Hurry Up and Wait

Gwen Smith Blog, Healing, Life Clutter, Peace, Sorrow, Strength, Trials, Trusting God 56 Comments

Thunder cracked the sky when a lightning bolt ripped through the roof of our home, igniting a fire that redefined our normal that Tuesday night in March. The house snapped dark and shook. It was as if a bomb had gone off.

“I think we got hit!” Hunter screamed from the family room.

We hurried outside to see if it was true. Our neighbor Jeff ran across his yard to ours yelling a confirmation, “I think you got hit! I saw lightning hit your roof!”

The next few minutes were a blurry race against the clock. Get the dogs out! Get the cars out! I’ll grab the computers!

And that’s pretty much all we had time for.

The flames and smoke kicked us out of our home and far from warmth or comfort.

Sirens. Red lights flashing.

Fear and helplessness stood in the rain right beside me as I watched it all play out from across the street.

My feet were naked. In the chaos and commotion I didn’t think to put any on. Someone noticed and placed a pair of leather boat shoes before me. I had no idea whose they were, but I gratefully slipped them on.

The minutes seemed like months in the moments between the arrival of the fire fighters and the point at which they had the hoses hooked up to a water source. Hurry up, guys! Flames raged wildly from my closet window. The house glowed bright with orange. Was this really happening?

Two trucks. Three. Four. Firemen running and shouting. Police on the scene. News cameras and reporters.

Why was it taking so long?

Neighbors everywhere. Soaked. Stunned. Standing in support. Offering prayers and a place to stay. They’d all felt the earth shake within their homes when ours was hit.

Once the fire was contained and fully out, we were allowed to go back in to grab any personal items. It was almost 1am. Darkness hung thick in the air. It is standard procedure for the power to be cut, so the firemen led us through the ashes, debris and water with handheld lights.

The upstairs looked like a smoldering freight train had passed through, hurling darkness and destruction. Soot and debris was all around. Water and smoke everywhere. And ashes. Heaps and heaps of ashes. Could this really be our home?

Yet God’s peace was in the midst of it all, calming me. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (Isaiah 43:2-3)

To say that the night of the fire was surreal scarcely begins to describe it. Since then, my family and I have been in a holding pattern of sorts. A series of hurry-up-and-wait scenarios that tenderize and stretch a heart like a steel mallet.

Displaced is such an odd term.

But, then again, odd words and phrases seem to fit like a pair of well-worn jeans when the storm brings fire. We’ve had to learn a whole new vernacular of terms: contents, textiles, claims, recoverable depreciation, non-recoverable, restorable…

Recover. Reject. Repair. Replace. Restore.

The smoke and smells seared my eyes for days. People I’d never seen from companies I’d never heard of were sifting through the ashes of our personal items, determining what was salvageable and what was damaged beyond repair.

Strangers. In my home. After the most horrific, traumatizing night of my family’s life. Tearing down walls. Ripping up carpet. Packing up box after box after box.

I felt exposed. Vulnerable. Uncomfortable. Did they know they were throwing away and packing up memories?

Did they realize that the big red hatbox in my closet was filled with personalized birthday and anniversary cards from my husband and crayon-written notes from my now grown children?

It was all too personal. Surely this was just a bad dream I would wake up from.

But, no.

Now, many months later, our home is being rebuilt and we are grateful. We’ve seen and are in the process of witnessing beauty rise from the ashes on many levels.

We’re thankful for the ways we have seen the Lord protect and provide for our family.

We’re grateful for the ways we’ve seen our neighbors and the body of Christ rise up in love, and for the ways we’ve experienced a depth of community that we will treasure for life.

The lessons from the fire are being seared like tattoos on the hearts of my family. And the learning continues each day as we press through the trials of construction. Delays, mistakes, sub-contractors that don’t show… a move in date as fickle as the Carolina weather.

I want to learn every lesson that the Lord has for me – I really do – but the waiting can sure discourage a heart. Do we need to learn so much, God?

I just want to go home.

But through it all, in this season of hurry-up-and-wait, God is bidding me to trust Him. To trust His timing, His plan, His sovereignty and His ability to restore and make new.

Maybe He’s bidding you to trust Him today to? Perhaps not with a house fire, but with a prodigal child, a crumbling marriage or an aging parent? Maybe your waiting involves a health battle, singleness, an employment frustration or a financial burden.

In spite of our struggles, God is at work. Even when questions loom and pain is present. He is faithful and powerful, able to do more than you and I can even ask or imagine. Let’s ask for and imagine a fresh rising of strength and hope today as we trust God’s goodness even when our circumstances burn like fire and smell like smoke.

Dear Lord,
Thank You for promising to never leave or forsake Your children.
Please strengthen me to face the fires before me today with courage and honor.
Help me to trust You.

In Jesus’s Name I pray,
Amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read what God told His people in Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” How does this speak to you today? Tell me – or write a prayer of response – in the comments section of my blog.

PERSONAL UPDATE: So many of you have prayed for my family since the fire. I can’t thank you enough. We have just moved back into our home and are swimming in a deep sea of boxes and in an even deeper sea of gratitude. God is faithful and always good.

I’m so grateful for you. Thanks for all your prayers and for doing life with me!

GWEN

 

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Comments 56

  1. Gwen,
    Thank you for sharing this devotion. When I was a senior in high school, lightning struck our home and it burned to the ground. I will be 55 years old this week and even now your devotion struck a chord. Something like that changes your life forever. My parents demonstrated God’s presence and peace as they rebuilt our home. The Church in our small community stood up and we saw faith in action. Situations like this also help you realize the important things in life are your loved ones and not “stuff.” My prayers are with you and your family as you continue on your journey of faith.

  2. Gwen , what a story dear friend. I am thankful that you and your family were safe that night. God is faithful even through the dark and fiery places in our lives His presence is there, I am thankful for the your words of encouragement not just today but all the days when the girls are there to walk with me in my struggles bless each and everyone of you. Diana

  3. Dear Gwen,
    Thank you Gwen for your awesome testimony. Very touching.
    Wish you all the best in your walk and endeavours for the Lord.
    I really appreciate your work and may God lavish you with His richest blessings.
    I live in a very far small and beautiful island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Despite that long distance that separate us, I thank God for the opportunity to read your awesome postings .

    Love & blessings
    Jackie

  4. I always thought that when god spoke to people in the bible that he was only speaking to them in their particular situations and time. Why do you believe that these types of passages speak to each of us as individuals today?

  5. Just want to join hands with you all, but you in particular, Gwen!
    Thanks for sharing, it brought tears to my eyes.
    I think God is saying to you: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
    God Bless,
    Josee

  6. Thank you for that reminder, God has been working on me with my belief, belief that he is able to do all things, even the things that seem impossible. Currently, on both sides of the family, there is division, the sad thing that one of my family members were saved, yet is refusing to forgive. This family member is so delusional that they believe what they are doing is righteous, and are told by certain church members that is correct to hold things against people and not forgive them. It is just so hurtful to our whole family, and their children as well. That whenever their children are around it is all the more uncomfortable. Thank you that God can heal all that relationship, and help them to see the error of their ways. I count all done in Jesus name, Amen.

  7. Three years ago my husband and I were in a similar situation; instead of a fire, ours was a flood, a man-made sewage flood… not gray water, yes SEWAGE The county had a clog in a main line and blew the stuff back into our house and 3 others… ours being the worst. I was thankful that no one was hurt and it wasn’t a fire; it took from December 15 – March 30th just to come to an agreement on the settlement. During this time we went through a grandbaby being hospitalized to losing my father-in-law, within a 2 week period. To say that it was a traumatic time is an understatement, but I felt God’s presence and knew His goodness through it all. I look back and know that He was with us and helping us through it all. I am glad that your home has been restored and no one was hurt. When people start telling me how they just can’t make it or deal with it, I say, you’re right… but God can and He will, if you just let Him!

  8. First Gwen, thank you for your personal update. I have been praying for you and your family and am happy to read that you are moving in your new home. Your devotional today was right on (as they often are). Talk about God’s timing being perfect timing! Trusting is easy, waiting is difficult for me, especially when winter is coming, and I need oil, and the money coming in doesn’t equal the bills that need to be mailed out. Isaiah is my favorite prophet, but I also remember God’s promises, especially Jer. 29:11. My husband will be going out for surgery in Jan., but doesn’t have short-term disability. We are thankful for his employment, but I am “between assignments” now. I have seen God’s answers to prayers every day. Thank you for sharing your life’s story with us and being there to encourage us.

  9. It is amazing how you can write from where you are and yet touch people in so many ways -may not be a fire but as you said, children,crumbling marriages, or whatever – the Lord is there giving us strength – and not for tomorrow – but for right this minute, then this hour, then getting us through this day. Thank God for his mighty hand in all we do!

  10. Praise Jesus that you and your family were not hurt!
    Hallelujah to the King!
    I’ve been fighting chronic illness since a youth, and waiting for healing is tough..however God is good all the time! And I’ve leaning much along the journey. I’m currently on a new treatment and believing for better days! Waiting is tough but I’ve learned from The Word that being still before our Father is the only way to find true peace in the waiting! HALLELUJAH!

    “19“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.
    20 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”
    Isaiah 43:18‭-‬19
    http://bible.com/114/isa.43.18-19.NKJV

  11. Sister, we are sharing the yoke. Thank God His Son Jesus is bearing the weight. I too am amazed that I read and hear exactly what I need to at this point in time. Our God is an awesome God using Gwen, Mary and Sharon to give us hope and support through their devotional. Gid’s timing is perfect timing. Keep the faith! Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving! We have a lot to be thankful for!

  12. I thank God for bringing you and your family through the trial of loss of your home and rebuilding. Amen. Isaiah 43:2-3…one of my favorite scriptures that I’ve lived by since I learned it years ago. It has been played out in my life over and over. God is faithful to perform his word every time. Again amen and amen.

  13. I am so glad to hear of you moving into your new house after the rebuilding of your house that burnt. I know that probably many memories were lost but none of you were hurt. God does take care of us in times of struggle. We have a great God in the good times and the bad times. He never fails us. He is always there. Praise the Lord.

  14. Thank you for sharing your story. My prayers are with you and your family. Last night someone who I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with, left me and took all my hopes and dreams of a future together with him. I was momentarily devastated, however this morning after reading your story, I feel a peace that I can’t explain. The hurt, humiliation and rage that consumed me less than 24 hours ago, suddenly have transformed into peace, gratitude and hopefulness. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning..” has never been more true. Thank you for being a conduit for that joy…

  15. I’m always amazed at how God sends the words we need to hear at exactly the right time – I am ALWAYS amazed! I needed to hear this today as I am struggling with financial issues because I’ve been out of work for some time. I pray for peace, wisdom, guidance, and for my husband to keep strong while he bears the burden of all our debts, but still keeps me and our son fed with his ‘barely-there’ income. I am grateful because I see God providing literally our ‘Daily Bread’, but I still wake up every morning with the bills dancing in my head and the phone never stops ringing, so it gets so hard. But this message today reminded me that He will not leave me or forsake me, and that even when the fires rage, he will protect and restore his children. So, while I’m still fighting anxiety and fear, I am reassured that His will be done and He will protect us. I read your story and looked at the pictures of your home and thought ‘wow – that must have been horrendous to live through’. But you survived, your family is ok, and you are now rebuilding so to God be the Glory! I am also reminded that when I think I am alone, I really am not. We all – especially in the Kingdom – have life to deal with; but thank God for God who gets us through it all.

  16. I needed to see this today. Thank you. I am struggling with my 13 year old daughter. She is cutting and threatening suicide and I have done EVERYTHING I can do to help her and I feel so hopeless, helpless and powerless. I cant get through to her to tell her how much she is loved and valued and how beautiful she is. I just pray that she be ok and my job is to keep her safe. Reading this gave me some peace.

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  17. Today’s devotional reading really spoke to my heart. I’m in the midst of a series (so to speak) of midlife transitions and the pain of it all is sometimes unbearable at best. I’ve been waiting so long for so much. Although I am frustrated at times, I am realizing that all I can do is continue to wait while doing what I can. Your story helps me to see that though it’s a process in itself, it will all come together as God has planned.

  18. Thank you, sister, for your encouraging words! My community was flooded last year, and both of my daughters’ houses were inundated. One is almost rebuilt, the other had to tear hers down completely. I have learned first of all that God’s people truly are His hands and feet, and that our testimony is not in words, but in the heavenly peace and joy that only He can give in the midst of life’s upheavals. May He continue to bless you and carry you thru the trials and set your feet on high places.

  19. Thank you for your testimony Gwen. Right now I am in a holding pattern, blessedly so it is God that is holding me. I would not make it without Him! I am in the throws of deceit. I do not know the depth of it, but I do know the one who does! His promise to me directly is, “He’s got this”. Peace that passes understanding is the only way I can describe my situation. I truly want this to be over and done with, however I know the refining fire I am in, is His perfect way to guide, protect, and insure His Glory.

  20. Thank you for sharing this. I have read these scriptures time and again but when you really need them they stand out to you or shall I say for you even more. My son and his wife are struggling she wants a divorce she feels she’s in love with someone else and he’s fighting for them their family. They have 2 children and it is devastating! They both know the Lord she’s pushing all of us away and my son is I don’t even know how to express what he’s feeling. This is not the will of Hod but sometimes it seems he’s not hearing our cries for their family but thank you for sharing this it speaks to my heart today that the fire won’t touch them he’s got them! Please pray for restoration and deliverance

  21. I haven’t read your devotional for a while but today I felt a deep urge to read. Lo and behold, one of my favorite passages of scripture to read whwn i am going through….and well, I am surely going through some struggles. As I read your story and looked at the pictures my heart saddened at the realization that life can bring about devastation but I rejoiced in the end because out of every devastation something new, and marvelous is birthed. I am reminded now in my own devastation that I am only go through the process of becoming new. I am right where God wants me, at His feet, looking up to Him at every turn. My heart is humbled at His grace, his mercy and His glory through it all. I am so blessed to k ow that you are now back in your house and furthermore encouraged that my situation is being restored as He holds me in His righteous right hand. Thank you so much for sharing..

  22. Your devotions each and every day just give me such hope and strength. This just proves beyond any doubt that God is always there! If we “feel” His presence or not. I had previously had this verse written on an index card and taped to the wall next to my bathroom mirror! My husband often goes on mission trips and I stay behind; I have been to Peru once and Nicaragua once, but he goes to Peru almost every year! I used to freak out while he was gone and one night I just knew someone had gotten in the house somehow! Went around turning on every light in the house; then I got my Bible and started looking up promises and came upon the verses in Isaiah about having no fear! Wrote several different verses on those cards right then and there with a sharpie! The God of all comfort was with me then and is with me every day! Thanks for sharing your story and heart!

  23. In tears this morning as I sat down to read your devotion at God’s sweet perfect timing. We were on vacation in July and received a call from our neighbor that a fridge pipe had burst and flooded our whole downstairs. It has been a long journey since then of like you said, what to keep, what to replace, contractors in and out and with three young boys, even more of a challenge. Tomorrow night we are hosting lifegroup at our house and this is the first time we have had anyone over since the flood. I was nervous about wanting everything to be perfect instead of just focusing on what God has brought us through and being grateful for all that has been provided. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  24. This put me in the mind of when my sister had a house fire loss her daughter and granddaughter at that time I wasn’t saved. Tears fell when I read your story….. I remember How I went back to the house and went though the ruins and what was left there and what I could salvage…. Some was given later on to my sister for memory sake….. And some I sold for my drug habit. Bitter sweet…. This has been about seventeen years ago…. But still today I have never said this to anyone before. I’m sorry for what I did and who i was back then. I just want to thank God that I’m not that person anymore….. Loss into darkness. He(Jesus) has brought me into the marvelous light…..

  25. Thank you so much for today’s lesson, thank God you and your family is ok and able to move back into your house, God is always good! The scripture really moved me to tears, I’m dealing with a difficult situation in my marriage and I pray to God that he continues to soften my husbands heart so he can find the love I know. I’m born again (about 4 months) Christian it’s been a total turn around for me and I’m so greatful for Jesus and God for all the blessings I have experienced so far and continue to receive. I still am learning and struggle at times but I have an awesome church family that has helped a lot. Thank you for getting together to bring us scriptures everyday to remind us that God loves us all. Have a blessed day to all! ❤️

  26. I really needed this reminder. Husband diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer and we have been waiting for treatment to begin – a seemingly interminable wait. I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. I go from feeling confident that God will heal him to sheer terror that He won’t.

  27. You’ve helped me more than you know. Thank you for this devotional today and for your strength. Last week I had a mini-stroke (called a TIA). Totally unexpected, completely surreal. I’m a super healthy, 48 year old girl. Shocking doesn’t describe the past week. I relate very much to your story. Everyone keeps telling me “everything happens for a reason”. I don’t know why I had this health scare yet, but I do know that your recent tragedy has given me hope for today and a new strength to get through my trial. So thank you Gwen. God bless you and your family.

  28. Oh. My. Word….. No words have ever rang more true than this on this morning. I have never needed anything more than this at this time…. About 2 months ago, a friend sent me one of your daily articles, it was about how God is in control even when there is a mess all around you – it was what I needed at that particular time. For the past 3 months, it feels like the entire “normal” of my life is no more. There are untrue accusations in my career, so much that I’m pretty sure there is going to be a complete shift of what I’ve always known, my marriage is ending, and in just a few short months my daughter will be off to college – I’m in complete limbo – and your word this morning – recover, repair, replace and restore is at the the exact right time. I know God has a plan, and I know He is in control, He has shown that, it is just difficult – and your words today (and almost everyday since this all began) have been what I needed and when I needed it – so Thank You, God Bless and God Speed in your new home.

  29. Thank you for sharing your story. Girlfriends in God has really helped strengthen my faith and trust in God. My family has been going through some difficult times. My father has Alzheimer’s and my sister whose husband died two years ago lives with our parents to help take care of them since we come from a poor family. My sister has been trying to sell the home in New Jersey where she once lived with her husband for two years now; however, it still has not sold and is about to go into foreclosure. The little inheritance that she had was put into the home to try to sell it. As we are facing these difficulties we keep our faith and trust in the lord that all will be well. I️ thank you for today’s devotional which reaffirms our faith and trust in the lord.

  30. Good Morning,
    First the devotion this morning was heartfelt. Thank God for restoring you and your family. Who wants to lose? Who wants to wait? not I! Sometime waiting is a long time! In this season I am in my waiting and I have to come to realize I am going to wait or just keep going in circle trying to hurry the wait up. But when I read the passage of scripture in Isaiah 41:10 the first thing that stood out to me was “So do not fear”..I fear is my greatest challenge not matter what it is. My fear of the unknown, fear of public speaking, fear of failure just fear all out! I have learned the meaning of fear and I had to choices to choose from Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. Well I tried to run but it didn’t get nowhere but swallowed up by my great big fish!!! When God has a plan for your life!! Sometime being swallowed up is good….it may not feel but it works for the good!!! When I see the words “do no be dismayed” it means to breakdown the courage of completely, as by sudden danger or trouble. That is letting me don’t break down, don’t give up; sudden changes will come but don’t be discourage God is with me and He will give me the strength and courage to get through it if I Trust Him and keep believing and Hold to God unchanging hand. Prov. 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. So while I am going through the flood waters I am just going to put on my life jacket (the word of God) and wade on through it!!! Side note ladies: What I just posted is straight from my heart. One of my fears was I am back in school and I have a fear of speaking up and out and writing papers. So this brings me great joy and release to even type this GOD IS SO FAITHFUL!! HOW I LOVE HIM!!!

  31. Gwen, thank you for this devotion! Next week will be a year since we’ve seen our oldest son, who decided he wanted nothing else to do with his family and has turned his back to God and all that he was brought up to believe. He is 31 and seems so lost to us. I have been reading the GiG’s devotions every morning since the beginning of this year, and with them along with Bible studies through Proverbs 31 and weekly Christian counseling, I have been leaning into God with the peace that passes understanding. I thank every one of you for blessing my life with your words and teachings. God bless you as you work to pull your life back together from such a scary and life-changing event.

  32. Thanks for sharing – what a beautiful reminder that in the midst of our storms/fires we can experience His peace. Praise The Lord that your family are able to return and resettle in your heart home. I have a friend who is experiencing a different kind of waiting as a result if impending divorce and needs prayers as she’s experiencing being displaced and so much uncertainty- please pray for peace for ‘D’.

  33. Love your daily devotions….. Today’s message struck me. First time I am responding. God promises that HE is our Shepherd, and that HE will lead us. We have been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis for 42 years in our 45 year marriage. The struggle with the illness, insurance, loss, has sometimes been more than I think I can bear. In all of this, friends have come into our lives to support and help and our lives have been blessed by them. This week my husband has finally been approved for a new drug that is supposed to stop the progression that has left him so weak. The maze of insurance denials miraculously led to an approval! We also found out that our only son (who was born 2 months early and almost didn’t make it… 37 years ago) is going to be a father! His beautiful wife and he just told us the news. God is Good! Thank you for this devotion to cement these blessings in my heart and mind.

  34. Wow, sometimes it hard to believe that someone else is going through the same thing you are. Maybe not by Fire but just heartfelt trials. Family, Friends, Health, and Pain. Thank you for sharing ur story, it brings much far Greater Love to know that someone is praying for you. I truly believe in God n we do have a Higher Power, Prayer is very Powerful =). You don’t know how much I love to open my eyes every morning and can read my GIG messages. ” Dear Lord I pray that only you can see, hear n feel what our Hearts n minds need. I Thank you very much for bringing these 3 Beautiful Ladies into my Life through my daily routine by reading these messages. That they will be Blessed daily for sharing your Love.” In Jesus name Amen. I love you, Thank You!

  35. I am overwhelmed lately by worry – family health, my own health…..great reminders of God’s timing being best…..thank you. Peace to you.

  36. Wow, sometimes it hard to believe that someone else is going through the same thing you are. Maybe not by Fire but just heartfelt trials. Family, Friends, Health, and Pain. Thank you for sharing ur story, it brings much far Greater Love to know that someone is praying for you. I truly believe in God n we do have a Higher Power, Prayer is very Powerful =). You don’t know how much I love to open my eyes every morning and can read my GIG messages. ” Dear Lord I pray that only you can see, hear n feel what our Hearts n minds need. I Thank you very much for bringing these 3 Beautiful Ladies into my Life through my daily routine by reading these messages. That they will be Blessed daily for sharing your Love.” In Jesus name Amen. I love you 3 Amazing Women, Thank You!

  37. God Bless you and your family Gwen as you continue your journey. We had a fire at our home, our front porch went up in flames one night, so traumatic. By the grace of God we (elderly mom, husband, myself and our dog)were safe. It was a journey to recover from that event, for sure.
    Today, Inwait in God for the resokution of a health issue. I must have a test that requires anesthesia and have been oostponed twice due to an upper respiratory infection. I am holding on and trusting God. Please pray with me for a healthy resolution and healing.
    Thanks for your wondrful writings, they give me peace and hope each day.

  38. My husband is in the later stage of ALS, as I watch him suffer and struggle to breath I find comfort in the scriptures. He has had unbelievable faith through this devistating disease process and has not missed a day of telling people how blessed our life has been from the first day of his diagnosis. We are in the midst of a great wildfire but God is with us every step of the way.

  39. Good mooring from MO. I have just gone a,water leak & it’s has black mold in kitchen floor & into basement flooring walls TORN to bear walls to outside walls.In this small country town not many people who can do the repairs. I went 90 days with a microwave to cook with.I am closer to GOD more than ever.i am 71 yrs young & A widow for 25 yrs. I learned to repair & make things so can do God’s plan for me.Tks for your encouragement. It’s taken 11 months to get most repairs done.

  40. This message moved me to tears today, you really spoke to me. I tell myself all the time that God will provide and everything will work out but it’s hard sometimes when things are stressful and not going as you plan in your mind. I just told my husband the other day that God only gives us what we can handle, which seems like a lot sometimes but I know the reward will be worth it one day.

  41. Definitely relate…cervical cancer last year, time for recheck. Mammogram this year…called back next week cause something is suspicious. When a root canal (scheduled later today) is the least of my worries…just not a good headspace. Holding on to peace, but life is chipping away at the edges.

  42. When the distance between now and then almost seems too long:
    remember “you are mine”
    When the week you’re heading into means walking in some scary places:
    remember “you are mine”
    When everything is as it should be and you’re on top of the world:
    remember “you are mine”
    When you’re dog-tired weary, and the next one more thing is the one more thing too many:
    remember “you are mine”
    When you simply just don’t know:
    remember “you are mine”
    “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine” Isaiah 43:1

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  43. My husband has just lost his job. We work for the same church. It’s unbelievably traumatic for us and don’t know what the future holds for us. We are unable to meet all our financial obligations without my husbands salary and have two school going children. Your post helped me focus. Everyday I have to re-focus. I am praying for God’s help and intervention and the hurry up and wait part is so difficult. Having to still work at the very church that retrenched my husband is not easy for me either. They have treated him unfairly and I know he doesn’t deserve that, but I know God sees and He will deal and He will restore.

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  44. Thank you Gwen for being transparent in your struggle with “the waiting and trusting” times.
    My family and I have been bombarded with “hard situations” to go through in the last year.
    One day, I am encouraging my loved ones with words like; “God is still on the throne!” and the next I am trying to motivate myself to get out of my chair, let alone, take steps to move forward………thanks for the hope your messages instill in your fellow Christian sisters.

  45. As I read your story I kept hearing God say “remember who is always in control”.
    Psalm 46:1“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”A Pastor friend of mine went through something similar with a house fire. Thankfully they were not home. As he shared what the “disruption” did in his life really showed our full dependency on God for everything. We think we’ve got it going on, but really He does. Our joy comes from the Lord, our love comes from the Lord, our hope and our mercy comes from the Lord. We can’t get too comfortable in our our skin because at any moment life can change. I am grateful you can rebuild and create new space and I am certain the Lord has given you a new reflection of His mercy.

  46. Oh my goodness as read what you had written God used those words to speak to me, as the first 3 things you had mentioned of things we might going through, a prodigal child, a messy marriage or a aging parent each of these I have right now and some days are just overwhelming. I so needed to hear the words of God in Isaiah 41:10 because so many days I try to do it on my own and I get angry and frustrated, when I should be leaning on the one who gives me strength and will supply for all my needs, thank you for the words of wisdom and the truth of Gods word.

  47. Thank you for loving me and sending me your words of encouragement through your writing’s !! I love you all Sharon and Mary !! I hope I can meet You three someday and give you all a big HUG!! But for now I’am praying for you and Sharon and Mary !! Word can’t express how I feel about you all ❤️😘

  48. You hit the nail on the head. Your words resonated with me that I need to be patient and know that God’s plan is the right one and sometimes it is hard to sit still and accept that. As I have gotten older, I am more cognizant of that fact and just trust in the Lord.

  49. Your message today was powerful and God’s word is awesome. Today, I am in that hurry up and wait place. I think the worst kind of pain is the kind that others can’t see or know about, so there is not the automatic support response from friends and family. Today reminded me that God knows my pain and my situation and he is right there! I am grateful for an all knowing God!

  50. Thank you Gwen for this. I thank God for you & for your family plus the families which have been there for you. Indeed God is a god of restoration.

  51. Thank you for your house fire story. Dreadful situation but encouraging. God is with us in every situation. I’m currently unemployed and this scripture has given me hope. I will not be dismayed because God will uphold me. Thank you Gwen

  52. This scripture the Lord gave me for a situation I was facing the couple days back, with this scripture I was able to overcome Isaiah 41.10

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