The One Thing That Always Comforts Me

The One Thing That Always Comforts Me

August 14, 2017

“Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (CEB)

Devotion Graphic

He was eating a sandwich, and I was with him when it happened.

He hadn’t been feeling well so when he said he was hungry, I made sure he had something to eat and stayed close — just in case he needed anything. I was sitting across from him at the kitchen table and noticed that as he ate, something was different. Something was changing.

Bite and chew.

Bite and chew.

Bite and …

After the next bite, his chewing seemed to grind slowly to a halt. Then, with a mouth full of food, my husband looked at me and said, “I can’t chew my food.”

He seemed to be himself, but not himself at the same time. He was looking at me, but didn’t seem able to see me. He could move, but his movements appeared labored, odd and slow.

I still don’t know quite how I knew what to do next. I guess somewhere in my formal education I took a class or read something that my mind remembered.

I asked my husband to smile.

Only one side of his face lit up.

My husband is having a stroke, right in front of me, I thought.

Right then and there, our lives changed forever.

I got him to the hospital where he was admitted and where we would spend nearly a week so he could be observed, cared for and treated.

I wanted to be with him so I found a way to make the chair next to his bed a home away from home for a while. The nurses and doctors called him lucky. They deemed his stroke to be mild and expected that after a time, he’d be able to return back to his normal life.

Since that day, more days, weeks and months have passed, and we’ve learned the full impact of his stroke and what it would take for him to travel the long road back to his life — to our life — with a new normal.

He is different. I am different. We are different.

The journey has certainly not been easy, and rarely has it been simple.

But I’m so grateful that through each stage of my husband’s health journey (however scary or difficult it may be), I’ve been able to be with him much of the time — for the hospital stay, the doctor’s visits and drives back and forth to therapy.

A few years have passed since the day my husband had that stroke. This journey with my husband also sent me on a new journey in my faith in God. My faith has gotten stronger — not because things have been easy, but because I’ve witnessed how God has been with us, and how He has faithfully been with me.

Today’s key verse gives me comfort: “Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

Over time, I’ve learned what it means to move forward with strength and courage. I’ve learned what it is to be with my husband, walking alongside him during this difficult season and walking with less and less fear in my heart of what tomorrow may bring as I choose to trust and rest in God. I have fought discouragement, reaching often for my Bible to infuse encouragement from God’s Word into my mind and heart.

God has been faithful to bring just the right Scripture verses, songs or encouragement from other believers at the exact time I needed them. He has been faithful to console me, reminding me I have nothing to fear, because no matter where life takes me, He is with me wherever I go.

And the knowledge of God’s constant presence and care is the one thing that always comforts me.

Dear God, life has thrown me some hard curves. But I’m so grateful You have been there, even when it was hard, dark and scary. Thank You for seeing me in every situation and through every season. Thank You for Your constant, caring presence during difficult life circumstances. Help me live my life in a way that illustrates my trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Are you the woman you want to be? Proverbs 31 Ministries is partnering with Chrystal Evans Hurst as we read her newly released book She’s Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You as our next FREE Online Bible Study. Recognize the woman you were meant to be as you set out on a journey to find direction, purpose and true satisfaction. You can sign up for the study here.

CONNECT:
Remembering the promise of God’s presence helps us move forward without fear. Chrystal is hosting a giveaway on her blog! Click here to download a free printable Chrystal has made available to remind you of God’s presence and to enter to win a copy of She’s Still There.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Have you learned what it means to entrust your fears and concerns to God? How do you know?

How has God’s presence been real to you during difficult times? Share your testimony of God’s care as an encouragement to others.

© 2017 by Chrystal Evans Hurst. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. I have journeyed with my husband as he has battled with diabetes, heart problems and kidney failure leading to a routine of dialysis three times a week. It has not been easy but my faith has grown and I have been blessed with supernatural strength & energy to cope with the extra work of maintaining the house & garden. God is surely with me enabling me to cope with life however difficult it is.

  2. Going thru serious financial struggles right now. I don’t see an end. Prayers appreciated. I fall to my knees but continue to ask. Why

    • “Why” isn’t always ours to know, Donna. “Faith . . .is the assurance about what we do not see.” That is less about knowing the why and more about knowing the who –God, who is with you in good times and bad.

      If you must ask questions, Donna, try these: What lesson do you have for me in this, Lord? Which Bible verses apply to our situation? What is my next step here? How can I be an encouragement to others? What blessings are hidden in these circumstances?

      Lord, give Donna eyes to see you at her side. Give her the strength to grasp your right hand. Give her the peace that passes understanding. Amen.

      • Shirlee-I love your heart and the biblical guidance you offer ladies. Thank you for your ministry.

      • Your words encourage me as well. Those are questions I need to ask as well instead of “why.” Thank you.

      • Thank you Shirlee …. beautifully stated!

      • Shirlee, I agree with the others about your helpful response. Do you have a blog or study/ devotional page? <

        • I love Shirlee’s comments, too, Cathleen! Just click her name to be directed to her SoulsUnderConstruction.com website. Enjoy!

      • Shirlee, Thank you for your faithful heart, guidance and words of encouragement. I know that your posts help not only the person that you are responding to, but also all of the other women who read them. My self included. Thanking God for your faithful heart this morning.

      • What a motivational and thought provoking response. Thank You! 🙏🏾

      • Shirlee, I appreciate your comments. My husband recently filed divorce after 36 years. Satan’s influence is so strong on him. Please help me pray for a breakthrough

        • Certainly, Susan, I’ll pray for you and your husband. And let me suggest a resource to help you pray: Stormie Omartian’s “Power of a Praying Wife” (or even just the shorter “Book of Prayers” version). Her wisdom prays right into the hurt places in a husband’s soul.

          And many thanks to the kind words all of you left for me today. Bless your souls!

          • Thank you Shirlee but things went from bad to worse and no longer have any hope. Just have to let it go. Thanks Susan

      • Shirlee, I love to read your heart and words of encouragement to us here. Thank you for showing us the way to God’s heart, even in the difficult times.

      • I forgot to say, I’ve prayed all day, many days for months, with no answer from God, just totally alone. He’s prayed and God has given him the go ahead daily. I’m dumpy, fat, ugly, mean. God has plans for him. I cannot compete. The other ladies deserve your prayers that can change their lives. Thank you so much for hope, there just is none

        • Susan,
          I will pray for you. God is there with you right now, loving you for who you are. He created you for a purpose and has a plan for you. Rest in His eternal, never-changing embrace, trusting him to carry you right now.

    • Hi Donna….99% of the stuff we get to deal with in life are often unexplainable why we have to through such at all….but we look to His word and believe all things will work together for our good in the end…no matter how bizarre it may seem at the moment. Hang in there sister…God is right there with you in that situation…..rest in His care and I know it is hard…but just …let go..

    • Praying for you, Donna

    • God will provide! I dealt with financial problems for years and I didn’t see the light either. Then one day boom God answered my prayers and he still does. Trust him that he will bless you financially. Then when the struggle is over you can sit back and remember and praise God from where he has brought you from. See it before you see it.

    • Stephanie says:

      God is with you Donna, he will give you what you need and will provide. Trust him and love him. He is with you now and always.

    • I feel the same financial pains. Year to year so many ups and downs, struggling & stress. Somehow, God pulls us through & provides. Small financial miracles. Try not to get out of control, be patient, only buy what is needed…very tough to do, all if it. But then give it all to God & he will provide. Have patience. Count your BLESSINGS & Many PRAYERS COMING YOUR WAY!

  3. Your blogs are definitely inspiring and love reading them

  4. Trinda Rensen says:

    These are words for me as I too walk in a dark scarey place. Often times it is moment by moment that I must stop and fight the good fight of faith.
    Turning my eyes back to a Risen Saviour and knowing He is able to do the impossible, is the only answer.

  5. About 4 years ago, 2013, my husband of 7 years (at that time) started doing drugs again. He had a previous history of drug abuse before I met him, and had been clean for 3 years prior. My whole life turned upside down. I left him because he didn’t want to stop. And then, 4 months later, the father of my three young children ages 13, 11, and 10, died in a freak accident. As if my life wasn’t already shaken, 2 months later I find out my husband was having an affair with a druggy girl and made her pregnant! Could you imagine that? I was torn, and depressed, angry, mad, sad, and BROKEN. And I said “God, why is this happening to me”. “How can I possibly deserve this?”.
    After 4 long years, I healed from all of this, surprisingly. Maybe not completely, nor psychologically 100%, but I healed in some ways or another. This is something I would never wish upon anyone. When I thought God wasn’t with me, He actually was by my side the whole time. Through fasting and praying daily morning, noon, and night, I have overcomed the most difficult of situations. I’m not perfect, and will never be. But I can say now, that I’m a stronger person because of this. Thank You for listening.

    Aloha . . . . Maileen

    • Hi Maileen,
      You truly have been through a lot..thank God the worst of it is behind you…but most importantly I am truly humbled by your testimony that you kept your faith through the whole experience. Your story will encourage and bring people to Christ when they hear it. God bless you!

    • Merle Nursten says:

      Hi Maileen, thank you for sharing your story and you have been through so much. I just wanted to encourage you with a scripture 2 Corinthians 1v3-10 There is a reason we go through these things. My story is similar to yours except my husband died from his addiction 2 years ago.(the father of my son also died in 2002 when he was 2, he’s now 18) But God has not left my side for one second and today I don’t take an single step without Him. Bless you and keep being that strong woman of God!

  6. Ja'net Lovelace says:

    God presence has been so real to me through the ups and downs of my marriage. My husband is a believer but was not living a life that was pleasing to Christ. God spoke to me through so many avenues and I received the word to not give up on praying for him. I decided to dedicate every day to pray for my husband instead of complaining or talking about what he wasn’t doing. When I committed to this and remained faithful and kept my focus on God and not my husbands wrongs I saw great changes in both of our lives. My husband decided to join the church that I had been attending and he decided to give his life totally over to Christ! I am so grateful for this outward confession but I know that his journey is not over it is only the beginning. So I am committed to continue to pray for my husband daily and to trust God for his faithfulness in what life brings!

  7. Brenda Nix says:

    Fifteen years ago my husband had a heart attack at age 44 while we were on vacation. Not knowing if he would live or if he did, how would we as family would change, I surrendered our situation to God. I was scared. I felt alone. Through it all I felt God working in my life. He helped me day to day. He sent the right people into every moment of the experience. From doctors to strangers and friends who were able to help us all take steps toward healing and recovery.
    That was 15 years ago. It took time, but he is healthy today. God is so good. He truly walked with us through the valley. No matter how it would have turned out, He was faithful to walk the path with us all.

  8. Thank you Crystal for a very comforting devotion today stemmed from a deeply personal experience. I believe the greatest joy is when our greatest pains in life becomes the source of our greatest testimony about God’s love.

  9. The beginning of 2017, feeling led by God to pursue some dreams and visions he had in me, I left my corporate position of quality manager and decided to go part-time. Six months into this position, the part-time position abruptly ended. Three months later my husband began what will be a series of three surgeries for a rare skin disease, Hidradenitis Supporative(HS). The timing of this post is impeccable as I look each day for strength from God to bathe him, changes his bandages and encourage him through this humiliating disease. He is a pastor and the latest doctor visit likened his condition to that of Job.
    Surgery number two will be in approximately two weeks.
    But…God. HIS grace has served true to this day yet…it is sufficient. HIS grace is more than enough.

  10. Sarah Taylor says:

    My husband had a stroke November 12,2016. After 2 more strokes and other complications He went to be with the Lord December 12th 2016. God is with me every day.💞

    • Sarah, I am so sorry for your loss. I’m glad that you are staying strong in the Lord though, He is what gets us through all our struggles and gives us strength to carry on. May God bless you and give you peace and courage during this season 🙏🏻💜

  11. Both my husband and I went through a host of health issues for several years starting when he was dianogised with Nose cancer, heart problem then tongue cancer and I had stage 3C ovarian cancer. We took turn to check in and out of hospital for treatments and surgeries. Those were dreadful days but He presence was ever so real to us upholding us through it all. There were times I was fearful, cried till no more tears and worried about the future of our kids without us. Today,we survived cancer and bounced back to lead a normal live by God’s grace and faithfulness. Yes, His promise of never leave or forsake us is true even in those darkest moments.

  12. Stacie James says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this very personal reminder of God’s faithfulness to His people…

  13. Cindy Bradberry says:

    This hit so close to home. my husband had a stroke when he was 42. 10 years ago. My prayers are with you.

  14. I know what it means to entrust my fears to God, because whenever I feel fearful I can remember the scripture where it says “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and, a sound mind.” He does not want us to be in fear but to know and trust Him that he is God and he knows what to do. He is the head of our lives and he will not let any harm come nigh us. I need to step out in faith and out of my comfort zone in his timing for me to do so. I need to be more obedient and not be in fear when he tells me to move on something. I need to not be slow but be on time. God is an ontime God and when he tells us to move and we feel it in our Spirit we should act on it right away and don’t put it off he has a reason why he is prompting us to do something in our Spirit. Don’t be fearful of it just trust Him.

    In difficult times I know God is near me, because in his word he has promised “Never to leave me nor forsake us.” So when I am in a particular situation as well I too find some encouraging words from his promises that will help me to stay encourage and to help others stay encourage. We should always follow the instructions that he has given us to follow. When the enemy comes to our mind to make us doubt remember God’s word and promises he has given us and tell the enemy God’s promise to us. Thank you for your devotion and time you have given me for encouragement. God bless you and your family and Proverbs 31 ministries

  15. thank you so much Crystal for this post which was so honest and real. I woke this morning to “that feeling”. the one that comes and lingers through the downs of life and then through His grace and power is lifted during the up times. I have been praying not to “go there” as I knew a time of challenge was approaching. yet I awoke from sleep with “that feeling” again. This scripture and post was a gift. God thank you for Your presence and helping me to remember You are there.

  16. Julie Gill says:

    Thank you so much for this devotion. The key scripture is one I’ve been leaning on recently. I had a kidney transplant in 2008, I recently found out my kidneys are failing again. I’m in the process of being put back on the transplant list. I’ve been fighting negativity and am trying to stay strong. This devotion just gave me strength to go on. Thank you.

  17. Karen Williams says:

    This devotion was right on time this morning. My sisters and I are flying…a few for the first time and their anxiety levels are high. I shared this verse with them as reassurance that God is with us even in flight!! So grateful for the confidence that we don’t have to be afraid

  18. I am thankful that when decisions were hard to make based on my family and my own life, God took care of it all! He made me realize that he can straighten any curved path… Any path that might seem treacherous is easier with him.

  19. Stephanie Herman says:

    Just want to leave an encouragement for others. I have so strongly felt the Lord’s presence, strength, and peace along our long and difficult journey to parenthood. He has given me a strength I did not know I had.
    My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We started “trying” to have a baby after our first year. Took a year and one miscarriage to get pregnant. Nine moths later we went to the hospital after laboring at home all day only to find out that our son had died. It was devistating. Crushing. But, after he had been delivered and the initial shock wore off there came a “peace that passses all understanding.” Shortly thereafter we choose to continue to try for another baby. Through that process we found out we both had fertility issues making it highly improbable for us to even become pregnant. We chose the route of adoption. It was a long journey, a process through which we also lost another baby through a failed adoption. The birth mother changes her mind after her baby had been in our care for 6 days. At that point, I could still feel God’s overwhelming strength. Just two months later we were notified of a baby girl with some serious health problems. At first we rejected the match, but once again, the Lord showed us his Strength is enough. We said yes and were immediately chosen to parent her. And what an awesome blessing she has been. God has given us strength to get through so much, including her medical journey. When she was two, we found out that for the first time in over six years we were pregnant. We were so excited. Unfortunately, a few weeks later that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Even so, the Lord has provided strength and peace through it all. None of this is to say it was ever easy. Losing a babies SUCKS! Waiting is downright excruciating. Getting turned down by so many birth mothers is hurtful and humbling. But, God held us through it all. He knew the plan he had for our family and we are so happy for the blessing he has given us!

    • My love goes out to you Stephanie!! I have also suffered recurrent miscarriages and it is definitely a special kind of pain and loss. God knew you were the perfect mother for your little girl!!

  20. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you very much for devotion. I needed to hear this today.

  21. I TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR TESTIMONY AND MUST TAKE THE TIME TO THANK YOU AND LET YOU KNOW! JUST LAST NIGHT I WAS EXPERIENCING SOME CONCERNS AND ANXIETY AS TO HOW TO TAKE CARE OF NY 75 YEAR OLD HUSBAND WHO HAS BEEN HAVING SOME HEALTH CHALLENGES LIKE SO MANY PEOPLE! MIRACULOUSLY, GOD HAS BROUGHT HIM THROUGH EACH EPISODE SINCE HE DOES NOT LIKE TO GO TO THE DOCTOR OR MEDICAL FACILITIES FOR PROFESSIONAL HELP! GOD HAS PROVIDED ME WITH WISDOM THROUGH FRIENDS AND THE INTERNET TO HELP HIM GET BETTER EACH TIME!! I THANK AND PRAISE GOD DAILY AND ASK FOR MORE WISDOM, FAITH AND GUIDANCE! HOWEVER, PRAY WITH ME THAT WE BOTH SEEK PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL HELP SOON!! I USUALLY DO BUT LOST MY OBAMACARE THIS YEAR!

    AGAIN, YOUR TESTIMONY INCREASED MY FAITH, TRUST AND RELIANCE ON MY/ OUR GOD!! HE IS SO FAITHFUL AND ALWAYS ON TIME!! MAY GOD CONTINUES TO BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND MINISTRY AND THE MANY WONEN AND MEN YOU ARE TOUCHING AND REACHING! LOVE AND PRAYERS ALWAYS!!

  22. Debra Alexander says:

    Isaiah 41:10 has been a treasure to me for over 30 years now. When my daughter was only 4 years old I had to have my first heart catheterization. I was young and terrified! My great aunt Verna knew this and told me calmly to look up Isaiah 41:10 and hold on to it. I have been holding on to it ever since and here I am with 30 years of life I never expected to have. Praise God!!!

  23. I know I don’t trust in God enough because all I do is worry. I don’t know how to trust in him fully when things remain the same. It’s a huge issue I’m having that I’m praying will change. I want to experience Him in his fullness

    • CW – You pray, pray some more, and when you’re done praying, you pray again. It might not change your circumstances but, it will change you. Reading your bible of course helps too. I hope you come to know His peace that passes all understanding.

  24. My husband needed a heart transplant 10 years ago at age 62. It is now 9 years since he received a donated heart (much appreciation to the family) .God got us both thru it with such grace that the nurses and others who needed the same, told us we were an inspiration to them. God used us and the situation to reach others.

  25. Wow, this is so God’s timing. I am going through a difficult season with a very dear friend of mine. I read Joshua 1:9 and I know that is God talking directly to me. In so many areas of my life this verse has helped me when I felt alone and uncertain of what path to take. Knowing he never leaves me and I can take it all to Him get’s me through each circumstance that life throws at me. Be it small or an overwhelmingly huge obstacle, He is there.

  26. Leah Surall says:

    I watched my husband have a stroke right in front of me. It’s an overwhelming experience. My husband’s stroke occurred 5 years ago. He was only 43 years old. The stroke left him paralyzed from the neck down. He was in a rehab hospital for about 40 days. God allowed me to be there the entire time. I know how uncomfortable sleeping in those chairs can be. It hasn’t been easy but my faith has increased and it’s still growing. I know God as a healer. I’ve watched Him work a miracle through my husband’s recovery. He left the rehab with the ability to walk, feed himself, almost all of his physical abilities back. Now five years later he drives, exercises daily and he’s going to college soon. God is better than GOOD!

  27. Patti Bliss says:

    Thank you for your encouragement. Last year my husband was diagnosed with stage four ensogeal cancer and the prognosis was grime. With lots of prayer and treatment he is now cancer free.PTL I still have it the back of my mind that this can come back, but we are praying that it will not rear it’s ugly head again.

  28. Thank you so much for this devotional today! I, too, have experienced the presence, strength, and power of God as I have battled a chronic health issue for over a year now. He’s always here with us, holding each one of us in the palm of His hand.

  29. I’m really not sure where I would be today if it were not for the love and grace from my Father, Jesus Christ. About 7 years ago, I lost my dad to cancer while at the same time losing my husband to another woman. That same year, my daughter’s liver failed from an autoimmune disorder that no one knew she had until then. She survived, but has cirrhosis from the damage done to her liver. As if that wasn’t enough, we found out just last year that she has a blood disorder that requires a bone marrow transplant, but she can’t have the transplant because of the condition of her liver. She’d never survive it. We’re presently looking into a liver transplant, even though she’s been denied twice already. Without the bone marrow transplant, doctors have given her a year to two, at the most, to live. Also last year, my sister, who had just moved in with me, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away 2 months later. I witnessed her death and to say it had not affected me would be an understatement. I’ve said all of that to say this – even though I don’t know where the journey with my daughter will lead us or how it will end, I know that I serve a God that is able to lift us up when we feel like we can’t go any further. And for that – I’m thankful!!

  30. A little over a year ago, I was unexpectedly living with my sweet baby boy in the hospital. Unbeknownst to us, he was born a medically complex child. He spent the first, very bumpy, seven months of his life in the hospital. He’s home now with twelve hours of nursing a day. There’s so much more to his story, but as we live our new normal, I am forever grateful for God’s peace that passes all understanding throughout our journey.

    My faith was strong before our sweet Sam, but is much deeper now. Like you said, life isn’t always easy now, and it’s definitely not simple, but “God’s constant care is the one thing that always comforts me”.

    Thank you for your encouragement. It’s amazing how life can change in an instant. We know it can, but until we are faced with a dramatic, life altering experience, if we let Him, I believe, God can help make the rough road ahead seem smoother.

  31. Thanks for sharing this with us. It is encouraging for our seasons in life seem to always be changing. 7 years ago GOD blessed me through cancer. I saw HIS perfect timing (not what I wanted at the time) work all things out so I could be with my husband during his 2 week hospital stay after his open heart surgery, one month after my cancer surgery. I had started once a week chemo but radiation couldn’t start at the same time. The day after my husband was home, I received the call that my radiation could begin any time. GOD is wonderful always. HE never changes, leaves or stops loving us. Grateful for those days that brought me closer to HIM.

  32. Thank you Chrystal for being so transparent. Today’s scripture is one I will take into the classroom this year and throughout my personal struggles.

  33. Shuana Hackworth says:

    I am going through a rough season right now trying to recover from a divorce that’s left me financially, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. I have seen the hand of God work. It’s the fears of what am I going to do I can’t handle it all alone. I don’t wonder anymore why my husband walked off and left or why he was abusive or had an affair. I know that all of that is a blessing. I just can’t see the blessing in being left to struggle like this with my kids who are innocent who look to me. There are days that I feel strong others not so much. I go to work despite how I feel. I am continuing to fight and take one day at a time.

    • Mariposa Lucia♥ says:

      Shuana-
      You are a lot stronger than what you might feel at this time. All this too shall pass, He won’t leave you nor forsake you.

      Blessings & hugs♥

  34. Sandra Kocab says:

    I lost my son and his Zone Partner, both were Tampa Police Officers and were murdered June 29, 2010. It was and still is through the grace of God that I have managed to pull myself together and become stronger because of this loss. I can honestly say that I went through the different levels of grief and unfortunately God got a lot of my telling and screaming! Thank God He has broad shoulders because I did my share of crying and doubting. But God kept softly guiding me me through those tough times. I still have some tough days but God is always there. Praising God for His unending love!

  35. Thank you Chrystal- You words were a gift for me today as out last child grace is heading to college and we will all share new beginnings some with some sadness and excitement all in one- I do believe God has a new path
    for all of us and we need to fear .. less. I will miss her so much!!!!

  36. My husband has had heart problems and diabetes since 2005. As we face his health issues we have grown closer to God and each other. In September of 2015 he had a stroke and our lives were turned upside down. He has lost part of his vision but I have become his eyes. In 2106 he had an upgrade a pacemaker/ defibrillator. In 2017 his health declined more, gallbladder stopped working, heart is to weak and would die on the table. Each day I thank God for the blessings of my husband and another day. I know that Jerry will be with our Lord and I will miss him. My job will be to tell our wonderful grandchildren all about their wonderful PaHoney and the life he leads and love he has shared. I am humbled everyday by the blessings and joy that God gives us.

  37. What an awesome woman for sticking by her husbands side when things got “for worse” I hope and pray I can be that woman to my future husband. These past 3 years have been so hard on my sister and I, my mother left our father in our care when his health declined, she went on to pursue her happiness and is living with another man. She has denied the affair, and is fighting back on helping financially, and even won’t divorce him. It is costing us so much. But God is so faithful. He has provided.

    • Mariposa Lucia♥ says:

      I am sorry to hear that, praying for you guys♥ You sure are honoring your dad and God does not oversee that, you will be reaping blessings after blessings Kimberly.
      Hugs♥

  38. I have seen God perform actual miracles in my life and the lives of others, multiple times! The things he has done are not just coincidence and it has literally brought me to my knees in the awesomeness of what he has done and still continues to do .He has and always will continue to be by my side. There have been times that I have felt like I was going it alone. Then something happens and I realize it and I then say “oh, that was you God” and the joy of feeling and knowing that he was there all the while is simply incredibly comforting.

  39. Thank you for sharing this and I can’t wait for our P31 study.

  40. God’s most beautiful plans for our lives are often the most unexpected ones. I have witnessed and walked with my 62-year-old sister through her “new normal” after a bleeding stroke in her brain stem on January 10, 2017. It changed her life drastically from an active wife/grandmother/triathalon-er to someone who couldn’t swallow, walk, eat, write, read and self-care. She has come a long way and has a ways to go. With God’s mercy and grace and patience, she will get there.

  41. Margaret WB says:

    This is one of the most beautiful and encouraging devotions I have ever read as I, too, know how much an illness can change a person and the course of their life. My favourite Bible verse is the same one you chose from Isaiah and it has carried me over the years as I have had two kidney transplants. I have faced challenges and fear, my faith has been shaken but God has always been with me. He is my rock, my strength, my peace, and to Him be all glory as I am celebrating 23 years on Aug. 18 with this transplant. May God continue to be with you as you go through this journey called life.

  42. THROUGH LIFE GODS PRESENCE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE, BUT IN MY LIFE I DID NOT UNDERSTAND
    OR RECOGNISE IT UNTIL INTO MY 30’s WHEN CERTAIN HAPPENINGS IN LIFE WERE BROUGHT TO
    MY ATTENTION BY OLDER FRIENDS. NOW HOWEVER I ASK GOD FOR HELP AND MORE OFTEN THAN
    NOT I CAN RECOGNISE HIS “GIVING”. IN WEALTH, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS.
    THERE IS HOWEVER ONE “PRIVSO” YOU MUST HAVE NO UNFORGIVENESS IN YOUR HEART/ SAY THE
    LORDS PRAYER AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND. (I AM A ROMAN CATHOLIC IN REPUBLIC OF IRELAND)

  43. Kris Dykstra says:

    Thank you for your devotional tribute to Gods care and love through suffering. I found my husband in the garage over 2 years ago having suffered a massive stroke. We are traveling that long road towards recovery as this “new normal” changed everything in our lives except the outpouring of Gods constant love, care and guidance. When I read your devotional to my husband this morning, he asked if I had written it! May we never forget that He holds us with His righteous hand of strength as this stroke recovery journey often leaves us humanly weak.

  44. This has been my life with my husband for many years. It has been a hard journey. He has had 7 surgeries in the last 3 years one thing after another. I have tried to be there for him. The truth is I am a nurse and I take care of a lot of people and I’m tired. This daily devotional hit me right between the eyes. I can rest in the LORD! He hasn’t left and only because of his presence have I been able to get this far! My confidence in him has grown abundantly! I am so THANKFUL!

  45. Janice Alston says:

    Be strong, have faith, and believe, is my motto. I am divorced, live alone and have had my share of health issues and without God, and my girls,and grandkids, and the loving and helping hands of the hospital staff, and the cancer center I wouldn’t be here now. So to you, you are blessed, he is still with you, so continue your walk with God, he is the light and the way. God bless.

  46. Nina Smith says:

    It’s so cool because when we accept Christ into our hearts we gain all the qualities of Christ. He resides within us so we hold all of his power. Kinda like when a parent passes down traits to their children. It’s the same thing as we are children of Christ. SO WE DO HAVE STRENGTH AND COURAGE AND POWER AND MIGHT. We just have to unleash it without doubt or fear.

    A trial I faced was a simple car problem. It wasn’t a big deal, but I was a little worried I could just break down somewhere random, and as a young woman that can be intimidating in today’s world. I went to a car lot to just simply L O O K and do you know what GOD CAME THROUGH– in a BIG way. Not only did I come off the car lot with a new car. I came off the car lot with a car DEBT FREE. The dealership traded me straight across for a newer car with fewer miles than my previous vehicle.

    God is our strength, so even when the enemy seems to have surrounded us with doubt and worry God is there to say HELLO I AM THE I AM. I’m in control and you are my child and I will provide for you.

    If your blessing or miracle hasn’t come yet, KEEP PRAYING and KEEP BELIEVING. IT IS COMING.

  47. I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I will have a lumpectomy this Fri followed by radiation treatments and hormone therapy. This has been so overwhelming for me & my family as well. My faith is strong and getting stronger. i guess my problem is trusting in God’s big plan. I believe He gave me 2Kings 20:5 “I have heard your prayers, I have seen your tears, surely I will heal you.” to stand on. And I believed I would get a divine healing. This hasn’t happened, yet. This has been a contentious point between myself and my family because I wanted to wait on God’s healing and they wanted me to pursue medical treatment stating that I don’t know how God is going to heal me.

    • Take comfort, Wendi, in knowing God’s healing through medical treatment is still God’s healing and doesn’t take anything away from your faith in Him. Remember that Scripture says “Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above….” (James 1:17 NASB). These gifts include doctors, surgery, medicine and medical research. I will be lifting you up in prayer this Friday. May the Lord lavishly pour out his love and blessings on you and your family during this difficult time.

  48. This devotional took me back seven years ago when my husband was having bariatric surgery. The surgeon found cancer and our lives changed forever. I had so much fear but God gave me so much comfort through His Word. I am thankful my husband and I had two good years after that before he went home to be with his Lord. I still have my times of fear and loneliness but I cling to Isaiah 41:10 and Psalm 46:10 that says “Be still and know that I am God.” I try to keep my mind on God all the time!

  49. This was just what I needed to heae. Thanks to God for sending these words through you this morning. It is a very scary time right now in my life and also for my husband. We live in Alabama and will be leaving tomorrow for our second trip to Texas to MD Anderson Cancer center. This week I will be there for brain surgery. This ones a little tricky because its down in the middle not as easy to get to. Its a new laser surgery they have only been doing about a year here in the States and only at at a couple of hospitals. I’m trusting because i know this is in Gods hands, but would appreciate all prayers I can get. Thanks to every one Dorothy

  50. Oh Crystal! I know this journey. It’s been almost 12 years since my husband had his stroke. He, too, was called lucky – but just to be alive. I alternatively see myself in God’s hand or lap and at other times under the protection of his wing. Walking through the fear hasn’t gotten any easier, but turning to Him has been the only way. I see the Lord’s hand through our struggles… my boys were 7 now 19. They learned firsthand that family sticks together, only God provides, and everyone has handicaps – just some can’t be seen. Thank you for reminding me how blessed we are to know Jesus.

  51. As I read this devotional today, my husband is going through a health situation. It has been an on going problem for about 5 years but it is at it’s worst right now. There is a large quantity of blood in his urine. It also has clots and residue. He spent the weekend in observation at the hospital. I must admit that I am frightened about the prognosis, if indeed we can get one. No one seems to know what’s going on and his tests “all look normal and good” so the doctors say. Let me assure everyone, it’s NOT normal! I am fearful, frustrated, and fed up. I know the Lord is in control, but I am legally blind and my husband is the sole bread winner of our family right now. I am trying to get my writing off the ground but it’s a process. I will be watching for Gods handy-work in this matter.

  52. Kathleen Auen says:

    I think that is my favorite verse in the Bible. It has helped me through so many of life’s challenges. I have said it repeatedly when going in to my many surgeries. I will say it again when I have a procedure in Thursday in which I have to have anesthesia. God is so good. He makes promises to us which only He keeps. People let us down, but God never will.

  53. Thank you, Chrystal, for sharing this devotional. “Help me live my life in a way that illustrates my trust in You.” This part of the prayer really spoke to me. I want others to know that I trust Jesus by how I walk through the hard times.

  54. Susan Caldwell says:

    I love this ministry. I have been THROUGH so much I could not list them. But the worst has been these last 2.6 years. As I have been able to draw closer to MY LORD, I have seen NOW how he carried and sustained me. I hold tight to the 2 verse you quoted and I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU, PLANS TO PROSPER ME AND NOT TO HARM ME, GIVE ME HOPE AND A FUTURE. I believe this is the YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOR ON ME. ISAIAH 61. I AM 68 AND GOING TO HAVE TO LEAN MORE ON THE LORD AS EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE AGAIN. LEARNING HOW TO LIVE ALONE(DON’T KNOW WHERE) , FINIANCES, LEARNING THE COMPUTER AND PHONE. I AM GOING TO BE VERY COURAGEOUS, JOSHUA, 1:5 AND JOSHUA 1:7THROUH 9. BRINGS COMFORT AND STRENGTH. OUR GOD IS GOOD. I DO NOT EVEN HAVE 1 GOOD MENORY OF A MARRIAGE IN 47 YEARS SO I TURN TO PSALMS: I AM STILL CONFIDENT ” I WILL SEE GOODNESS IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING”

  55. This new book is awesome. I couldn’t wait to start reading it. I just finished chapter four and I wrote out all the scriptures in the respond section and answered the questions. When the study begins I’ll do it all again believing I will learn even more. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this study.

  56. Wow. As I was reading today’s devotional, the tears came pouring out and I was reliving February 27, 2016… As I watched my husband have a massive stroke. I got him to a stroke center hospital immediately and decided on emergency surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. Surgery was successful but my husband was never the same. He had other medical complications, and was in and out of the hospital for months with serious infections. He was dying, and went to Heaven on July 9th. It’s been a long year since. I now live with and take care of my 80 year old dad full time. My heart is broken, I’m 46 years old, labeled a widow and pitied because I don’t have children. It was not suppose to be like this, not this life. I tried to fill the voids and made some bad choices, trying to hide from God. That didn’t work though, because in the last few months God got my attention with a series of fresh losses! So I’ve returnred to church, am praying like crazy, studying scripture when ever I can, and reading devotionals daily looking for comfort. And here this email arrives with an invitation for such a Bible Study… How can it be? The timing is incredible! I’m so grateful that Jesus led me to this. I have this hope. Thank you for reading my testimony. And may God bless you today and as we study His Word together. Amen

  57. Just want to say thank-you, very powerful. I took care of my mom, for years. My mom ask me to take care of her.
    I said yes, we lived together Nana. My mom was very sick in and out the hospitals and nursing home, also hospice care with MJHS. My Nana pass away on Oct 28,2016. Everyday and every night I was right at my
    Nana side. I sleep in a chair holding my Nana hand. We said our prayers together. My Nana would say I remember that ma. Ma is my nickname I was given. My hope is built on Jesus Love for me. Praise what I do. I ask the Lord to keep in his arms wrap around me. I do feel lost without of Nana, I cry many nights. I miss touching and kissing
    my Nana. I miss going to see her. Oh, Lord I ask you to give me comfort. So, many people are losing family with sickness and passing away. Young and old. Please keep them in prayer AMEN

    • Stephanie says:

      I keep you in my prayers tonight. May God bring you comfort. He is there with you, you just got to believe it. Love is at the center of it all. Love is where you find him.

  58. Teresa McNeillt says:

    God knows what we need when we need it. we found out this past thursday that our son has taken a job teaching math in China. He flies out this thursday. He’ll leave Charlotte NC thursday night to NY and board another plane to China for a year. We don’t know if or when we will be able to communicate with him. Everything is censored in China and our communication technology that we have here in the USA is either banned or does not work. I’m terrified. when you pray for God to keep your children in His perfect will, you better be ready for were the journey takes you. I was not ready for this

  59. I praise God that even in the toughest times, God has made His presence known to me. I’ve felt His presence through His Word, His revelation, family/friends, and through music He sends to speak to my heart…just to name a few ways He has shown up at the right moments to let me know He is still there.

    Thank you, Chrystal, for sharing this reminder that God is ever present, even through the tough times. Praying God continues to be your strength.

  60. Just lost a friend to a stroke. It was sudden and it hurt… and i’ve been questioning… now I’m sighing… this is hard. Thank you for this devotion today. I needed it.

  61. This devotion has spoken volumes to me. Where I am in my life right now is very similar. Sometimes the only person you have to lean on is God. He never leaves us and He never forsaken us. Thank you again for sharing this! ❤

  62. I do not know how to trust God with my fears. I’ve had panic attacks for over 20 years. For the last 2 years my anxiety has gotten worse. I feel like I literally live in fear. And guilt. Because ultimately I’m afraid of suffering & death but since I believe in God, I’m not supposed to worry about those things, right? I feel hopeless; if God hasn’t taken away this anxiety in the past, why would he now? If anyone knows how to truly surrender your fears to God I would love to hear the secret.

    • Hi dear HR 🙂
      I saw your post and wanted you to know you’re not alone. I too am dealing with anxiety but nowhere near the time frame you have. I can’t imagine advising you as I’m sure you’ve heard it all so all I will do is simply share what I’ve been learning. I started counseling several months ago. The first things i were told was to fire up being thankful and grateful. Then find something to look forward to every day no matter how simplistic it seemed. Since God’s word never returns void, I read scripture on trust, peace, joy and hope. I haven’t been by myself since April when my husband works second shift for a week every month (tight breathing scary).Right now my hubby is on second shift and I am doing fine! I’m taking back territory little by little. God is healing me and I will walk out of this.I want the same for you dear:)There’s an FB group that I’m a part of and it started this summer for Christian ladies dealing with anxiety and depession.The group is called Living Loved in Christ- Women’s Group and began out of response to one of these devotionals.
      I would be happy to add you if interested and you’re on Facebook. Hope you’re having a good weekend:)
      Monica Liberatore

  63. Denise Davis says:

    My daughter is trying to regain custody of her son who is only four. The father has made so many bad deceauons and now my sweet precious grandson is caught up in the mess. He needs to be with his Mom and papers have been filed for that but the battle seems never ending. Tomorrow the Judge is supposed to review all of it and make a temporary decision. Oh please oh Lord we’ve fought so hard so tired and weary. Help us

  64. CAROLINE WANJIRU says:

    Thank you for the noble job that your doing by encouraging us women.I feel blessed this morning and will continue fighting the good fight of faith.Am a single mum and it has not been easy raising my two kids on a 20,000 shillings continue praying for me and my kids.May God bless you abudantly

  65. Magdalena Torrecampo says:

    I love the story you shared. I wish I can be strong like you. I have lots of issues in my life and I always pray and like God says leave everything in His hands. At the church last Sunday that’s what the priest says, too. I can’t stop worrying.

  66. My husband also had a stroke in March. And yes, “He is different. I am different. We are different.” And God thankfully is the SAME caring, faithful, loving God!

  67. As I read this blog, I reflected on how God provided me with strength, endurance and will-power during my husband’s period of suffering with sciatic nerve. I watched him sleep at our kitchen table for 5 months. During these 5 months I managed to take care of our children. I had to get them both to basketball practice, help with homework, cook , clean, need I say more. In addition, I have older parents in which I go by at least once/week, grocery shop one/month and tried to respond to my mom needs. In addition I’m the care giver to a cousin in the nursing home. Oh But God. Need I say more, Prayer and supplication. God can do all things. If there’s someone out there with a lot on their plate, let me encourage you to place yourself in His care.

  68. Natalie Milom says:

    I’m currently trusting God through what started as a very debilitating trial. My husband left us on 12/12/17. Through this process, there were times when I literally felt like I was going to die–panic attacks and all. Fast forward to 7 months later, I lost my well-paying with a nonprofit that I started. What I know and trust is that while things don’t feel good, they’re ALWAYS working for my good. I’ve had to rely on God a whole lot more and have grown so much closer to him. I’ve begun healing from the pain of my marriage,doing my work in the areas that I need it, and have truly lived the scriptures “be anxious for nothing, but in all things through prayer and supplication, make your requests known to God. He will give you peace that passes all understanding. I had an interview in another state today for the same position as my former one in which I’ll earn a 27% higher salary. God closed some big doors. Yet, as I wait I the “hallway,” I’m starting to see the glimpses of light peeking through the door that God is opening for me. I’m truly resting in him and remembering there’s nothing to fear and that God will continue to be with me in the new place!

  69. I was absolutely in the very same place 2 1/2 years ago. The only difference is that I was also recovering from 3 back surgeries. God has been so very real and precious to both of us, and this verse especially! He has not fully recovered as much as we would have liked but he can function and care for himself. He is unable to communicate – expressive aphasia. And now he has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, no doubt a results of the med for a-fib. But we are moving forward with yet another “new normal” clinging to HIS promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you so much for this sharing of your life.

  70. Elesa Becker says:

    This devotional came at a perfect time as today is another MRI for my husband . He is in his 18th month of this journey called brain cancer. He was diagnosed Feb 2016 with a grade 4 Glioblastoma. The last year and a half have been the hardest of times, but also the sweetest of times. God has blessed us beyond anything we could have imagined with those that have come alongside us, praying for us, loving us, supporting us, and caring for us. It has been a very humbling experience, but one that has drawn us closer to each other, to our family, and to the Lord. The verse shared in this devo was perfect for today (I love how God does that!) as each MRI seems to get harder and harder to fight off the scanxiety. “Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (CEB)

  71. Thank you for reminding me of God’s constant walk with us. My 18 year old son had a massive stroke while working out and was very close to not surviving it. He was flown to Duke Hospital and underwent emergency surgery to remove part of his skull in order to survive. He was paralized on his right side, lost vision on his right and suffered aphasia and apraxia. He could no longer speak to us or understand English. Instead of going of to college, he went to rehab in Atlanta for 4 months to learn to walk again. We are now 4 years into rehab and the rebuilding of language has been an incredible trial. God has brought us through much and we have prayed constantly that our son would not fall into discouagement and depression. It has changed all of our lives forever but we know that God’s plans are greater than ours.

  72. Thanks for this Chrystal. I’ve learning these truths too. I know in this world we will have troubles, but thankfully we have great hope because Jesus has overcome the world! When I am going through great trials I have learned to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, and not the trial. He is the answer, He is the source of my strength, He is Hope itself. In over 50 years of knowing the Lord, He has never failed me yet! 😉
    God bless you, your husband and your family!

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