For the last 60 days, I have received a text message every morning.
How it all Began
A friend of mine had posted on Instagram that a long time ago, one of her patients had asked if she wanted to be included in a group of people who received a devotion each day. After talking about how she had been receiving a moment of hope on her phone each day, she offered anyone interested in the opportunity to be added to the group of people she regularly sends a message.
Over the last month and a half, I have without fail received a message every morning. Sometimes I connect with the words and scripture, and pause to soak it all in. Other times I realize that her words represent it is the consistency in God showing up in my life every single day. My friend’s text message reminds me that God is with me. It is short, and takes only a second to read.
I don’t always respond to the message and my friend has assured me that I don’t need to. She reminds me it is about giving God’s word to someone. There are no strings attached, and I don’t need to do anything but received it and maybe pass it along one day.
The Seed was Planted
Over the last few weeks, I thought about the idea of finding a devotion to pass along to a few people. At first it felt like it might be too much work.
A few weeks ago on a Thursday night, after a tough day at work, and an evening pause outside of an old church that provided me with a hope and peace I have not felt in a while, I knew it was time.
Who and What
I didn’t know who I would send it to. I knew my sisters, mom and a few close friends would probably be happy to hear from me, so I decided I could start there. And then all of a sudden, name by name, God told me who else to include. A few of the names I was not sure would want to be bothered by a text, but I decided to follow my intuition and just send it. I prompted the text by saying a friend had done this for me and I enjoyed it, so I was passing along hope.
I needed to start somewhere. God also reminded me that the names might change, but I should get started with the people closest to me, and the ones he had placed on my heart.
What did I write
At first I thought I would find a devotion so it would be less work, and sound better. That is when I heard God saying, “No. You are a writer. You need to write what you send. I will help you. But you need to write it.”
The Feedback was Great
Every single person liked or sent me back a message about how much they enjoyed the words I had written. Two people even said that they had just asked for “Peace”, which was the topic of my first devotion.
On day two, I had an idea to write about patience, but struggled to craft the perfect piece. I tried to get away from it and write about something else, but the pull was too big. Eventually I was able to craft something I was proud of. Later that night, one of the people I sent it to told me it was exactly what she needed to hear that day.
Since I send the message followed by a Bible Verse every morning, I try to get a head start and come up with an idea the night before.
The minute I start to think about what I will write about a topic hits me. And, when I search for a verse to go along with it, I can find something.
4:00 AM Faith
At first I wondered if I needed a name. On day two, I felt like I had stepped into the book of Genesis and was there for the creation of the world where God named the stars people and animals. Without missing a beat, he gave me the idea that I would call my collection of devotions,
4:00 AM Faith.
4:00 AM, because I get up early during the week. I am a distance runner, working mom and have a lot to accomplish before the sun comes up. And, 4:00 feels different, unique and special. The fourth hour of the morning is quiet, peaceful and has provided opportunities that have connected so many dots.
Here are the first three devotions I have sent.
#1 Peace- I have a friend who sends me a devotional every morning. I thought I would try my hand at writing on and passing it along to a few people.
Sometimes peace is found when you least expect it. When I walked outside tonight I stopped to pause in front of an old church. The stained glass windows and the beautiful brick reminded me of hope and peace. Believe peace is meant for you and will show up when you expect it and in the moments when you didn’t know it was headed your way.
#2 Patience- I am not a very patient person. I can get irritated waiting in a line, traffic or for something to happen. Waiting is not necessarily positive or negative. It is what we associate with it that makes it bad or good. I am working on changing my thoughts to see waiting differently. The best results come when I remember to accept the pause (Sometimes this goes on for a very long time), pray and then proceed.
#3 Bravery- Is a character strength I recognize in my kids, and one I am always working to improve. I love the quote, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”. I am realizing this quote is true for two reasons. God is with you, ready to provide resources you can’t even imagine. And secondly, his opinion of your ability has far surpassed anything you believe about yourself. In his eyes you are incredibly brave, strong, smart and have what it takes to live a life other people dream of.
It is Exciting to be Part of Spreading Hope
I have been looking for an opportunity to inspire others and spread hope. I have also been searching to find a way to connect with family and friends regularly. My favorite part of this journey, is that I don’t know what I will write about until the day I write it.
My mornings are filled with God’s presence, and I am excited to think about the direction faith in my family, friends and even my own life is headed.