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More From Jan Leighton

May 25, 2021 by Jan Leighton (Maine, USA)

Thank you all for reading today’s devotional! I pray it was a blessing to you. I received the courage to write it after I shared my “brain tumor journey” at my church during a witness moment, so I decided to send it to The Upper Room. If you have a story to share . . . do it! It is so interesting how blessings can come from a challenge, even through brain surgery. I was blessed by words from the Psalms as I said in my devotional. The image of God as a protective eagle is powerful. I continue to feel great comfort in God’s word, especially in the Psalms. In fact, a few nights ago, when I was feeling stressed over issues related to the pandemic and thus I could not fall sleep, I prayed the 23rd Psalm back to God: “Thank you, God for being my Shepherd because right now I feel like a lost lamb. Your Word says I shall not want but tonight I want Your peace.” Why not take a favorite Bible verse and give it back to God?

I had been writing in a daily gratitude journal for several years before my diagnosis, and I recently re-read what I wrote during that time. I wrote about how the staff at my school was so supportive; how I was blessed and surprised by all the cards I received; how my family and my church community surrounded me in love, support and prayers; how I loved my job as a kindergarten teacher, but I was so grateful that my substitute teacher was ready and eager to step in to the classroom in my place. The day after my surgery, my husband, Ron, wrote this in my journal for me: “I am grateful for these things: 1. It (the tumor) is out,  2. Ron, Amy, Sarah (our daughters), and 3. Prayers answered.” I have filled up 30 more gratitude journals since then, praising God for blessings each day. Most of the thing I have written are for simple, ordinary blessings such as seeing birds on the bird feeder, for playing a game with a grandchild, or finding a heart shaped rock. I would never wish a health crisis on anyone, but I did learn that God is ready, willing, able, and eager to hear our prayers and hold on to us as we face challenges head-on. Thank you for reading this blog. May you call on God’s word as you face any obstacles in you path this day. Remember what the Psalms tell us, that God “will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Ps. 91:4, NIV). Those words were written for you, my friend! You can count on it.

— Jan

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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