Before our first child was born, my husband and I took a series of classes to prepare us for childbirth. I vividly remember being told by my Lamaze instructor that while in labor, I would need to breathe through each contraction. She would give us instructions like: “Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth” and “When you inhale, allow your belly to expand first, then your chest.” She told us that the way we breathe would affect the way we would experience labor.
We spent a lot of time during those week-after-week classes learning how to breathe in a whole new way. We were taught that the breaths we would take during labor would need to be purposed and controlled. They required discipline and were not like natural breathing. So I practiced and I practiced the special breathing techniques in preparation for when the labor pains came a-knocking.
When the day arrived to welcome my firstborn son, Preston Miles Smith, into the world, I learned what a discipline breathing through contractions really is! There were times during labor that I felt like holding my breath instead of breathing. Times when the pain was so intense that my natural response was to scream instead of to breathe. Yes. This type of breathing was surely a learned behavior, a purposed discipline. And on the other side of this purposed discipline, in spite of all the pain endured, I was blessed to experience the wonderful joy of life.
I’ve labored through many hard life experiences since my child birthing days. I’m sure you have too. There are times when circumstances press us in waves, contractions of life that are seemingly endless. When the waves of trials hit our heart and home, the spiritual discipline of trusting God helps us to breathe through the squeeze of each pressure. I like to call it faith-breathing. When we hunker down and put into practice the act – the discipline – of faith.
What do I mean by “the discipline of faith”?
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).
Just like I learned to breathe in preparation for going through labor pains, Christians learn to breathe through life pains when we implement spiritual disciplines in our lives like prayer, fasting, journaling and Scripture reading. They are purposed disciplines that bring joy and strength. The more we pray, the more we grow in intimacy with God. The more we read and know the Bible, the more we understand God’s will and character.
We see over and over again that He is good, faithful, compassionate, loving, gentle, just, holy, righteous and trustworthy in all things.
We are encouraged and spurred on by the faith of others.
We learn to faith-breathe!
The flames of fire have heated up and refined my faith all the time! Life is filled with challenges. God is always with us and will help us breathe through the difficult situations we face. He allows us to go through trials as a part of our refining process. Struggles send us running to God for help, for faith, for strength, for protection and direction. They are often pregnant with pain. Bursting with heartache. If we yield them to God, He uses them to rid our lives of trust-barriers like fear and doubt, and to bring glory and honor to him.
There are many life contractions that hurt us, but there is no earthly pain that can diminish the hope of our salvation. We must simply breath – continue practicing those spiritual disciplines that bind us to the heart of God.
Trusting God takes discipline.
We don’t always feel like it.
It’s not always what we want to do. It’s not natural. At times we feel overwhelmed and want to soul-scream. If we always acted on our feelings, our lives would be chaotic messes. As in childbirth, there finally comes the time of deliverance where what is birthed forth to joy is directly the result of the very pain we have gone through.
Please teach me to breathe! Strengthen me through life’s hard labor experiences and help me to practice the disciplines I have learned through your Scriptures.
When I feel like screaming through the pain, help me to breath by reading and memorizing your Word, fasting and praying, and meditating on your Truth.
Thank you for the strength you will give me as I trust in You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
Read over the verses below … write them on note card and review them until they are committed to memory.
“…all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27b).
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
Name one way this message connected with and challenged your heart? Leave a comment or prayer request in the comments section…
I hope you know how much I love doing life with me! You are family. Praying for you to breathe deeply of this hope today, friend.
Today’s post is an excerpt from the Girlfriends in God’s 12-week devotion book, Trusting God.
My next book, I Want It ALL, is now available for pre-order.
This book helps narrow the gap between our average ordinary lives and the not-so-ordinary promises of God found in His Word. We are meant to be women of impact who expect great things and move in the power and grace of Jesus.
That’s the message of I Want It ALL.
Pre-order yours today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or ChristianBook.com.
For the past two weeks, I have been going through anxiety concerning my relationship with my boyfriend of 6 years. There have been some experiences with younger women infringing on our lives.. and as with many things.. sometimes men love the new exciting attention. I have to learn that trust in God to keep my life as he wants it. I have always stated that Todd is Gods gift to me in my life and I know that God will enter into Todds heart and help him to know the value of our love and home and help me to not bring chaos in anxiety and a negative attitude. I want to approach each day with love and a miracle of life.. this is my prayer.
I’ll be entering a new stage of life soon and will be going to university. I find this somewhat overwhelming and this devotional today really reminding me that I need to trust God with my future
Love this. Thanks for sharing, Joya. I’m pausing to pray for you now. Keep trusting Him!!
I find I almost feel paralyzed with fear of the unknown and I get down. This devotional really spoke to me.
I am brand new to your group. I love the stories of God. I am reading one a day and my heart speaks tome to keep going. I just received your book, I Want It All. Just started reading but I am enjoying it. I needed to find a group like yours and am looking forward to growing with God. Thanks so much. Janis
This spoke to my heart vert much because I have been going through many tough days and learning to trust, have faith and breathe may not come easy yet this is what has brought me through this past year. I’m thankful for these devotions becuase its in reading them that has helped me ‘get my life back in track’ so to speak. Thank you very much! May God continue to bless you as you bless us.
I am presently in a place in my life where I am learning to breathe. To trust God and not fear my future. My husband and I are separated right now and I am praying towards reconciliation. I am learning to trust that God has many lessons for us both but in particular for me. Thank you for being faithful to share the truth of God’s word and bring real.
May God continue to bless your ministry.
I am a long time Christain, saved when I was 9! And have of course gone through some tough times but nothing like the past 2 months. I had brain surgery late December to clip an aneurism that was very large and would have the doctor said killed me if it hadn’t been found! So grateful that it was found in time!!! After a week in the hospital I had only been home a few days when I blew a blood clot that went through my heart and into my lungs!!! 1 in 3 people die from this and once again I was spared. God has been so faithful and through it all I had a peace that can only come from my Lord!!! I know that He has a plan for me and saved me from two very deadly health issues for a reason and my greatest fear is that I will miss what that is. So please pray as I pray every day, “Lord, show me the path you saved me for, please don’t let me miss it!!!!!” I am facing a very long recovery
I am currently pregnant with our second child, and (as I did with the first) experiencing panic attacks. Most nights it doesn’t get too bad, but when it does I find myself pacing, praying, saying Scripture out loud and reminding myself of God’s goodness and his promises. The most important part? Breathing. I get into this “I can’t breathe” mentality and I have to really coach myself to breathe calmly and mindfully. This devotion/lesson could NOT have come to me at a better time, for so many reasons. Thank you so much.
Gwen, you are a real sis In Christ. Am yet to meet you physically and personally but love and share lots from you on my facebook page and via e-mail cos you are so so real and come to God Naturally as I have been doing on my Faith Walk with God Almighty, so I do gel with you In The Power of The Holy Spirit…!!! GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU TILL JESUS CHRIST RETURNS… 🙂
Thank you for this insight. God is so Amazing. I am going through a “birthing” I’m in caring for my mom. I love her dearly. It’s just like having a special needs child…but you feel they know better, afterall, they taught you all you know…but the roles do reverse. Even if they don’t realize it. I have chosen a word for the year. …privilege….it is a privilege to still have my mother. And now, I will breathe….in through the nose out through the mouth. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you. ❤
I woke up in respiratory failure one morning in January, 2013. Gasping and gulping for air I was aware of only one thing…I was dying. I started talking to Jesus and was ordering my welcome party **smile**. My husband and daughter say that I was arguing with them about calling 911. Whatever! I was talkin to Jesus! How could I also be arguing? What we didn’t know until the ER was that I really WAS dying. And almost did. I spent 3-1/2 days on life support and then began to breathe on my own. We still don’t know why this happened but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I know that Jesus was there with me and my family and comforted all of us. My two brothers-in-love kept a 24 hour vigil of prayer time for me in the waiting room for the 5 days I was in ICU! What love!! I know that Jesus was breathing for me when I couldn’t and I give Him ALL the Praise!!
I am overwhelmed. I have 3 wonderful children one with special needs and it definitely can be a challenge ( especially when I have difficulty with sleeping) but everyday i just say thank you God that we at least all woke up this morning! The challenge is not easy and sometimes i just want to give up ( today is one of the those mornings) but I know God has a plan for me and my family and I just have to stay consistent in my walk with him …. And in my bible
Please pray for my babies and myself as I will do the same for all!
Thank you and God bless
God is speaking to me today about wavering faith. He meets me where I am and I’m so thankful to read your words today. My husband has been battling kidney cancer since 2011 and it’s now in his bones and everything is scary and a mess for our family. I trust God, but I also know that His ways are not always my ways. This is where I waiver and worry and get anxious. I want my husband to be healed, but I know I cannot waiver in my faith. My husband needs healing in his mind, body and spirit.. to follow Jesus. Thank you for this wonderful message. God bless you…
Thank you I never thought about breathing through my difficult times. I will try.
This is a wonderful devotional. I am actually going through difficult times right now, I have found my way back to the Lord and am just starting out again. This gives me direction to further my journey and to find peace with the Lord even in the most difficult times thank you.
THANK You for this message. I try to charge ahead and do things my way, in my time and I get things done but my accomplishments only end up with no lasting satisfaction. I haven’t served or glorified God. I need to seek him first.
Right now my family is going through a tough time when breathing is hard. I try to keep focused in my faith, and I’m asking God to fill me with his love. It’s difficult but I need to trust him for He knows where this will end, after all it’s always His will not ours. Pray for my family and say a special prayer for my Grandchildren that God my touch them and protect them always. Always keep breathing in God’s love. Holy Spirit Breathe on me!
I learning to breathe, your devotion today is what I really needed at this time in my life… I need to focus on God more and not the situations. Please keep me and my family in prayer, especially my Husband.
I learned a long time ago to breathe, let go and let God, even though it’s a daily reminder. When I start to feel anxious about any situation, I just pray and try very hard to let it go. I may pray over and over again, but it’s a relief for me. I’ve been through a lot. Whether it’s betrayal amongst so called friends or day to day activities, I just pray and let it go.
Thank you again Gwen. This is what I needed, I’ve been just starting again to properly read the bible. I tried to start reading through it last year, and made it a ways, but stopped, started agaIn. I just started over in the New testament, as I’ve started in the old a couple times. I haven’t on my own read the new testament for a long time, other than church. I am really struggling with the disciplines that you mentioned, Prayer, journalling, reading and, well I’ve never fasted. That is what I need to do is learn to breathe, learn to communicate with God, and let his word communicate with me rather than just reading the words and that’s it. How does one read and let it speak back to me, to be able to pray without my mind wandering, and it not meaning anything, unless I write it all down. I do want to know God more, to be able to breathe. Teach me Lord, to pray, to learn from your word, make the words real to me, so that they will teach me to live, not just be familiar stories that I have grown up knowing.
good morning Laura, I just started following you. the above post could very easily be my thoughts. This is exactly how I feel, I want to commit to reading, studying,remembering what I read but so far it’s been a no go. I pray before I study but the discipline is just not there. God bless and stay strong.
I can’t thank you enough for your devotional. As I was reading your devotional, I realized that when I think of being held in the arms of GOD and long for heaven, so I can experience HIM in person (because it feels so wonderful and fulfilling), it’s actually GOD’S SPIRIT with which I am connecting. It’s wonderful! Just like when my husband held me and helped me to focus on breathing when I was in labor , there was a beautiful bond with him that I gained, despite the pain. It turned something with pain into a beautiful thing. The comfort we receive from the LORD when we go through toil deepens our intimacy with HIM. It helps us perceive and feel the depths of HIS love within our very souls, especially if we spend time inHis Word and know His loving, compassionate, merciful character.
He also wants us to see His ability to turn the ugliest into the most beautiful things, and to be able to experience how truly amazing He is. To see just how sovereign HIS Sovereignty is.
Just as the beauty and joy of life is so very worth any pain we experience, so the labor in our lives is worth enduring to experience the depths of GOD’S love and HIS limitless power.
I also appreciate how very careful you were to describe childbirth in a realistic yet gentle way. You were very discreet in your description. I’ve heard it turned into a horror story far too many times. Many women, unfortunately, don’t consider the fact that single women who might get married and have children could be downright terrified. I remember how terrified I was when I found out I was pregnant with my firstborn son. I was contemplating how horrible the pain would be, more than I was excited about having a baby. My mind went back to all the horror stories I had heard. My mom had been very encouraging amidst all the horror stories I’d heard, thankfully, so I found strength in that. We need to be careful to use words that edify and build up and encourage. Even though it goes back to the result of sin, I KNOW GOD does not want, nor ever intended, women to be terrorized by the pain of labor. ” Children are a heritage of the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is HIS reward.” Thank you, Gwen! Much Love, Angie P.S. Sorry if this was too many words.
Gwen, your message was so timely for me today. My youngest son has had a lot of setbacks in his athletic career and they have caused a lot of spiritual struggles in his life. I have carried his burdens instead of giving them over to the Lord and trusting Him to see Luke through them all. He is working towards becoming a professional football player, a field I would not have chosen for him, but nonetheless, my husband and I are supporting for him. Please keep Luke in your prayers and pray that the Lord helps me to “breath His Peace” into my life and my husband’s and son’s as well. God Bless you. Cheryl
Before I read my daily GIG, I pulled out an article page a friend gave me about breathing-it helped and I had forgotten the technique. And then I read your message today-thank you Lord-got it! – lol. Thank you Gwen-it all made so much sense. I’m experiencing stress on all sides and it has affected my health. Breathing and meditating are the most suggested exercises for stress management. Speaking with my Heavenly Father is so good for me too. So I’m on board with you. Blessings in abundance! Lots of love.
I am currently struggling with handing over our finances to my husband. In the past the finances have been one of our greatest struggles and while my part in the struggle hasn’t always been loving or respectful I have tried very hard to see my husband point of view and compromise etc. My husband; however, has been on many occasions controlling, mean, and manipulative . His behavior has led me to great fear and insecurity and one thing I have control over is my paycheck so I’ve been holding on to it for dear life. The past 6 months God has brought about enormous changes in our relationship – all for the good- and I am contiinually working on letting go of the fears and hurts that have been built up while praising our Lord for His awazing grace and love for us. This past week this financial area of our life has come to my attention over and over and through my tears and teeth clenching I hear the Lord telling me to let it go and give it all to Him. How fearful I am but his trustworthy He is! I am praying all day every day and learning to breathe through the pain of it minute by minute. I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing but this message has helped me visualize it and what I need to do to get through and it has made the struggle much easier to swallow. Thanks once again for walking with me through this life Gwen. <3
Thank you! I needed that!
Gwen, my husband is a pastor. Our church has been going through a trial. I need to let go of hurts from people who do not understand, who do not know the truth of everything that has happened. I need help to breath, to pray for my husband and our church. God is good and I love the Lord. Thank you for being faithful.
As an encouragement: I’ve been on quite a journey in life, many bad choices led me to have more things happen to me than Job. Sometimes I had 3 or 4 intense trials happen at once, with no church or friend support. God allowed things that were so not fair, but the best choice was to trust, dig into His word, focus on Him, not my troubles. Apply this, today’s scripture readings, inhale Gods promises, exhale His faithfulness and season it with the words of your Savior: Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1
This is speaking to me! I certain need to learn to breathe as I navigate a difficult marriage and rebuild my career. What I’ve experienced in the last 7 months I certainly didn’t see coming, but God did. I’m taking it day by day, surrendering to the Lord. I want my husband and I to thrive in our marriage. My prayer is that he believes we can.
I started my walk with God truly almost two years ago. Since I started my walk with God, this year is the first year i started reading the word, the bible. Yesterday reading the book of Luke, I read all the great things Jesus had done and continues to do. I was immediately overcome with chills because God has instilled in all of us gifts which will allow us to do the same miracles Jesus had done. God has been facing me with a lot of things which is helping me truly see myself. Reading your devotion this morning has inspired me to fixate on learning to breathe through these challenges and to lean more on God rather than my own strength. I ask for prayer for all those connected to me and that their relationship with God will grow. I ask prayer for my relationship with my lord father to grow deeper and that I hold steadfast in seeking him through lows and highs.
I am going through a testing period with my finances yet again.I know God will supply all of my needs according to riches and glory.Right now I just need the stamina to endure until i see his promises realised in my life. I am using this time to enrich my prayer life and get deeper into the word.
Thank you so much for I so needed this I’m in Fort Worth Tx. With no family just me and my 3 daughters and 4 grand babies was badly abused by their father and finally go the courage to leave so I went from having everything to nothing meaning I came here with nothing God blessed me with a good job worked it for a year then helped my children relocate here because I thought it was the right thing to do for a better life for my grandkids but now I’ve got hurt at work been off since August and I know it only been by the grace of God that I’ve made it through. I had surgery on my knee on 1/18/16 and now everything is falling apart I’ve been waiting on workmen com for all this time with no income but calling on the name of Jesus I have been able now that I’m down and can’t get around from the surgery everything in my home is getting cut off and I’m asking for a financial blessing until I’m able to get around to help myself and that my daughter find work so that we can be okay. Go through this trying time I’m learning how to faith breathe because looking back on we’re I come from it has been so hard so Please keep my family in your prayers.
My husband has been convicted of a crime he did not commit. He was allowed to remain free from prison but His sentencing is Friday and I’m trying to faith-breathe through this intense labor. I’ve implemented prayer, fasting and journaling and I do find relief at times. I am willing to accept God’s will in this situation but I so desperately want to see a miracle from Him. The “what if” keeps me jailed in my emotions and when alone, I’m a basket case before the Almighty. Why would God want me to live without this godly man? Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe God is responsible for the verdict but I do know it was allowed. Please pray for me and my family. We have secured in our spirits, scriptures promises from the mouth of God. Our five sons, who also serve God faithfully need to see God part this Red Sea before us! We need a miracle!
Praying with you and for you Denise.
God bless you too Amber. If you can read my reply to Diane you’d see God’s speedy hand in the matter. God is restoring my heart in trusting Him more!
All things work together for good for those who love the world and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28. When you start feeling down and the negative thoughts come do as Gwen said breathe: open your bible and find a verse that contradicts thought. I need to do this every day to stay sane.
I’m doing that right now Diane at 6:30 in the morning. Thanks. Please excuse me, but can I correct your statement? All thing work together for good to those who love God, not the world. I think that’s what you meant to post. Have a great day.
oh my goodness you are so right that is what i meant to say. hope things are starting to look up for you.I am still going through a lot of emotions. one minute i feel like yes i can handle this. then the next i am feeling panicked. I dont want to be the person who is double minded that James speaks about. Asking God to help me with my emotions.
Diane you are not in that boat alone. As much as I hate to say it, I’m right there right now! The breathing does help but after that …. Nothing. I’m disabled, not moving forward, just here. My husband was given a new date, April 15th. More waiting, more uncertainty my hometown in limbo and I’m floating through life …. listless, fearful, “I’m scrambled eggs!” Ugh. All I got left is breath …?
I dont know what to say. Time to breathe. This is so hard but God understands what we are going through and he will see us through. it is hard.
i am so sorry to hear what you are going through Denise. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean unto your own understanding in all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path. From Proverbs Chapter 3.
It’s great to know someone cares and lifting our names before God’s throne. He most definitely heard you for the sentencing date has been postponed once again. God is preparing us for an awesome victory through Christ Jesus. God bless you Diane.
Gwen I habe been a believer for just about 6 years now. It’s been tough. This passed year was probably the toughest. I believe I screamed rather than breathe. Just recently I have turned that scteam into cries. I am now on a journey to learn to breathe. Will you help me learn br praying for me, my marriage and finances, my husband’s salvation and for my sons to walk more with the Lord. They accepted Christ last summer but need tonlearn to walk with him more. Thank you.
Hi Gwen! I thank God for you. I just ordered your book AND I look forward to hearing you and “The Girlfriends” in Westfield, MA in the Spring.
What wonderful reminder on breathing the name of God… I often repeat Jesus Jesus Jesus. 4 years ago I lost my husband to cancer, just breathing hurt, all I could manage was Jesus,… today I can say he is FAITHFUL.
Committed my mom to care today and my spirit is overwhelmed leaning on scripture. I am trying to breathe and stand on his word. However, as I consider this trial, I am grateful for Faith to endure this storm. I hurt and miss the mom who knew me, but treasure the faith she instilled. Her dementia does not deny her testimony and faith in God she nurtured in me and my siblings.
This is just what I needed today! To start my day being reminded to breath and see the power of God in all things going on in my life right now. I am so thankful for Gods peace WISDOM and grace to be able to stop take a deep breath and walk in his strength and not my own! Thank you Jesus for this day and all it brings!
Gwen, how timely! I walked through a painful miscarriage with my daughter this weekend. I felt like my discipline of faith was the only thing holding me together while I watched my daughter writhe in pain and hold hopelessness in her hands. God was with us there in that ER as He surrounded us with a team of women who quietly helped my daughter through this heartbreak. He steeled me to offer her His strength when she was at her most fragile point in her grief. It is God, and God alone, Who is the tower that the righteous can run to in times of trouble. I had to tell my emotions Who was still in control and Who still loved both of us despite what we experienced. God is still good.
I’m sharing this testimony because someone out there might have same problem,Am very happy today because i was having a sleepless night since the only man i have ever love in my life left me for another girl,trying to get him back i met this testimony of a Woman called Sandra and she said somebody called Dr abacha helped her to bring back her lover. i took a leaps of faith and contacted Dr abacha and he also brought back the only man i have ever love to me.I’m so happy sharing this testimony,contact Dr abacha in his email: firstname.lastname@example.org and believe me his going to make you happy once again okay
I was just talking to my adoptive mother about the pain that my biological father brought me. Growing up I was physically and verbally abused and when I was 15 years old he began to sexually abuse me. I went to church camp a few weeks ago and these were all things I layed down at the Lord’s feet, or so I thought. I think these are things that “came up again” because it’s summer, I’m busy and I’ve been slacking on my bible study. So I come to my room and look up Daily devos for college students and this is what I find. This helped me through a time I should have been breathing and trusting God. So thank you so much!!
Greetings Woman of God! I (rather the enemy) did not want me to read your devotion especially after reading your comments, “I’ve labored through many hard life experiences since my child birthing days. I’m sure you have too.” I do not have any children and felt that I could not relate to your analogy. Thank God for His Spirit so that I could think in the spiritual realm and “lean not onto my own understanding.” Your devotion has blessed me immensely. Thank you and may God continue to bless you richly! Now, I inhale and exhale in Jesus’ name…
I’m really struggling with anxiety about finances right now, as are so many. I’m committed to deepening my faith and trust in the Lord by memorizing scripture verses, but I would love to have your prayer support for this, as at times the anxiety really consumes me. Thanks.
This devotion really hit home today. I’ve been screaming on the inside for a few days now as my husband asked that we go our separate ways. Life has been hitting me with quite a bit lately (my dad passed away due to cancer recently which I still can’t seem to believe or accept, on Monday my doctor said believes there is a real concern I might have colo-rectal cancer, I’m 33 years old and this is the age my aunt was when she lost the battle to colon cancer). On Wednesday one small thing completely set me off and all the worry, fear, grief and anger spilled over, onto my husband. He said that night He stopped caring about me and our marriage. I’ve been struggling with my emotions and marriage as my husband is in the special forces and rarely home. He also suffers from PTSD and says he has no time to deal with it as he is always away on deployments or training or in schools.. All of this craziness and we have 3 children under the age of 5. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and angry.. but I’ve been biting my tongue.. until Wednesday 🙁 Now my marriage is in true danger. He hasn’t talked to me since and says he can’t be around me. He wants us to each go separate ways. I know “sorry” won’t change things or erase things I said. I’ve spent the last couple of days completely humbling myself to God and asking HIS forgiveness.. for I know I failed him when I disrespected my husband. I do not want to think of divorce or ever leave that legacy to my children. I do not want to lose my husband, my marriage. I do love him and know God can make the changes in our marriage, as long as I stop trying to force them myself. I’m asking for any prayers you can please send our way. Thank you. God Bless. Marcia
Dear Marcia, sweet child of God, what a burden you are bearing. I have prayed for your situation and will continue to do so as God puts you and your family on my heart. You and your husband are precious to Him and He dearly loves both of you. May you find peace, forgiveness, unity and healing as you turn your hearts continually to Him. In His love, Carolyn
Thank you so much for your prayers! I’m not giving up and I’m hanging on to God as he is my anchor. My husband says his mind is set but I know that while man has his own plans, God’s plans differ. I’m praying for forgiveness and healing and for God to show me and guide me on how to proceed. Thank you again! & God Bless you. *hugs* Marcia
Thank you for today’s words! Encouragement that I needed!
I am screaming through so much pain I am losing my voice and I literally feel like I don’t know how to breathe. Or even if God will give me more breath. I know that God has asked me to stay in the situation I am in. I have asked him to make it perfectly clear without a doubt and he did. But I am so extremely frustrated with wondering why in the world I’m supposed to stay in this situationhange. I am so frustrated that I feel like telling God I need more than just the strength to get through another day. I need the situation to change! I want to say to God what the heck am I waiting for here? It seems to be that he wants me to trust him. It is so extremely hard for me because I feel like I don’t feel safe if I don’t know what is going to happen. Anyway I needed to read this that is for sure and I will definitely be looking up the verses at the end of it later. God bless all of you <3 add me to your please 🙂
Sweet sister….trust God without all ur might! Believe that if he put u there, then he has something GREAT n store 4 u, “He will never leave or forsake us.” I know u may be tired but don’t be weary in well doing. He has a plan for ur life so watch it manifest and u will reap the benefits of ur hard work.
Thank you for the devotion that really hit home with me. I re-read it several times. My world has recently fallen apart. I hang on to bible verses and devotions to pull me through. Many of your devotions have given me hope. I live in Irwin, PA and I am 4 1/2 hours away from family. If I had a prayer request it would be that my husband repents and becomes a servant of God and develops a supernatural love for God and our family.
I know what it’s like when it feels like your world is falling apart. Thank God for his word- that’s what got me through. However, I was also blessed with Godly praying friends who were a lifeline for me. I live right down the road in Greensburg if you ever need a friend. I’m always willing to sit down over a cup of Eat N Park coffee and a smiley cookie. 🙂 praying for you.
I need Prayer and direction to be able to deal with a very difficult sister-in-law. I love her dearly and Pray for God’s direction, but she can be very trying at times.
I really need prayer for strength when it comes to dealing witbthe Guy my daughter married who is now a stepfather to my grand daughter.. Its like he goes out of his way to make her cry ir separate her from me..he doesnt like me, thats very obvious, I dont care, but I do pray all day everyday that God would help get him past that. But this is my first grand baby and I know he wint let me have anything to do withhis child he n my daughter have coming due Aug 5th….my problem is he tries to keep my grandbaby from being alone with me….its so hard cus im only intown for one more month then heaf back to Oregon. They r in Louisiana….im daily struggling with biting my tongue so as not to scream at him, “WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM!?”… I cant stand the thought of this man raising her for I fear he will mentally and/or physically abuse her….my daughter cant see this even tho I point it out to her, for I was in the same shoes at her age and she went thru the abuse…. Why cant she see it! I pray and pray for God to open her eyes……please help me praying she will see it and finally leave him! Shes so stuck on having a man cus she didnt have a dad cus I left that jerk I was with….thank u Marilyn
This was just what I needed to read & hear today-thank you so much for it! This week someone broke into our house while me & my family were asleep -stole my car, cut the kids car seats out, & filled it with as much stuff as they could steal from my garage. Today I was feeling so angry about it & it was consuming my mood. I know that God blessed us by keeping us asleep & my husband not having a gun fight with someone, but it’s still difficult. Everyday I still deal with feelings of loss of my mother who unexpectedly passed away year and a half ago & I’ve dealt with so many trials since then & she’s hasn’t been hear to talk with & lean on & watch my children grow & learn:-( Sometimes it just all consumes me & I need faith-breathing!! I need to draw closer & closer to him through every trial & hurt.
I’m actually due to give birth to my first child any day now. God spoke through me and repeatedly kept telling me to check the daily devotional despite my strong desire to just take a nap at this point. As I should always do, I trusted in him and took a glance. I’m so glad I did! This was such an excellent reminder that while I go through the patience of trying to wait for my baby, I need to indulge in the word and prayer, and trust that my baby will come when God has determined it is time. It has also reminded me in my time of fear about the labor process that I need to trust in him and that I can do this so long as I trust in him as he has given me the strength to get through this. Thank you for your timely devotional!!
Hi my name is Hope Marias I live in South Africa and I receive the girlfriends devotions daily.
I was challenged again to trust God this week and reading today’s devotion encouraged me to discipline myself to trust God. Because last December my husband a powerful praise and worship leader started putting all his focus and energy in his job and took his focus of what God created him to be, a worship leader….he lost his way. He started having an affair with a young work collegue and two months later moved in with her. When all of this happened God told me stand….I did not know how but I stood in the midst of the pain. About a month ago he came home asked me and my two daughters for forgiveness and we forgave him because the three of us stood for the sake of his salvation. A week ago he left for his course he was on and never came back home, he went back to this lady because with the first disagreement he felt it was too much for him and he ran.
Our wounds are fresh and open again. I still feel that God is not letting me alone to stand for my marriage and I want my marriage restored. So I cried out in my pain again and have to trust where I cannot see. I believe God has a great plan for our family and the call upon our lives and that whatever the enemies planned for evil He will turn out for good. I also believe that God’s name will be glorified in this situation and that many lives will be turned around by our story.
Please stand and believe with us for the restoration of my marriage and family. My husbands name is Roland and my daughters is Stacey and Jesse.
Yours in Christ
I have never left a post or comment before today but today I feel compelled to do so. Today’s devotion really hits home for me. I keep tryingbto train myself in faith-breathing but I canbget discouraged. In my season of life, I am waiting for God to open the door and make a way where He has called me. It feels like I am waiting for nothing most of the time, BUT God reminded today to keep believing. My faith in His superntural power was failing and I really needed this boost! Thank you for being used by God and faithfully sending these devotionals to me. They are a real blessing to me. God bless.
I too needed this message … as I felt I had stopped really breathing as sadness and anxiety set in again. Knowing to breathe in God’s words and assurance is the answer; even when my son’s continual lies set me back. I so want to believe that he will turn his life over to God in his struggle with addiction. The cycle seems to repeat as I believe he has made a turnaround only to discover he has lied to me (and himself) in order to obtain financial support from me. Breathe ~ Breathe and pray that no one can steal my Joy for each day! ‘…the joy of the Lord is my strength.’
Thank you, Gwen, for this message. It had special significance to me because, you see, I am, at this moment, undergoing an ugly divorce. Because of this, I moved, with only what I could fit in my car, across the country to be near family. My ex has everything. I finally got a job-I am a nurse, and long story short, lost it again within 4 weeks. Never in nearly 15 years have I been terminated, but I was, and I believe there was foul play involved. Now, they want me to repay the relocation assistance they provided, and so took one thousand dollars, which I desperately needed, from my last check.
So here I am, in a new apartment with hardly anything, and the bills don’t stop, but I have no way to pay them. It has been 5 weeks since I worked. Finally, out of desperation, I got a waitressing job just to earn a little bit. I have had a few interviews, but nothing so far. I do have a promising interview in a few days; I am praying it works out.
I am sorry for the length of this message, but I am at that point where my “soul wants to scream,” and I am trying my utmost to just believe. Please, whomever may be reading this, pray for me to find a nursing job-the right one-very soon. I know faith is developed through trials, but after all of this, mine should be razor-sharp! :0)
Thank you, and God bless
Thank you for today’s message. I feel very convicted after reading it. So many times I am defeated because I depend only upon myself to pull through a difficulty, when I know that it is God I should be depending upon for all things. What is even more ridiculous is how much credit I give myself for doing such a good job “under the circumstances”!
The post was definitely what I needed to hear today. I am learning to surrender all to God. I am too in the fight of my life for order and stability in my marriage. I know that with more prayer, and continuous time in His Word I will come out victoriously. I was praying before I even read your post on the way that I should act even though I don’t like how my spouse may or may not be treating me. He said to me “behave the way I would have you to.” Confirmation of what He said “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness”. It is not all about me. It is all about HIM.
Gwen, a much needed devotion today (and everyday). I would ask for prayer for my marriage and my entire life situation. I’ve been married almost 37 years, but for the last 2 years my husband & I have lived under the same roof but separate lives. I have stayed, praying for God’s guidance in this. I am trying to hang in and be positive, but it is wearing me down. Last weekend we have to go to another state to see his mom in the hospital. She is 82 & not doing very well. While we were gone, a water line burst in our house and the house was flooded for almost 3 days. I am so worried about dealing with this and we have no money to do anything extra at this time. He is a govt employee who is having to take 11 furlough days starting this month thru Sept. It was already tight, but this is scary. I would feel better if my my husband was a believer, but he is not. I covet your prayers for my family and for God to guide us and lift us up. Thank you so much for the sharing and encouragement of this blog.
Gwen, thank you for today’s devotion. God’s timing is always on time and this devotion was exactly what I needed to hear. I feel uncertain about my future and I am looking to God for guidance on whether to stay and pursue marriage with the guy that I am seeing or to let go of our relationship. I need prayer to follow the Lord as He knows the plans he has for me. I tend to get distracted with my own wants. I pray that the Lord gives us both clear direction especially during this difficult emotional time. Right now my guy is pregnant with pain and I am his support as he is just trying to breathe. We are breathing together.
Gwen, I have really enjoyed reading your posts over the past few weeks! I am a firm believer in the Word of God, and all that is promised to each of us. Thank you for your personal journey as to the “practical” application of His word in our every day life as humans. It is nice to see it live and real through your own stories and personal experiences. I look forward to reading your post each day!
Gwen, this a powerful message, a reminder that our Lord cares and loves us so much. We all cry out in times of trouble, when we are lost and confussed,” Lord help me!” He never fails us. It takes discipline to carve out more than 5 minutes a day, yet I probably say to myself, more often than not, “Lord, I’m running late, I’ll catch up to you later. ” Praying in my car, out loud on my daily commute to school is not uncommon for me. Yet, I know he hears my requests, praises, and thanks for my many blessings! Thank you for sharing your story, I really enjoyed reading it.
Thank you for posting this today as it spoke to me. My husband and I have been talking for a long time about having a third baby but I have been paralyzed by fear. Fear of miscarriage, fear of something being wrong with the baby, fear of how my marriage will be affected. We went through a very difficult year when my second child was born. In my last month of pregnancy, I had faced a major trust issue with my husband and cried out to God. Then when our daughter was born, she faced uncertain health conditions. I clung to God like crazy at that time, not knowing what else to do. Today my marriage has been restored and my daughter is a beautiful and healthy little girl. But now I feel like everything is “stable and happy” in my life and I am terribly afraid to change anything in fear that something will go wrong. I feel like God is testing me to trust in him. I am just afraid that He will give me more challenges than I can handle. I want to trust God as I did then, but cant seem to let go of my own perceived control. I feel that God used the issue in my marriage to bring my husband and I closer together. He knew we would need to be strong to deal with the health problems our daughter would face. Please pray for me that I will trust in God again, that I will lean on him for making my life’s path, and that I can let go of my fear of the unknown. Thank you!
“There is no earthly pain that can diminish the joy of our salvation” Amen
I felt like that just last night, I’m in the fight of my life for my marriage and I feel like I am losing my mind and I have cried out to God for the past 6 weeks, feels like I’m dying, so the devotion today was timely in helping me to deal with this and overcome
A few years ago I went through a very tough time when even breathing was difficult. I started breathing in and out by saying Yaweh. It helped me focus on God and His presence and I knew I could make it through the next breath. I still use that method when I begin to feel anxious. Centering in God versus myself always helps.
What a wonderful suggestion. To whisper the most reverent name of God is to feel the most wonderful calm. Thank you for reminding me of this.
thanks that is a great suggestion.
I love this..thank you for sharing.
Will you please keep me in your prayers. I read through your devotions daily and they touch my heart and keep me strong. Will you pray that the Lord provides a loving Christian partner in my life. I am the only one in all of my family who never married. I am the the single one amongst all of my girlfriends. I smile and am happy for them. Inside, I am silently falling apart. I feel that I need to stop thinking about my future as a wife and a mom because it hurts to not have that. When I was in my twenties…I would smile as I dreamed of how different my life would be when I would be in my mid thirties. I smiled because I knew that then I would be so happy and would have met my husband and started a family. Each year was kind of the same….I got to see those beautiful changes in the lives of my family members and all of my friends. It never changed for me. I feel the same loneliness that I felt in my twenties. Now, when I think of what life will be like in my mid-forties … I cry. In private, I cry. I know that I am not alone. I know there are so many more people who want the same thing. I feel selfish to think that I deserved this. I know people have so many more problems than I could ever imagine. Instead I should be thankful for all of the blessings I have been given in life. Should I instead be praying to not have this desire in my heart – because I just find that I feel more down. I feel like I have no control over this aspect of my life. I can’t make someone love me or want to marry me – or have a family with me one day. I just feel alone and scared. Scared that this will be my life. I don’t even like to talk about my fears with other people – for the simple fact – that if it truly never happens for me, I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I am embarrassed.
Will someone please put me in the right direction on how to deal with this in according to God. Maybe this is where he wants me. Maybe he is allowing this to be brought upon me to make me closer to him. I am not angry at God. I love Him. It is just hard when you see everyone else moving forward with their lives ….and then I look at myself, and I cry.
I am in the same boat and I do understand how you are feeling. Many of my friends are married with kids, but I also know beautiful, bright, educated women in their thirties that are single, myself included. At times we feel exactly how you do, in fact I was just talking to someone about it last night. Please let me encourage you today by saying you are not selfish and you are not alone. When I completely cried out to God my sorrows with reckless abandon, he comforts me. His love covers all my sadness like a blanket of love. At times I cried out in anger, yet He still loves me. I never feel embarrassed or ashamed that I cry to the Lord as I pray for a husband. He already knows my heart and He is refining me to be the right wife for the right man. I knows your heart as well and he has a plan for you. May the Lord bring many blessings to you in your future. I will pray for you.
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I appreciate it greatly. I will pray for you and others alike. I will continue to be strong in Him. I know that he knows what is best for me. I just have to respect His knowledge of the things I cannot see. Thank you again, Mare.
Katie, I am praying for you! I know God has great plans for you.
Thank you. It is nice to feel the Love of another Christian. His plans are so big and amazing …we all really couldn’t comprehend it if we knew. That does make me smile.
Casey, waiting on God is always the hardest thing to do, but the reward is never a disappointment. Most of the women I know who were in your shoes decided to stop thinking about what could be and focused on what was. Living in the now, God showed them who they were and what they were capable of doing in His Kingdom. I saw saddness turn to confidence and slumped shoulders turn up and women stand tall. They had become fearful, thinking that they would be missing something that everybody else had and they didn’t. The Snake in the Garden of Eden told Eve the same thing…. she was missing out on something that God had and she wanted it too.
Find joy in your life now. Don’t anticipate it for later. The joy and light that shines from you as a result will be the very thing that makes youis atractive
Thank you for your words. I never really thought about it that way… with Eve in The Garden. You are so right. It really is very similar in thought. I will definitely put this thought into my prayer journal and refer to it when I find myself feeling like ‘ I am missing out’ on something. God really does know what is best for me. Thank you for taking the time to share these thoughts with me. I pray that you are well too and that your knowledgeable words may continue to help others.
Urgent prayer needed: Thank you, Gwen for perfectly timed words for my family today. My son Alex is going through the storm of his life at 25 years old!. We have been praying our hearts out for almost one year. Some days, we feel so defeated, and near hopeless, but we are leaning on our faith and faith-filled people to lift Alex up in prayer. Comparing this to labor pains or waves is exactly what this feels like, and I found myself just this weekend crying for hours, saying, “I can barely breathe!” So this is what total & complete anguish feels like! I appreciate your words this morning more than you know! Please join me in lifting Alex in Florida up in prayer. It’s rather urgent now. We are praying that even though the report does not look good, our Mighty God already has this all worked out! We need a miracle here! We are crying out to God for help! God is needed here.
I will do exactly as you said – learn to breathe through the “contractions” and learn the scriptures. And yes, I feel like screaming out in this unbelievable pain. Instead, I am learning to fall down on my knees and cry out to our Father. Our God is greater and we are hoping with all of our might that God shows up in a mighty way in this dark storm. Please pray for Alex! This kid has gone through an amazing transformation in this storm! He is bringing people to Jesus and making a big impact on others who cross his path. God’s light is shining through my son! Please lift him up in prayer. May God bless you. Thank you! From a mother’s broken heart, I thank you, endlessly.
praying for Alex and your family. Prayers are one of our greatest gifts that we can give to each other and in the process grow our own faith. God bless you, Cris.
Prayers for Alex. Your message of hope for your beautiful son touched me … especially your last sentence. As I have too deal with the pain of a ‘mother’s broken heart’. And through my reading an prayer I do believe that God’s keeps close those who are broken hearted…May His arms hold onto you during this trial.
Today and yesterday’s message from 1 Timothy 4:7 really helped me to understand the importance of spiritual disclipine. Just as we train physically, training ourselves spiritually requires a similar approach and has a far greater importance. It also shed some light on why we do the things we don’t want, it’s a matter of breaking a bad habit and trusting God to help us do so. Thank you for sharing the word, I have been truly blessed!
I’ve been a Chritian for a long time, 40 yrs. I’ve been through some life experiences that taught me different disciplines. I suppose in preparation for my latest devastation. In one month (may) my husband was diagnosed with cancer and then went home to be with Jesus. There was barely time to process one thing before the next thing was upon us. Much like labor pains. God gave me song and stuck it in my head ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord’ I sang that song nearly 24 hours a day. It helped. I don’t know what God’s plan for me is now, but I’m sure He will reveal it in due time. I was very thankful for verses I’d memorized, songs I’d learned and a lifetime of trusting Him to get me through each day. I’m certainly not saying ‘I’ve arrived’ because I don’t think we ever do until Heaven. Now I’m learning a new kind of life here on earth, one by myself instead of a life together with my beloved husband. My comfort lies in the fact that I now he’s with Jesus and completely healed and very happy. And I’m happy fot him, I don’t wish him back here on earth, knowing what he has now. But I sure do miss him.
Praying for you, Karen! Thank you for sharing. I needed this today! I pray that God almighty surrounds you with his Holy presence and brings you peace & comfort. God bless a brand new Angel! In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
This message translates ‘to breathe’ from just relaxing and taking a moment, to being disciplined and living purposefully. The phrase “Just breathe” has a whole new meaning for me in my present time of struggles and facing temptation and just wanting to run away from God.
Awesome. There are such benefits in the disciplines, Priscilla. God’s strength rises in us as we seek Him.
I loved today’s message. It hit my heart head on. I am aching so much.. I don’t understand what God is doing. I feel so isolated and lonely. I miss my grandchildren so so much.. Having a lack of money and a reliable car are like weights around my neck. And no one wants to help….??? : please pray for me. I want to serve our Lord and bless His name. Melissa
Lord, Thank you for your Word and for the ways you meet us with your strength when we seek you. Please bring glory to your name in and through the struggles that Melissa is facing. Help her to experience the fullness of your Spirit at work within her as she endures each struggle and calls on you for help. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I have a prayer request. Please pray with me that I take more time to and make more time to put the disciplines of faith in action. For the last four years now, my life has been a roller coaster of uncertainties.
Dear Lord, Please draw Angie to your heart. Bind her to Your Word and to Your will. Increase her desire to prioritize You and help her to experience a renewal and rejuvenation of faith that will speak of Your glory to those in her life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I need the discipline to make more time to spend daily with my Lord and Saviour, reading His word, praying for the strengths I need in my daily life, which always seems so full. I pray for the discipline to do this.
Spiritual disciplines bring great blessings, Dee. Keep moving in that direction. This blog post might help you too: http://gwensmith.net/prayer-power/
Trust being one of the important parameters of the intensity of our relationship with God, it is necessary for us to grow in faith and trust continuously. Though we all know this it becomes essential for most of us that someone reminds us to get up and get back on our journey of growing in faith. Very nicely connected to a practical issue that a mother faces, very inspiring article. Thank you.
Glad you connected with the post! 🙂 Blessings, Gwen
It has connected to two challenges I’m facing right now in life. Trying to get pregnant considering my biological clock is ticking and accomplishing my degree in business and management. And I am scared sometimes to ask God for both, thinking I may be asking for much.
I pray I can find my real god & jesus of my heart like I used to know! amen
The Bible promises us that when we seek God, we will find Him. Ask Him to bring help you grow in Truth. Draw near to Him. Here are a few other posts that might help you:
This has connected to my heart in the sense that lately I have been struggling so much with the tragedies that have been happening in America. The little children being killed in CT., the Boston bombings, the children killed in the school during the tornado in OK,. the firefighters in AZ….my list could go on. I don’t understand how all these things can work for the good, but I keep meditating on scripture knowing that somehow, this will all be worked out for the glory of God. Reading this today helped me to know to keep going…keep having faith during these tough times…. that there are reasons for everything even if I do not understand them. I am working hard to put my trust in God to try to understand the purpose of some of these tragedies.
Oh, I hear you – and understand your grieving heart, Roberta. I’m blessed to know that the LORD met you in a personal way as you read. He’s so good that way. Your comments remind me of a song I wrote. Hope it encourages your heart from a different angle: http://youtu.be/CbAEHMGRASs
I started reading the bible and going to church in the last year. I guess you could say I am new to God. I listen and read and listen and read. I cannot pinpoint a moment of definition or revelation, but I keep reading, praying, (begging and pleading is more apt description) and listening. As one who has struggled from a multitude of abuses in childhood, I trust myself the least, and my fears are many. My thoughts are better if I keep busy or turn on the internet to listen to Christian programming and my moments of peace and happiness are more frequent, but my doubts and struggles continue to recurr. I wish I could be at the end of this process so I could look back and see what happened and what worked. I am trying hard and I am not giving up. I just wish I knew with certainty things are happening and did not doubt myself. I can say I do feel a peace and encouragement I have never before felt when I listen to online conversations and programs and that I look forward to church to calm me down and refocus my mind in a more positive direction.
I too struggle just like you. I am not new to God , but I still struggle. I will not give up either. I study and pray and read other posts from other sites too. Keep doing what you are doing. It is hard I agree, but what I do know with all certainty that God can and He will. It’s great to know that there are others like you and me willing to share our struggles. It’s not easy out here in this world alone. We need each other to encourage and lift each other up. Stay strong my sister.