in any direction.

  • Mindy Robinson

    I can relate all too well. As I continually bring my brokenness in praying for a family for many years now before the Lord; I loved this–“Sometimes, it’s just all we have left to wearily “lift our hearts and our hands to God in heaven.” Help us Lord!

  • Rochelle

    This is the first time that I’ve commented here but I had to speak up today. (Although I have not had to deal with infertility, I did miscarry once a few years ago. Still, I have two healthy boys, and I’m grateful for them.) But there are all sorts of sins that I find myself trying to hide in the deepest recesses of my heart and soul. I find myself avoiding God, or even just offering up vague or shallow prayers. I thank you for your raw, brutal honesty in today’s devotional, Diana. It’s encouraged me, and helped me to remember that God made us (and our feelings!), and he loves us so unconditionally – even more than we could ever imagine. He is not afraid of our feeling and seeks our closeness, even when we’re a mess.

  • Thank you for sharing. This is my first time posting and my first devotional. Your words touched me so much today. I appreciate you opening up to us. I’m trying to bring myself back to these words instead of the worry and unknowns. Thank you

  • “I am tempted to draw a line in the sand and say, “No. My faith in You can not go any further.” And though it is painful to say it all aloud, I know His love for me and my children is not threatened by any of these emotions. I know He hears me. And I know He is here.”

    We draw the line because we think it brings safety… but instead our safety line of “no further” isolates. It keeps us from being near enough to simply crawl into his lap and allow him to keep us safe.

    Jesus disciples woke him up not to calm the storm but to ask “how can you sleep???” He wants us not to calm our own storms but to trust him enough to sleep when it is time to sleep despite the storm.

    He is not threatened by our unbelief!

  • Thank you Lord for showing us how we can be real with our emotions to cry out in repentance as we lift our hearts and hands to You!

  • I don’t usually read everyone’s comments but I couldn’t help myself today. Infertility, miscarriage, infant loss. It’s all too familiar for so many of us. It’s always so good to relate with others who understand. I lost my middle child at 20 weeks due to Turner Syndrome. I miss her every day but I’m so thankful for Gods hand and the story only He could write. I experienced His love and grace in the most beautiful ways while I was losing my daughter. It doesn’t make sense. I can’t even explain the way I felt His love. He definitely carried me through and continues to carry me.

    • Jaimie

      I don't read everyone's comments either, but I knew I had to tonight. I miscarried last month and I immediately gave this circumstance to God. Though I still fully acknowledge that this is all part of His plan, I think my immediate stance didn't allow me to grieve. I'm not angry with God but more at myself for not knowing how to express my emotions. I feel like I have no one to talk to about this topic because everyone is afraid of my feelings, but I want to talk because I don't want this child to be forgotten. I feel like no one wants to talk because this wasn't a somebody to them, only me. It has been comforting to read the women's comments today and see how open they are about this matter and other sufferings. I agree with you that God is carrying me through this.

  • Brutally honest. Thank you Diana.

  • Angela Gail C

    I got the book The Day I Was Crucified as told by Jesus the Christ a book by Gene Edwards. It’s on sale for $1.99 at iBooks and Amazon. The book really makes you think all Jesus had to go through for our sins.

  • Diana thank you for your willingness to be open and raw and share your story with us. I’ve been struggling with infertility for several years now and just recently being diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” has been such a blow. I’ve been withdrawing from the Lord and drawing near the silence – like yourself – and I know I need to repent as well. It’s a struggle for me as I feel the Lord is probably tired of my roller coaster of emotions and my wavering faith. I need to remember God’s love for me is NOT based on my emotions or my poor actions towards Him. He loves me always, the good, bad, and the ugly. Your post was so encouraging to me, thank you again for sharing your story.

    • Crystal

      Sarah,
      I believe that God is not tired of your roller coaster emotions and wavering faith rather I would dare to think that He’s wondering when you’re going to be tired of your roller coaster emotions and wavering faith. God is waiting for you to surrender fully to Him. Trust Him. The Drs say you have unexplained infertility but our God says He created you and knows your body. God can restore your body. He is God and all things are possible. I pray that God gives you peace and comfort. I pray that He speaks to you about what He wants to bless you with. I believe you will be a mother some day. Be open to God’s timing and His plan.

  • Two words. Thank you

  • Thank you so much for these honest words of encouragement today. In the past week, after nearly 2 years of trying to become a mother, I found out I was pregnant, and then miscarrying. It has been a roller coaster of emotion that is very raw right now, and I am finding it hard to trust God’s plan in it all. He is still God, and he doesn’t place conditions on His love for us-thank you for that reminder.

  • Thank you. You so perfectly captured my heart and prayer life at this time. I prayed so hard for a pregnancy, then prayed endlessly for the health and safety of that child. After the miscarraige I was hurt and almost scared to return in prayer, so I avoided it. I was afraid of what I would say or let out. God knew my deepest feelings, yet expressing my anger in prayer felt sinful, so I just bottled it up inside. Thankfully several months later I am now turning back to God in prayer and reading the bible and letting go of my anger and confusion. Thank you for your honesty today, it was exactly what I needed to hear.

  • Dearest Diana,

    Please know that you are forgiven. You have confessed and repented in the presence of Jesus and your Sisters in Christ. Now rest in HIS peace and nurture your body and baby knowing we are all lifting you up in prayer daily.

    I pray for you to be strengthened daily by HIS grace and mercy as you serve our Savior Jesus.

    Blessings,
    Pam

  • Carly Wilke

    Thank you so much for sharing this Diane!!!! You are so bold and your words strike a chord with most everyone. You are an encouragement to us and very much to me!! You’re in my prayers! Love this series and the walls being broken down by our great God!! We are a community! We are sisters! And the devil should be on the lookout because we are armed with the Holy Spirit!!

  • I just learned I am pregnant as well. This is my fourth pregnancy, fourth child, and only one of those children is living here on earth. Of course, we hope and pray for a healthy pregnancy and healthy child, but there is deep rooted fear that keeps me back from God, and keeps me from seeking His will for my life and our family. This devotional spoke so much truth to my heart today. Thank you. I am praying for you.

    • Chris

      Cati, I pray you will be released from that fear by the peace of the Holy Spiirit. I pray the days will not be endless, that you will see blessings during this very pregnancy.

  • ThAnks for testifying to the greatness of Gods love in your life! In the midst of it all he is there. ThAnful that God doesn’t only use our strengths. But also uses our wekNesses.

  • Sherri G

    I so appreciate the true honesty of the words in this devotion. In the past, I would have felt as though I could not return to God after I had made a mistake. Now I know that is exactly what God wants us to do. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  • Karen R. Hilton

    Diana, I'm so touched by and grateful for your post. This tender topic is one I am intimately familiar with, and at one point almost overwhelmed me to the point of complete despair and anger with God. There are days when the pain of my experience bubbles to the surface but I feel stronger more days than not these days, and that is in itself a huge blessing.

    SRT has been a refreshing wellspring of encouragement for me, mainly because of the raw, real and real life approach to the issues that almost compel us to dig through God's word for answers. I feel like I have a group of sisters, not just a collection of authors and readers. And for that, I thank you.

    Karen Hilton

  • Samantha Chaffin

    Thank you for your vulnerability, Diana! I'll admit, there have definitely been times in this season of Lent where I have felt further from God than ever. Giving up social media wasn't supposed to be about me, but I have been guilty of needlessly bringing up my 'fast' in public to make myself seem interesting or less lonely – only to go home and find something else to fill my time, to fill me with the numbness I seek after a long, exhausting day, skipping church services, drawing away from my friends. And then I find myself asking God, "Where are You?" as though I'm not pushing Him away even now. Thank you for reminding me what it means to draw close and stay. <3

  • I can relate. I've spoken so many of the words you wrote, thought the same thoughts, struggled with the same struggles, felt/feel the same pain. You're not alone!!! — in more ways than one — lamenting is real. Our God is real. His love is real even when we feel like we're straining to see it and receive it. Thanks for the words I needed to read today. xoxo

  • ShannonNichole

    Amen and amen. We struggle, we fight, and we question. We are human. God knows us so well, and he loves us through so much. For some it is the ache of lost children, for others it is struggling with depression and anxiety, for still others there is scraping for the money to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. I am so glad that you’ve shared your struggle and your current position so that you can be PRAYED for and lifted up in the months to come. Praying now for you to have perfect peace that surpasses understanding, and for health and life for the baby in your womb.

  • Oh Diane, what beautiful and thought provoking words! Jesus did assure us that there would be troubles in this life, that we would face difficulties. But I love the quote of Paul's answered prayer, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made PERFECT in weakness." Over and over again, our Faithful God shows us this throughout scriptures, through the life of Christ. In His darkest hour, Jesus overcame and became glorious. Oh, that that glory will shine through us all…

    Holding you up in prayer Diane, as you travel through this pregnancy, with Jesus by your side.

  • Shannon Sheppard

    The Jeff Berry Band has a song called the Prayer. I too struggle with knowing the promises of God, yet doubting that they are for me. And I too can get a little sideways with Him when it does not appear to all be working together for my good. I have had 10 pregnancies, 3 of those children lived. In between I struggled with infertility and all the emotions that accompany it. With my first two miscarriages people would say "you are young, you have time to try again". They did not understand that I had already imagined that child's future, and it was death to a person as well as a dream. After my son was born, I became pregnant again a year later and had an abortion. Years later when I remarried and wanted to have children, there was not getting pregnant. I blamed myself for the infertility. I would scream out to God that I was sorry and why wouldn't He forgive me? People would say "well at least you have your son". But again, there in my mind was the vision of what my family should look like and it was death to a dream all over again. After my daughter was born, there were many more miscarriages and the cycle continued. My youngest son was born 8 years later and finally it seemed that the vision was complete. Then….four years later my perfect family is torn apart and destroyed by an affair and divorce. I do not know why our Sovereign God allows these things to "sift" through His hand. But I do know that the hand that allows the tragedy is the hand that bears my name in a scar in the shape of a nail that bore Him up to die for my sins. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you for your honesty, we very often refrain from telling our stories if they don't appear to have a happy ending. Sometimes hurting people just need to know that others know their pain, they just want to know someone else knows what they are going through and that someone else survived.

  • Brighton Keller

    Gosh Diana, my heart aches for you. And my problems and worries just shrink after reading this post. Gosh, and to still hope and return to the Lord….that’s truly inspiring

  • mindie bess

    Diana, thank you for your transparency. I needed this today. As someone who has walked in similar shoes, I know how hard it is to be real and vulnerable about something that feels like the most intimate and personal part about you. Infertility and miscarriage is absolutely devastating. Those that have never experienced it don’t really know. I have prayed that the Lord would use my struggle, and yours, for His glory and ultimate purpose. I mean, isn’t that the point of our pain? Thank you for being willing to share your heart. It is such an encouragement to us to know we are not alone. You are so brave. My heart intercedes for you and the life of that amazing miracle inside you. Our God is good. And He is faithful. So thankful that He hears our cries to Him, as ugly and beautiful as they may be.

  • Patience

    In reading Lamentations 3, I am aware afresh of the GIFT Jesus gave in paying our price of sin, in tearing the veil. Before His perfect sacrifice, communion with God was not guaranteed, His ear to people’s prayers not always available. Yes – He has ever been omniscient, omnipresent, compassionate and full of love. Yet His holiness and our complete depravity demanded sacrifice, separation. Priests interceeded for people, His Presence would fall and again ascend.

    BUT JESUS!!!

    Jesus paid my price! Jesus tore the veil I could never even approach on my own. Jesus. my eternal High Priest in the heavenlies! I now have confidence in His forgiveness as my penalty was completely paid in full. I can approach & be welcomed before God’s throne – anytime, anywhere – by His Spirit! What a good, good God!! May I never again take lightly the weighty provision Jesus made for me, wholly undeserving & is desperate need. Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son! Thank You, Jesus, for obeying to the point of death to save me! To love me! Thank You, Holy Spirit, for coming to dwell within my heart, for Your comfort, Your whispers of heavenly affection.

    What a good, good God we serve!

  • Lauren T

    What a blessing this scripture and devotional has been today. Thank you for sharing.

  • Patience

    Nothing pains and changes us like loosing our beloved children to death. My firstborn son, Isaac, died. I can’t imagine loosing three! Diana, thank you for your honesty, your bravery to endure, and your transparency in the real wrestling you face each waking moment of this pregnancy. Even in the midst of waiting, our good Lord is working through you to draw countless many back to His redeeming heart. Please know that you will remain lifted in prayer in the days and months to come. Do you have a blog that SRT readers can follow your pregnancy and pray with you?

  • Christine

    I am so thankful for this post. It puts words to how I'm feeling with God right now. I am so thankful for this Lent study. It has been a powerful and rich heart experience for me.

  • Liz Fike

    I struggle to believe and trust in Him as well when life disappoints, as it so regularly does! The disappointments of this life serve to remind us that we are made for a perfect world…not this broken world. We really are not equipped to handle all of these losses and I believe that is why the Lord planned for mankind to live in the Garden..in perfection. It is the life HE equipped us for. In my better moments I remember that even the pain is an indication that He had and HAS better plans for us. In the meantime, the journey of learning to let Christ live within is one that I seem to limp through. I appreciate your honesty so very much.

  • As someone who has been through Infertility… I’ve been here. I prayed those same prayers. I full out swore that there could be no God. I’m ashamed of it now… now I see that He really was with me the whole way.

  • silverfair

    As I was reading all I wanted to do was wrap you up in a hug. I'm so excited for the little life growing inside of you, not only the life of your child, but also your life in God. My you find encouragement in the body of Christ and you learn to rest in His grace.

  • It's so hard for me to open up to God. It goes against the grain of my nature. I am a very closed up, private person. And sadly, it carries over in my relationship with God. I attempt to filter my prayers so they may be presented in a neat little package so He thinks I'm the perfect little child He created. And it gets me NOWHERE. But the times I come before Him, heart hurting, laying it all at His feet, then that's when I start to grow.

  • Sarah Martin

    Diana, I'm praising the Lord right now for your authenticity and vulnerability. I'm praying that women all over the world who read She Reads Truth today (and everyday!) will open their eyes and hearts toward our God who can handle our doubts, fears, angry pleas, broken prayers. I pray they will follow your example and boldly approach the throne of Grace with every trouble on their heart and in their lives. And, just as Hebrews 4:16 tells us, I pray they will KNOW that God hears, loves, heals, changes, forgives and…and…and…and that we can come before King on His heavenly throne and trust our tender hearts in His mighty hand. Hugs to you!!!

  • HeatherJC

    So often Christians are tempted to put a positive spin at the end of sharing something so deeply painful that we are struggling with. I drew a line in the sand with God a few years ago and am now trying to find my way back to the closeness I had before that. The authenticity of this post allowed me to see my situation much clearer and I feel my heart softening this morning in ways it hasn’t for a long time. Thank you for being real.

  • As I started reading your words it hit so close to home. I had a miscarriage last year and am still struggling to get pregnant again. I understand a little of your pain. I went through the anger stage with God and I’m happy to say that now I’m not bartering with him about if He, then I’ll….
    Faith grows in difficult circumstances and the loss of our children is one of the hardest that I’m sure we’ll ever go through. But we have to know that God is good, that he is NOT punishing us and that when we are blessed with our kids that we will be so JOYFUL for it because we walked a path of heartache. I will be praying for you and your pregnancy. Thank you for sharing what is an intimate and heartbreaking journey. May God bless you with a happy and healthy baby.

  • Your words sent chills all up and down my arms and neck. So transparent. He’s speaking through your hurt today, and somehow it’s a beautiful mess . . . one of the greatest revolutions in my life has been the death and the suffering of loved ones. In no way is it fun or enjoyable, but when I turn from my anger it brings me to my knees again. He takes my heart and turns it around.

    I will be praying for your sweet baby.

  • Christina

    Thank you for being so transparent with us, Diana. I needed to hear this today.

  • Caroline

    Congratulations Diana and prayers for a peaceful and healthy 9 months. Thank you for sharing your burdens and honestly opening your heart for all of us to learn from. Bless you. Prayers for all my SRT sisters in your many trials. Let us draw strength from one another and continue to turn our eyes to Him!

  • JferLynne

    Sometimes, it’s just all we have left to wearily “lift our hearts and our hands to God in heaven.”

    How true this is and how I needed these words this morning. There are times when I have, too, wondered does God love me, is He for me. But the truth is no matter what happens in our lives He does love us and is for us. And I am so thankful that His truth and Word is true and remains constant no matter if I "FEEL" it. It doesn't make it any less true! Thank the Lord that we can lift up our hearts and hands and that can be enough. When there aren't words or we don't have the strength it is enough! I am so grateful for these words, our God and Savior and She Reads Truth!

  • It can be very difficult to speak honestly about our feelings toward God, especially so publicly. So much easier to just say ‘Things are hard but I’m praying about it!’ Thank you for your honesty and transparency. I think sometimes it helps to look around at all we struggle with and think ‘If she can turn to God in that, I can find a way to turn to him in this.’ So thanks for helping spur us on.

  • I feel the weight of my own selfishness. I have a hard time seeing the good. And lately I’ve been hiding from my present reality. Worst of all I feel so far from myself and from God. I’ve tried to draw closer by doing the ‘right’ things – reading His word, praying, studying the Gospel – but I feel ever farther away. I don’t fully understand, and I know that God is not a God of confusion. But I’m at a loss… My plea is that I can be in His presence. But I seem to get in my own way – all.the.time.
    This spiritual battle must have a purpose.
    Ladies, please pray for my weary soul. Always over complicating…

  • Kristen Gula

    This spoke to me today. Like “hit me over the head” spoke to me. Thank you.

  • Michelle Malone

    I am so sorry for your losses, but I love your honesty and your heart. Stay strong in Him, sister of Christ.

  • Jessica Holroyd

    Diana, I am praying for you. My husband and I also have four precious babies in Heaven and one on earth. I know all too well the grief and doubt that you wrote about, as well as the fears that paralyze you during pregnancy after loss. So I’m praying. Thank you for sharing this – for being open about your pain.

  • Oh how I needed this today. I’m in the process of grieving another miscarriage – I’ve been pregnant 4 times, but only have one living child. My attitude towards God has been so much like yours, Diana. Thank you for being so open, and for reminding me of God’s love, even when I am tempted to be angry with him.

  • Lord hear my prayer for mercy and comfort for my Dad. I have been sitting with him for two weeks; now waiting for a hospice bed to become available. Please take away my pain and sorrows I covet for my other siblings. Lord forgive me as I forgive them .

  • I'm praying for you, Diana. Thank you for your honesty. I learned much with your offering this morning. Thank you for helping me understand how deep our Father's love can reach and that He truly understands our weakness. This means so very much to me. Bless you, precious one.

  • Read “Plan B” by Pete Wilson. It will help in understanding what is happening in our lives when God doesn’t show up the way we thought he would and we are devasted. It explains what is happening and what we can do, or not do, to continue with God and our faith in Him.

  • jstanchek

    I am absolutely blown away by how your beautiful story mirrors my own! Almost two weeks ago, I learned of my fourth pregnancy, and only one of my children lives this side of heaven. I find myself wallowing in fear, and needing to repent daily. I focus futile energy on holding tight this gift that is not really mine anyway. I open my hands wide to receive His blessings, but sit with clinched fists fearing these treasures slip through my fingers. I am so thankful that He knows my frame, and does not despise my weakness but welcomes it. He has a plan and purpose for this child and for all the children He has lovingly placed in my womb. No matter how short lived, they have a story, and He has changed and softened my heart as a result. God bless you, Sister. I walk with you on this journey.

    • Sarah Martin

      Your words are so moving and inspiring. Though I personally have not walked in your footsteps, a dear friend of mine is living through a similar situation. Your words and prayers inspire me to turn around and pray that my friend will continue to hold fast to the Sovereign God just as you are. I love how you said that each child has a story and a purpose. Thank you for sharing today! Hugs!!

      • Jstanchek

        Thank you, Sarah! Something that has helped me recently is that when doubts arise, to acknowledge them but to counter with, "But what does God say?!"

  • Diana, I hurt for you and know your pain. I just lost my fourth pregnancy and have one healthy daughter who is 3. I have 3 in heaven as well. I often search your blog wondering how you are surviving. Wondering how I’m suppose to go on. And while we can’t understand and we plead with God, I do know I look to others like you to see what I’m suppose to do. So thank you for staying strong in faith and still being real with your heartache. Thank you for trying to trust God because if you didn’t I might give up too. I will be praying for Grace for you. Praying for your will to match Gods. And praying that this miracle will be the light in all the darkness.

    • Chris

      Praying for you Karen and all the mommies here with babies in heaven. Blessings of encouragement and a deep joy that comes only from God. May you also know some the doth of His sorrow at the loss of these precious babies. He can handle our pain, our anger and our doubt . Today may you all know the warm embrace of your loving fath.

  • jchung7855

    Thank you so much, Ms. Diana, for this honest and blessed devotional that you shared. Thank you for reminding us that God meets us, often times most powerfully, when we're at our weakest and most broken.

  • Thank you for sharing your situation with us Diana so we can gather around you and lift your situation up to God in prayer. He hears us!

  • I read this through a couple of times. Truth rings through more and more with each reading. Thank You!

  • Congratulations, Diana. And thank you for sharing your struggle. Some days I feel like the queen of bargaining with God because I simply want out of the hard things. I don't want to do them. Your words today reminded me that He is present in the struggles with me. I don't need to bargain with Him, I need to just let Him and trust Him. It's so hard some days. It's so hard to believe that He is there, but He is.

  • Diana, Broken Hallelujah by The Afters came on while I read your devotional. It was a beautiful complement to your words. My prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for your honesty.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for your honesty. I have a friend who had an early miscarriage, then had a healthy pregnancy only for that baby not to survive childbirth… I don't think I had ever been truly angry with God, but I was angry, and I have questioned. And now that I find myself in early pregnancy, I have more fear… It is all so difficult, but I have come to accept that He really is holding all of us. His grace IS sufficient.

    Lifting you up, Diana. Thank you for sharing.

  • MNmomma (heather)

    Prayers lifted for you this morning Diana….thank you for opening your heart and sharing with all of us….

    What a powerful message today……thank you!

  • Oh Diana. Thank you for sharing your struggle.

  • Caroline Dotson

    Your words cut deep and true as you expose your sin with all of us Diana. I thank you for your honesty and I too will cry to God for forgiveness of anger and doubt today. And I pray that precious life inside you comes to forwishen and you praise God in the miracle. No matter the outcome. Hugs sister momma.

  • Sustaining grace does not promise the absence of struggle…. but the presence of God….this is a great quote from Max Lucado…
    Sustaining grace does not promise the absence of struggle…. but the presence of God….this is a great quote from Max Lucado…
    Though we receive Grace, we are NOT exempt from struggles….what we are promised, however, is the presence ALWAYS of God..

    Diane, these, your words could have so been mine….
    "…I’ve always struggled with prayer, but now more than ever…Filtering my prayers and pleas, my hopes and fears, means allowing my human nature to take back over. Not bringing my true emotions into the light is just another way of delaying what I know I need to do…and do I do…I have said here before, I struggle with prayer….for myself…I struggle to be real with God for myself…pride..fear..almost always take hold….and I think, because of issues with rejection, I won't put myself in that place, should my request or ask not be…yet here we are in Lamentations 3:55-58..the lamentor, has seen some terrible things, from which, I wonder, would I still have faith…and yet there…in all he is lamenting, he says..
    'I call on your name O Lord, from the depths of my pit, You heard my plea…..You come near, and You say . 'Do not fear…' O Lord You took my case…You redeemed my life…' When I can muster up that kind of courage, and throw fear and pride to the wind.. and call on the Lord, repenting…of such sins, and more, ….Lord God, May I be like the lamentor here, calling to mind….YOUR Truth, YOUR Grace, YOUR Mercies..YOUR Love…and knowing that in YOU Lord God, (therefore), I have HOPE….a hope of a brighter day, when things aren't going right today…Thank you Lord God thank you…x
    As Diane truthfully put it, our pain and emotions are real, But, So is our God…His grace is enough..

    Happy for your news, Diane…praying God's sustaining hand be over you and yours throughout…BIG hug..

    May you know Gods abundant Grace today, in all you do, sister's…big hug and love…Always..Tina..xxx

  • ” ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’””

    Let us praise Him through our struggles and trials, no matter how painful, because His grace is sufficient for us and His power is made perfect during our weakest moments.

  • Candacejo

    "Sometimes, it’s just all we have left to wearily 'lift our hearts and our hands to God in heaven.'" When I find myself in times of great trial I do just that. I have no answers, not even understanding and comprehension remain. I have always looked at raising your hands to the Lord as a sign of surrender and since that would fit how I felt it seemed so appropriate, and it is. We can do nothing of ourselves, it is all IN HIM that we live, move and have our being.

    Years later I heard someone say that they looked at it as a funnel when they lifted their hands and arms outstretched to the heavens. It was a signal of not only surrender but for the Lord to fill them up with more of HIM…like a funnel. I loved that too! So I do it. Often, daily, I surrender and allow Him to fill me with His Spirit…my strength for each new day.

    Then just this week…at a Chris Tomlin concert I was able to attend…Mike Donehey, lead singer for Tenth Avenue North, said he used to look at those that "raised their hands in church" as "holier than thou" types who were better Christians than everyone else. Until he realized what they were really doing was simply reaching up to the Father to pick them up and hold them…in His lap, in His arms, in the security that they so desperately needed. Reaching up as we would to our earthly Father as a child, knowing we were secure and safe in His arms didn't make them better Christians but it did make them stronger. They were not relying on themselves, they were relying on a holy God.

    Even if you didn't have a good childhood, a trusting earthly father…don't let that keep you from reaching up with arms open wide to the Redeemer of the world, the One who gave His very life for you. In times of deepest trial, SURRENDER, REACH with everything within you and let the Lord of Glory FUNNEL His spirit into you and fill you with the strength you need to come THROUGH your trial, your test, your valley victoriously because He is the Victor of your soul.

    Praying for Diana today. God is our very present help. Always.

    Much love to my SRT sisters! ♥

    • Beckie Potterfield

      I was told about Mike Donehey's words from his concert. So for the second time I heard, "lift your hands". It's so awesome to have a God who allows us to pray for others and then allows us to work on ourselves with Him as we lift our hands to be picked up by Him. For me the physical act of raising my hands in my quiet time is surrender.

      I am lifting up all of my SRT sisters this day.

    • tina

      Candacejo…Ah I love this toooooo.'….When they lifted their hands and arms outstretched to the heavens. It was a signal of not only surrender but for the Lord to fill them up with more of HIM…like a funnel…. Will be making it more of my prayer life than I do now…giving myself in surrender….receiving more of my God…Amen….x

      Thank you for that, sis…
      Hope all is well with you, and that God is truly and unashamedly blessing you and yours…in all you are doing…xxx

    • aliyah

      I heard Mike Donehey say that too! It has really stuck with me – it’s all about our need for Him.

    • Cinda

      Love this! I’m going to use that funnel more!

  • Thank you, Diana, for your honesty with us, and being willing to minister to us in your own pain. I am praying for you.

    And this message? Wow. Lord, help me repent and remember that Your grace is ALWAYS sufficient.

  • “Our pain and our emotions are real, but so is our God. His grace is enough.”

    Amen! Oh Lord, that I might remember: however overwhelming things of this world may seem, no matter how big the pain – YOU are always bigger!

    Beckey
    http://reallyreallyrealhousewives.blogspot.com http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenbsbusywork

  • Sitting here in tears for all my SRT sisters and praying for courage to rail at God and the faith to know that your words, thoughts do not separate you from His undying love!

    I’m stopped in my track at the quote “Do we love someone because they stop everything that hurts?” Humanly speaking, yes. I pray for a broken friendship in my life…and how I’ve let my sadness over the continued gulf between us turn to bitterness and hate. Oh, that I could love her even though her silence brings me such pain!

    • Allison

      KK, your words really made me stop and think. I’m working through two broken friendships at the moment and I have allowed myself to be consumed by the bitterness, not by grace or forgiveness. Your words have inspired me to give it up to God — He can heal anything!

  • I deeply appreciate everyone’s honesty. A lot of times I prefer to keep things cookie-cutter rather than really go deep. We always tell our high school girls ‘God can take our ugly!’ We don’t need to pretend to be cookie-cutter good Christian girls. Let our hearts and our souls cry out for the real, for the Living God.

  • When I consider deep trials in life that are impossible to understand, I think of Joseph. I’m sure he prayed some prayers like ours when he was sold as a slave to Egypt by his own brothers and suffered the loss of his family. Yet what his brothers intended for evil, God planned for good.

  • Diana, thank you for sharing your heart. This post spoke straight to my own heart. Lifting up you and your baby to our Lord.

  • Anna Buchanan

    Sustaining grace does not promise the absence of struggle but the presence of God.
- Max Lucado
    This opening quote struck me. Am I willing to love God when He doesn’t give me what I want? Do I treat Him like a vending machine and walk away if I don’t get the treat I think I paid for? These questions humble me.

    • Candacejo

      Love that analogy. Wow. Help me Lord!

    • Allison

      That quote really hit me as well, Anna. Sometimes I feel as if I am entitled to having what I want in this world because I follow God. But what I often overlook is the fact that Jesus is truly all that I want, need, and more. It’s so cool to realize that God has more than provided for us even if His sustaining provisions are not aligned with our wants.

  • Kelly_Smith

    Diana, today you have picked up the pen of the Lamentator. Your words make the Old Testament language relevant, your story real and relate-able. Praying that God blesses your faithfulness and honesty. And I am praying for all of my SRT sisters that are walking through the valley of shadows today. May Hope shine a light in the crack of vulnerability created on this Holy Ground today.

  • I’ve been reading SRT for months and the sincerity and simplicity of this post has touched me the most. I am struggling under the weight of many unanswered prayers, things I want to see happen, believed and had faith would happen but didn’t. I’m trying to reconcile my current situation with the will of God. I’ve always prayed for God’s will, a purpose driven life…and somehow life has been full of so many detours. Are these bumps the will of God? Am I doing something wrong I ask? When I keep reading about turning to God I feel as though I do that daily in prayer and I’m sincere about my need for him to change my ways. Is there more to turning to God than simply letting Him know I am broken and need His grace?

    • Anna Buchanan

      I don’t think so. I think all He requires is we come to Him with a broken and contrite heart. As to unanswered prayer I wish I could say we always know why but we don’t and sometimes that is just hard to say the least.

    • Meagan

      I think having an open heart to what God has in store for you is the first step. From there it's important to get into His word every day, read, search for Him as if He is hidden and you must find Him. He will reveal Himself to you along with His will for your life. Serve Him in whatever way you can. Do you see needs around you that you can fulfill. Fill them. I think living purposefully and intentionally starts where you're at. Being open and available, but to find His leading you must continually draw closer to Him through His word. Praying for you Lawfolk!

    • Rae Lynn

      LawFolk, you used the phrase that I continually struggle with, “praying for the will of God.” If something, such as healing. Is God’s will, then why do I pray? He either will or won’t provide it. I read that I am supposed to pray with faith and belief but that is hard. I can give thanks, praise, and pray for His help in my daily life. I’m a teacher and I pray every day for Gods help. But the bigger things like physical or spiritual healing – those fill me with doubt.

  • Candace Jones

    This really spoke to me like that is me in the post…sigh…Lord help.

  • Your honesty about your struggle is unfathomable. I wish I could say I was in the same place as you. But the truth is, in order for me to be distant with God, I'd have to talk to Him in the first place. I have, what feels like, a very strange relationship with Him. I am reasonably good at reading His Words, I am reasonably good about letting Him talk, but I am reasonably bad at talking to Him. I can listen, but share? Well, no, that I can't, don't, or won't seem to do. I didn't grow up learning how to pray, I grew up reciting memorized words. I didn't grow up thinking I could talk to God, I grew up thinking that all I needed to know I would get from practicing certain behaviors, while avoiding others. Not long ago someone (Lysa TerKeurst) posted a question on facebook that got me thinking about all of this…….if God came to me next week and said He'd answer all the prayers I prayed LAST week, would I be in awe or devastated? I read about people praying for their kids and their futures and I think, WOW, I don't even know how to start that without coming up with a list of their 'qualities' that I think need to be more Christ centered to make my life easier. Thank you for posting your struggle. If nothing else, it's giving me a starting point…..not to go with ultimatums, but at least to honestly share what's in my heart knowing He can take it.

    • Anna Buchanan

      Dear Jenn I don’t think we ever feel like we’re “good” at prayer. Just go to Him as you are and the Spirit will intercede where you are speechless. Also I recommend listening to a sermon from this past week (March 8) at LMPC in their fellowship hall service. It’s all about belonging, not behaving. Jared Huffman was the pastor in the fellowship hall and you can find it on lmpc.org. I think you’ll find it encouraging.

    • Christy

      Jenn, I’d read this quote recently from Mother Teresa of Calcutta and thought you might like it: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wrestlingwithyourself/2013/01/mother-theresa-and-prayer/

    • Candacejo

      He CAN take it, Jenn…He already knows what is in your heart anyway! He just wants you to share and have conversation with Him. And that is all prayer is…conversation with God. It is cleansing and necessary to surrender and pour our hearts out to an all-knowing, all-loving God. We empty of ourselves and fill back up with His Spirit. His Strength. His Wisdom. He is always there waiting for you friend…♥

    • Sara

      I struggle with prayer too Jenn. It seems uncomfortable to those of us who grew up reciting memorized words. I benefit from my brothers/sisters at our church and hearing their heartfelt prayers – I learn a little each time. Continue through the awkwardness, God knows our hearts.

    • Rae Lynn

      Jenn, I struggle with prayer too. I do it, in fact I talk to God a lot. There are just certain things I question. I’m reading the book “before amen” by max lucado, which is really good. I’m trying increase my faith in prayer.

    • Kim

      I have found the books "The power of a praying Wife" and the counterpart for your kids to be very helpful for me. If you're used to rote prayers ( like I was), this is a great place to start, giving a scripture and trait to prayer every day of the month. You can simply read/pray those written for you. Thanks for your honesty.

    • Caroline

      Jenn, I have found journaling to be a catalyst for authentic prayer. It gives me a place to “share” my joys, my pain, my struggles and confusion. We don’t have to follow any patterns or recipes to speak to God. I would encourage you just to share your life with Him. He so wants to hear your voice. I did a Beth Moore study on wisdom a few years ago and what I remember most from that was something she said about gossip/complaining. Instead of turning to a friend or husband or momma, she encouraged us to take our hurt feelings, insecurities and frustrations to God. Through journaling, I am incredibly honest with God now and it’s so much more real and true to be heard and encouraged and loved on by my Creator than by any human being on earth. He loves us so much it’s unreal and like the author said, no amount of honesty or doubt will change that.

    • Jen R.

      Thank you for being so honest! Sometimes I feel like the only person in the world who hasn't figured prayer out. Like everyone took a class on it one day and I wasn't invited. But more and more I think a lot of people are as insecure about prayer as I am. I grew up Catholic where the bulk of prayer was surrounded by a string of Our Father's, Hail Mary's and Rosary Beads. I was never taught personal prayer. My husband grew up differently, in a family that prays all the time, for everything. Personal prayer at it's finest and often they'll pray out loud together as a family. It's both inspiring and terrifying. I'm slowly getting more comfortable with it since I've found this community. I guess even prayer takes practice. And I love that question that Lysa TerKeurst asked…it's going to be on my mind daily from now on!

      *Here's to our journey in personal prayer!*

  • “Lord do not close your ears to my cry for relief”

  • Hannah - Swansea - UK

    Psalm 121
    I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
    My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
    He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not
    slumber;
    indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
    The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right
    hand;
    the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
    The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
    the Lord will watch over your coming and
    going
    both now and forevermore.

    Thank you so much for your honesty. Praying that you will know God near and be encouraged as you encourage others. Praying for this baby x

  • Stephanie

    But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”—- how true and perfect and relieving are these words! God is made perfect. His live is perfect when we are not. I also loved how our doubts and frustrations pose no threat to Gods love for us. I’m so thankful for promises.

  • Megan Wynne

    I have a close friend and coworker battling extreme depression, to the point of taking a leave of absence from work and life. I feel and see her spiraling into the darkness. She believes in the Lord and knows Him, but I’m not sure she feels him. I am not judging her walk with Christ nor am I pointing a finger. I am praying. I am praying for her heart and her search for happiness in the things here on Earth. She invests so much worry in things of this world. I pray she is on her knees calling to Him. She is in the depths of pain, and I pray she is clinging to Him. I see her in so many of these passages in Lamentations. My heart hurts for her and is woken from a deep sleep at midnight to pray for her. I’m asking for prayer for my friend. She is in the dark and needs to see the light that Jesus is shining upon her. She is such a blessing to many, and I thank God for her everyday. Depression is such an ugly thief of life. I pray for direction, light, and hope for my friend. God, please be with her and show her where you are.

    • misblessy

      i AM PRAYING FOR YOUR FRIEND TOO,HIS GRACE WILL LIFT HER OUT OF DEPRESSION , IN JESUS NAME

    • tina

      Megan, praying for your friend…and yourself….God be with you….Love Tina..x

    • Kay butrie

      Hi Megan, as I was reading your request for your friend, I had a thought of what has helped get me through a very difficult time. First and foremost clinging to Jesus. On top of that, a missionary friend of mine told me about Joseph Prince, a pastor of New Creation church in Singapore. Watching him preach through YouTube and his online site has been very healing for me. He preaches GRACE!! And daily reminds me of who our God really is and how much he loves us! Perhaps you could pass his name on to your friend and by watching she would be helped as well!!

    • MNmomma (heather)

      prayers lifted for you and your friend Megan…..

    • Saundra

      Prayed for your friend to be lifted from the darkness by our very present God.

    • cjackson924

      Megan, I have a friend who is experiencing similar things right now. She recently told me that she is battling pretty extreme depression. She told me that she had contemplated suicide. Thankfully, she is seeing a professional, but I have been praying for her heart. She knows the Lord, but she admitted that her walk with him seems empty right now. I have been trying to encourage her through scripture, prayer, and listening. It is hard though. I continually pray for her, her doctors, and that God would work through me to reach her. I also ask for prayers for me friend. My prayer is the same as yours, God, please be with her, show her where you are, and wrap your arms around her during this dark season.

    • Beth Warner

      Praying for her too.

    • debbie

      depression is debilitating. I have battled it for 8 years. I am finding my way back to the light with God's presence leading the way , his love and grace, with the help and prayer of the people He has put in my path to help me . It is long, its hard and its so exhilaratingly exhausting to keep pushing forward. I pray for your friend and God is with her all the way.

    • Maderia

      Praying for you and your friend Megan.

    • Emily

      Megan, I prayed for your friend. I’m so sorry that she is battling this, but I pray she clings to Jesus. God is gracious. I am confident He hears our cries and cares. Please pray for me as well as I struggle with various doubts and hardness in my heart. I want to want Jesus and to grow in Him. I’m confident that those who wait on Him will be renewed. I’m trusting that for my heart and your friends.

  • Having just lost my mother last week, today’s devotional really spoke to me. Thank you, Diana, for sharing your story. “Our pain and our emotions are real, but so is our God. His grace is enough.” Love these words.

    • Sarah Lahoda

      Emily, I am so sad to hear about your recent loss…one of life’s most significant losses, I believe. I’m encouraged by your courage and faith. I feel led to be praying for you and your heart as you mourn this loss, so I just wanted to let you know that’s sister in Istanbul, Turkey is praying for you. Love to you.

    • Sereta

      Emily your loss is great and no words can make it goes away. May God give you peace and faith to trust Him at this time.

    • brookekiernan

      I am so sorry Emily. You and your family are in my prayers <3

    • Candacejo

      So saddened by your great loss, Emily! Praying God will comfort you in HIS arms this morning. ♥

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Emily….prayers for you and your family lifted this morning….

    • shereadstruth

      Lifting up your family in prayer today, Emily. Love to you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for SheReadsTruth

    • tina

      Emily, sorry for your loss…holding you and your family up to the Lord….a loving sister hug coming your way…God be with you and your family in this sad time..xxx

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