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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Measure (01/10/13)

TITLE: Loved Beyond Measure
By Chrystlyn Edwards
01/13/13


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I am thankful God has allowed me to see another year. Last year was a hard year for me, but I learned so many lessons in the midst of my pain. To be honest, I had a rough start this year too, but I choose to believe this year will not end the same way it started.

I spent the majority of last year in a state of depression. There were various reasons as to why I was depressed. I had experienced many disappointments in my personal and professional life. With the combination of circumstances beyond my control; and condemning myself for the poor choices I made in my personal life. My spirit and heart were beyond broken. In fact, they were shattered.
As a result of my depression, I was becoming bitter. Even though I had a smile on my face, my heart was heavy. I pretended as if everything was fine, but I was in so much pain. Before I knew it, I had a developed a negative attitude not only about life, but about God. I faced discouragement on a daily basis. It seemed as if every prayer I prayed to Him fell on deaf ears, or when He did answer; the response was not what I wanted, nor expected. I had pretty much given up on God. I am relieved and grateful that He chose not to give up on me.

Looking back, I am comforted that God never left me & heard every prayer that I prayed. In fact, I am realizing now that He carried me, by allowing me to function in the midst of my pain. On the days I did not want to get out of bed, it was then that He carried me. In the depth of my pain, He was showing me that His love is deeper and immeasurable.
In His patient love, He started the process of guiding me out the dark place I was in at that point in my life. In coming out of my depression, He showed me how to enjoy life and find things to be grateful for. He showed me the blessings are in the small things. Now, I choose to focus on God and the blessings He has given me thus far: an opportunity to have a relationship with Him, hope of eternal life because of my faith in Him, friends & family.
With all of the pain I have endured, I am very fortunate to have the gift of freedom in Christ. I now have a renewed confidence that He has my best interest at heart, and mostly importantly-He loves me.

Before I entered this year, I asked God to personalize His love for me, and to prepare my heart to love with wisdom and no fear throughout the year despite the circumstances I will face this year. I know He will be faithful in answering these prayers. In the meantime, I choose to stay positive and fight the temptation to get discouraged when things are not going the way I would like for them to go.
I know I am still a work in progress, but I know that am on the right path in learning how to have and maintain a positive spirit with a grateful heart.

I can honestly say God is helping me heal and pick up the pieces. He is literally restoring my spirit and my soul. I have the simple childlike faith this year will end on a positive note. As I live my life in obedience to Him, I know that one day He will bless me beyond measure in His time. In the meantime, I choose to live one day at a time, and trust Him with my future which is in His hands.


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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/18/13
This is a touching testimonial. I think it takes a lot of courage to open up your heart to the world. But with your faith, God will use your pain to minister to others. I can totally relate in many ways. Last year was hard for me because each one of my kids moved on to the next big phase of their lives. My self-esteem is wrapped up in being a mother, but now God has plans for the next phase of MY life. Your words give me hope as I tackle what God plans for me next.
Joanne Sher 01/20/13
What a beautiful testimony, and so incredibly encouraging. I am so sorry for the struggles you went through this past year, but glad to hear how God redeemed that time. What a blessing. Thank you for sharing!
Michelle Knoll 01/20/13
And with the comfort the Lord has given you, you will be able to comfort others. Blessings to you!
CD Swanson 01/22/13
Amen. Beautiful! God bless~
Bonnie Bowden01/22/13
I am so sorry to hear that you had such a difficult year. I have also suffered from a period of depression in my life. Unfortunately,without pain we would not change and grow. May God bless you now and in the future.
Terry R A Eissfeldt 01/23/13
I know it's difficult to share something like this with out sounding either too open or too glib. You found the right balance and communicated both pain and hope. Well done.
I think you'll find you're not alone in the dark places or the deep. It is truly as we become still (forced or voluntarily) that we KNOW He is God.
Bless you