The Day I was Done, but God Wasn’t

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

I wonder if life has robbed you of hope. You know things aren’t what they should be. They’re definitely not what you want them to be.  And you’re tired.

Tired of fighting. Tired of trying. Tired of feeling.

You’re ready to give up, believing your situation is too far gone to redeem.

Let me whisper hope into your heart, beloved. No situation rests out of God’s reach. And Jesus wants to look at you to tell you, “This may be impossible for you. But it isn’t for Me.” As He said to a father desperate to save his tormented child,

“All things are possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23

Today I’d like to share a story of hope that I pray will encourage you to draw near to Jesus and keep believing. Prayer holds the power to release divine help into earth’s challenges. Don’t give up hope when your miracle may be just around the corner.

The Day I was Done, but God Wasn’t

By Danielle Lew

It’s been a CRAZY, emotional few weeks.

Without going into details, suffice it to say,

We. Were. Done.

At least I convinced myself that I was. Done fighting for our marriage, our relationship. And plans were in motion to separate.

I had made the decision after days of endless worry and examination of everything that was “wrong” in our fifteen-year relationship and thirteen-year marriage.

I didn’t want to try anymore. In case you don’t know this: RELATIONSHIPS ARE WORK.

I confided in my friends who got to work in praying for us. They asked questions like, “Are you sure?”, and “Is this what God wants?” But they always ended with, “I’ll support you no matter what, and I’ll pray for you and your family.”

Well, after a day of “heated”—sometimes mean—conversations, a trip to a lawyer for information, scheduled tours of apartments/townhouses, and opening new bank accounts, we sat down to make decisions about kids.

And I can’t exactly tell you what happened next…. other than prayers were answered.

I got humble and vulnerable.

And he got passionate, honest, genuine, and communicated things I’ve not heard or didn’t want to hear.

I looked at my part. How I have failed in certain areas. Not at him—his shortcomings—but mine.

And realized I have not yet done near enough work on myself to be the best wife and mom I can be. I have been selfish at times, and certainly no saint.

And my husband is no monster.

It takes two to make a marriage work, and when one falls down, the hope is it’s not too far down, and we can help the other up.

But here’s the thing. Well, a thing. There are many “things ” I could say.

I actually came face to face with what I need to do to grow and change.

Crisis can be used to our benefit if we look for the lesson!!!!

I would have missed that lesson had I left, or if I didn’t listen with an open heart to what my husband was saying.

In a couple, we each have things we need to work on. If we’re so focused on the faults of the other, we don’t see the faults of our own!

When I recognized that I had things to work on, I felt empowered!!!! It was good news! Because I can change me (through God’s help). I can’t change my husband, but I can change ME!

Truth hurts. But in pain we grow.

So, the point is, we’re not done fighting.

We will claim this victory over these challenges and we will give the glory to God for the restoration.

Because only He could have changed my heart and mind from my decision to leave.

And I’m grateful. The past 48 hours have been the best days of our marriage… I’m looking for many more to come.

We almost quit 5 minutes before the miracle happened.


Miracles happen every day. Today, I’m sharing ours with you.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I’ll bet that if we nurture our relationship and keep God at the center of it, we will keep growing and have one heck of a testimony!!!

No Offense, But…

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. Proverbs 10:12

Last week we looked at the power of forgiveness. Christ’s blood poured out from a cross at Calvary so you and I could escape the destructive power of sin. The promise of the cross doesn’t just pardon sin’s penalty, dear one. It conquers the present compulsion for sin in our day-to-day lives.

Beloved, you and I have been empowered by the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to live driven by Christ’s love rather than sin’s hate. We’ve been given a new nature—Christ’s nature—and that nature offers the power to dramatically change our present circumstances. When walking in that nature, we enjoy the beautiful fruit the Spirit provides.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you love to live each day feeling your heart swell with love and bubble over with joy? Wouldn’t you love the peace of God to wash away your anxiety and worry? Don’t you long to find yourself empowered to patience instead of blowing up at the people you love?

Unfortunately, that isn’t where most of us live. Instead, we far more readily suffer the fruit of the flesh, spending much of our days tied up in knots, feeling frustrated, angry, depressed, and overcome by the circumstances we find ourselves in. Our families end up baring the brunt of our misery.

What are we missing? Perhaps Matthew 6:14-15 will shed some light on the root of our struggle.

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Powerful words. Jesus said if I refuse to forgive others, God won’t forgive me. Let’s put it another way. If I refuse to release others, God won’t release me.

No wonder so many of us feel stuck.

Harboring bitterness in your heart will keep you from experiencing the grace of forgiveness in your own life. That means the power God offers through forgiveness gets held back, and you’re left relying on your own strength.

You may have noticed. Your own doesn’t get you very far.

Dear one, God’s command to forgive those who wrong us isn’t about letting them off the hook. It’s about allowing God’s power to continue to flow into our lives. Bitterness blocks the flow of His love, and love empowers everything God does.

Love empowered Christ’s words as He hung from a bloody cross.

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

The people screaming, “Crucify Him!” weren’t sorry. They hadn’t apologized. It wasn’t even over. They shouted insults while He bled for them. They celebrated His agony while He struggled to press His nail pierced feet into the wood of the cross, lifting His torso enough to gasp out the words, “Father, forgive them.”

The love released through that act of forgiveness shook the earth and tore the veil. It crumbled the barrier that separated man from God, and it made the way to conquer sin and death in the heart of man so love and life could flow in its place—love that empowers, love that redeems, love that transforms and heals.

When we choose bitterness, we embrace the spirit of the world—of hatred—rather than the Spirit of love Christ poured out. We choose our sin nature instead of Christ’s nature. Jesus always forgives.

You and I don’t deserve forgiveness, dear one. We’re guilty. Nothing we do can earn our way into it. But Jesus offers it anyway and asks us to receive it by faith.

Yet we don’t want to extend that grace to others. We want them to earn it. And we won’t offer forgiveness freely because whoever hurt us doesn’t deserve it.

I won’t argue with you. Nobody really deserves forgiveness. The very fact that we need to extend it means that a wrong has taken place.

But God’s not asking us to let people off the hook when He asks us to forgive them. He’s asking us to let Him bear the burden. He’s asking us to trust His promise in Exodus 14:14,

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (NIV)

When we trust God to keep His Word and surrender our bitterness, a beautiful thing happens. He moves on our behalf. And trusting Him accesses the grace of God to provide the fruit of the Spirit in us. Love replaces anger. Joy replaces bitterness. Peace overshadows strife.

Forgive, dear one, so you can be forgiven. Release your captors so you can be free.




Week 7: Empowered by Grace

We have reached the final week of the workbook. Well done! God will bless your perseverance as you follow hard after Him.

Today we take a deeper look at the grace of God. Grace offers so much more than what most of us understand. We will dig into Scripture to discover some of what God reveals in His Word about grace. I pray you will open your heart to receive His Truth so that you can become empowered by God’s great gift.

Click here to print the prepared note sheet for this session.

Watch the Video

Week 7 Assignment

Complete Days 1-2 of Week 4 in your workbook

Additional Suggestion:

Take some time to consider the impact grace has had in your own life. Do those around you bear witness to its affect on you? Has the gospel come to you “not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)?

If so, take some time to thank God for His grace and invite Him to reveal more of His lavish plan for you. If not, consider that faith and humility are the keys to accessing the grace of God. Surrender yourself to His will for you and commit to trust Him as He leads you. Ask Him to help you believe and step into His promises. Then get ready to experience the touch of His grace.

A Living Hope

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

If you tune your ear to the conversations taking place in our homes and across our media outlets, you will often hear discussion of a growing darkness penetrating our land. Where we once reveled in the freedom of careless complacency, our security now appears threatened on every side.

Hatred grows. Jobs are no longer secure. Our nation’s financial status, once a source of comforting stability for many, now teeters precariously on the brink of collapse. Relationships blow about in the wind, and depravity increases with rapid growth, steadily lowering the bar at which we set our standards. What used to shock us has now become commonplace. Christians look at the times we’re in and fearfully fret over the coming of the end of days as if we have no hope.  

Dear one, consider God’s words from Romans 5:5.

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Hope in the Lord will never disappoint us. We have allowed our enemy to rob us of hope by letting him center our minds on what he would have us see. Yet that’s only one part of a much grander picture.

Yes, Scripture teaches of terrible times as we creep nearer and nearer to the end of days. But amid the growing darkness, a light will also dawn. The bride of Christ will emerge, radiant in her beauty, flowing with Christ’s love, and empowered to overcome the evil that threatens us.

The power to dispel the darkness rests within the hearts of God’s people. He has given us His Spirit. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 teaches, “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.”

That one is the Holy Spirit, gifted to Christ’s followers the moment we believe in Him. And He comes with the full arsenal of God’s power.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

We, the army of the Lord, are meant to be a witness to the world that displays God’s power and reveals His character. We are the light in the darkness.

“You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14

Dear one, it’s time to let the light shine.

Awake, awake, O Zion,
   clothe yourself with strength.
Put on your garments of splendor,
   O Jerusalem, the holy city.
The uncircumcised and defiled
   will not enter you again.
 Shake off your dust;
   rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
   O captive Daughter of Zion.

Isaiah 52:1-2

We must awaken to our holy calling. We must stand in the power of the Almighty and loose the chains of sin that have kept us bound and quenched God’s power within us. We must turn back to Jesus, bending our hearts and our knees to His perfect will and allow Him to reveal Himself in us.

Beloved, revival starts in you and me.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Let’s arise and become what God created us to be. I’ll meet you on my knees.