The Year I Didn’t Want to Buy an Easter Dress

The Year I Didn’t Want to Buy an Easter Dress

April 7, 2017

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2 (ESV)

Devotion Graphic

Last year as Easter quickly approached, my daughter Kaitlyn asked me to take her dress shopping, which we’ve done every year since my daughters were little.

We spent hours looking until she finally found the perfect dress. As we were paying, she asked, “Hey Mom, aren’t you going to buy an Easter dress this year?”

I responded, saying, “I have lots of dresses. I don’t really need to spend money on a new one,” but my next sentence made my heart skip a beat: “Besides, I’m not that excited about Easter this year anyway.”

She shrugged with a faint smile and muttered, Oh, okay,” with a little hug as we picked up our bags.

Driving home, tears trickled down my face. What kind of mother tells her child she isn’t excited about Easter? How could I say I wasn’t enthusiastic about the celebration of the resurrection of the Son of God? What kind of Christian says that?

I felt so ashamed for having those thoughts, much less speaking them aloud to my precious child. Mercy.

But I knew this Easter was going to be incredibly different and hard. It would be the first Easter Sunday in 26 years where my family wouldn’t attend church together. Instead of looking forward to the celebration for all the right reasons, I was secretly dreading it, knowing it would be difficult to get through the day.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, my husband and I had abruptly separated six months earlier. Holidays look different through the lens of a broken heart and a broken family, and I thought and felt differently about them too. Rather than focusing on the meaning of the resurrection, my thoughts centered around my earthly problems. Sometimes when life is heavy, our hearts and minds can get heavy, too.

That’s exactly why in today’s key verse (Colossians 3:2), Paul encourages us to set our minds on the things above — not the problems of this world. Because whatever we set our minds on determines our thoughts, drives our emotions, fuels our words and actions, and ultimately steers the direction of our faith. When our thoughts are sinking, our hearts will too.

However, if we intentionally fix our attention on “things that are above,” — what makes us joyful, hopeful and positive — like the resurrection of Jesus Christ, eternal life, hope found in our Savior and blessings of all kinds that make us smile, then our attitudes can stay uplifted, despite our circumstances.

God gave us free will to choose mind over matter or let the matters of life control our minds. The choice is ours, and that important choice will determine the direction of our faith and our ability to enjoy God’s joy and peace, even when our hearts are heavy. Unsinkable optimism, hope and faith hinge on where we choose to focus our thoughts, not on life’s circumstances.

This brief conversation with Kaitlyn was a wake-up call. I didn’t realize the toll my thoughts, heartache and emotions were having on my outlook, much less my faith walk, until the second I spoke those unfortunate words. Yes, life was hard in the moment. Things certainly hadn’t turned out the way I’d hoped. But hard things in life don’t have to harden my heart. I prayed all the way home from our shopping trip that day, asking God to restore my joy and peace, refocus my thoughts, and change my mind from the inside out.

We all experience hardships in life, but regardless of what we face, Jesus died on the cross for our sins, rose on the third day and ascended to sit at the right hand of our Father. He assures us a beautiful future in heaven with Him, even when life gets ugly. Those divine truths are reason enough to celebrate Easter with an overflowing heart of gratitude and praise. And certainly enough reason to buy a new dress.

Dear Lord, draw my thoughts upward toward You every minute of every day, but especially this Easter. Help me resist the temptation to focus on the painful things of this earthly life and learn to control my thoughts so they don’t sink my faith or joy in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Romans 12:2a, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (NLT)

Romans 8:6, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (NIV)

Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” (NASB)

If you’re facing difficult times, maybe a change of mind could also change your heart — even if your circumstances remain the same. Purchase Tracie Miles’ new book, Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies for Transforming the Way You Think, Feel, and Live to help you discover how to do exactly that.

Visit Tracie’s blog for more encouragement about embracing joy in Jesus this Easter, and find out how to claim five free valuable gifts worth $60, with your purchase of Unsinkable Faith before April 29!

Is it possible your thoughts and feelings about negative circumstances have stolen your joy, optimism or enthusiasm for celebrating Easter? Spend some time with God today, and invite Him to begin a positive transformation in your thoughts.

Spend time in prayer, thanking Jesus for giving His life on the cross for you. Make a commitment to focus on Him and His goodness instead of the things of this world.

© 2017 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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  1. SallyAnn says:

    Thank you Traci for this. I really needed to read this today. What a blessing this has been to me.

  2. Allison says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear/read. It can be easy to get caught up in the cares of this life…and when I do…I can get down and crumple and complain. But our God is merciful and sees me right where I am.

  3. This touched my heart in so many ways and I prayed for you and your husband and your family. Thank God we have the hope of Jesus, there are so many that just don’t. Suicide rates are highest in the springtime and one’s thoughts can certainly travel that direction, but with the incredible hope Jesus gives us so many could turn to Him instead. We must be bolder to share Him with others more and more, especially our teens.

  4. NeysaMicheli says:

    Beautiful message. Thank you!

  5. “Hard things don’t have to harden my heart.” Wise words, Tracie. An”d you got your new Easter dress: ” a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3).

  6. Renea Belga says:

    Thanks for sharing. We all have problems in today’s world and it’s so easy to lose focus.

  7. Gilda Opher says:

    Tracie, thank you for the many reminders. No matter what is going on in our personal lives, business, turmoil heartaches Jesus suffered the greatest turmoil & heartaches for us on Calvary.
    May God bring peace & unity in your family.

  8. Gayle S says:

    Looking for the joy beyond the circumstances — thank you, Tracie.

  9. Amanda Mealey says:

    This was much needed! My father died in October so holidays have been hard for my mom and the rest of the family. This was perfect!

  10. Traci Lacayo says:

    My husband doesnt believe so we have never been allowed to celebrate Easter in our home. My parents go all out however and this year due to my work schedule we will not be going home for Easter…I dont even have a church down here where we live. Your devotion made me realize I need to still do a celebration even if its pancakes in my pajamas…its hard when its just not there or allowed.

    • Dear Traci, may God give you wisdom and peace in your home…and may he give you love for your husband, even when you don’t “feel” the love…

  11. Dawn Goswick says:

    Thank you for today’s devotional. Oct 4th my son walked moved out to live with my ex husband (the day before his 18th birthday). I was given no explanation, only snide comments from my narcissistic ex who orchestrated the whole thing. Every day is an emotional battle because I miss him immensely, but he refuses to see or speak to me. Christmas was especially difficult. I wanted no parts of it. Your message today was a reminder that it’s not about the secular celebration and what the world has made of Christian holidays. Whether I’m on the mountain top or going through the valley; Jesus is worthy of my praise. 🙌🏼

    • Dawn, Im so sorry for what you’re going through. So many levels of heartbreak, and my heart goes out to you. Praying for God to fill you with an overwhelming peace that surpasses understanding and joy that is immeasurable. Praying God would convict any hearts that need convicting and help them see the error of their ways. Hoping you can enjoy this Easter holiday! He is worthy for sure!

    • Dawn, I am sorry about your current situation with your son not talking to you – pray and seek God; ask HIM to show you what HE has for you this season – perhaps there is a not for profit agency who dedicate their time in helping children [children who come from homes where there is limited income or parent is mentally unstable]. They may need someone to come in and read to them, to take the time and listen to them, color books with them or even help teach them to bake cookies. Some agencies are equipped with small kitchens – I know there are a number of places that are in dire need of someone like you, a mother…who loves her children, who can love someone else’s child who is in need of that love. Take this season of your life and open your heart to those who do want to receive it….your son will come back to you.

    • Praying for you Dawn. I know the pain of being rejected by your son. I have gone through a similar situation where my middle son did not speak to me for 18 months. It was easier for him not to talk to me than feel his father’s wrath if he did. The path of least resistance is easier sometimes. Remain faithful in the midst of pain and keep seeking God…He will see you through. Nothing is impossible with God. He will redeem the situation.

  12. Thank you for this message.I pray for you and your family as well. We all need this reminder. It hasn’t been the smoothest of seasons for me and constantly remind myself that I am not alone for I know He is with me. He knows what we are going through and He will guide us,provide for us,hold us. I experienced this with a car accident. My fault. The Lord was with me and I told everyone it was a.God thing. I felt so ashamed and guilty and I received hugs from the girl whose car I hit,her mom, the wrecker.It was amazing. He knew what I needed.Praise the Lord!He me first.Again thank you.I accidentally woke up an hour earlier just now to realize I was supposed to read your message and respond.God bless you.

  13. Thank you for your heartfelt devotional. Like you, I too had an abrupt end to a 26 year marriage. I am still trying to figure it out some days. But I do know that God is my comforter and I have had to fully trust in Him. Keep looking up Tracie. Our God will redeem us! Thanks for sharing your heart and life story💗

  14. Indeed He is King and worthy to be praised! May He be the lifter of our heads so we can keep our eyes on Him and His never ending Love and faithfulness and mercies anew this morning – thank you Tracie for your writings that bring us back to His Presence and Peace. Bless you , sweet sister .

  15. Amy Curtis says:

    Wow… It seems as though you were speaking directly to me this morning. I feel like my family is falling apart and am trying to put my focus on God, but my mind continues to think about the present. Thank you!

  16. Antiontte says:

    Such a Rhema word for this season in my life…Blessings 🙏🏾

  17. I just want to say thank you.

  18. My husband passed away last month; today is our 38th wedding anniversary. This devotion helped me think about focusing on the blessings of my life instead of being sad that my husband is not here to celebrate with me. I have joy and peace knowing that because of Easter my husband is in heaven today!

    • Pat…praying for you today. I hope that God can comfort you and make today “special” as you reflect on all the good things. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband.

    • Pat, Im so sorry for the loss of your sweet husband. Praying God fills you with joy and peace this Easter and surrounds you with people who love and adore you!

  19. Thank you! This really hit home with me. My husband left and has now filed for divorce. I am devastated. He doesn’t want to consider reconciliation, but says he has moved on. After 30 years, I am definitely “looking at life through the lens of a broken heart” as you say.
    I’d like to know more about what happened to your marriage and how you continue to work through the tough times. I pray, but the hurt is still unbearable sometimes.

    • Sister. I will pray for you and your husband that our father God brings healing and restoration. I am going through a similar battle because my Husband has left the home. I am left with my 3 kids. What has helped me is constant prayer for my Husbands Soul, asking God for forgiveness, peace , comfort, wisdom and strength to help me get through this battle. Just remember it’s only a reason. God is with us through this hard time in our lives. God is faithful and He will bring us through this journey. Trust God, because He will work all things for our own good. God Bless you sister

  20. The message was good to focus totally on what Hesus accomplished on the cross! Hallelujah!!! But the rationalization to buy a dress is off. Wear something in the closet and send the money to a great charity.

  21. Michele Bonifanti says:

    Needed this at this time as a number of negative things are going on in my family. So true to keep our mind on things above. Thank you for posting.

  22. Thanks Tracie for this deotional reminder. Words come out from our hurt b/4 we even think. I have had that happen to me recently. It made me feel just like you so clearly explained. We must focus on JESUS and HIS resurrection power to help us guard our thots. It is easy to think but hard to follow thru in hurts.

  23. Thank you Tracie for the devotion today. I’ve gotten this way about holidays/celebrations in general. My eyes are open this morning to the truths you state. Thank you..

  24. Jessica says:

    I’m in some ‘unforeseen circumstances’ with my 17-year marriage and husband right now – you spoke to my heart today. I can’t let my heart harden over earthly circumstances and Shaddai alone has the strength I need – thank you for your devo this morning. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together!!!

  25. Melanie says:

    Yes this easter will be hard ,mom has been gone 2 months now and we just put my dad in his new home,thank you for sharing ,I must walk in faith knowing my dad is well taken care of and that I need to rejoice in jesus this easter….

  26. Oh that the world would hear this. And God’s people be moved enough to prayer. Thank you for this beautiful word.

  27. To be honest when I get my blog through Proverbs 31 in my email every morning, i read the title, and then I (notice the I) decide if I think I need to read it. Well today I said “Oh that’s not going to help me”, but surely enough… As Always 🙂 it was just what I needed. Thank you for your honesty. It is nice to know that you are not alone sometimes in life in our thoughts and emotions.

  28. Buying new Easter dresses was a family tradition in my family too and then with my daughter growing up. Some 15 years ago our daughter and son in law were in the throws of infertility doctors and expenses following her two miscarriages. So that Easter she didn’t want to spend money on a new dress and wore the one from the previous year. A so-called friend from her Sunday school class spotted her across the church parking lot that Easter morning and shouted to her that she looked cute in her dress…just as cute as she had looked LAST Easter in that dress! She was certainly deflated and depressed. We never know what is happening in the life of another believer. I am sorry for your devastating news Tracie. I, too, had no joy for a very long time in the years that followed the loss of my health and disability. I remember what it’s like to want joy in Jesus again but not be able to grasp it. One morning years later out of the blue my joy was restored and bubbled up from within me like a fountain. Joy in Jesus is a gift of God. I pray God gives you joy this Easter and every year hear after.

  29. Deborah says:

    Thank you so much for setting my mind straight on this Friday. This is Exactly what I needed to hear. I have so many of the earthly things that are weighing so heavy on my heart that it’s taking me away from what’s above. My child is in so much trouble, my former husband just married the mistress, my Financial struggles are overwhelming as I start over my life, sometimes it’s just too much. I must remember to learn to look up and say thank you for all that I do have .God bless you for being here for us

    • Deborah, I know how you feel and can totally relate. Sometimes it does just all feel like too much, in fact I spoke those exact words just last weekend! But it’s never too much for God and He is always with us. Praying God fills you with the sense of His Presence, protection, provision and love!

  30. Hi! Thank you so much for opening up your heart and life to us. Your realness is refreshing. I’ve so been putting off getting ready for Easter this year. I’m going through something with my marriage, as well. We are currently separated in our house, supposed to start counseling next week, again,and the kids think everything’s good in their home now. (it’s so heart breaking) Our “Christian” counselor leaves much to be desired so I have very little confidence in him but he’s it for this area, that I know of. I went to bible school and also school for family studies/ psychology so I know a week counseling session when I see one. Please pray for us and in the mean while I will continue to seek God’s words and set my mind on things above! (Music is very help
    full tool for my mind set) THANK YOU!

  31. I can so relate to this devotional. This one hits home for me. I lost my brother in The first week in November to a drunk driver 23 years ago,and lost my dad to a car accident 17 years later in the same month,Because of that Thanksgiving has not been one of my favorite holidays.For a few years I wouldn’t even celebrate it.Still hard for me but I try to make the best of it. My dad and brother were both saved and I know I will see them again one day.I do have something to be thankful for and that’s for Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and accepting Him to be our Lord and savior so we too can go to heaven

  32. Going through a tough period right now! Thank you for sharing. A much needed reminder that we need to focus on our Lord above and not on our struggles of this earth!

  33. This message is so timely for the season I’m experiencing right now. Lately, I have been struggling to keep my thoughts, mind and heart in a positive place… I’m constantly surrounded by people but lately I’ve been feeling so alone, my marriage seems like it’s slowly slipping away, we are struggling financially, my oldest daughter is questioning her faith, I’m struggling with weight and health problems and it seems that the harder I try, the more problems I face… I realized yesterday while doing a devotional and reading through my bible that because I had just recently decided to dedicate my life to the Lord, the enemy was fighting full force to keep me away from Him… And it seems the closer it gets to the date I am to baptized, the harder he is fighting… Thoughts even crossed my mind saying that I wasn’t ready to be baptized because of my ways of thinking lately and bc of the troubles I was facing. Joel said something that I love and has stuck with me since. He said, “The devil wouldn’t be fighting you, if you were on his side.” When I remind myself of this, I realize that everything I’m facing and struggling with is only bringing me closer to God. So instead of complaining or thinking negative, I’m trying to find something good in every situation and I’m reminding myself to praise and thank God for it, right then, at that moment… It’s a constant struggle but I’m praying daily for God to change me from the inside out as well. Thank you for your message and your honesty.

    • Praying for you Amanda! The enemy does attack when we devote ourselves to our faith, so keep up the good fight an don’t get discouraged. One day at a time. Think positive. Praying for peace and joy to fill your heart!

    • Rebecca Shipp says:

      I am so glad you are praying and choosing to be positive, you are an over comer with Christ Jesus! I will be praying for for you Amanda. Your sister in Christ

  34. Thank you for sharing Tracie, and for comments by Shirlee, Gilda, and others. I needed this today, especially the words regarding how the hard things in life don’t have to harden my heart. I know that, but thank you Jesus, those words become new when breathed into our day by another sister in Christ. I too am going through a divorce after 42 years of marriage and it’s sad and hard, but I am no longer alone in this struggle with stuff of this earth that does not honor God. Thank you, to my sisters in Christ, for tenderizing my heart today.

  35. Thank you for your devotional. Like you, I too had an abrupt end to a 33 year marriage almost 5 months ago. My husband totally blindsided me. I am still trying to figure it out some days. This week has been extremely hard. He found a older women and takes and wines and dines her and stays at motels. But I do know that God is my comforter and I have had to fully trust in Him.

    • Kim, Im so sorry. My heart truly goes out to you and I understand heartache and confusion. I pray God will fill you with peace and comfort, in addition to understanding and clarity for your next steps. Don’t let your husband’s rejection steal your self confidence and self esteem. You are valued, esteemed and love by God and Im sure by many people as well. Stand strong. Think positive!

  36. Jana Hack says:

    Wow. This made me cry! Not because my husband & I personally went thru this…but because my son & his wife did. They are now divorced, and I had never known such pain as I did the day they separated. Their twin boys were barely 2 years old at that time, and I literally felt my heart break, and was afraid I would end up in a mental hospital. I could barely function! The least little thing brought me to tears. I couldn’t eat. Didn’t want to go anywhere. All that being said, I completely ‘get’ this devotion, and will pray for you. (Don’t know if you & your husband are back together, but will pray God’s best blessings on you for whatever you need from Him.)
    Just thank you for sharing your heart. Your words truly touched MINE.

  37. I’m forwarding this devotion to my small group with the caption, “Buy that Easter dress!” What a great reminder to keep celebrating our heavenly inheritance in spite of our circumstances!!! Your supporting scriptures have been our group’s discussions this week.
    Happy Easter Tracie!😉

  38. Easter is not about a new dress but about Jesus dieing on the cross and rising again.I have gone through life doing the Easter dress thing to but as I have grown in Christ and life I have realized how we get so focused on the earthly things instead the only thing that really matters and that’s living for Christ.

  39. Thank you Traci for this heart felt devotion. I can relate to a lot of what you were saying. My marriage of 26 years has been rocked by my husband having an affair. We are working on rebuilding our marriage but some days it is so hard. It’s so hard to build trust, intimacy and even love for someone. I just got your new book and am looking forward to reading it. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us.This devotion really touched me.

  40. stephanie says:

    Praying for your marriage and family…

  41. Looking back today, I think I kind of let life happen to me the past 10 or so years. . .due to failed relationships and spoiled dreams. I feel so very guilty for not finding passion in the greatest blessing I have here on earth. . .my son. I know I love him dearly and I never miss an opportunity to say so. . .but living life passionately with your child is a gift I cheated him of. . .pouting and sullen at some points. . .and just numb and blank at some others. I am grateful God has prompted you so quickly to try to shake off those emotions. I know too well how difficult it is. Hugs and Prayers!!!

  42. Been working on the discipline of my thought life, an ever present journey moment by moment. It is not easy to surrender each thought, however I am finding the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit to help. Downhere has blessed music, one song of which the lyric goes, “please don’t let me get the better of me, take this earthly thing and make it finally, something heavenly.” I can definitely be my own worst enemy. God bless you for sharing your tender experience. May this Resurrection Day be a joyous one for you and your family.

  43. This is exactly where I am at. Dreading Easter because of the exact same reason. Thank you for sharing you story.

  44. The year our 4 year old son was tragically killed in an accident on our farm was extremely difficult. When Easter was approaching I was, like you, dreading another Holiday without him. It was almost as though the Lord said directly to me. “Linda, think about how much you loved your son. I too loved my Son. I love you so much that I sent My one and only Son to die for you and for Travis.” Because of Easter. I will see my son again. Until then Travis is waiting for me in heaven .

  45. Rhonda Funderburk says:

    I felt the same way this past Christmas. It was the first Christmas after my son moved thousands of miles away. It’s so hard to not have your family together for holidays, especially the first time. The closer Christmas got I started to became more focused on the true meaning of Christmas and realized that I was making it all about me instead of Jesus. I started reading the scriptures daily about the birth of Christ and praying more too. It helped me to get focused and stop having my little pity party.

  46. Thank you for this beautiful message. It came at the right time. My family is going through a new transition and I really need to seek him during this time. Thank you so much for your wisdom!

  47. Susan G. says:

    Truth words here!
    I have to filter every thought through Christ when I’m down or negative or have a bad attitude. I try to focus on Him instead! Reading His Word gives me a whole new perspective as well.
    Thanks for the reminders!

  48. Leisha Sayers says:

    Such beauty and truth in your words today. Every year on Easter, my family has not only celebrated Jesus but used it as a time for an annual family portrait. This Easter there will be no family portrait. My precious 21 year old daughter went to live with our resurrected savior in October and I am heartbroken. I am choosing, however, to rejoice and worship our savior, because through Him and His work on the cross, my family will one day be complete again. We will never have another family portrait this side of Heaven but we will join my daughter and Our Father in Heaven, and that is the family picture I desire the most.

  49. Cristina says:

    This devotional was very helpful in making realize that no matter what we are going through, God is still with us. Currently my Husband has left the home and I found myself on focusing on that situation and evrything else that was going on in my life and not giving my 100% undivided attention to my Father God. The thoughts were robbing my joy, peace and happiness.was trying to make sense of evrything but then I began to read the bible more and more and get closer to God. I began to accept that there is a purpose for this suffering. God is faithful.

  50. Carole Aldrich says:

    Thank you. It isn’t always easy to look beyond problems & disappointments, but deep down I know God is completely in control. He has good things in store for us if we wait patiently for His timing

  51. Tracie, I read proverbs31 devotional every morning. Yesterday, I had a late start and didn’t get to this. Reading it this morning, I know that God was guarding my heart. I was scheduled to work the entire day with my husband, who abruptly left our family 9 weeks ago. Like you, due to circumstances beyond my control, my family will not be celebrating Easter together. And, my heart has been hurting thinking about this huge change. Thankfully, our young church has added services every day of That holy weekend, so my girls and I are planning to stay busy. I understand regretting moments when I have let my girls see my heavy, broken heart affect my faith and focus on God. Thankfully, He has surrounded us with a community of believers who are pouring into all of us every week. Although there have been so many opportunities to be thankful, I am particularly grateful that I found the book “A Traveler Toward the Dawn.” It has helped me to see my disappointment and frustration in the light of a life’s journey, with God orchestrating (as we all know He does) all for His glory. It is allowing me to have not only grace for the down days, but to seek to fully experience God’s love for me and live as the vessel he made me. It is a hard time, no doubt, but I can see and feel the light of God more each day…whether through the simple experience of resting in the warm sunshine or giggling with my kids about inane or absurd things, including our circumstances some days! This experience is giving me a heart for women who have gone and are going through this kind of abandonment without a Christian community. Thank you so much for sharing your story and blessing those of us who are walking the same journey. God bless you!

  52. YVONNE STOVALL says:

    I needed this yesterday; my day was horrible !!! That’s putting it lightly… somewhere during the day I allowed my thoughts and emotions to snatch the joy and peace that I had arrived to work with. God is right on time… I’m going to take a moment and study the above verse. Thanks for allowing God to use you to reach others.

  53. Rosie Rugg says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful devotional. What an AWESOME reminder to my heart that even when life isn’t good that God is always good (ALL the time!) and that there is always something to be grateful and thankful for ESPECIALLY the Ressurection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Hope of all mankind.

    I pray peace & blessings be with you and your family and all of the folks who have shared that they are going through difficult moments in their lives at this time. God will supply every need, according to His will, and He is ALWAYS enough to get us through whatever we are facing❣️

  54. Sally Ann Price says:

    Great devotion!

  55. Dear Sister Tracie,

    I appreciate your openness to let us see your wound. I have always looked up to you as a “story book” wife and family. I NEVER imagined that you experienced a broken marriage relationship. I’ve been there three times. I now realize that I beat myself up and felt less than and a failure although I did my best. I KNOW you did your best. Thus just shows me that God’s grace us still sufficient. So there is a different outcome… a sometimes bitter sweet story. God will continue to get the glory fir your life as well as mine.

    I FINALLY got to a place of breathing space and feeling like I am in the right place at the right time and that I can be myself. Life is good. Keep your chin up. Keep trusting that Gids plan is good. He will prosper you, give you hope and a future. I’m truly sorry for your pain. At the same time, I TRUST God has a plan for your good!

    Your Sister in Christ,
    Terri 😇

  56. Dear Sister Tracie,

    I appreciate your openness to let us see your wound. I have always looked up to you as a “story book” wife and family. I NEVER imagined that you experienced a broken marriage relationship. I’ve been there three times. I now realize that I beat myself up and felt less than and a failure although I did my best. I KNOW you did your best. Thus just shows me that God’s grace us still sufficient. So there is a different outcome… a sometimes bitter sweet story. God will continue to get the glory for your life as well as mine.

    I FINALLY got to a place of breathing space and feeling like I am in the right place at the right time and that I can be myself. Life is good. Keep your chin up. Keep trusting that God’s plan is good. He will prosper you, give you hope and a future. I’m truly sorry for your pain. At the same time, I TRUST God has a plan for your good!

    Your Sister in Christ,
    Terri 😇

  57. Courtney says:

    What a great reminder!

  58. I was thinking this didn’t really have anything to do with me but then it occurred to me . . . I was so down yesterday. So stressed about life circumstances. I didn’t even know that Palm Sunday was today until someone mentioned it a few days ago. That’s how focused I am on my own problems. Easter snuck up on me this year. It’s time to refocus and direct my thoughts on Him and my blessings. Thank you for this devotional.

  59. I am never excited for Easter or Christmas for that matter. We don’t celebrate either in our home anymore and I have taken the words in Mark 7 to heart in this matter. We observe Resurrection Sunday, and choose to read scriptures about Passover, Passion week and the Resurrection to our children instead. We do not buy into the secular observances any more by attending egg hunts and believing in mythical bunnies or at Christmas the guy in the red suit, trimmed trees, nor light up our house with hundreds of tacky little twinkle lights. You know what; since we stopped observing these man made mostly worldly holidays Holy Spirit has filled our family with so much joy in these seasons it’s amazing!

  60. Thank you for sharing some of your personal experience. It’s true that God’s goodness is always greater than our sadness. I think the more renewed our minds are, the easier it is to focus on those higher things and not on earthly ones.

  61. Love the encouragement, truth and direction this article gives. I used to buy a new dress for Easter, until Jesus revealed Himself to me and I understood that my robe now is white as snow, and I never wanted a new dress for Easter again. Don’t misunderstand, a new dress is fun, just not for Easter.

  62. Rosa lewis says:

    This devotion was extremely uplifting, and gave me hope to set my eyes forward and keep them on the father regardless of my day.

  63. Sadly, I too can relate Tracie. My husband left me for a much younger woman 2 years ago. They live together and I have to hear about her from my 2 littles. That first year was so brutal, I could barely breathe and didn’t care about holidays. I still struggle to keep my focus upwards rather than on earthly matters that still hurt so much. Thank you for this post, it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one.

  64. Leslie Brenk says:

    Thank you for this message. I am not personally going through a difficult time right now, but I have a new friend who has been given some terrible news about her health. I feel as I have been angry about it, because there are so many people in the world that choose to destroy their bodies and this lady certainly didn’t do that, but has been given a crappy hand at a young age. So I feel like I have been so focus on the “Why” Why her? Why not someone else that I feel is more deserving of this news-for that I am ashamed, to wish ill on another human. But I will be rereading this again. And be praying for my heart and health for my friend.
    Thank you

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