Hi Friends,

Whew! Oh my it has been a long, hard year for me! The past 18 months have taken me on a wild ride through some of the toughest self-examination that I have endured thus far. And considering the difficult trials we experienced with my Angel Pie, that’s saying a lot! But by God’s Grace, I pray I am on the other side of this “Valley of the Shadow of Death,” as King David put it. It certainly felt like death as I faced things that left me depleted and barely holding on to any peace and joy. Again by His Grace, God not only helped me navigate the dangerous path, but I have learned all sorts of good lessons along the way. The Truth is, God is still so very good even when life is not.

Freedom. One of the greatest lessons is about this gift of being free. It is a new level of peace and joy to live free from the control of situations and other humans of whom I have no control over. Now, instead of wasting my precious energy getting upset about issues that break my heart, I invest that energy by praying to God about them. The Truth is God never expects us to control every detail of every circumstance around us- we are to affect it for good, but control it? No, this is too much for our tiny shoulders. And we certainly cannot control other humans either- if we’re honest, we can’t even control ourselves apart from the power of the Spirit within us! Self-control is a virtue from the Fruit of the Spirit and that God will equip us to do if we choose to turn to Him for that help. So instead of squandering the daily energy I have on things I cannot do anyway, I am channeling that power towards the Lord Who can do all things. I keep my heart open to His leading, in case there is something He is calling me to physically do. But if not, I pray and trust Him to do what only He can do: change hearts. Then I continue on with my life, free from the negative emotions that were keeping me back from living more fully.

This new Freedom is not only deepening my relationship with my Lord, but it has also given me a new appreciation for others. You see, I learned that people do not only have value when they are being obedient. We don’t only have worth because we are doing and saying the right things. We are precious just because God created us and loves us. The Cross is the only place where any human gets their worth. In a world where people are desperately searching for acceptance and “likes” based on their own ideas or talents or net worth, all we really have to do to sense important is to kneel at the Cross and receive God’s Love displayed upon the Sacrifice of His Son. My Friend, you are valued because God says you are. Because Jesus died for you. Because the Holy Spirit desires to be one with you forevermore. All we have to do is agree with what God has already done on our behalf. All we have to do is turn to Him with open hands and welcome His Greatest Gift, Jesus.

God is taking me to the next level with these blogs too. I know how people are moving away from reading…we are all so very “busy” we do not have time to sit and read a whole article. Our attention span is being trained to focus on something for only a fraction of a minute before it wants to move on. With this in mind, I am in the process of transitioning to recordings instead. Since my knowledge about technology is limited, won’t you join me in praying for God to surround me with people who are savvy in this area? Thanks for your loyalty! And stay tuned…

Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think!

<>< Peace, Diane