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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Gift from Above

James 1:17 ESV

From the Jar

As I write this I am reminded how we all struggle so…

We pray and we wait and we wonder about making the right decisions in life.

We ask God what He has for us and we wait for an answer. Sometimes an answer does come, but not always.

Life can be very confusing.

In James 1:17 we are told, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

I love that verse.

I love the idea of it.

The idea is delightful that God gives us perfect gifts and that our God doesn’t waiver or change. I’m just not sure my life has always looked so perfect and easy and delightful.

Instead I’ve found that I struggle and that I’m often unsure about what to do next.

I’ve had very great disappointments…unexpected turns that pulled the rug out from under me. I’ve cried and prayed and been ever so confused.

See, after 30 years my life (or the life I knew) fell completely apart. Everything I had worked for and everything I had hoped for was suddenly gone.

What was worse is that I didn’t see it coming.

I was in shock for months, even years. I sold off what I could and I gave most of it away. I moved from a new two story house in a lovely neighborhood to a small older second floor condo. I was grateful I had a one car garage and a storage closet.

Every good and perfect gift is from above.

The absolute best thing that happened to me during that time period was that I was promoted at work and I made enough to make the condo payment. Barely enough.

I had an old car and I was grateful it ran.

Every good and perfect gift is from above.

I lost my old church when everything fell apart. See, I had been the pastor’s wife. Now, all of that was gone. For 30 years that had been my life and now there was only me. Just me.

I had to learn to be me in a new way.

I had to learn to breathe.

I kept one friend from my old life. Only one stood by me. The others scattered. My one old friend prayed for me and comforted me. She was enough.

Gradually I found a new church and I made one new friend. Gradually I found my way, my niche.

Every good and perfect gift is from above.

Two years later God called me to go to Seminary. I fought it because I felt like I was too old. I was 54 years old. God fought harder and pushed me and I finally gave in. It turned out I was glad I went to Seminary. It was a grand adventure. Learning Hebrew was the most difficult thing I’d ever done, but it was so worth it!

Every good and perfect gift is from above.

Somebody told me about a place where I could go talk to a Spiritual Director. I didn’t even know what that was but I went week after week after week and after a while I started to breathe again on my own. I even laughed.

Year after year I went to school and to work. I went to church and I found a Healing Prayer Service where they would pray for me. I went to see my Spiritual Director every week.

My new life didn’t look anything like my old life, but gradually it was good.

It took time.

When I first started going to the Healing Prayer Service I sat in the back and I couldn’t go forward to ask for prayer. They prayed for me anyway. Gradually, I became a pray-er and I prayed for others. Then they came to me and asked me if I would be Director.

Every good and perfect gift is from above.

When I finished Seminary I prayed about being a Pastor, but I didn’t get an answer. People would come to me and ask me to sit with them when they needed to talk to someone. I realized I could do that. Becoming a Spiritual Director was quite organic for me. It was like breathing.

Every good and perfect gift is from above.

I love to write and speak and I’ve been a writer and a photographer most of my life. When I retired from my job I thought I’d like to have a website so I could write about God and thoughts on Spirituality.

But I couldn’t figure out how to do it. One day I told my four kids I couldn’t figure out how to set up a website and one of my daughters-in-law said she could do it. I had worked at it for months and months and she set it up in two hours.

Every good and perfect gift comes from above.

So, here I am.

I love it.

I take photographs and draw pictures and I write about God.

It’s good. God is good.

God gave me many perfect gifts from above.

And I am ever so grateful! None of it was what I wanted but it was what I needed. It was exactly what I needed.

Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Let God

As you struggle, let God give you what you need. Tell Him what you need and open your hands. It may take time but God will give you every perfect gift from above.

In God, Deborah


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