Monday, October 26, 2020

Learning to Stand, Even When the Armor Slips

During the past four years as I’ve grieved the loss of my daughter, one of my lifelines has been reading Scripture. Memorized verses transform into prayers when my mind and heart get caught in a cycle of despair. 

Recently, I’ve studied strength verses because strength is what I need most. Strength to continue to face the future without my daughter. Strength to keep going despite health issues. Strength to get through pandemic challenges. I’m sure you can relate in our “new normal” of 2020.

Ephesians 6:13 says to put on the armor of God so that “you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

To stand. You don’t simply strap on God’s armor and stand. You have to keep standing!

I don’t know about you, but I often find that challenging. Sometimes I feel like King David when he was merely shepherd boy David, struggling to make the king’s armor fit him. But unlike David, I can’t take off the armor. God has equipped us differently to fight spiritual battles. The more we saturate our minds and hearts with Scripture, the better the armor fits, and God's strength enables us to stand.

As the Apostle Paul said, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the … powers of this dark world” (Eph. 6:12).  Whether grieving a loved one, battling a pandemic, dealing with job loss or a difficult family member—our only hope in the struggle is God’s strength manifested through us.

My most recent inspirational romance novel released October 13. Not surprising that I share a few traits with Misty, the main character in Hope’s Gentle Touch. She also lacked strength, though her lack of strength came from living in abusive relationship. Her story is a journey of learning to stand again, and intertwined with that strength is love and hope. God intended His strength to be the force by which we’re able to stand—and His gentleness to be a fertile ground for love and hope to grow.

Do you struggle with letting God be your strength—and thus being a source of gentle hope to those in your life? Spend time in His Word and at His feet in prayer. You’ll be able to stand, knowing His presence surrounds you, no matter what circumstance you’re in. He’ll give you strength and meet your needs in ways you could never imagine

How may I pray for you today? Please leave a comment or email me. While you're at it, share a favorite Bible verse that sustains you. I've shared a few at the end of this post. I’d love to hear from you!

Laura Hodges Poole is an award-winning Christian author. Her novel, Return to Walhalla, was a Selah Award finalist. She enjoys encouraging others through her writing and mentoring. On beautiful days in South Carolina, you might find her hiking instead of writing. A mother of two and empty-nester, Laura enjoys a quiet life with her husband. Visit her website by clicking here.

(Devotion photos courtesy of Pixabay.)

Click here to order your copy of Hope’s Gentle Touch

Praise for Hope’s Gentle Touch:

Poole handles the tender topic of abuse with grace and just enough tension to remind the reader that our happily ever afters are often hard won. She writes with the kind of authenticity and wisdom that transforms a sweet romance into a meaningful tale that will give readers something to think about long after turning the last page.
~Sarah Loudin Thomas, Christy-nominated author of Miracle in a Dry Season

A heartwarming novel with characters you can't quit rooting for. This book is perfect for fans of small-town inspirational romance.
~Heidi McCahan, author of Unraveled

Hope’s Gentle Touch is a profound look at the effects of spouse/ date abuse on its victims. Heartbreaking and honest, the story weaves a realistic psychological study of the long-lasting turmoil faced by those who are trapped or have been trapped in abusive relationships. Yet author Laura Poole offers words of hope in the midst of tragedy, light in the midst of the darkness. A well-crafted novel that will bring understanding about this often-hidden evil. ~Elaine Marie Cooper, author, Love’s Kindling, Scarred Vessels

After her abusive husband’s death, Misty Stephens returns to her job as a nurse and volunteer at a women’s shelter. She intends to put her life back together and has no intention of ever being vulnerable to a man again. But when an abuse victim dies in her care, Misty finds herself consoling the girl’s brother ... and fighting attraction. 

Adam Jenkins sees Misty’s heart for the oppressed and implores her to help build Hope House, a women’s shelter, in honor of his sister. Though grieving, Adam is drawn to Misty. But he approaches romance the way he does ranching—quick and decisive—an almost disastrous mistake. While dealing with family fallout and troubles at work, this new project and Misty become a light shining into Adam’s grief. 

A common purpose binds them together, and Misty’s heart starts to open to Adam. But she finds it much harder to lower her defenses than she imagined. Can any man be fully trusted—especially a powerful, wealthy rancher? When the past rears its ugly head and her reality starts to crumble, Misty's trust in God and hope for a bright future are put to the test. Will hope’s gentle touch finally bring the love Misty’s heart needs to heal? 

Zachariah 4:6Joshua 1:9Psalm 62:1-2Philippians 4:13

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