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October 25, 2017 by Samantha Parsons (West Virginia)

October 25th is rolling around, and my latest devotion STONES IN OUR PATH based on Nehemiah 2:1-8 will be out for the whole world to read. Little did I know that while I felt God put it on my heart to write the piece to encourage everyone else, I am the one who probably needs it most. It's been months since I wrote it... at the time I didn't know that this year would be a year of great obstacle and pain, as are most new starts in life.                It's common for me to have to walk through things in life, learn to overcome, see how God moves and then record what he's taught me through writing to help others. This time that wasn't the case. This time, I wrote the encouragement and then needed to believe the words written as I walked.

I'm going through a divorce... wow... hard to even say. I chose to leave for critical reasons that I don't care to share, however, leaving meant taking my 2 girls and starting over with nothing but a few belongings. We left our home, the farm, and all ways of life we've known for the past 18 years. I hadn't worked outside of the home during that time, but chose instead to raise my girls at home. I wanted to give them their best chance.

Over the past several months we've moved 3 times, and I've landed 2 jobs. The one I'm currently in pays just enough that I can rent a home for myself and the girls. My jeep broke, and I was able to purchase, through credit, a newer car so that I can get to work. I plan to pay it off ASAP. I don't like debt. I've felt hopeless many days, cried showers of tears, felt tons of self pity, and shame at my situation. Yes I'm a Christian, and I'm greatly humbled because I've watched God provide everything we have that allows us to live and start new.

There's a lot of room to allow bitterness to come in and take over my life, and I won't lie, it's a battle that I have been fighting to this very day, but I discovered just how sovereign and merciful God is once again. The piece I wrote is being published for the whole world to read, just one day after the court hearing for my divorce. I couldn't have planned or known it would be that way. So today... I'm going to allow God to use the words that I thought were only intended to encourage others in hope, and allow them to begin to heal and encourage me. God is good always, and with him there is always HOPE.

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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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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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