Archive for the ‘Testimonies’ Category

1 Corinthians 15;57

Hi friends,  Thanksgiving, a time to get together with family and friends and share a big, hearty meal and enjoy each other’s company. It’s also a time to reflect on our lives and think about what we have to be thankful for.

It’s certainly been some time since I’ve had a chance to write and touch base with you, so I thought this would be a good time to bring you up to date on what’s been happening in my life.

I haven’t written in my blog since last April.  Can you believe that?  Last April my husband began having heart symptoms and in May he had to have open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve and also a triple by-pass.  This surgery had to be done in a large hospital and that meant we had to travel a distance from our home.   So, as it turned out he had to stay in the hospital for 19 days.  I stayed by his side the first 11 or so days, then I went home for a day or two, then back and forth with family.  My eyes are bad and I couldn’t drive in the city, so had to depend on others to get me back and forth.

During his recovery time in the hospital which was only suppose to be 5 to 7 days, he had some setbacks.  The first one was A-fib.  While he was in ICU his heart started racing and being erratic.  They gave him medication for this.  At the same time our pastor and his wife came to visit and to take me out for dinner. (They thought I needed to get out of that place for a little bit.  Bless their hearts!)  Anyway, before we went our pastor prayed for Charlie and his heart racing problem.  Then we left.  They dropped me off at the hospital in a couple of hours and I went up to ICU to check on my hubby.  The young man who was caring for him told me about his heart acting up and that they were watching it.  I checked the monitor and I said, “It doesn’t look to me like it is irregular now.”  He looked, “You are right!  Just a minute.”  He took the long strips of paper the machine spits out that showed his heart rhythm and ran down through it.  “It looks like it has been okay now for a while, look here.”  I looked and agreed.  Praise God!  I’m so thankful that God answered our prayer, and that his heart beat became regular again.  It’s been okay ever since.

They moved him to his own room the next day.  Things went along pretty well and they scheduled him to go to a nursing home for a week or so to get stronger before actually coming home.  That sounded pretty good and I was pleased  as it was near our home and I could commute myself there.  The next morning I came to his room with my suitcase in tow.  I was more than ready to go home.  But, guess what?  Yes, a problem had cropped up.  He was allergic to the heparin they had given him during surgery and afterwards to keep his blood thin.  It worked just the opposite and thickened up his blood.  It is called HIT.  The blood gets kind of clogged up and it can cause blood clots.  Nice!  They called in the specialists, and got him off the heparin and put him on another kind of thinner.  He would have to be in the hospital for several more days because the heparin actually ate up his platelets and he was in bad shape.  The platelets are what control clotting I believe.  Anyway, another crisis.

I alerted several to pray for him and I continued to pray.  The good news is that the platelet count began coming up and it took another week or so to get them back up to normal.  Praise the Lord it worked.  And, I’m so thankful that problem showed up before they had shipped us off to the nursing home.  It most likely would not have been found there and the outcome would have been bad.  Another thing to be very thankful for.

Finally, Charlie came home.  By that time he didn’t have to go to a nursing home first as he had gotten a bit stronger.  He had some physical therapy in the hospital and that helped.  We got him physical therapy, a visiting nurse, and occupational therapy at home for a few weeks.

Another problem!   He was all bloated up when he came home.  I could hardly get his shoes on and his pants would not button.  But, he was coming home and we were both happy about that.  The visiting nurse had a fit about how bloated he was all over.  She contacted the doctor and got him some Lasix and potassium.  He began taking that and overnight he lost 6 lbs.  He kept losing weight and fluid, but they thought his lung sounded like it wasn’t working.  So, back to the hospital!  (I thank the Lord for his brother and his wife because they took us back and forth several times.)  He had to have the fluid drained from around his lung and they got out over a liter of fluid.  After that he started feeling better.  More thanks to God for all He has done.  He got him through it.  And, he got me through it.  Praise the Lord!

Also, I am thankful that the kids came an helped out a lot.  They brought me back and forth to the hospital some.  They came while he had his surgery.  They came every evening they could.  I’m very thankful for them and love them that much more for what they did.  They were very helpful and supportive.   Friends and neighbors visited and people sent such nice cards and notes of comfort and love.  God showed me how  much people cared.  I thank Him for that.

Another crisis we had happened when he got home. They had put him on Coumadin in the hospital before coming home.  That was to keep his blood thin so that clots didn’t form.  Anyway, they told me the dosage for each day, and then we were to have the visiting nurse check it by a blood test.  She came and pricked his finger for the test.  Well, at the hospital they thought she was taking blood out of his arm like a regular blood test, therefore, the results were not read the same.  (I know this is confusing.)  But, then the doctor’s office from the hospital would call me to let me know how much medication to give him.  Well, they weren’t on the same page, so that threw it all off.  (Of course, I wasn’t aware of all of this.)

The day we had to go to the hospital to get the fluid drained they checked his blood there and it was way off.  It was so thin that he could have hemmoraged easily.  They tried to get his blood out of his arm, but the vein would not cooperate.  I said, “Why don’t you just prick his finger like the visiting nurse does at home?”  They all looked at each other.  “She just did a finger prick?  She didn’t take it from his arm?” the nurse said.  “How much medication did he have last night?”  I told them.  They did not dare punch him with the needle to remove the fluid.  They told us to go home, do not let him hit his head, do not let him get cut, and on and on.  If we saw any blood anywhere to get him to an ER right away.   Yes, they unnerved me!  So, we went home and I prayed all the way we wouldn’t get in an accident. That’s all we would need!  I didn’t give him any medication that night.  We had to wait another day, and then bring him back to get the procedure done.  I told Charlie, “Don’t even cut your finger nails will you.”  He said, “I already did.”  Gulp.  Whew, he didn’t cut himself.  Praise the Lord!  God kept him safe through all of this!  I’ve never been more thankful!

There were a few other things that went wrong, but God got us through it all, as He as promised.  He said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” I sat there hours in the hospital and I felt the peace of God that passes understanding.  Even when the times got rough.  I knew He was by my side.

There were many blessing along the way and I’m so very grateful.  One was when I went to the desk to pay for the room I’d been staying in over at the guest house near the hospital.  I gave the lady my key. She said, “Thank you and turned away.” So, I  asked her how much I owed.  I had it figured roughly in my head, but wanted to know for sure.  She said, “You don’t owe anything, it’s been taken care of.”  Wow!  What a blessing!  I’m so thankful for people who are not selfish and help out in times of need like this.  That took a lot of the pressure off.

Another expense when staying at a hospital is for food.  I ate all my meals at the hospital cafeteria.  And, they really had good food.  That alone helped the stay.  I had many meals paid for by friends and family.  Another praise as God touched their hearts to help out in that way.  Little things mean a lot actually.

Here is a song that I would like you to listen to.  It blessed my heart today as I listened.  Just notice all the things that we can thank God for.  The good and the bad.  I pray all of you will have a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving.

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Lessons Learned/Practical Application
by Kimberly Northrup-Vaughn

God has accomplished great deliverance in my life. I still have so far to go, but He has delivered me from the pits.  I praise God for what I have been through because it brought me to such desperation that I was willing to seek God with every ounce of my being in order to find my way out.

From my experiences and the WORD OF GOD I believe that we can all be free. By this I do not mean that we will never again struggle with fear or anxiety or panic attacks. However, I believe completely that this means we do not have to live with these things controlling us or being a controlling factor in lives. We don’t have to live with them hanging over our heads. Why am I so confident of this? Because in His Word God makes it clear that He wants to be the only One that has power over us.

“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Luke 16:13)

While this last passage in particular addresses the love of money, the principle remains the same – We can only have one master. If fear and anxiety rule and control us, then are we really allowing God to have control over us?

Jesus also promised that those who gave their lives to Him could have an abundant life.

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10)

In Jesus we are not meant to simply exist and survive, but we are meant to THRIVE – to be truly alive!

With all of that in mind, here are some practical things I have learned, and I believe these things can help you along on your journey too:

1.  If we go to the Word of God and our anxiety only gets worse (as I’ve heard some of you all say, and as I experienced.), this is not from God.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

We have to remember that we have an enemy (Satan) that is looking to discredit the authority or power of God’s Word. He does not want us to be free. So it is only normal that we who are seeking to be free would encounter obstacles of anxiety when we go to God’s Word. After all, if we become free from the power of anxiety in our lives, Satan has a lot to lose and God has a lot of glory to receive.

So don’t let increased feelings of anxiety to stir you away from God’s Word. Instead, let it make you all the more determined – Look into God’s Word until you find peace!

2. The Word of God is SO important to us in our struggles.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) “He sent forth His Word and healed them.” (Psalm 107:20) 

No matter the struggle or issue, all the answers and help we need are in there. We can be familiar with all the stories and verses, but we need to always go back with a heart and mind that are willing to learn something new. The Holy Spirit is always ready to bring us to new levels through the Word, even through verses we have heard a million times.

3. We can’t just be encouraged by the Word – we have to apply it. Not just with areas of anxiety, but also with other areas where we are struggling.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25)

When we apply the truth, God shows us over time how He is faithful to accomplish His Word. As we take steps of faith in our lives and see that God remains faithful and true, it encourages us to take more steps.

4. We who are in so much bondage to anxiety and fear need to make the Word our lifeline. Carry Scriptures around with you. Make them always in front of you. Tape them on your cabinets and bathroom mirrors, in your car, or wherever else you will see them frequently.

5. Don’t just focus on Scriptures about anxiety and peace. Focus on Scriptures about God’s character. Like Psalm 145:8-9.  We need to let it sink into our hearts and minds how good and loving and powerful our God is!

6. Find ways to get in-person Christian fellowship. Maybe your first step of faith is inviting someone from your church over to your house to visit you, even if that means them coming to your bedroom, if you are stuck in your bedroom. Even if it’s just a pastor. One of the ways that God shows us His love is through His people. When we experience God’s love, that helps to cast out the fear.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” (1 John 4:18)

7. We need the body of Christ. Don’t allow pride to keep you from asking for prayers as much as you need it (not just in this group, but with other Christians you know too). Sometimes we’re tempted to think, “Oh they’re sick of hearing from me – they don’t want to hear this.” But that is from the enemy. The Bible makes it very clear that prayer plays a crucial part in certain trials and spiritual battles.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

8. Be desperate and be honest with God.

 “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; He will not despise their plea.” (Psalm 102:17) To be destitute is to be needy – We show we have great need of God when we go to Him for more than a quick prayer. These quick prayers make Him out to be more like our wish-granter rather than our soul-fulfiller.

9. Ask God for wisdom – in everything.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

Stop analyzing things and trying to understand things on your own. Our own wisdom hasn’t exactly put us where we want – we might as well give it up and trust God’s wisdom. It is FAR BETTER than our own!

 “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” (Isaiah 55:8&9)

10. “But when he asks (for wisdom), he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:6&7) 

Keep on asking God to help your unbelief, as you encounter it. Jesus honored the man that cried out

“‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'” (Mark 9:24)

Be the “persistent widow” (Luke 18:1-8) in asking for the Lord to help your unbelief.

JESUS is the ultimate healer and deliverer. Every single one of us can be FREE, as we allow the blood of Jesus to touch every crevice of who we are!

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Psa 100:1-5 NASB

A Psalm for Thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
(2)Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.
(3)Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
(4)Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
(5)For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? 

I’ve been rolling that around in my head the past week or so.  There are so many things like family, friends, my home, my husband, good health, enough money. These are all very special but they aren’t the most important things.

I have to reach back 35 years to grab onto the one thing I’m the most thankful for.  My life as I had planned it had vaporized. There I was a desperate, helpless, wretched person.  I had hit bottom.  

 I had lost my job, my new car, and everything that was dear to me.  Material things were all gone.  I only had a few pieces of clothing left to my name.  I did have a roof over my head, but that even leaked. I didn’t have any direction in my life.  I was very ill and didn’t know what was causing all those spells where I’d become so afraid that I thought I would fall down and die, which made me even more afraid. 

I was afraid I was going crazy. Fear had taken control of me.  My body was wracked with anxiety.  I’d think about all the unusual symptoms I had, like when my heart would race, and I’d feel dizzy and out of control.  I knew it wasn’t normal, but I didn’t know what it was.  The fear of the unknown haunted me daily.  How much longer could I hang on? 

I had tried to find the answers.  I tried to hid my fears in alcohol. Yes, it did take the edge of panic off, but it was only a temporary fix.  The fear would return the next day.  At one point I turned to astrology.  I plotted my horoscope and tried to find something good to look forward to.  That didn’t do it. 

I was afraid of telling a doctor how I really felt and avoided them like the plague.  I was sure if I told the truth they would lock me away somewhere and throw away the key.  If I did confess a bit of my maladies to the doctor I’d get a prescription for some kind of medication.  I was afraid of that too.  When I tried it, I got bad side effects and so I’d quit it.  I was getting nowhere fast.  I felt like I merely existed, dredging through each long miserable day. 

By this time I was at home all the time.  I listened to the radio for company and somehow found a Christian station.  I listened to it with interest for several months.  I heard the gospel message given a number of times and was curious, but that was all.  I tried to read a Bible but couldn’t understand it.

One day as I sat on the couch I glanced over at the coffee table and noticed a Sunday school paper someone had sent me in the mail.  Out of boredom I picked it up and read.  There was a true account of a man who was a Christian.  He had turned his back on God at some point and things in his life went steadily downhill.  He lost his wife, his family, his home and job.  He had hit bottom.  I could identify with some of that!  Then, this man woke up one day and realized how he had turned his back on God.  So, he repented of his sinful ways, confessed to God, and came back to him.  It wasn’t long and his life was turned around.

Hum!   I wondered, is that what I’m doing wrong.  That article really got my attention.  My eyes were opened and I realized for the first time that I needed God in my life too.  I had tried so many years to control everything, to figure the angles, and come out on top.  It was hard and didn’t work. I knew in my heart that I too was a sinner and that I needed someone bigger than myself.

I prayed and talked to God.  I told Him I knew His Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth to die for our sins.  That we are all sinners, and that I was certainly one.  I asked His forgiveness and said I’d change my ways.  I told Him that I also knew that Jesus rose again from the grave and was alive in Heaven with Him now.  I asked God to allow Jesus to come into my life and in fact take the reins of my life as I could not do it any more.  I simply gave up, stepped down off the throne of my life and let Jesus take that place as Lord.

So, there you have it.  That day in my life is what I’m the most thankful for.  The day that changed my life.  I became a brand new person on the inside.  I was adopted into God’s family and received the Holy Spirit to live in me to help me with my life.  What a glorious day that was!  God in His mercy reached down to me, a wayward sinner, and took me in His arms and gave me a second chance at life.   I’ll be grateful for eternity!

I just want to add that things haven’t been all rosie since that day.  I’ve had my trials and disappointments.  I’ve been ill a lot of the time, but my Lord has gone with me through everything and I can give Him all the glory and honor for getting me through it all.  Without Him I shudder to think where I would be right now.

I’d like to hear what you are most thankful for this year.

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 Wintry Blast of Ice and Snow!

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We’ve been looking at the spiritual side of our lives.  We have seen that once we are saved we are a new creation.  God gives us a new heart and the ability to change.  Isn’t that wonderful?  What I like about this is that God makes it possible for us to change.

We have many old habits that tag along with us and keep right on popping up in our lives.  We have to get rid of them.  The Bible tells us that the way to do it is to put-off the old habits and for every one we put off, we are to put-on new habits. It out with the old and in with the new!

As we study the Bible we need to evaluate all that we think, say, and do, and see if it lines up with scripture.  When it doesn’t then need to change.

Romans 6:12-14 NASB Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Isn’t it great that God has made a way for us to change?  We do not have to be a slave to sin again. 

Let’s take a look at some of the “put-offs.”

Ephesians 4:25-31 NASB Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.  Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.  Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Colossians 3:8 NASB But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,

When we notice a habit that we need to change. We must confess our sinful behavior to God.

1 John 1:9 NSAB  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In order to change from our old bad habits, we not only have to put off the old habits, but we must replace them with good habits.

Romans 6:19 NASB  I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

Now let’s take a look at some of the “put-ons.”

Colossians 3:10 NASB  and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him–

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

Ephesians 4:28-29 NASB He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

Ephesians 4:32 NASB Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Colossians 3:12 -17 NASB So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

2 Peter 1:5-8 NASB Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Study these lists of put-offs and put-ons.  Then, you could make a list for yourself.  On one side write the “put-offs” and opposite of that write down the thing you need to “put-on” in place of the old bad habit.  When we replace bad habits that are not Biblical with good habits that are Biblical we will see a lot of growth in our Christian life, and God will bless us for it.

Yes, we can live as believers and not as unbelievers.  Our Lord is  gracious in that He gave us His Word so that we can really get down to where the rubber meets the road and make changes that He desires for us.  He made us and knows how we should live.  We came into this world and got caught up in it.  It has influenced all of us in a negative way.  We all have things we need to work on and I pray that is study will help you change your habits.  

Blessings,

Bonnie

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LakeSunset2

My name is Donna and I’m 47 years old.   Living with panic disorder and agoraphobia has been hard for me, but I know that God is with me, holding my hand, every step of the way. 

I was always nervous and insecure as a child.  I’m a victim of abuse from a older sibling.    I was abandoned by my father at an early age and even though he comes in and out of my life, I still lack the kind of security that lies deep within each person.   God has filled that insecurity up within my soul.    There are times when I go out of His will and feel that insecure feeling again, but thanks to God sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins, I can go to Him and ask His forgiveness and feel His love inside my heart.  

I asked Jesus into my heart in 1974, but was what people call a “roller coaster” Christian.   Sometimes I would read my bible, then, even years would go by and I would think that I could do that another time.   But, the Lord always brought me back to Himself and planted my feet on solid ground.  He forgave me of my sins and made me feel secure again.    I had let the cares and worries of this world and of my affliction of panic disorder and agoraphobia almost rule my life sometimes.   I became housebound for a few years.    I’m not housebound now, but I still have to have my sister as my “safe person” when I go out.    I feel that God is healing me of this affliction but in His time.  Some people are healed instantly, while others have a resistant spirit and need more time to come to an understanding of how God works in our lives.   I’m one of those people.   But, God never gives up.  He say’s that nothing can pluck us out of His hand.  

Our comforter, the Holy Spirit, makes the insecurity go away from me and keeps me safe.   “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”   John 14:26   KJV  

It seems in this world today that people are so lost and do not want to be found, but for those who care enough about their lives and eternity, I encourage you to ask Jesus into your heart, to forgive you of your past sins and then go and live a life worthy to be called a child of God.   Ask yourself, where will I spend eternity?    “The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”    1 Corinthians 15:52   KJV

Blessings to all,

Donna Summerlin

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For myself, I can give all the credit to the Lord for allowing me to get better. As I studied the Word and, most importantly, applied it to my life I found relief. There are lots of verses that are special to me. Here is one of my favorites:Isaiah 41:13 (KJV) “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”

Isn’t that a great verse? God said he will hold my hand when I’m fearful and not only that but will also help me. I clung to that verse many, many times. I took it to the dentist with me as I had oral surgery. I took it to bed with me as I laid awake in fear. That verse went with me as I got back to driving a car again. So many times I’d make a fist out of my right hand like I was holding onto someone’s hand. I was, it was Gods. God did comfort me, and I learned to depend on Him and not others or myself.

Click on comments below this post and share how God has helped you.

Blessings, Bonnie

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