Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fully equipped

I cried out to God, “What is the point of my life?”

God answered me with an opportunity, and I said, “No, I can’t do that. Show me the real point of my life now that I’m a widow.”

God again showed me the same opportunity, and I again said, “No way, I get too nervous. No way. You're not listening to me, Lord. Show me something I can do for you so that my life has meaning.”

For months, God and I had this battle. No, I battled and God was patient with me; but I still kept asking God to show me what He wanted me to do—and always I was waiting for God to provide the answer I wanted to hear.

Then God sent me another opportunity, and I laughed, because it was the same opportunity with a slightly different twist. Still I didn’t say yes, instead I hesitated and stewed about it all. I even came up with some interesting reasons why I simply couldn’t do this for the Lord.

I prayed. I researched. I prayed. I found what I needed to accomplish this task. I continued to hesitate. I prayed, and I went to bed hesitating about it all. I awoke this morning and told God, “I’m not sure I can do this, but if You’ll give me the strength, I'll do it.”

Then God showed me something in His Word.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (NASB)—“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed…”

It was then that I realized God has already equipped me fully to do this for Him, but I had simply failed to trust Him to do as He promised. With absolute peace in my heart, I’m moving forward with this opportunity, and I’ll be totally trusting God daily for all the strength I need to accomplish this task.

1 Peter 5:7: “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The world is about to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the day where those who don’t have a special someone in their life can easily feel very alone, lost, left out, etc. Let’s be honest, even those with a special someone in their life can find this day difficult. Life isn’t always easy, is it?

Last year I wrote about “The Perfect Valentine”, and why Valentine’s Day is difficult in many ways for me. In the year that has passed, I’ve grown a great deal spiritually, and I’ve emotionally healed a great deal as well. Or so I thought. 

A few weeks ago I noticed that I wasn’t sleeping well, I was easily frustrated, and I was having emotional meltdowns and doing weird things. It actually took a big meltdown where I let loose on someone, and hurt them, before I realized what was going on with me. Once I realized that it was likely all because the day was just around the corner, I apologized to my friend, and then apologized to God. I was able to let go and really talk to the Lord about it, and suddenly I knew how to survive:
  • Fill my heart with God’s Word in even more abundance than normal.
  • Spend more time in prayer for others.
  • Call on a precious friend for extra support.
I’m often a stubborn person, even when God shows me something. Yes, I know I’ll pay the price for not being obedient, but I have this sin nature that is filled with “issues”, and one of my biggest issues is stubbornness, and that’s closely followed by being lazy, and then there’s … well, I’ll let you imagine my other issues. ;-)

I’m excited to say that this was one time when I wasn’t stubborn. Now that I think about it, I should probably mark this down on my calendar and make it an annual celebration: the day Kimberly wasn’t stubborn. HA! Anyhow, I sat right down and sent an email to my dear friend and asked her to pray for me. We had prayed for each other in special ways during this past ‘holiday season’, and I knew that she would stand with me once again.

While I have many friends, God has blessed my life with the love and friendship of this lady. She has a heart for Him, a heart filled with joy, and a heart that cares about others. She and I have connected in so many ways, with similar likes and dislikes, and we even have a similar strange sense of humor. My poor friend. We are simply able to talk and pray and support each other. She’s encouraged me in so many ways, and I know that I can tell her anything and it will never go beyond her heart, and I trust that she knows the same about me. I feel greatly blessed that God sent this lady into my life.

For the past two weeks I’ve spent a lot of time reading my Bible, praying for others, and in particular I uphold my dear friend in extra prayer every morning and before going to sleep at night. The result is that my spirit is calm, my heart is happy; and even when my cold got me down (and whine about it I did!), I knew that God would see me through the day.

Prayer is a powerful weapon, and when combined with God’s Word and the support of other Christians, there is no limit to what can happen. If you are struggling right now, I hope you will reach out to the Lord and to a dear friend for support.

“…that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
—Romans 1:12 (NIV)

Friday, January 20, 2017

God Leads

“I am leading you along a way that is uniquely right for you,” is how my devotional began a few weeks ago. My first thought was Psalm 37:23: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” (KJV). The author of the devotional had included some scripture references as well, and one of them really stood out to me as it meshed with my own reference: “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”—Ephesians 2:10 (NIV 1984)

As a relatively new widow, I’m always struck by the idea that God had planned all this for me (and even for my late husband). Before we were ever born, God knew we would marry, where we would fail, where we would shine, where we would live, and when we would die.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”—Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV 1984)

God knew I would be alone, and He planted scripture in my heart to sustain me through it all. He prepared a church home for me. He brought men and women into my life to be my friends, and to whom I could be a friend as well. God prepared a bottle for my tears, and each one is precious to Him.

“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.”—Psalm 56:8 (NLT)

Yes, this is God’s perfect plan for me. Does God have a perfect plan for you? Yes, He does; and it begins with accepting Jesus as your Savior—and then all the rest will have meaning. Even the difficult times.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”—2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV 1984)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Eve 2016

Christmas Eve morning 1978 found Mac and I sitting in a little church listening to a message about Christmas from the book of Romans. For over 6 months I had been discouraged and unhappy and was searching for the answer to one question: How to fix my relationship with God. This was our third visit to this church, and I was afraid I’d never find the answer I so wanted.

Then the preacher read Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”, and I knew he was speaking about me. Then he shared Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Suddenly I realized that I had found my answer and I wanted that gift more than anything.

The preacher went on to share that, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Christ died for ME! I was stunned at the notion that God loved me that much. Suddenly the preacher asked everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes. He quoted Romans 10:9, “…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” He told us that was all it took: confess with your mouth and believe in your heart. Silently I cried out to God, “I am a sinner and I believe that Jesus died for me!” As soon as the service closed, I grabbed Mac’s hand and told him I’d accepted Christ as my Savior; and with tears rolling down his face he told me he’d been praying for me. My husband had been praying for me! From that moment on, we began anew. Our marriage was richer, our love for each other was deeper, our lives were set on a fresh path.

Through 40 years of marriage, the best were those 36 years we traveled together united in Christ. Then God in His great wisdom took Mac home to heaven, and so I now travel this path alone. Yet, I’m never alone. God is always with me, and He has promised to always be there: “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Christmas Eve 2016 I celebrated my 38th birthday—my “born again” birthday. It’s the best day of my life. The one that assures me that I’ll see Mac again someday; and best of all—I’ll see my Savior. Because of this day, I have peace to face each day, and find strength and comfort as I travel this new path as a widow. I rest in the promise found in Romans 8:38-39:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Merry Christmas and all the best in 2017!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


I realize that this is a bit long, but it comes from my heart and I am praying that you will read all the way to the end.

From the moment I met my late husband, I knew I could trust him. It showed in his words and his actions; and every day it was verified by his behavior. He never broke a promise and he never promised things that weren’t in his abilities to do. He never, ever, revealed secrets—not to me, not to anyone. Never once did he say, “I shared your secret because it was the right thing to do.” Mac was the perfect example of “keeping his own counsel.”

As a couple we knew we could trust each other completely; even better as Christians, we both knew that we could totally trust God. 

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
—Psalm 9:10 (NKJV)

Being able to trust God allowed us to face Mac’s illness and his death. Being able to trust God allows me to face each day without my beloved Mac. But the one thing I’m hesitant to do is trust other people.

I think this is true for many, if not all, widows. Trusting another person requires you to open your heart up to them, and that’s not easy when your heart has been broken into pieces and has yet to mend. Trusting others make you very vulnerable in so many ways: emotionally, perhaps physically, even financially. 

Yet it is part of healing to reach out and trust others, but when that trust is betrayed it hurts. Often the simplest betrayal of a confidence is a very deep hurt to a person that is already hurting; and the smallest, chiding comment digs deep into a broken heart.

Over the past two years I’ve been hurt several times, and every time causes me to pull back and withdraw. Because I’m not truly a confrontational person (unless you really, really push me), I don’t say to someone that their betrayal of a confidence, or their scolding comment hurt. Instead I spend time working through my pain and hurt privately until I feel I can reach out and trust anyone again. 

Sometimes I have a very hard time learning to trust that particular person again—to trust, really trust, a person who has hurt you is difficult. I think this is true for all of us, but more so when your heart is fragile.

Because in my own heart, I can’t forgive and trust as I should, I have learned to take these hurts and lay them at Jesus’ feet. He, and He alone, is able to heal my heart. He is able to give me the grace and strength to reach out and trust others again. After all, He has never broken a promise to me, He is always with me, He is my comfort, strength, and joy, and I can go forward unafraid of what others can do to me.

The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
Psalm 118:6 (NKJV)

I hope that you have placed your trust in the saving blood of Christ and have called on Him as your Savior. If you haven’t, you are missing out on a wonderful joy. Call on Him today.

Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:9 (NKJV)
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:13 (NKJV)
For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

As a Christian, my desire is to be a trustworthy Christian. Daily I have to ask God to help me control my thoughts and actions so that I am “keeping my own counsel.” Some days I do okay at this, somedays I fail completely. My prayer is that you, dear reader, are a trustworthy Christian, so that you are able to reach out to those who are hurting and in need of your love and encouragement.

Some verses I read when I’m dealing with a trust issue. Dig into the Bible and you’ll find lots more.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
—Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
—Psalm 9:10 (NKJV)

But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
—Psalm 13:5 (NKJV)

Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?
—Psalm 56:3, 4 (NKJV)

The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
—Psalm 118:6 (NKJV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
—Proverbs 3:5, 6 (NKJV)

Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song;
He also has become my salvation.’ ”
—Isaiah 12:2 (NKJV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
—Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

In everything give thanks

“…in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NAS) 

Today would have been “our” 42nd wedding anniversary. Facing this date is a bit easier this year, than last, and for that I am thankful. Still, I’ve been pondering how to deal with today. It’s no longer a romantic day, it’s still a bit painful to sit and remember our wedding and all those anniversaries, but I didn’t want the day to go totally unnoticed by me. Then God laid something on my heart.

So this morning I woke with joy in my heart. I fixed my one cup of caffeine, and sat down for my devotions. Then I went to the Thru the Bible web site and made a special donation in memory of my wonderful hubby and all those years we had together. 

Why Thru the Bible? Mac and I began riding the “Bible Bus” with Dr. McGee in 1978, shortly after Mac was saved and just before I was saved. We continued to ride the Bible bus together until Mac went home to glory in 2014. That’s 36 years and just over 7 times through the Bible! A lot of traveling together and studying God’s Word.

Mac used to listen to Dr. McGee on the way to work, and if any of his co-workers shared a ride, they had to listen as well. One fellow usually fell asleep, or so Mac thought. Then one day this guy spoke up at the end of the broadcast and told Mac that he liked the way Dr. McGee taught the Bible in simple terms, and that he had accepted Christ as his Savior as a result of listening and then reading his Bible at home in the evenings to check out what Dr. McGee had shared that day! What a JOY

So I believe in my heart that Mac would have approved of this donation. Someday in glory I’ll meet this co-worker face to face and we can all rejoice together. What an exciting day that will be.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Prepared beforehand

This morning, Pastor Mike was preaching on “What Christ Did for You”, and around the mid-point of his message I heard him say, “In Christ alone we are made righteous, given understanding, compelled to seek and turn toward God, becoming precious to God…”; and then he quoted Ephesians 2:10.

“For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand
so that we would walk in them.”
—Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)

It’s not that I haven’t read this verse before, and it’s not that God hasn’t laid this verse on my heart before (see No, well maybe)—it’s that today this verse smacked me between my eyes and then drove itself right into my heart. 
  • My heart that is aching. 
  • My heart that is empty. 
  • My heart that is struggling. 
  • My heart that is searching for a reason for this life of widowhood.
  • My heart that misses, oh so very much, my Mac.
  • My heart that is filled with very sad memories of the last 10 days we had together.
  • My heart that seems unable to find the 40 years of happy memories we had together.
  • My heart that is finding the end of the second year of being alone SO VERY LONELY.
  • My heart that feels there isn’t a purpose for my life.
  • My heart that is finding it hard to let go of some guilt.
  • My heart that is finding it hard to trust God.
  • My heart that some days Does. Not. Like. God.

So there I sat today, with this heart of mine that has been struggling for the past few months and is on the verge of going cold, and God tells me, again, that He knew before I was born that I would be a widow, that I would have these struggles, that I would be lonely, that I would be angry with HIM; and yet, He loved me so much He still died for me, He still formed me in my mother’s womb, and He still opened my eyes to His precious gift of salvation. 

This verse seared itself deep into my aching, empty, struggling heart and broke apart another barrier—and it HURT. Honestly, it hurt, and it’s not the first time recently that my heart has hurt as God has pealed away layers of sin and sorrow from my heart. He did it through a Bible study in Habakkuk at our Ladies Bible Study at church; and again the next evening at our mid-week study at church where we are studying Philippians.

I’m finally facing the reality that some of my hurt and pain over losing Mac will never go away, nor will some of the guilt I feel; but it will ease, and as it does, so will my anger and upset. Yet facing these things is so very hard

God knew beforehand, He prepared the way beforehand, and He is there with me each step of the way. The big question is: Will I reach out to Him and allow Him to lead me, or will I continue to turn inward and withdraw, and continue to let my heart fill with anger and pain? Only time will tell, but I'm praying this past week has been a turning point for me. 

Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk 3:18 (NASB)

For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you
will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 1:6 (NASB)

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21 (NASB)