Friday, August 10, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: God Made You and Loves You Unconditionally


As I Am

A devotional by Sara L. Foust

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” — Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)

This verse has been on my heart a lot lately. First, when I returned from my mission trip in May. Then it spurred the idea for my recent blog post on my website. And today, again, as I write this newest thought I can’t get this verse out of my mind.

As my friend, Becky, and I drove to a weekend event at the Grainger County Tomato Festival recently, we visited and the topic of our health came up, as it does often. I have struggled with depression since I was a young girl, and many times in my life have wondered why in the world I had to suffer with such a complicated, unseen, stigmatized disease. Years ago my cousin, also Becky, pointed out to me that I shouldn’t feel embarrassed or badly for my disease. It isn’t necessarily something I can completely control.

After all, someone with diabetes or heart disease or arthritis is rarely chastised for having a disease. It isn’t something they can help, after all, right? I am thankful for this reminder and especially thankful for the journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance it created. Since that conversation, God has shown me just how carefully He crafted me. I am precious, like the items at the fair, hand-crafted, unique, and made with care. God didn’t randomly grab a bunch of ingredients and throw them into my DNA pot. No, He hand-picked them with intention, including whatever element it is in my brain that makes me susceptible to depression. I may not understand why I have it. My cousin may not understand why she has RA. My friend may not understand why she has dysautonomia. But I firmly believe, without a shadow of a doubt, there is a reason.

Let’s say that again, there is a reason. Knowing that the Bible tells us “all things work together for good to them that love God,” it must be a good reason, for our good. But more importantly than that, for others’ good. Since I accepted that part of me and began telling my story, God has given me opportunities to encourage others who have similar problems. 


Unless I possess firsthand knowledge of a disease or situation, while I may feel empathetic, it is hard to fully and completely understand the how a person feels. Not the way the person experiencing it does, anyway. Because I know what it’s like in the darkness of depression and the joy of finding light, I can help others who are struggling to find the peace and wonder of God’s love.

It may sound strange to some, but I am thankful for my disease. It makes me a more humble, understanding, and compassionate person. It draws me closer to God, for in the “down” times I must draw close to Him to keep my head above water. And it allows me to understand a niche of people whom I could potentially be blessed to help.

It’s often hard to embrace a diagnosis as a good thing, but I am trying to keep it in a positive perspective and keep my focus on the good that can come from a disease in the form of helping another. And to be thankful for a loving God who created me just as I am.

~*~
Author Bio:
Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. 

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Tennessee Mountain Writers.

Her debut novel Callum's Compass won second place in Deep River Books' 2017 Writer's Contest. She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature.

When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit www.saralfoust.com.

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