Luann Prater

"Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope." Psalm 119:49 (NIV)

I recall the moments of despair. I couldn't see my way out. Three small children were depending on me and that thought was overwhelming. I would cry in the middle of my mobile home floor, feeling desperately lonely. I wondered if I would have food to feed them or a way to keep them warm.

Child support was $142 a month, but I rarely received it. I worked a full time job, took in laundry, and worked as a waitress during holidays. When all three kids would get sick at the same time, my life felt like a nightmare. The thought of driving off a cliff entered my mind more than once, but I couldn't bear to think what that would do to my kids for the rest of their lives.
I wanted someone (I would have settled for ANYONE at times) to just even pretend to care about me. Would rescue ever come?

Then one day I made the decision to look for the good. My baby went to the potty (hey, that was a big deal). My oldest waved from the school bus. My son poured on a heart-melting smile. Choosing to laugh more than cry and finding the fun in each day was often like seeking buried treasure. But most days the good was there; it just wasn't as noticeable as the bad. Focusing on those moments felt like breath in my lungs.

My theme song was Carole King's "Beautiful" that says, "You've got to get up every morning with a smile on your face." Gray had dominated my days for far too long, the sun needed to shine in my life again.

I remember purposely watching other moms who had happy kids to see what they were doing right. And those who seemed to have peace, even in the middle of their meltdowns particularly intrigued me. What did they have that my 'pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps' mentality wasn't fulfilling?

Jesus. They simply had found the Prince of Peace who sends the Counselor into your heart when you accept Him. Watching those examples made me hunger for that relationship in my own life.
Now, as I look back, I see the string of choices, the dots that all connected. They all brought me to this very day. This day when I am sitting at my breakfast table, peering at the stars glistening in the sky, writing this note to you, my friend. The note says, "You can do this. We can't possibly see the road ahead or try to understand where it is going, but I guarantee you the Creator of the universe is connecting your dots."

Dear Lord, I need your help to make it through today. I need to notice the good. Don't let me forget You've brought me through every struggle I've ever faced. Remind me to share that good news with others who need to hear it. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Jesus?

Visit with Luann on her blog and Encouragement Café
Am I Messing Up My Kids?...and other Questions Every Mom Asks by Lysa TerKeurst

The Busy Mom's Guide to Bible Study: A 15 Minute Daily Plan by Lisa Whelchel

Finding a Mentor, Being a Mentor by Donna Otto

What memories allow me to see God's divine hand in my life?

How do I share that hope with others?

Who may be watching me, hoping to find lasting Hope?

Power Verses:
Deuteronomy 31:8, "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (NIV)

Genesis 21:16a-17, 19, "And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, 'What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water." (NIV)

© 2010 by Luann Prater. All rights reserved.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know all too well that feeling of despair. Im going through a situation right now i know that God is working behind the scenes to perform a miracle but when you do not see anything with the physical eye... the devil sows seeds of doubt. But im not giving up on the BRINK OF MY MIRACLE. im trusting our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that you do not give up also. Hold on to Jesus!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great words of hope & peace. Jesus is the only TRUE source of peace and what a joy it is to know him personally!!!

Anonymous suzette said...

Isn't God amazing, the way He can reach us no matter how downtrodden we are! Thankyou God for even the tiniest ray of sunshine, to keep me going every day.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a wonderful blog and something that I needed to desperately hear today. Thank you for your words.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, sometimes I feel angry, sometimes very much in despair-my emotions are different as I am walking through a shadow filled time. Yet, your story has let me know that God can work through any circumstances. I know this in my head but actually putting into action and living out this belief is way harder than it seems. I pray that I will be able to do as you did and see light where there seems to be none and see God in all things even those that appear to not have God in Him. May I listen for HIS voice and watch for light rather than wallow in the darkness and allow satan to win. Thank you for the devo.

Blogger Unknown said...

Sometimes I think P31 has cameras in my home... yet another perfectly timed and worded devotional to lift my tired spirit. Luann, it was so nice to see you in this months P31 Mag... I've so missed your Prayer articles that were published each month.... Blessings and Thank you again for writing obediently.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for being candid in admitting your fears and thoughts that could stay hidden forever. It makes the rest of us feel normal... :) God is connecting the dots, and I thank you for that reminder.

Blogger Jo Davis said...

Thanks for this encouraging post. It is so good to remember that Jesus is the peace we need in the midst of Chaos! "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PERFECT! I needed this encouragement greatly on this day and well, everyday! I am finally learning that with God by my side I can handle whatever life throws my way... whether it's two kids, no child support, no house to call home, illness, list can always go on... and to look at the positive aspects of absolutely every challenge I face. I am becoming the strong, patient and humble mother and woman I have always wanted to be, through Christ. Thank you God for this devotion that touched so many of us mothers that are trying so desperatly to raise children with little money and not many resources!! :)

Blogger sanjeet said...

im trusting our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that you do not give up also. Hold on to Jesus!!!
post free classifieds

Post a Comment


Site Search
Recent Devotions
Articles About...
Grab our button!