Click here for a printable PDF of this post that includes a devotional journal page.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. — 1 Corinthians 12-13 (The Message)
For the entire year of 2016, I was in a fog grieving my husband’s death on Christmas Day 2015. With this deep sorrow in my heart, God led me to many glorious events last year. My relationship and love for Christ became real, and my hunger for spiritual growth was greater than I had ever known.
I was introduced to Grace Church and quickly felt the welcome arms of God each time I worshiped at 2828 or with my loving Grace Group each week. I was baptized for the first time in my life in the Jordan River during my pilgrimage in Israel and Jordan. I found a deep calling in my heart to serve others, and doors were opened to show me the way. I found a Christian grief group to help understand my hurting and was blessed to find several of my Grace family also participating due to loss.
When Advent 2016 rolled around, my veil of sorrow was lifting and the light of Hope was planted in my heart. The blog post Norma Farthing wrote for November 22, “No Good Thing Ever Dies,” struck a beautiful chord for me. Her words, “It is Hope that keeps us going when we think we can’t possibly do so” has become my battle cry.
Last year for the first time I understood the true meaning of Advent: Jesus came, he is here living in my heart and he will come again.
And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. — Romans 8:28 (TLB)
Teri Naylor is a Walmart retiree who loves theatre, music and anything with the arts. Teri traveled the world with her husband and enjoys new and exciting adventures. As a new chapter of life begins, she is learning a deeper love of God and experiencing more spiritual adventures. She volunteers with Cooperative Emergency Outreach and Faith in Action.