“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
When my second son was born I was exhausted. He cried nearly all of the time and I was completely overwhelmed. The inadequate feeling that I had of not being able to console my child broke my heart and frequently brought me to tears. I was a few weeks into the weary cycle of him crying and then me crying about him crying, when God gently reminded me that I needed to stop relying on my own abilities and to start relying on His.
It was late one night when I first remember praying, “God, please give me the endurance to get through just one more feeding”. This simple, yet desperate prayer was all that I could think to ask for at the time. I knew that if God could get me through the next hour, then He would be faithful to get me through the ones that would follow. This type of moment-to-moment complete dependence on the Lord is where our relationship with Him matures. When we finally recognize our own inability, we are better able to witness the Lord’s ability and we are drawn closer to Him because of it.
In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul discusses how he was given a thorn in his flesh to keep him from becoming conceited. This tormenting thorn was used by God to protect Paul from prideful self-reliance and it encouraged him to continually seek the Lord. Our pride can cause us to think that we don’t need to rely on God at all times, so it is good for us to experience hardships if those hardships encourage us to live in a more constant fellowship with the Lord.
As I prepare for the birth of our third boy in November, I’ve been reflecting on the hardships of those early days with my son. However, what I now remember most, is how the Lord met me in my weakness and how moment-by-moment, tear-by-tear, He incrementally got me through that difficult time. When I felt helpless and inadequate as a mom, God lavished me with His grace by reminding me that these challenges did not make me a failure, they simply revealed my need for Him.
Paul received a similar response from the Lord as he prayed about his thorn. God didn’t remove the problem that Paul was facing, instead He reassured Paul that He would provide for him through the problem. God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” In our lives, there may be times when God allows us to experience seasons of great weakness, when we will feel helpless, hopeless and unable to continue on. In those times, our always good God may be accomplishing His perfect will for us by providing us with an opportunity to become more dependent upon Him. When this happens, His grace becomes our endurance, our strength, our encouragement, our peace, and so on. In these ways His power is displayed through our weakness and moment-by-moment we will grow to love Him more for it.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.