When You Feel Like This Old House

Have you ever felt like this old house?

Sagging beams.

Rotting floors.

Collapsing roof.

Crumbling foundation.

Overgrown landscape.

Peeling paint.

Empty rooms.

Deserted.

Have you ever felt like you were on the verge of collapse?

I have.

Sometimes I just get tired, and I want to put up a sign over my heart that says “DANGER. KEEP OUT.”

A few weeks ago my husband and I went to a wedding about four hours away from our home. On one of the winding country roads that dodged farmlands bursting with white cotton bolls, we passed this old house in the picture above –a structure held up by 4×4 pieces of lumber and a prayer.

“Wow, that looks unsafe,” I commented.

“Oh yeah,” Steve replied. “Take a look at the name of the town we’re in.

“I turned my attention from the collapsing house  to the sign across the street. And there it was. We were in the town of SAFE. 

safe edited2

 

Then God began speaking to my heart…as He often does when I get still enough to listen.

I had had a tough week. I felt like that old house looked. A few days I had been on the verge of collapsing into a heap of blubbering emotions. I bet you’ve been there at one time or another too. Perhaps you’re there right now.

But by turning my attention away from the house and turning my attention toward the sign, God was reminding me…It’s OK. You’re safe. Stop looking at the mess. Look at Me. You’re safe. I’m here.  

Isaiah wrote:

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. (40:28-31 ESV)

The Israelites were worn out, weary and worried.

Isaiah told them how to shore up their sagging beams.

The Hebrew word that is translated “renew” in Isaiah 4:31, literally means “exchange.”

Those who wait on the Lord will exchange their weakness for His strength.

As we wait for God, put our hope in God, and depend on God, He wraps His strength around the feeble strands of our weakness and gives us the power to carry on. Ah…SAFE.

Next week is going to be a busy one for many of us. I want to encourage you read Isaiah 40:28-31 often.

I wish we could sit down and share a cup of coffee after all the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving is over. And while we can’t do that, I CAN offer a cup to you and a friend.

Leave a comment and tell me one friend who has helped hold you up when you felt weary and worn out. Next Friday, I’ll randomly pick two entries and send them two Starbucks gift cards- one for themselves and one to share with a friend.

 

 

197 Responses to When You Feel Like This Old House

  1. Alicia Buratti November 22, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    I love your devotions. That friend I run to besides Jesus is my mom who lifts me up when I’m down about my husband who struggles with addiction. When I feel like the house in this devo my mom reminds me who God our Father will help me get threw and encourages me to not give up God has a plan she’s my best friend and always there to lift me up

    • Karen November 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

      Praise Jesus! Alicia (and Sharon), I came here to leave a comment sharing that I really don’t have anyone that I feel I can really count on, all the time, when I am in need. You see, I walked away from Jesus and stayed walking that path of the prodigal daughter, for about 10 years (this was after a very, very involved, active, dedicated life in Jesus….truly, it takes just a glimpse in the other direction and a constant wanting to “stand for our own rights”!). Jesus, in His infinite mercy, loved me back into His arms! I feel as though I have been saved twice!! Praise Jesus!! Well, in the time I was away from Jesus, I became involved with a man who has a deep struggle with alcohol. He does not know Jesus, and at this point has been railing against Him. It was through this relationship that Jesus loved me back (which has been about 3 years now). When I pray about my relationship with this man, I always hear to stay, to love him as Jesus loved and loves me. I had come here to share that I believe Jesus has purposely been keeping me in a place of solitude. I feel similar to Paul, who when he came to know Jesus, had to take much time away, alone…to learn. Now, I am not saying that I am an apostle, but I do feel that Jesus wants me to take this time of feeling alone and come to Him, first, often and sometimes, only Him, for encouragement. I have been learning how, and that He always will, fill my needs. I don’t need to always run ahead of Him to fill my need. This brings me to why I replied to you comment, Alicia. You see, right now. This very minute, I need a special touch from Jesus. I usually spend time in the morning with Him, but couldn’t today. So, instead, I felt led to sit down now. I can see why. Yours was the first comment I read. By accident? I certainly don’t thinks so! I can hear, once again, Jesus saying “hang in there. Don’t look to that run down, not pretty relationship. You won’t find your strength, peace and joy there. But, if you look to me, yes, not only are you safe, but I, and I alone, will give you all those things so that you in turn, can pour them out, in my name.” Praise you, my Savior! Alicia, I will be praying for you, today!

      • Stephanie Soto November 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

        Hello! God bless! Right now I feel that way. I feel like I’ve lost that fervent prayer and seeking the Lord. I feel consume with everything thats going on. Its hard sometimes to really listen to God’s still small voice. I need redirection for my life. I know the Lord says He has plans for me but its a lot that Im feeling inside that its hard to explain. My partner is also a believer but he also is feeling the same. We’ve been bumping heads a lot. I just want to reassure my relationship wi th the Lord again. I need to see His hand in my life. I need Him to say that everything is ok. I want to make sure its Him. I feel alone sometimes.

    • Carol Mundy November 22, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      How excited I was to see that I was already in the place to respond to this wonderful devotion! I just sat at my desk (at work) and cried, it spoke to me that clearly. I will never understand how God knows exactly what we need and exactly when we need it. I needed to be reminded of who I can trust! And who sings over me as Stephen Curtis Chapman sings in his new song “Love take me over!” I love that song. I turn the radio up real loud when it comes on and dance in my car!!! Quite an undertaking, to be sure and I’m sure I get some pretty strange looks! I don’t even care! God gives me a song again, just when I need it! He is awesome and your devotions are always so great!

  2. Purity Mwangi November 22, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Hi Sharon, thanks.

  3. Nancy Hammond November 22, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    Lately I have been having flashbacks of things that happened to me back in high school and in my first marriage with a man that was verbally abusive. My best friend Luci, has listened to my tears and comforted me and given me wise counsel, really helping me to give these things to The Lord. She is such a special friend since our freshman year in high school. We are truly kindred spirits.

  4. Justine Wandera November 22, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Sister Kawira and Everline, have always held my hand ever since my husband died. I have always been unable to stand alone but this two ladies have shared the little they have with me and my children. God bless them and bless you too Sharon.

    Honestly it reaches a time like this in life and one needs to look intently at God.

  5. Jennifer B November 22, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    My friend, Tier, uplifted me after a doctor report. Even though she is going through a much worse situation with her husband’s cancer treatments, she sent me supportive Bible verses and talked to me about not playing the “What if” game.

  6. Mel November 22, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    This was so encouraging. I too, have been feeling like that old, broken down house, but after reading this and Isaiah 40, I am encouraged! The friend that is always a support and source of encouragement to me is Loreal. I thank God for her!

    • sharon smedley November 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      its hard for me on holidays. not the actual one. I have a baking business. but when a dr apt is thrown in the mixture. it makes for a no time or strength. but when I get in my space and talk to God. everything is always right. time for God will always be the good way.

    • Lavonia R. November 25, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

      Hello Sharon I so enjoy reading my girlfriend in God email. I can relate to feeling like this old house. I have been feeling like that for a long time. unloved, not wanted, i spend so much time alone, I have family but it is like I don’t have a family. I will spend this thanksgiving alone as I did last year. I thank the Lord for Blessing me with really special and God fearing Friends, women that the Lord have torch their heart to love and care about me. I know that if I didn’t have the Lord and these wonderful women I don’t what I would do especially my friend Debra, she is there when I need to cry and to keep me standing strong in Faith. I know that old houses can be look unsafe but I also know that having the Lord to hold onto keep you safe. I thank you for the wonderful stories it help me to know that I am not alone and one day this old house which is me will be rebuild. May the Lord Bless and keep you.
      Isaiah 40: 28-31 is one of my favorite. Again, thank you.

      • Sharon Jaynes November 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

        Hi Friend: I am sorry that you’re planning on being alone on Thanksgiving. Here’s an idea. Why not offer to volunteer at a homeless shelter or rehab center on Thanksgiving Day. It is a wonderful way to serve and be around other people who need to be loved.
        Just a thought.
        Sharon

  7. Debbie November 22, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    Thanks Sharon for reminding me that God gives us special friends to hold us up in those hard, emotion draining or physical depleting times. I have several friends that God has sent my way to show me His everlasting Arms are wrapped around me. My friends Flo, Tammy, and Susan are God’s treasures to me to strengthen me and encourage me. Praise be to Him.

  8. Tammy Jo November 22, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Gail has lead me closer to The Lord thru not only words but example. I have been feeling like that house due to ongoing health issues gone undiagnosed that ate causing employment problem. Your blog’s, GIGS, and Gail keep reminding me to wait on The Lord…He’s at work…it WILL lead to good..be still…be patient. These things keep me going forward and I am so thankful. God bless all you do Sharon and thank you for the encouragment.

  9. Bridget Lynch November 22, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Thank you for reminding me that God is our safe place. A friend that has held me up would be my mom, Robin. She always encourages me to look to The Lord and remain positive, even in the difficult times. I have recently changed job positions, and it has been TOUGH. It has been taxing physically and emotionally. But God has bigger plans than what I face right now at this moment, and I cling to the hope and trust of Him. I know that His goodness will reveal His great plan. Thank you again!

  10. CHARITY KAPALA November 22, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    There are Angels with skin on to stand with us whenever we feel worn out. Just ask the Lord and he always answers

  11. Patty November 22, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    My house falling apart has been my family…with wayward children into the world…God, came to my rescue as he always does to bring safety with his words of promise….after many years my children are returning back to there rightful house….one that will never fall apart…
    I have shared this promise with ones who face the same trials….
    Jesus is my safe!

  12. Joyce November 22, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Many days I feel like this old house as I help my husband fight Alzheimers, but my dear friend, Doris, is always there with a card, phone call, or a lunch invite to lift me up and cause me to laugh at her antics. She is my caregiver. But for the last two weeks she has been fighting for
    her life in the hospital battling bacterial pneumonia and this old house (my body and heart)
    has been aware of how much her antics make me get up and get on with life. I thank God that
    “His mercies are new each morning”. Then, Sharon, I receive your e-mails and your words
    the Lord has laid on your heart remind me each day is a blessing from God. Thank you.

  13. Cindie Taylor November 22, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Sharon, when I read the ending remarks I thought I’ve got the one true friend of a lifetime. God! Yes, when I needed a friend to pull me through God showed up sending Kathy, my sister – Linda, her husband, Bob, my Pastor, Greg and a few other friends. See sometimes we just need a friend with “skin on”. Kathy is my God-Friend!! 13 years ago, as I turned 40, my life drastically changed. I walked the road of divorce from a 23 year marriage. Two to three years prior I prayed to God for just 1 friend and He blessed me with not only Himself and Kathy but also restored a strained relationship with my sister, Linda. I am so thankful to have experienced that worn and tattered time. I got to KNOW my Lord during that hard time. I can say from experience that He is good and faithful!

  14. Eda November 22, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    My mentor Nancy is always there for me. As recent as yesterday, I felt like that old house, to the point of collapsing and leaving behind a very difficult situation at work.But Nancy comforted mr, filled my cup with the joy of the Lord in sharing the Word with me, and today I feel renewed.
    To God all glory! Blessings,
    Eda

  15. Pat D-G November 22, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    My mom is my best friend. She has always been the one who holds me up, lets me rest or gives me encouragement during trying times like the one I’m in now. She is truly a treasure! Thank you God for giving her to me!

    Pat

  16. Esther November 22, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Wow! This article landed just on time for me. I have been there many times and in fact am there right now but one thing i know and believe is that God always has something for me, a key for every problem, a light for every shadow, a relief for every sorrow and a plan for every tomorrow. I believe the shadows will turn clear and that God will have his perfect way in my life and give me the strength to endure every huddle i go through. My sister in the Lord Ann Ng’ang’a has always been there to hold my hand, and a source of encouragement to me. She has strengthened me with prayers, has blessed me with love and has encouraged me with hope. She has been a great blessing to my life and i thank God for her. God bless you Sharon for sharing this article with us. God loves you.

  17. Barb Wall November 22, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Thank you Sharon!! Needed this today!! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!! God Blee You–Barb

  18. Kim November 22, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    My friend Paula. She is always there to listen and always redirects my troubles to scripture. We help each other out, she is an awesome friend and she also works for me. God blessed me with this friendship. Thank you God.

  19. Lesley November 22, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    My friend is an angel sent from God. I habe been in court with my ex-husband for the past 4 years which has drained me spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. My friend hs been there faithfully to help me navigate the court system and the rough waters when dealing with my ex. I am so thankful to God for my friend and thankful that my friend lets God use the abilities given to help make a weary path a little easier.

  20. Merlileen Johnson November 22, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    JoAnn helped me and stood beside me for the past 42years. We started out as prayer partners when we were in our early 20s. We have been through pregnancies, teen years, divorce, second marriages, stroke of a spouse and now we enjoy talking about our grandchildren. She has always been the one to go to even in the middle of the night! God has so blessed me!

  21. Joy November 22, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    Thanks for the reminder that we are not here to be alone. He designed us to be a part of the body – supporting each other, rejoicing with each other. Like the beams supporting the old rickety house.
    I have been through many challenges and trials, the latest being my husband leaving me. I felt as if I were that collapsing house, but one of my friends, Lisa, supported me and loved me through it, like the beams propping up that house. She helped me hold onto my faith and not act on my emotions. We are blessed that we are all part of one body, working together!

  22. Alicia C. November 22, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    My husband (best friend) has always been there through thick and thin. The have been times where a job was lost, family member hospitalized and numerous financial hardships- although traumatic, I was reminded that God was and is in control. I am thankful daily for my husband. He has truly helped me be who I am today.

  23. Sheree November 22, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Hi Sharon!!! My sister name is Sharon, also. She is my BFF!!!

    I first want to say, THANK YOU!!! I am one of many cyberspace “girlfriends” who speed read your daily blogs without pausing long enough so leave a comment. Today, I pause.

    “Feeling” rejected I needed to be encouraged. Today’s word in Isaiah has done just that. THANK YOU for redirecting my focus!!!!

    Smooches,
    Sheree

    • Sharon November 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      HI SHEREE!!!!!!!!!!! O MY GOSH….JUST SAW THIS!!!!! WILL CALL YOU ON MY LUNCH HOUR TODAY!!!!!!!!!! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! THE “OTHER” SHARON!!!! SEE BELOW!!! I NAMED YOU AS MY BFF TOO!!!! GOD IS SO GOOD!!! LOVE YOU!!!

  24. Nancy Johnson November 22, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    One of the hardest things about teaching overseas is finding a true connection with someone. Someone is always moving. But last year, a Canadian teacher, 20 years my junior, arrived at our school and we have really found close friendship. Every week, we study the Bible and sing hymns acapella together. I will be really sorry to see Tess go when she has to return to Canada, but it really shows that deep friendships can be found regardless of age differences.

  25. Donna Walker November 22, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    Thank you so much! I needed that!
    This is one of my favorite verses, but I found fresh strength and encouragement today to carry on.
    To say it’s been a tough week, month, year is truly an understatement, but God!!!!!
    He has been and is so Faithful! I know I can trust Him. And yet at times when life just won’t quit giving you hard news, you can find yourself struggling to hold on. I have a friend who listens and helps me unpack it all so I can rightly assess what’s going on. I am grateful and view it as a gift from God. But i know my best friend of all is The Lord Jesus Christ.
    Today I am thankful He moved you to pen this article. It was fresh water to a thirsty soul. Thank you so much for sharing and being faithful to The Lord. It is making a difference in lives, one soul at a time, all for His glory. I am one. Bless you and your ministry as you serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

  26. Debbie November 22, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    My friend is Marlene. I had made a mess of my life and she was and is always there with a comforting message; to share a verse of scripture. Sometimes thru a card or a phone call that would come just when I needed it. I am truely thankful that God has put Marlene in my life!

    Debbie

  27. Terri Karslo November 22, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Sharon,
    I have especially felt like that old house lately. I had knee replacement surgery on November 4. I am not quite 60 and the process of even making the decision was exhausting. How can I not be an active youthful aging woman? Instead, I’ve been hobbling around, unable to do many things my mindful 35 year old self thinks I should be doing. However, my spiritual accountability friend, Nance continues to text, e:mail and call me daily to either lift my spirit with prayer or just her Godly concern. We have prayed by texting one another, we have prayed on the phone and we have prayed holding hands, lifting my health and situation to the Lord to see me thru.
    It is not yet 3 weeks and I am walking without the use of any device, my pain is minimal and I am ready to begin driving again this week with little more than a sore knee. Our God does not grow weary and will answer prayer when we are confident that He is able to do above and beyond. Thank you for this blog as well as the burned plow. Terri

  28. Nicole Sequera November 22, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Thank you Mrs. Jaynes. You have been that special friend for me today. You would not begin to imagine how much I needed to be reminded that I am safe in the arms of Jesus, that I can exchange my weakness for his strength. This has been a difficult week for me but you have helped me to remember that there is no problem, situation or circumstance greater than God. Thanks again and may God continue to richly bless you always!

  29. Nicole Sequera November 22, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Thank you Mrs. Jaynes. You have been that special friend for me today. You would not begin to imagine how much I needed to be reminded that I am safe in the arms of Jesus, that I can exchange my weakness for his strength. This has been a difficult week for me but you have helped me to remember that there is no problem, situation or circumstance greater than God. Thanks again and may God continue to richly bless you always!

  30. Christa Johnson November 22, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Christa has been a good godly friend to me when my edges were still very rough and with her raseing 5 kids and home schooling she still took my little boy in when i had to go back to work. She loves me uncondionally through all my messes and never judges me. she is struggleing with so much in life that i wish all will come to pass and she will come out of this with the Bigggest Godly testomy . Cause God Is faitful and God Is Good. But we still struggle daily. With out him OMG… I would not be here. And i dont no how she still gets out of bed every day.
    BUT GOD. Thanks Joann Happy Thanksgiving to all. We have so much to be thankful for..

  31. Lou November 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    My friend Kathy sent me a book about God’s sweet grace when my husband was first diagnosed with cancer. Its words poured healing over my weary soul.

  32. Debra November 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    My best friend Amber . She’s only 25 but she has helped me through so much. She is wise beyond her years. I’m so blessed. She and her family are going through rough waters now so please pray for them. Ty GodBless.

  33. Anitra November 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    I am blessed to have wonderful anointed friend named Lindsey. Our spirits are so connected and our lives seem to run parallel in a way only God could ordain. She is always there to encourage me when I am low with sound advice straight from the word of God. We were recently separated by distance but there’s no separation in the spirit. I am grateful for my GIG.

  34. Cindy Robinson November 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    My BFF Stephanie and I have known each other since 1969 and have been best friends since 1976. For 16 years I could also call her “sister” as I was married to her older brother.
    Even though we live 8 hours apart we try to have coffee together as we chat on the phone. My ex said we kept AT&T is business with our lengthy 2-hour chats!
    Stephanie has been the bestest friend ever – she has offered her home as an escape many times. Now as I am divorced and alone (no children) she wants to help me as I face chronic health issues. I owe her so much more than a cup of coffee, but I know I don’t ever have to repay her. She’s an angel from above and I thank God for her!

  35. Betsy November 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    My best friend is Laurie – although you wouldn’t have known it when we first met. Laurie is my next door neighbor. When she moved in, we both didn’t like each other. It was tolerance at best. Then one day, we started talking, and now we are closer than sisters. Only God could create a friendship like this. We chuckle at that fact all the time.

  36. Maryann November 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    My wise friend Charlotte. I was going through a very tough time a few years ago, when she called, prompted she says by the Holy Spirit. We went to a local park, sat on a bench and she listened for HOURS. Her advice- Trust and Obey. God bless those who listen.

  37. Michelle November 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    My husband has helped me most of all this week. Our new born soon is two weeks old, and nursing is doing a huge toll on me. I felt so guilty about wanting to stop already. My husband reminded me, that you should do what is best for you and our son. As long as he still getting the nutrients that he needs it should not matter about how he is feed. I am so thankful for that reminder. Our God is amazing is getting me through these past sleepless weeks, and will get me through many more to come.

  38. Tammie November 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Thanks Sharon, I have been feeling just like that old house, worn out and weary. How easy we forget that God is God and he doesn’t change we do. I have a good friend her name is Andrea, when I am overwhelmed or feeling weak she knows without me telling her. She has been a constant source of encouragement and love for me for some time. God has blessed me with her in my life!!

  39. Muriel November 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Sharon,
    Thanks for the reminder! I’ve been feeling like that old house – only in the middle of a storm!!!! Like I could topple any moment.
    But this message reminds me that God is holding all the essential pieces, and His strength is sufficient in my weakness!!
    Praise be to God!!! The only One who can do that!!!!!
    Thanks for what you do! For the encouragement you offer to so many of us!!

  40. Jennifer Tickle November 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    I am a recovering drug addict with no family that cares and no friends, except one. You know God is my best friend, He is everything to me. He has brought a woman from my church to help me with life. Her name is Connie and shes thee closest thing to Jesus I have ever known. Usually I call her my ” spiritual advisor” because every Wednesday we meet up for an hour and a half while she just pours unconditional love into me, teaching me about God and helping me accept His love. I no longer call Connie my Spiritual advisor, shes much more to me than that. Connie is my God given friend and for that Im so very grateful.<3

  41. Deborah Jackson November 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    My friend Aileen is the one who always is there when I need to vent & I do the same for her. Her husband is in prison & mine is on death row so we have a unique responsibility to support them & encourage them without additional resources to support us. So we have each other.

  42. sharna November 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    My aunt Cherry as held me up so many times I thank God for her, I love her dearly and Isaiah 40 have given me renewed strength. Thank you this devotion is on point this morning love you my GIG!!!!!

  43. Terri Clumn November 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    I have a best friend that holds me up when I am crumbling. I met her in church several years ago, and we had a connection right away that turned into sisterhood. Debbie and I talk each day, share our lives, and pray for each other.

  44. Tonia November 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Hi Sharon. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I always look forward to reading your devotions. My son is the one who helps lift me up. He is 17 and surrendered his life to ministry when he was 14. He is always reminding me what the Bible says about any situation (good and bad). I thank God everyday for him.

  45. Terri November 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Thanks for you’re encouraging words Sharon! My friend Kelly has been there thru all of life’s crazy twists and turns. She not only reaches me with spiritual love, but she actually touches me with logic and laughter too. She is a blessing in my life.

  46. Sue November 22, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    Thank you so much. I really needed that devotion today. I take care of my 90 year old mother. She lives with us. It has been harder than I expected to change rolls. There are ups and downs every day. I don’t know what I would do without my husband, Don, during all of this. He is my everything! He laughs with me and listens to me when I just need to vent! I love him so much!!

    Jesus is my “Safe” haven!!!

  47. Carissa November 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    God uses you in my life every day, thank you Sharon! My girlfriend Nicole and I sat under a statue of Jesus 17 years ago and had a teenage-girl conversation about life. Three years later we accepted Christ together and have never left each other’s side since. I am so thankful for her and for the inspiration you have blessed me with.

  48. Martha November 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    My dear friend Cindy has been there for me more times than I can count. What a blessing! I thank God every day for sending her into my life.

  49. Cindy November 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    My best friend, Diane, holds me up every Wednesday! She is my chosen sister. We moved from her town 8 years ago; however, we talk each Wednesday for 2 to 3 hours sharing our lives. Through laughter and tears, good and bad everyday moments are shared and we maintain our friendship. Our families manage to visit about once a year, which is always a special time for all. God is so good!!

  50. Christina Wattenschaidt November 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Thank you for your blog! Your words are encouraging and often just what I need at the right time.
    In the past few weeks I have two girlfriend that have lifted me up and encouraged me in my time of need: Kerri & Rachel. Both of these Godly women have reminded me to “Cast my burdens upon The Lord” and to remember that “He will sustain me”!! As I try to make my marriage better, they keep pointing me to the one who can heal my brokenness… And it’s NOT my husband (as I keep trying for it to be)!

  51. Elsa November 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    My prayer warrior Mary 🙂 thanks for taking the time to listen to the Holy Spirit, because this was a confirmation of something that someone else shared with me 🙂 God bless!

  52. Shawn November 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    My friend Laurie is my “go-to” gal! She is so good at separating emotion from circumstance!

    Thank you for your stories – I love them!

  53. Tiffany November 22, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    You’re timing on this for me and my current life events could not have been better. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the reminder. My friend that lends a listening ear and shoulder to lean on is my Mom.

  54. Brenda Tschaar November 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Dear Sharon, thank you for the reminder. My husband & my friend Barbara hold me up. Both remind me of all the blessings around me. When our youngest son died in an accident Barbara & her husband were our strength. I have claimed Isaiah 40:29-31 for a long time and for a lot of situations. He is my power & my strength!!

  55. Patt November 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    Rhonda, full of wisdom, is who I feel privileged to call my friend. She is an encourager and straight talker. Though a human friend is great, more and more I go directly to God. He has been faithfully guiding me to remember that I need to keep my eyes on Him and not my problems, and to renew my mind.. So your visual of the crumbling house on one side of the street and the Safe sign on the other is awesome to me. I find I learn best from visuals.

  56. Lori November 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    My friend Melissa continually lifts me up and is truly my sister in Christ. We live hundreds of miles apart, but talk every day. One of my biggest friendship blessings is having her in my life.

  57. Tracy November 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    The person that constantly holds me up and has been doing so for the past 20 years is my best friend, of whom I think of as a sister, Denise Calvin. She has been a rock, a sounding board, a shoulder, and someone to just live me up on so many different reason and for so many different times. I praise God and I’m truly grateful for her each and everyday. I’ve never had a sister but if I had she would be it.

    Thank you so much Sharon for the “extra” words of encouragement that you provide, I send them out to quite a few people and I hope that they get as much enjoyment out of them as I do.

  58. Michelle Bell November 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Hi Jayne,
    Thanks! I don’t always have time to read your posts right away, but this one caught my eye.
    Since I turned 40, a year and a half ago, I have been feeling it. I’m more tired, I can feel my body changing from the inside out.

    This month has been partially hard, with winter approaching and many people we know getting sick and dying.

    The biggest one being my Father In Law last weekend. We know it was coming, he had Alzheimer’s, but it didn’t make it any easier.
    We had to travel for an hour for the service, which was really no big deal for us. However, our friends the Bailey’s made the trip as well, with their 4 kids!!
    Really touched our hearts and also our daughter had some to be with her own age during this sad occasion.
    It’s funny you mentioned Starbucks because when my friend Danielle Bailey and I both had small ones, Starbucks was our oasis. Still is.
    God Bless, Michelle

  59. Heather Jackson November 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Sharon, I loved your devotion this morning!! Thank you 🙂 The Bible verses were exactly what I needed to hear. So many times I look at my “mess” rather than to the God who has everything under His control. Thank You for the reminder this morning that I am SAFE in Him, that He knows and understands everything that I am going through and that He does have a purpose and a plan for my life. That I would allow Him to “wrap His strength around the feeble strands of my weakness and give me the power to carry on” . The one friend that has helped me through some of my darkest days besides the Lord has been my sister. There is 10 years age difference between she and I so growing up we were never that close but now that we are older there is such an amazing bond between us. I have always felt as if I was the strong one in my family, the one was always the encourager, motivator , the one that kept everyone looking to the Lord in the hard times. Well, that all changed over a year ago and depression and an all out attack of the enemy has been upon me. One day when I was at my breaking point and did not have the strength to keep going any more…..God sent my sister to me…..she never usually would stop by my house during this time, but she said she felt as if she needed to come. As I was pouring out my heart and letting all my emotions surface, the hurt, the anger, the not understanding, she took the Bible and turned to Psalms and just started reading scripture to me, then she told me that I needed to remember who I was in Christ. She said she felt so weird being the one to be sitting there giving me encouragement and advice because it was usually the other way around lol….but God knew exactly what I needed. My sweet loving sister, reminding me to look to God , to remember I was His beloved daughter and He had me in His hand. My sister..my friend was truly the arms of Christ to me that day. As I realized this my heart became overjoyed because I could see the great work that God was accomplishing in my sister’s life as well. She was growing in Christ and that was a beautiful thing for this older sister to see.

  60. Sharon November 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    My friend is Sheree. She moved away recently but we still talk by phone. I miss special times doing ordinary things with her. She was and is my “go to” galfriend!

  61. Jeannette Steward November 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    The first person who came to my mind when you asked this question (other than God) is my sister in Christ and best friend, Jennifer. She is the most humble, most giving, most loving, most uplifting, and most encouraging person I know. She is a mother of four and a homemaker. But more than that, she is a true woman of God, who puts God first in everything in her life, including herself and her family. She worships God with every ounce of her being. She is always there for her family…her biological and spiritual family! She is always the first to lend a helping hand but always the last to ask for anything in return. She is the smile I need when I have had a hard day. She is an awesome listener and always has a word of encouragement that is always on time! I know that God uses her a lot to help me in my walk and to keep me uplifted and moving forward. I am so thankful for the day He placed her in my life because He knew He could use her to help me. She truly is a God-send to me and I love her very much. If anyone deserves anything, it would be her! I don’t know if she evens knows how important she is to others, but I pray that God would give her just a glimpse into how very much she means to me and a lot of others.

  62. Shelly November 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    My friend Laura. She is always there to listen, cry, pray whatever is needed at the moment. I know that whatever is going on in life she will always be there with a shoulder, an ear or a helping hand. So thankful for her.

  63. julie November 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    My friend that is always there is Sherry!

  64. Ruth Anne November 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    I have a best friend Josie Giovenco, and we have connected for years. I just spent 3 days with her to get caught up on events. We pray together and cry together. I know Josie was sent to me from God as my spiritual sister. Thank you Father for my gift of my best friend. Love comes in the form of sister’s in the Lord.

  65. Karen November 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    My daughter and friend, Hannah.

  66. Sharon Mc November 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    OMG!!! this was the perfect description of me right now – a wreck
    God has had me in an isolation chamber for the past 4 months thought I was going to lose my mind. Never thought He was going to let me out. But I thank God for the lessons learned and for the revelation of where He is taking me. Ithank Him for my friend Denise who has been a rock and sounding board for me. Thank God for girlfriends in God (her and you all)!!!1
    she has been there for me and has shared this journey with me. I love her for her wise counsel and words of wisdom, Now i know “I’m SAFE!!!!

    • Sharon Jaynes November 22, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      So glad you’re out of solitary!

  67. Karen November 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi Sharon. I am really enjoying your devotions and the friend that has held me up and encouraged me over and over is Pam. God bless you

  68. Angela November 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Hi Sharon! I loved this devotion & definitely feel like an old house sometimes (today, in fact). God’s timing is perfect & this was exactly what I needed to read today. My best friend, Deb Bennett, is one that I can always count on in lifting my spirits. We have been best buds about 10 years. We cover each other’s jobs at work when the other is out. We also attend the same church. She lost her father 4 years ago and her mother 2 years to cancer. It has taken a toll on her. I try to be the friend she is to me. I love her dearly & in my eyesight, she is irreplaceable.

  69. Benita November 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    My sister Kim, who lives 14 hours away, is the one I turn to and rely on to help me through difficult times. Even though we can’t be together face to face, she has always been there for me to talk to and pray with over the phone. She is such a blessing in my life 🙂

  70. Ruth Worth November 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    My friend Sharon comes to mind–we are more like sisters, She puts God first in her life and always seems to know the right things to says when a person needs to be Uplifted. She is a special lady — still working even though she is nearly 70; loves being able to interact with people and pray for them. What is special to me about her over and above what I have said –she can perceive when a stranger needs prayer and she walks right up to them and asks them to allow her to pray with them.

  71. Dianna November 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    God has blessed me with a very special friend. She and I met in a most unusual circumstance and instantly bonded. We can tell each other anything and know that the details stay between us if we ask for prayer warriors, or that the subject simply stays between us. We love and pray for each other and at my lowest point, she is the first earthly person I call. Our backgrounds are similar, yet so very different. I have a heartbreaking situation in my family and while she cannot relate in any way to how I feel, and most often doesn’t even know what to say in response, she is there for me to wail on, to share my deepest concerns and fears, and is with me when I rise up out of that heap and begin again to rejoice in the Lord. Our bons is deep and has remained regardless of the distance between us in miles, when we need someone, even for a moment, we are there for the other.

    Thank you for your wonderful devotions. They are so inspiring, and come from real life situations, making it so easy to relate.

  72. Kelly November 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Hi Sharon,
    My sister-in-law is far away (I’m in Washington, she’s in Indiana). We don’t get to see each other much, but God led us together during a very difficult time in her life about a year ago. We are able to connect through the wonders of today’s technology and are prayer partners. I’m definitely thankful for her as she lifts me in prayer and we share several times a week what God is doing in each of our lives. She is going through another really rough spot right now. I will be forwarding today’s blog to her. Thanks!
    Kelly

    • Vicki Monical November 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      Her name is Dana Bolin; she’s a sister in my Sunday school class. She was so faithful to me last year when I had to have 4 major surgeries in 5-6 months, and she didn’t really know me that well. She was going through personal matters of her own, as she is a single mother raising a pre-teen daughter. She is ever present in my life if I have a need. She is a new believer, and is an inspiration to all of us in the class. She’s a faithful believer.

      Vicki

  73. Judy November 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Again, thanks for another good devotion.

  74. Jan November 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    My friend Sandy is a blessing. When my Dad was dying and I was overwhelmed she was the kindest friend a person could have. From leaving flowers on my counter for me to find when I got home, to telling me go enjoy a pedicure and not worry about picking up my son and the best thing of all were her hugs and encouraging words. Sandy made a hard time just a bit easier. I am blessed to have her in my life.

  75. Jan November 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    My friend Sandy is a blessing. When my Dad was dying and I was overwhelmed she was the kindest friend a person could have. From leaving flowers on my counter for me to find when I got home, to telling me go enjoy a pedicure and not worry about picking up my son and the best thing of all were her hugs and encouraging words. Sandy made a hard time just a bit easier. I am blessed to have her in my life.

  76. Hilda Soares November 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    Thanks for this beautiful reminder that when things are weighing us down it is always good to focus on the safety of God’s loving arms. 🙂

  77. Tamara November 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    My friend Tamika Lang. Thank you for your stories they really uplift me.

  78. Marianne Orr November 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    I love your devotions they help me get my day off to a good start. I also love my friend Kimmy Ward who helps to keep me up when I am down physically and spiritually in prayer and conversation. “Thank you dear God for the people who you put in our life’s to help point us to you when we don’t feel strong enough on our own.” Amen.

  79. Marcy November 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    My best friend was my roommate in college, for only one year, but that was all it took. We have been friends over 30 years and she has always been there for me even though we have never lived close to one another. Most of our friendship she has lived in Texas and I live in Indiana. We even lost contact for over 10 years and reconnected over Facebook and have picked up right where we left off. I KNOW God brought her back into my life because HE knew I would need her. She was there for me like no one else when my first grandson died the day he was born. She called me daily, sometimes all I did was sob on the phone, sometimes all I did spew anger and frustration. She flew from Dallas and was with me for the funeral, literally holding me up. We also have fun too….met in Florida for a girls beach week!!! The best part is we accept each other, we don’t have to talk when we are together or we can talk all night. She is the sister I never had!

  80. Debbie November 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    My mom after loosing my sister we sit and think about how much we miss our time together! Have a blessed thanksgiving with your family and thanks for being a special angel from heaven by sharing your post.

  81. Amber Elrod November 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    This was a good and timely Word! Thank you! I actually have 2 friends that help lift me up when I am down. They are my pastors. Scott & Joy started out as pastors but they have become so much more. I Know I can go to them and be “real”. I have been like that old house and they have walked with me as God has renewed and revolutionized me into the woman I am today. I’m not where I want to be but praise God I’m not where I used to be!!

  82. Tina Andrews November 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    The friend for me that continually holds me up is my friend, Nicole. She is my BFF and I thank the Dear Lord every day for her! She is a phenomenal woman of God and someone that I can ALWAYS count on to Lift Me Up whenever I’m weary, and don’t think I can go on. Other than the Lord himself, she knows me better than anyone. She is my Spiritual Soul Sister and that blessing to me is PRICELESS!

  83. Karen November 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    My husband! 🙂

  84. Michelle November 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Thank you for your stories! As I read your blog today I immediately thought of my 19 year old son. He is going through a difficult time in college, being away from home and not making good choices. I sent him the Isaiah bible passage….hoping he reads and sees what I have. It has been a difficult 3 years, since my husband and his stepfather past…trying to reach a teenager is difficult and now with the distance it’s even harder. I am sharing with him what I read and learn daily. Thank you for taking the time to post and share what you do.

  85. Wilma November 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    Oh, Sharon, I just got off the phone with “one friend who has helped hold you up when you felt weary and worn out.” Mary and I worked together years ago and when I surrendered my life to God, that friendship just got more meaningful! We now attend church together. I got up with a sore throat yesterday and have no voice today and feel just about as bad as that lovely old house looks! Mary is going to get me some chicken noodle soup and 7-Up! Don’t know what I would do without her because I certainly don’t feel like going to the store myself!! Thank you, Lord, for friends like Mary!

    By the way – I love this old house… Can you imagine the stories it could tell if the walls could talk?? I

  86. Erin November 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    I had a Christian friend provide me with a meal yesterday when I was dealing with a hurt knee. It was a reminder that even when our body feels broken down, God is able to provide even when we don’t know what to ask. <3

  87. Tammy Tucker November 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    What an amazing devotion!! I love reading them, they feel so real to me. My husband is gone a lot with his job and some times the being alone can be so hard. My sister who lives 10 miles from me is so encouraging and always invites me to do things with her and her family. I call her my special angel!!

  88. Susan November 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    I love how you see something like this lovely old home and can create words of encouragement and truths from God’s word that brings new understandings to us. It is hope in the midst of life which sometimes is less than fun to live out. A couple of weeks ago, I felt just like you described. I lost my grandmother, an HOA was on the attack and my daughter in laws’ father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I quilt with a lovely group of ladies and a friend came long side with such love and care that I felt uplifted. She is one who deals with wounds often too, her husband is living with MS. The best thing about our loving God is he brings us friends where we would not normally look. If I never meet you in the physical, Sharon, I sure am looking forward to meeting in the heavenly. Much blessings to you and your family this Thanksgiving.

  89. KMcDaniel November 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    THANK YOU so much. You just reiterated my pastor’s sermon last night. Though the content was different, the basis was the same. He preached on being stuck in the wilderness & the different biblical wilderness experiences. When we go through them we feel like that house!!!! So thank you for confirming the message was for me & now it’s time to get my eyes on God (aka: the sign “SAFE”) and off my surroundings/problems. THANK YOU – THANK YOU!!!!

  90. Bonnie November 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    My husband. I know I can depend on him no matter what.

  91. Anna November 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Over the past 16 years, my friend, Jannette, has shared generous amounts of encouragement with me. We take turns praying for each other and our families (ESPECIALLY our “kids”). I’m SO grateful that God blessed me with such a godly friend. Recently, in a Bible study group, we discussed our personal logo/label for how we would like to be known. I said that hers would read: “promotes healing”. Her friendship is like a precious gem to me. 🙂

  92. tracy wiseman November 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    I work in a stressful field- Hospice. I have awesome coworkers that help support each other. But, one is extra special to me. Vickie and I both have daughters with the same health issues. She means more to me than I can say! Great mssg from the Lord! Thanks!

  93. Jacqueline November 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    My sister Carol has been and still is my encourager. My son has many struggles that at times it’s overwhelming for me. My sister will give me scriptures to meditate on and pray for me. At times she just sits with while I cry. She is always helping me in every way she see’s fit. God has blessed me with a beautiful sister. Thank you for the wise words God has given you share daily with us. Every devotion speaks to me, Gosh is awesome.

  94. Angie November 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Yes, Sharon I feel like the old house and the old barn that is probably sitting in the back yard. Thank you so much for the devotion this morning. It really hit home for me. I turn to Jesus in my time of need. He is the only one that will listen without judgement, or making me feel like a looser. Look forward to hearing from you again.

  95. Michelle turner November 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    Amen, Oh yes Father God…. You are the one I look to. Not the mess, noise, giants, problems, mistakes, failures, sin or barking dogs but to you! Help me Keep my eyes on you alone! We are safe with you.
    I have a little dog that likes to bark at other dogs when I take her for walks and I can tell she is barking because she is scared of them. I’m trying to teach her to keep her eyes on me and listen to my voice over all that scary noise. When she is caught up in barking at them she looses focus of our walk and either stops or gets of the path. Only when she can regain her attention on me is she able to walk again. What a big loud picture that is to me. I want my dog to know the more attention she gives to that situation, the scarier it seems. The other thing is, she is with me and if that other dog could get to her, it would have to go through me to get to her. If I feel this way about my dog, how much more is God like this for me. May I choose to Not look or listen to these distractors but concentrate on Jesus! Be my Strength Lord Jesus where I am weak and tempted.

  96. Nancy Goepfert November 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Laughing, crying, praying, struggling, rejoicing with my sisters in Christ keeps my sagging old house from collapsing, but knowing what is coming – being with my Jesus, makes this old house like new….strong, beautiful, filled with light, hope and joy!!!!

  97. Brenda S November 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    This makes my heart ache so. Through all the tragedies…….deaths, illnesses, family dysfunction and all the other trials that life throws at us………besides my sweet Jesus and sweet husband………I have no one to go to when I need encouragement, healing or just a friendly ear. When my Mom was ill and it was taking a family effort to care for her and the different personalities in the family were colliding like meteorites I tried to talk to my pastors’ wife and after a few attempts she patted me on the arm and said and I quote “you poor thing, you”. So, I am so very grateful for my husband who has held me up many times over the years to literally keep me from collapsing and will be forever grateful for my Jesus, who is always there. Thank you, Sharon, for your devotions.

    • Colleen November 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      Sometimes there are no words, and it just takes someone to stand beside you and listen. I’m thinking that maybe your pastor’s wife had no words at that time. 🙁 I want you to know that I have been very sad lately, thinking of those in my own family (my own husband who is not a believer, and we’ve been married for almost 35 years)…and was crying this morning in my prayer time to God. But reading this scripture from Isaiah this morning made all the difference and encouraged me to press on. So yes, thanks for this ministry, and for each other to continue encouraging each other, for the strength to carry on for Jesus!

  98. Eleanor Biehl November 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    I have a very good relationship with one of my coworkers. She is in a higher-up position than I am, and so she is cut off from having close relationships here at the office; she needs to guard her comments due to her position. Every now and then, when the need arises, we communicate back and forth on how beaten up and rickety we feel each in our respective areas. It’s good to have a “buddy” at work that one can confide in with confidence, especially when we feel our reputations and work style/ethics are being attacked. We don’t come up with solutions all the time, but we listen to each other’s dilemas. It really means a lot to dump without fear of anything.

  99. Janice November 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    I am so thankful for my dear Sister who holds me up when I am falling apart. She is my prayer partner and my prayer warrior. God gave her to me and I am so thankful.

  100. Dana November 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    Jackie! We’ve been through crying newborns, lost jobs, husbands deserting a family, depression of teenage son and death but we’ve also watched God restore the hearts friends who’ve made ungodly choices, renew a marriage after a ten year divorce and financial meet our needs. We truly serve an awesome God! I count my blessings with my sisters in Christ!

  101. Bessie Benson November 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    My sister-in-law Jean is always the one who helps keep me strong in my weariness. She is more of a sister than an in-law. She always gives me the perfect advice and always has time to listen and help. Wonderful guardian angel sent from above!

  102. Colleen November 22, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    This morning as I was praying and reading my Bible, I became totally overwhelmed with thinking of all the people in my life who do not know the Lord, and many who do not want to know Him. I was feeling such pain because I don’t want them to suffer in this life or the next, not knowing the Great Comforter and Healer. It all seems so simple to me, and why can’t they just ‘get it’??? Crying out to God, then I came to my computer and read this from you. What a great comfort it is. So now I’m going to go to my Facebook page and share Isaiah 40:28-31 with all my FB friends…whether they want to see it or not. I’m praying that God can touch the hearts of many, and set those before me whose hearts are ready to hear about Him today. Thanks for being faithful to His service. It has touched my heart and eased my pain this morning. 🙂

  103. gailyn shepherd November 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    My friend Lyla has been so good to me. She has stood with me through trials ,hardships, and the recent loss of my brother. It was unexpected and my sons and I had been praying all summer. The Holy Spirit was warning us that something was going to happen, so we prayed and the intercession did not bring relief. We persisted praying for Christians, the Church, Israel, the lost, all family and friends. When the news came I was so tired that I shook for weeks Lyla was there praying ,encouraging and lifting me up. She showed how the Lord loves us even when it seems in some respects that we lost. My brother Mark is with the Lord. My friend is still by my side. Thank you Jesus for my friend and for Your Love.

  104. Judy November 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    I have a dear friend and sister in Christ. When I need prayer she will write her prayers for me in an email. As I read her words, I can hear her voice and feel her arms around me. I don’t think she knows how much that means to me. I am especially thankful for her and will tell her how important she is to me and to God!

  105. Chanda Ellison November 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    My family has been hit really hard over the past few months. There have been MANY, MANY, MANY times when it seemed like we would never get back to solid ground. One of the ladies from our church has been there every step of the way for us. She has helped us, when we did not get any help, guidance, encouragement, etc from our own family. She means so much to me, and I thank GOD that HE sent her to US!

  106. Jeulia Hendrick November 22, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    What an inspiration, Thank you. I have been blessed to have a daughter that is sonshine. From the time she was born to the present time I have been able to find encouragement in her presence, her laughter and (now that she is grown and has her own family) our conversations. I am blessed that she knows Jesus and follows Him daily. Her name means “belonging to God” and she always has been. When I need uplifting she seems to know when to call for one of our talks and when she needs uplifting I call at the right time for her. God has given me a daughter and a friend and He still uses me to help her in her times of need. What a blessed gift for both of us-Praise God.

  107. Connie November 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Besides running to God in my troubles; I have a friend that I am able to confide everything to. I even feel comfortable enough to cry in front of her. She is my son’s second grade teacher, and he is now in 8th grade. We met when she was his teacher. The only other person I have creed in from to of is family and Jesus himself.

  108. Katherine Swarts November 22, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Jo, from my church, has made a habit of meeting with me for prayer and encouraging words every week. A trained Stephen Minister, she’s expert at using the Scriptures to lift others up and is a big fan of Sarah Young’s JESUS CALLING (if you haven’t read it, put it on your Christmas list!).

  109. Kathy November 22, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    The one and only friend Berneak Gantt she such amazing woman of God when I say a true friend no matter what. She is my boss, my sister , and my encourager and I thank the Lord for allowing our paths to cross 5 yrs ago. She has been there for my marriage, my divorced and trail and tribulation never negative always positive . Pray with me at all times threw my storms. Even with everything that is going on with her. Never rude or ugly to anyone, she always shows love and gave love no matter what and helped so many people what phenom woman of god. There is nothing I would not do for her. And i would not trade her for nothing… Thank you Lord for allowing our paths to cross……

  110. Kelli November 22, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    To choose one friend that has helped me would be possible. Here are just a few: God and His Word with the Holy Spirit and Jesus when I just will not share my burden to a friend here on earth, tops my list, my accountability sisters, my real sister, my Mama, my daughter, my husband, my son and even though I have never met you I feel like I have friends forever through your writings, Sharon Jaynes, Mary Southerland, and Gwen Smith! Thank you for your daily encouragement and devotion.

  111. Janet November 22, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    I’m so thankful for the Lord’s timing. I really needed to hear this today. i needed to be reminded that God see, hears and knows what I’m going through. He will also work it out for good. Thank you, for this very encouraging word to my heart and the “push” to read these words often in the next week.
    For His Glory,
    Janet

    • Janet November 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

      oops…my friend, that helps keep me sane is Jenny!

  112. Maureen November 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    My friend Michelle. Even though we live miles apart I know she is just an email, a text or a phone call away. She always cheers me up!

  113. Denise November 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    My long time friend, Kerry, she has helped me through many a time when I wanted to fall into a heap onto the floor due to mental/emotional exhaustion. She has listened to me and help guide me through the dense fogs. Without her in my life, I would of lost it and become an emotional blubbering mess. God places those that you need most in your life for a reason!

  114. Susan klimaszewski November 22, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    That beautiful friend would be Jill. I don’t have family in my life, but have the most precious girlfriends. They are my family. This morning it was Jill.

  115. Phyllis Ormsby November 22, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    Your blog is such a blessing! Thanks so much… when I think of friends who have helped shore me up in times when I feel like I am crumbling, I always think of my friend Peggy. We met each other about 27 years ago as co-workers. I gained a sister when I met her and she has ALWAYS been there for me. We live in different states now but she is always just a phone call away!

  116. Diane November 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Thank you for your inspiration to regain my faith; the last few years have been tough for me as I went through some personal issues. I followed much of your advice in my marriage, and believe it has truly changed my relationship with my husband. Through all my difficulties, my friends have been beside me, but my strongest supporter was and continues to be my oldest sister (I have 3 total). She never judged the problems, never provided unsolicited advice…she would just provide spiritual encouragement to follow the signs and beliefs of our Lord. Through this advice, I felt His arms holding me up and provide me with the strength to move ahead and regain my inner strength and bond with my husband.

  117. Shannon November 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Thank you for this picture of safety. I am in a mess… My husband told me last night he wants a divorce and now I’m spinning…. My one friend Samantha, has been a rock I can lean on lately and has been there for me and I appreciate her sooooo much. Thank you for this scripture… I am gonna commit to memorize to this week and keep it hidden in my heart during this time.

  118. Laura November 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Wow.. this is right on to how I have felt! From grieving the loss of my mom, family issues and being made to feel unworthy by church leadership has left me feeling worn down and falling in like that house.
    The person I go to for sanity check is my best friend Marcia. She always tells me like it is and with love. So many times I’ve thought I must be going crazy and not thinking right… I just pick up the phone and she helps me to level my head. If not for her and other friends who have been there and prayed me through I don’t know what I’d do. So thankful for the friends God has placed in my life.
    Thank you for your words and for sharing with us.

  119. Laurie Drolet November 22, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    I have two very dear friends … Tess and Donna. They are such amazing women of God and I am blessed to call them friends and sisters in Christ. They wer both instrumental in leading me to the Lord, present when I dedicated my life to Jesus and my baptism. They walked with me through the ups and downs of a divorce … and walked beside me when I was blessed when God brought a wonderful Christian man into my life. No matter what time of day or night, they are there for me – with a box of tissues, a box of chocolate and a cup of coffee. Thank you Sharon for your well timed email messages and scripture references. Blessings to you and your family.

  120. Anette November 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    The one friend that I can go to anytime is my daughter. Even though she is grown and has her own family she is and always will be there for me. I don’t get to see her very often do to us living in different states but I can always count on her being there for me. Love you Christy, Mom
    Thank you for letting me post

    Anette

  121. Amanda November 22, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Thanks Sharon, I really needed to here this message today. I feel like that house right now. My friend Jasmine has been supporting me and helping me through various problems and sickness. Thanks for this opportunity to get coffee together and have fellowship with each other and give thanks to God for giving us friends to support one other.

  122. Annette Townsend nettietown214@gmail November 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    My dear friend Linda Hyers has really encouraged me so much since I have had to retire due to my disability…she is such an Godly woman whom I treasure as a dear friend and am so blessed by God for her to be in my life….plus we love coffee..lol

  123. Rita November 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    My friend, Brenda; we are always there for each other. We have been friends literally since we were babies on a blanket together. We may not see each other for long periods of time or even talk to each other very often, but both of us know, if we need anything the other one is right there. She always has the right words to say, the prayer to pray, and the scripture to touch my heart. She is the best friend a person could ever have. We have been through so many things together; her having an abusive husband, my husband getting killed; my mom passing away; but through it all, Christ has strengthened our relationship with Him and with each other. She is wonderful!

  124. Marilyn November 22, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    The person who helps me when no one else can is Ceciia. My husband is very supportive but doesn’t totally understand all the emotions that go with being bi-polar and the labels I tend to put on myself. Cecilia, although not bi-polar, seems to always know how to encourage me.

  125. Valerie November 22, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Oh my YES!! I have felt that way. More times than I’d like to admit. I have a friend that is always just a phone call away. Her name is Karen. Many of times I have unloaded all my whoas and whines to her. She always listens. I am so blessed and thankful for her.

  126. Heidi November 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    I just had to smile after reading this! That is how the last couple weeks have felt like. I am a mom of 3 kids (5.5,4,2.5) and although I love them dearly, I have found myself saying “I AM exhausted” “God what more?” “Is there anything I am doing right?” And a barrage of other questions. I am fortunate that I have a close group of Christain women I can turn to in time of praise and prayer but the one that came to mind was my dear friend Amy. Isaiah 40:31 is her life verse. Thank you Sharon for your transparency! Nice to know I am not alone

  127. Robin Redmond November 22, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    I LOVE that you shared this. These moments happen to me often, where God shows he CLEARLY has a sense of humor (collapsing house in Safe)> LOL!!

    My friend Susan is who helps me “hold up” at times I feel on the verge of collapse (when my husband’s working or traveling). She is the one person who accompanied me (besides family) to my chemo treatments last year…talk about on the verge of collapse! God held me up, but Susan did the hoisting of emotions without so much as verbally broaching the subject. She always seems to know what love and/or laughter is needed at that moment where words are not necessary, (much like my precious mother-in-law used to). Even on a day like today, when I fall to pieces at the Radiologist’s office, she knows how to lift me up, reminding me WHO ultimately isn’t going to let me fall. I’ve been SO blessed to have “earth angels” in my life and Susan is an exquisite one. She also LOVES coffee. I just recently got her hooked on Vanilla Chai as well.
    Thank you for this today, when my heart REALLY needed it! ;o)

  128. Cheryl November 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Hi, Sharon. Thanks for the uplift. I have a friend named Connie. We almost lost each other in a season of misunderstanding. I had to work hard to see that we were both going the same way, just not together anymore. Since that was worked out we have made a point to get together now and then for some “serious” talking about where we are. We are both steamrollers who assume that everyone else should see and understand what we see; so when we get together it is usually a case of laughing at ourselves with pure understanding of where we are coming from. We part laughing and humbled and refreshed as though we have been walking hand in hand in a beautiful place. We are His beloved and we trust in that and know we are safe.

  129. Colleen November 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    Hi Sharon! My go to friend was always my mom, but since she passed I have another “mom” to go to. She is dear friend & my sponsor in Al-Anon. She is extremely spiritual & has become not only my adopted mother by my spiritual advisor. I have been going thru a very difficult time with my husband & he has suggested that maybe we try separation. I don’t believe in that as I take my vows for better or worse seriously & know that if he would just try & open his heart to God we’d be ok. Whenever I am talking with my “mom” which is almost daily, she always guides me to a bible passage or psalm or other wise words that I have no idea where she gets them from, but she always knows exactly what I need to hear & when I need to hear it. It must be something about mothers that always know when something is wrong, even before you tell them about it. I know my maternal mother was like that. Whenever I was sick & that is a lot, she would know it & show up on my door stop (which was 1900 miles away from hers. She’d drive from Texas to Ontario Canada just to be there for me. Her last trip like that was when she was 82 yrs old. I believe God drove her & that is how it is with my adopted mother. Whenever I feel I can’t go on 1 more day living in this house filled w anger & resentment she always knows & sends me an email or call & directs my focus back to God & what I can do to take care of myself. She too is an elderly lady who I treasure so much as I know my time with her limited, but I know God will put someone else in my life to fill that void when the time comes. Maybe he already has in You. Your words always seem to reach a part of me I didn’t realize existed. God Bless You,

  130. Danielle November 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    I have a brand new friend named Darcie… I took a chance one day and was totally and utterly transparent about how I felt as a new stay at home momma. I was ready to collapse into an emotional heap, feeling inadequate, strung out, short on patience, and completely alone. I was hard on myself about not being better. Turns out God pushed me to be transparent with Darcie because she understands and is standing in my shoes much of the time, too. Isn’t it amazing how beautifully God provides? He is so good!

    • Sharon Jaynes November 23, 2013 at 12:05 am #

      He does. Elizabeth for Mary. Ruth for Naomi. Darcie for Danielle.

  131. Bonnie Giran November 22, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    Sharon,
    I have the greatest girlfriend in the world. We talk everyday, occationally have lunch together, and we cry on each others shoulders. We have both had problems with a son, so we share the problems with each other. What makes it the best is that when we are done talking and are by ourselves we know that the other one is lifting us up in prayer. God has been so good to me giving me this friend. I thank Him everyday for her.
    Bonnie

    As an aside the old house in the picture is not one I would compare myself to, I would use wore out clothes they have the same effect for me. The old house and others like it I’m always wishing I could remodel them or rebuild with the same appeal.

  132. Brenda Keisler November 22, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    You did, my friend! Reconfirmed today with the doctor that I need two back surgeries in December and was feeling really sorry for myself and just like the house you had a picture of. Prayed that God would send me some comfort and I opened up my computer and there you were! Isaiah 40:31 is my favorite verse. Thank you and thank God for his reminders through sweet souls like yours. And I love Starbucks – that is what my husband always gets me for Christmas!

  133. Sandy McBride November 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    My friend Linda has helped me the most she encouraged my walk with the Lord She patiently answered my questions She took me to Bible study after Bible study.She has done spiritual warfare with me when my husband and I were going through a rough time She has helped me financially even through she lives on a fixed income She has taken me to the doctor and picked me up at the hospital and rarely left my side when I was so ill She is a everything a godly woman should be and a wonderful irreplaceable friend who I cherish I am going through a transition in my life which has limited me financially but she deserves to be treated to a coffee since she does so much for me and I am not the only one she blesses with her kindness and warmth I truly love this woman who shares both good and bad times She is my confidant and my encourager at all times I have been truly blessed by God for putting this wonderful woman in my life.If I am chosen could you include this comment because until now I have been unable to express what she means to me Thank you 🙂

  134. Lori Bailey November 22, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    Shellee and I have been best friends since before we went to Kindergarten. Our parents were friends and our grandmothers used to call us by each other names. We looked similar, except I have always been the ‘chubby’ one. For a while we went different ways, stayed in the same town, but had different paths and made different choices. We reconnected after we each had married and our husband became best friends too. We have endured miscarriages, births, deaths, joys and sorrows. We attend the same church and share a love for our Lord. We are both currently struggling with the care of our elderly parents and the decisions our children have made. She gets it and doesn’t judge me when I tell her I just can’t do it any more and want to run away. I get it and don’t judge when she feels the same. Someday our times of exhaustion and exasperation will cross and we may just disappear together and never return!!!! LOL. I am so very thankful for her and for her family.

  135. Rebecca S. November 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    I’ve literally felt like this this past week. School has been SO draining and there has been so much work and so many deadlines. Along with the holidays starting next week, I was assigned two more papers. Sometimes, I just want to crawl into my bed and have all of it end and just sleep! But I know I must keep pushing through by relying on God’s strength alone. Thank you Sharon for this wonderful devotional. I always love reading them. Someone who is continually loving and caring towards me would be my boyfriend. We just talked last night and he always gives me such wonderful godly insight, truly showing his affection and how he longs to not just give me his advice, but wants to give me God’s advice, straight from his work and from his own experiences. He is my best friend :).

    • Sharon Jaynes November 23, 2013 at 12:04 am #

      He sounds like a keeper!

  136. Bianca November 22, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    I usually turn to God for all my problems/concerns/issues, but The person that I turn to, whom is my best friend, is my husband. 🙂

  137. Avis Wright November 22, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    This has been me on more than one occasions recently. In the midst of my tired misery- God speaks to me. God reminds continuously that he will never leave me. God reminded me today that I need to remember to rest in him. God has given me a friend who has known me over 45 years to share when I feel my depression trying to overtake me, that she is always there to talk. Just like God is always there- no matter how stuff is going. God is.

  138. Laura November 22, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    Without a doubt, I needed to hear this today. Thank you for being obedient to the Spirit in sharing these words.

  139. Kathy S. November 22, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    Sharon – Imagine that “Safe” who would have thought that God is there to remind you that Safe with him regardless of how many gray hairs we find, wrinkles on our face, or weight we have gained. He loves us as we are, a worn house – think about the love that was there in the beginning when it was new and over the years the weather has worn it, kids have slammed doors, and despair. But as we are like this house we have gone through trials and tribulations and God has been there for us all along. He will not desert us at all, he is with us in the good and the bad, regardless of the wind damage or peeling paint.

    Thank you for the thoughts today I love this analogy. My friend Susan can sense when I am not having a great week or day. She called me this week when I was crumbling, peeling paint and very wind damaged, she bought me soup and we had water, it was wonderful being with her. She is moving about 8 hours away in a year from me, I am going to miss her greatly but I know that we have facetime and Skype, But it won’t be same for us it will evolve to something else, God will see to it.

    Blessings Sharon, may your Thanksgiving be a grand one.

    Kathy

    • Sharon Jaynes November 23, 2013 at 12:03 am #

      Yes, just think of all the life that was lived in those walls. What a picture!

  140. Lisa November 23, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    I have had a rough week. I work with special ed students in the 4th and 5 the grades. I have a 5th grader that is very trying at times and this week has been very stressful. I also have an aging mother with very bad back spasms. So bad she has had to be lifted out of bed. Trying to share the responsibility with my sister, work and spend time with my husband, family and grandchildren has had its toll on me. Through it all all I have to do is pick up the phone and call my cousin ( who herself has a husband fighting cancer) and she picks me up. As I do her when she needs me. We live and hour from each other but only a phone call or text away! I love her! We both are turning 50 in January (me) and her in March. She is my rock when I need her and I thank our God for her every day!

  141. Nancy Beneteau November 23, 2013 at 12:57 am #

    My mentor Maureen Bald. She and I don’t get together too often but she’s been through a lifetime of what I now experience with an unsaved husband. Her husband accepted The Lord months before he went home to The Lord. Just recently at our Church Ladies’ Retreat Maureen and I sat down to talk an in a midst my tears, she offered me hope that I will get through this. Many of my friends console me but since Maureen has been there, I really felt refreshed at the end of our talk. I felt ready to give it another try even though I felt I was at the end. Praise God for this friend. She is much older. We are due for another talk soon. I can’t wait.

  142. Debbie November 23, 2013 at 1:45 am #

    I have a Bible study teacher and friend who has been encouraging through the years! I also have a sweet prayer partner who has held me up in prayer! Waiting on the Lord is the only thing that makes me feel safe, but sometimes it takes a lot of effort to turn from the problems and worries to Him!

  143. Cheri November 23, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    My friend Aquila Fisk. My sister in Christ and one of the most loving and strong people I know!

  144. Elizabeth Wesley November 23, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    Yes, I admit, I’ve had ‘all this’ going on over the past several months, and now the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays’ are upon me. Sometimes I wish I could just crawl into my bed and just say forget it one year. Looking at the photo of the house, then the sign with the name of the town ‘Safe’ shows us just how detailed oriented God is toward us at every turn of our life. He knows when we are tired, feeling useless, and in despair.

    As time goes on these feelings come more often, as my family grows, and their families grow: I often don’t understand how others do the daily grind and still live in complete joy and always look like they have it together. Our savior provides us with a complete solution. If we rest in Him, He will take care of the details. When we get in trouble and these feelings of despair come upon us, we need to take this as a sign, we may be doing to much, and not letting Our Savior do His part. I have to remind myself everyday. Our lives are continuous offering of praise to our Lord. If we commune with him, he talks to us in these very subtle way. It ALWAYS amazes me; I don’t think anyone notices I’m in distress, and gently whispers “I Am”!

  145. Trixie November 23, 2013 at 4:19 am #

    Oh Gosh………..I don’t know if I can pick just ONE friend on the spur of the moment. 🙂 I am so blessed to have so many beautiful women who pick me up, dust me off, and cheer me on. If I were to start naming names, this would end up being the longest blog comment ever. 😀 I wish I could say my Mama, but she’s with Jesus now. Be blessed.

  146. Kitha Cockrell November 23, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    My son Josh has been a huge encouragement to me. In the last three years God has set him free from addiction and brought him into a beautiful personal relationship. For years I had prayed for him, and to see God do what only He can do, increased my faith so much.

  147. Kalyani November 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    hi sharon,

    I am Kalyani from India, that was a Lovely article. I do have a friend on whom I can rely on and she has really helped me a lot in all my my hard-times right from my break-up trauma to my depression of my parents fighting. Ofcourse provided me moral support but reasoned with me why i should continue focusing on God. She is not actually my fren but my sister in law, and also my sister in christ, my accountability partner, her name is Asmi. She has really been an iron to me. Who keeps on sharpening me. I thank everyday for such more amazing friends that I have.

    Stay Blessed.

  148. Becky November 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Thanks, Sharon, for your devotions. I really feel like you often know what’s on my heart. My friend, Kim, was there for me when I went through chemo. Every Sunday after I went through my “big” treatment, she brought over dinner — complete with dessert — now that’s a friend!

  149. Phyllis November 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Sharon, oh how I love reading your blogs. They always seem to come at just the right time. This morning, I can certainly relate to feeling like that old house. I’m in week two of trying to get well from a nasty case of bronchitis. And as I sat in bed, battling an hour long coughing bout, there it was nestled in my email, your blog.
    Oh how I love the way God, shows up just when we need him most and with one little “Safe”, we can rest in His arms of love and healing.
    My friend Yolanda, is my go to person for encouragement and support. The circumstances are unimportant, and in spite of her own many challenges she Always has a word that touches me in a profound way. Her own walk with Jesus, is a light that often helps me see things more clearly. I am blessed that God allowed us to become friends.
    Bless you Sharon, I look forward to our next reading.

  150. nathyya soto (naya) November 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    God bless you and this ministry Sharon. The one friend that is always there for me, to comfort and support me in my ups and downs is my best friend Isabel. She is like a sister to me.

  151. Monica November 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    The friend that lifts me up when needed is my friend Bebolin. She is a friend that I can always count on for prayer, encouragement and one to give Godly counsel. I thank God for placing her in my life.

  152. Bren November 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    What a wonderful reminder. Thank you Sharon for reminding me that we serve an awesome God. This has been such a tough year for me it has been also been filled with many blessing. I had a car accident that left me disabled and my abusive husband decided I no longer had any value and forced me from our home in MI with only enough resources to get back to my family in WA state. I have been homeless, without income for over a year after going through foreclosure and bankruptcy that ruined my credit. I was told if I didn’t give my husband an uncontested divorce he would hunt me down and shoot me through the head.
    I have been so blessed, I have had shelter, food and everything I’ve needed. I put my trust in Jesus and He has provided for all my needs, just like He promised. He put the people in my life that I needed and I am renewing my life for the better and look forward to being blessed into His service. Thanks again. God Bless!

    • Sharon Jaynes November 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

      I am so sorry you’ve had such a rough time. It puts my “bad day” in perspective. I’m so glad that you know Jesus and that He is your SAFE place through it all.

  153. Jo Kime November 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Hi Sharon, I love your devotions. They are full of wisdom and rich with your transparency. My friend Angie is the one who always lists me up, helps me to sort my mess out and always has my back. I have many good friend and support but Angie is always there.

    God bless,

    Jo

  154. Samantha November 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    One friend that has held me up when I felt weary and worn out is my best friend Naomi. When I was going through a really rough time about a couple years back, she listened to me and even called to check up on me. She is also a very godly friend and encourages me in the Lord. The Lord is my greatest friend and He is always there for me everyday. I am so thankful that He cares about me! Oh and by the way, I love that passage! 🙂 Is. 40:28-31 are my life verses. 🙂

  155. ann_lee November 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    When I opened this e-mail, all i could do was drop my head on the desk and cry! Last week my husband had major surgery…with awful pain, reaction to pain meds, and longer hospital stay than expected. The whole 10 days since have been ups and downs. I’m so ready for normal, whatever that is. The one night especially bad, after he went to sleep, i started studying my folders and the one on waiting on the Lord made such an impression. There’s no relief, no numbing, no nothing; but I made the statement mine. I WILL take courage, I WILL wait on the Lord.

    Then this morning was rough again…his bowels aren’t moving and the laxative only made his stomach a whirlwind and his muscles to urinate freeze. Sorry for the details, but it may give an idea how awful it was. Then the word “faint” described me, him, us all! I made a new folder with all the verses that clicked about being faint, with the one that resonated most being….yes, you guessed it! Isa 40: God never is faint, aren’t we thankful? And when we are faint…I looked it up “lacking strength, enthusiasm or being weak, feeble”…what does God do but give us power! Honesty about our weaknesses and oh, seeing our Power, our Safeness in Him; what balm to our faintness!

    My sister, Charity, is such blessing and she’s been especially caring of me now, texting, calling, etc. knowing I’m likely to suddenly have my “crashing” too. A great friend nearby has done her part, too, just in listening and showing she cares. Our church “family” has rallied around us. Truly i am blessed.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration to me; a timely confirmation of the verses that meant so much to me.

  156. Kelly November 23, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    Hi Sharon, Thank you for this devotion- as I looked at the photo of the old house, I surely have been feeling this way today. I love these devotions ! everyday there is something that I really needed and am lifted up. Reading Isaiah 40:28-31 is just the “mental and emotional vitamins” that I needed !

  157. Barbara November 24, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    Sharon, another timely message! I always feel a bit sad when I look at a house in disrepair because it looks sad. I think of the family times and all the fun shared in that house. Yes there are times I feel like this house. I have to say Isaiah 40:28-31 is one of my favorite Scripture verses I reflect on a great deal, and I trust in Jesus. My friend Jo Ann has been my rock, but I need the right words to say from God to support her as she goes through this dark time of being served with divorce papers from her husband who left her over a year ago. We are there for each other….that is the balance. God always brings someone in right when you need to hear a word or phrase or Scripture verse. Thank God for you for you are a blessing!

  158. Nancy November 24, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Thank you for your Blog…no friends and no husband..He died a year ago… All I have now is my children and my grandchild…and God’s words and promises… but I just need badly His comfort…thanks that He used you…Pray for His strength and peace to fill my heart.

  159. Nicole McDade November 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    My friend Alacia, held me up with the Word of God when I was weary and worn out. I am currently separated from my husband due to infidelity. She has been there for me since my separation and I thank God for sending her because I really needed a spiritual friend.

  160. Susan November 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    My friend, Cath! God brought her into my life about 7 years ago. Shortly after we felt that bond of friendship that is gifted to you so rarely, my husband became very ill. She became God with skin on for me. She was at my side encouraging me, helping me, and always lifting my chin upward to see God in all of it. We both worked in the worship department at our church…so my journey with my hubby was very public…from diagnosis to heaven! Cath still encourages me with her listening heart and her Godly friendship. She is someone who knows me inside and out and continues to support me through grief. What an amazing gift from God she is! I cherish every moment with her.

  161. April in PA November 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    What an awesome devotional to read as I am gearing up for the busy Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. I constantly rely on my best friend, My Mom, Geri to offer me an encouraging word and Bible passage. She is a mighty prayer warrior and always takes time to listen to me! I am so blessed to have her in my life! Thank you as always Sharon for your honest words of hope, love and for just being real about things. You are a treasure…

  162. Jewell November 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    My best friend whom I also call my God giving sister is my Bonney. She means so much to me. She is always there for me when I need her. I love her so much. We started out as neighbors but our houses may have moved further apart but not our hearts. We will be joining each other for a cup of tea on Friday after thanksgiving ( our tea time is our bonding time ). But we love our Starbucks too!

  163. Jenn November 25, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    Thank you so much for all your great devotions. I have been blessed with an awesome friend Connie, she is always there for everyone and would do just about anything for anybody! She is a true blessing to me!

  164. Priscilla Guerrero November 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Hi Sharon! Thanks for this reminder that the Lord truly has me in His hands. I have a best friend at work named Denise. She has truly been one to encourage me when I felt like my world was falling apart. I am so blessed to have someone who loves the Lord as I and is continuing moving forward no matter what life throws. God bless you Sharon for bringing words of encouragement and reminding us that is “in Him we live and move and have our being”

  165. Heather November 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    I really related to the visual of this old house this morning. I have complex PTSD from a childhood of sexual abuse from my father and physical/emotional abuse from my mother. Last week my mother exclaimed that she would have Thanksgiving with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend, at her command, would lock me in the bathroom for the entire day. I often don’t know why people react to me in tears at times. This weekend I told my friend how I was feeling about Thanksgiving and the story about about the closet. Her eyes filled with tears, leaving me confused. She spoke truth to me about the situation and cared enough to cry for me and pray. It left me feeling comforted and loved.

  166. Tammy English November 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Sharon I just have to share that for about the past year I have been going thru a lot of battles. In the valley to the point thought that not even God realized where I was I was so hidden. And it seemed every morning when I open my e-mail and find your devotional you were writing straight to me. God has used you to be my uplifting and speaking to me with your devotionals. Seemed so many times it would just fall right into the struggle I was facing. thanks so much for letting God use you to speak to my heart and being my sister in Christ to lift me up. I have a cousin Sunshine who is always there to say just what I need to hear and tell me we are not going to let the devil keep us down. We are fighters for Christ. I am so thankful God placed her in my life when she married her husband and love her dearly! Thanks ago and may God Bless you and your family.

    • Sharon Jaynes November 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

      Isn’t God so good to give us what we need right when we need it! Thank you for sharing!

  167. Tanis November 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    My best friend is my sister. She always is giving encouragement to others. Recently, I have been going through a very tough time with separation from my husband. She was there for me. Showing me to lean on God and resort to my faith that got me through every storm in my life. My sister has Parkinson’s Disease and was diagnosed in her 40’s. She has had brain surgery, been through pain and is dealing with this disease daily but she never gives up. She is selfless and always is willing to put her pain behind to help someone else. I look toward her as a gift from God. I love to spend time with her sharing our thoughts our dreams and our faith. I would love to enjoy some tea or coffee with her.

  168. Sonya Mortenson November 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    This past week was very stressful due to the release of my Clinic Manager. Because of the personal reasons nothing can be disclosed, but it left me with a very heavy heart. On Friday night I asked a dear friend if I could stop over with some things for her to deliver to my son who she would see because she was flying to his city the next morning. In TRUTH it was for ME to see her? I shared and we prayed together and I felt so lifted up. The LORD is so gracious to hear our cry for help when walls are crumbling around us and on top of that HE gives us godly friends to support us when we are in those sagging houses. I am so thankful for HIS safe arms to rest in. This devotion truly spoke to me. Thank you for sharing the words from Isaiah! May you have a Blest Thanksgiving!

  169. Patti November 26, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    A friend sent me your recent blog about the old house. She knew I needed that encouragement because my father is in the final stages of his life as he suffers with inoperable kidney cancer at the age of 81. It is so hard to see him live out his days in this way. One of the friends that has held me up and been there for me so much the past year is my friend, Susie. She has supported me in so many ways, especially through her prayers. I thank God for my faithful, Christian friends.

  170. Norine November 26, 2013 at 2:44 am #

    I may be too late for the Starbucks gift, but I thought I still would respond. I get your devotionals but do not always look at them right away. Right now I am in a slump spiritually. I feel as though I have lost my passion. Religion and self-righteousness was tripping me up for many years. I know the truth that God wants a personal relationship with me. I have been through many levels of growth in this area, from spending days with Him to now when I barely get a verse read and a few minutes of prayer said. I am struggling with my relationship with my husband as well. I need to offer him forgiveness, and am being slow to give it. I know I do not deserve God’s forgiveness if I cannot forgive my husband. I am still hurt and angry. So please pray with me to get this reconciled and to give up my prideful ways. I miss hearing from the Lord but I just feel stuck in this mucky emotional revenge. Thanks!

    As for friends, I seemed to have more before joining a mission agency. These last 25 yrs it has been hard to find a friend who will listen and accept me as I am. Everyone seems to be so worried about keeping their spiritual mask on, rather than entering into a real relationship. So I have been lonely for a good close friend. We moved far away from my other friends, and they have not kept up with me. Although we write regularly through our newsletters, it seems that many just do not realize how much we would enjoy hearing from them. Even when we ask our partners to write they do not. Maybe we have not been reachable enough. It has always been challenging to know how to write with an open heart and yet give a report on what is happening in the ministry too.

    Thanks for listening

  171. Deb Matsumoto November 26, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Even though we’ve only gotten to see each other once a year or so since our college days, my best friend, Raegene, who is unwavering in her faith and devotion, has been solidly there for me, and guided and lifted me though health issues, my divorce, the most recently, the loss of my father. I fear I have not reciprocated enough, but she has never wavered in her love and devotion to me. She has the biggest, brightest heart ever. We may not be together physically, but we are connected in spirit, and for that, I am truly blessed and grateful!!!

  172. Sharon Scott November 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Thank you Sharon for sharing your encouraging words from our God. I love the translation of renew that is exchange. “Those who wait on the Lord will exchange their weakness for His strength.” I will write those words on my heart and ponder them.

    My friend who lifts me up is Beth. Beth and I are best friends and sisters in the Lord. We lift each other up and encourage each other. But most importantly we pray for each other.

    Thank you for the give~away and God Bless you and Keep you Safe.

  173. Sharon Beers-Green November 26, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    The friend who has come to my aid the most often, with the greatest patience and steadfastness has been my husband. For instance, when we moved my mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, from another state to live with us in our home, Bruce was always a part of her care AND mine. He provided a lot of Mom’s respite care in his non-working hours, with constant love and gentleness, and made sure I stayed sane with the 24/7 care I was doing too.
    We have never regretted having Mom with us for the time she lived.

    I am a newcomer to your blog and articles as of today, thanks to a friend who forwarded her copy to me. You now have yet one more subscriber who loves your “real-life” approach to life in the Spirit. Thank you!

  174. Laura Beth Staton (Price) November 27, 2013 at 12:58 am #

    Hey Mrs. Sharon!!

    I had a dear friend send this to me today, because she thought I might know you! 🙂 I am so glad she did, because it was such a encouragement to read this and be reminded of my safe place. Thank you. While I am sitting here, I am thinking about the season of life I am now in and how many changes come along with that. Last year I spent my holidays away from family in another country, and this year I am spending them somewhat away from family, but with my new family, my husband. There is so much joy in this new season of life, but a LOT of finding my hope and trust in Christ. Part of me wants to be sad that this year marks it being forever different for me, but this devotional reminded me that although change always happens, my safe place is in a constant, never-changing Father. There is much safety in that. One friend who I am steadily thankful for is Amelia Hopkins. She is always reminding me of my hope in Christ and that in the midst of craziness He is hope, my safe haven. She is a prayer warrior for me and someone who faithfully points me to Jesus. I love that she desires to see me walk with Christ and chooses to walk through the hard and happy seasons of life with me.

    Thanks for encouraging me, and for coming to the wedding 🙂 It was so so good to see you and Mr. Steve! Love you.

    Laura Beth

    • Sharon Jaynes November 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      What a joy to see your comment this morning! I just love you. Steve and I were so thrilled to be at your wedding. What a God-honoring day all around. (For those of you listening in, it was this precious young woman’s wedding that we went to that beautiful day when I spied This Old House).

  175. Valerie November 27, 2013 at 2:33 am #

    I feel like that old house. Barely hanging on. My husband needs a job, my oldest son isn’t doing his best in college and that makes men feel like a failure. I’ve have taken both of these issues to God in prayer but I feel like it falls on deaf ears.
    I’m in a spiritual valley, haven’t been to church in months and no desire to go. Not that I don’t love and worship a God, I do. It just feels like he can’t see me anymore, or even knows what I’m going through.
    As for freinds I don’t have any close friends at this time. Please pray for me and my family as we go through thus hard time.

  176. faithvictoria November 27, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    my sister Gladys always encourages me whenever i feel like crashing. she makes me to see the possibles out of imposibilities

  177. Tina November 27, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    I actually live about 5 miles from this house. After reading this, I will never look at it the same agin. Thank you! I am thankful for so may things this season. Most of all, I am thankful for a Savior that loved me enough to die so that I have e opportunity to live with Him forever.

    • Sharon Jaynes November 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      That is so awesome!

  178. Kathleen November 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    Hi Sharon. I feel just like that old house and that house looks a lot like the one I grew up in. But I do know God and I know He with us. I have a 13 year old son who is physically and mentally handicapped. I love him so much. He is a huge blessing in my life and through him my eyes have been opened in ways that I know couldn’t have happened without him. But inside I hurt for him all the time. There isn’t a lot of time to do other things and even when I do,. My thoughts are on him and I feel distracted a lot. And then I have a marriage that is not good. But, I have a friend who I met in highschool. One day in school she asked me a question. I dont think anyone has ever asked me before or after that. But, she said “Twig, (she called me Twig), what is a friend?” I can’t remember what I said, but she didn’t really agree with my answer. And then she told me what she thought a friend was, but I can’t remember what she said either. After highschool, we went our different ways. 13 years later, 1993, I was born again. A month or so later, she knocked at my door and she had been born again too! So, we have been together since then. She has been a constant in my life. She is always there to listen when I need to vent and she has come up from Tennessee, (I live in Pittsburgh), to help when I have something big going on. She came last October, 2012 to help me with my daughter’s wedding. She came up in August, 2013 to help with Luke’s birthday party. Then she came up 2 months later because my husband had hip surgery. She helps people anytime she can. She has a heart of gold. But, she once told me that she can’t feel God’s love. I don’t understand how someone can give so much love but not feel God’s love. She was physically and sexually abused as a child, so I’m not sure if she can feel any love. So I pray for her a lot and would you pray for her too? Her name is Cindy and she is a friend.

  179. Teresa December 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    I am a mom of three grown children. They are all grown and married now. I came out of an abusive marriage; was able to raise the kids in a Christian environment after leaving my husband their father. Now years after the youngest graduated Bible college I find out how the pastor’s wife was setting him up with her daughter supplying them with condoms, sex books, hotel rooms and even her own bed. I’ve listened to a taped meeting with the “men” of that church as my son brought this before that church. I heard the “pastor” calling my son a molester of his daughter. FYI – that church had a vote whether to keep this person as the pastor and he was voted to remain. I have a daughter that is married to a “pastor” who was told by the pastor of a church he was the asst pastor at that he had no heart for the people. My daughter and her pastor husband with my only two grand children has not spoken to me or come home to visit in two years. She’s lied to me when I’ve tried to visit that she is out of town. The student loan I co signed for her is always paid late and I’m harassed by the bank because she doesn’t make her payments. My third son probably speaks to me 1/2 dozen times a year and mostly when I call him. His wife who was suppose to be a Christian a pastor’s daughter now gossips terribly her family appeared to be living a sham as her parents are now divorced. Her mother sells marajauna and drinking and partying would be her past time as well as my son. I can remember as clear as day a night all three kids were home from college at this time of year and we were all on a school bus going around to houses Christmas caroling with other church members. I was so at peace and had such joy in my heart. Today? This single mom of three is being attacked on every side. Received a call from my youngest which turned into him screaming at the top of lungs how I destroyed his childhood keeping him away from his dad’s side of the family. Texts saying mocking me being a Christian, calling me a liar, telling me I should be ashamed how I destroyed his childhood. This coming from a boy that was told when only 8 after witnessing his dad drag me up the stairs and slam the bedroom door to then “spank” me that that is what you do to disobedient women. And way too many other situations he witnessed. I say all that to say this…my heart hurts so bad it takes my breathe away at times…then God uses sites, blogs such as this to remind me I not only am not forgotten, but there are others going through or went through similar heartache – and the Word of God reminding them of God and his great power and love for us is what got them through and will get me through as well. My pastor encouraged me as well with scripture and prayer. Its an attack by the enemy for all of us to just give up. I covet prayers and pray to a nation/world that is being attacked. All I can see in the Bible though is victory.

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