Wanda’s Journal

Moving Forward

In my novel, The Healing Jar, Mary Ruth became a widow. At first she felt lost and like her life had no meaning. Having members of her family around helped to fill her lonely days, but she still grieved the loss of her husband. She took comfort, however, in knowing that her beloved husband was with the Lord and no longer suffering.

What can be done for a person who has suffered such bereavement? If you have lost someone close to you, what helped the most as you moved forward?

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Pastor Appreciation

In my novel, The Healing Jar, Brad was a pastor, dedicated to preaching God’s Word and helping others. Sara had taken on the role of a pastor’s wife. Can you think of ways these responsibilities are fulfilling as well as stressful?

My husband served 20 years in the ministry, and he had numerous responsibilities during that time. As a pastor’s wife, I did my best to be supportive and helpful to him. Like Richard, I cared about the people who attended our church, and we enjoyed reaching out to those in our congregation with love.

Do you pray often for your pastor, as well as the pastor’s family? What are some things we can do to show love and appreciation of the clergy and their family in the church we attend?

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When Plans Go Awry

Toward the end of last year, my husband and I decided to spend the winter months in Florida, where we could enjoy more days of warm sunshine instead of the cold snowy weather at our home in the Pacific Northwest. We made plans to arrive in Sarasota on Christmas Eve, and looked forward to our daughter and son-in-law joining us on Christmas Day. However, due to bad weather, our flight out of Seattle got cancelled and we ended up spending the next few days at a hotel. It was two days past Christmas when we finally arrived at our destination, only to discover that our vacation home had no heat and a cold spell had hit Sarasota. Several other things went awry while we were there, and we had to make new plans when things came up that had to be cancelled or changed to different dates. We did our best to enjoy our first two months, however, and I managed to get a lot of writing done.

On February 22nd another unexpected event happened that quickly put an end to our time in Florida. We received word that our daughter had suffered a stroke and was in serious condition. After contacting my publisher to let them know what had happened, I asked them to cancel all five of the book signings I had planned to do in March and April. Then we closed up the house and secured a flight to Boise, Idaho, where our daughter had been taken to a hospital. I put the word out to our church’s prayer chain and asked for prayer via my Facebook pages. It was a comfort to know that our precious daughter had thousands of people praying for her, and we were ever so thankful that she received good care and her life had been spared. We did not return to Florida to finish out the winter as originally planned. We wanted to be close to home so we could go back and forth to the hospital in Idaho as often as possible.

Instead of being disappointed because our plans had gone awry, I thanked God for giving us safe travels and giving our daughter back to us. If you have been following me on Facebook or receiving my email newsletters, you know that our daughter is doing remarkably well. She still has a ways to go for a full recovery, but we believe in God’s time, and with her determination, she will get there.

Have you ever made big plans and had them go awry? How did you deal with the unexpected changes? Did you accept them and do what needed to be done? Could you feel God’s presence during the difficult time you faced? Did you grow in your walk with the Lord? I and our family members sure did. The situation we faced drew us closer to each other and especially to God. It has been a reminder that our strength is in Him.

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