Food for the Flock Devotional 13

September 20, 2017

We have been talking about stewardship during the last few weeks in worship. I’ve been focusing on generosity; God’s abundant love and forgiveness as well as his perpetual mercy. During the prayers of the church we have entered into conversation with God about our response. We have had a couple of inspiring temple talks. We challenged our children and youth to lead the way in outreach to the community.

 

I thought that I would share my own story about giving to God.

 

As my daughter was preparing to enter into the Corp of Cadets at Virginia Tech, I came to a startling revelation. I could no longer live with her father. The reasons were varied. Being a co-dependent was not healthy for either one of us.

 

As some of you know, divorce is physically, emotionally, and financially draining. The house that my daughter was raised in had to be sold and the proceeds divided. I divided the household items, making compromises where necessary. My former husband insisted on going to court where aspects of our life were revealed. After 15 months of limbo the divorce was finally granted.

 

After I got settled, I reflected on how fortunate I was. I had amazing friends who helped me and my daughter. My then congregation was extraordinary as well as my colleagues and Bishop. I loved my tidy apartment. I discovered that I really didn’t need all the stuff. It wasn’t the stuff that was important, it was the people, my sense of peace, and a renewed relationship with God. I was given an opportunity to rediscover what was really important.

 

Over the last few years I have found myself filled with gratitude. I have a new call with you and renewed energy. I never thought I would own a home again. Life is not perfect, sometimes there is chaos, but there is also joy. The love of God has transformed me. I have a different outlook which comes from God. I realize how blessed I am. In response, I want to be generous with my time and talents. I’m not saying this because I am so wonderful. I am not always successful, but I am work in progress like everyone else.

 

Pastor Joanna

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