The Importance of Guarding My Daily Devotionals: A Lesson Learned

Originally published Tuesday, 17 January 2012.

One of my good friends recently got engaged and is planning a short engagement. It took me back to my own days of being engaged and counting down mere weeks from the proposal to “I do.” From the night my husband asked for my hand during a rain storm until the wedding ceremony (which also featured a freak storm that brought our outdoor nuptials inside) was 10 weeks exactly.

As any of you who have planned a wedding know, that’s pretty fast.


But despite the short time frame, the wedding came out just as lovely as I could have wanted. 


The thing is—as I recalled to my friend with a bit of firsthand, here’s-to-hindsight experience—I made the mistake of putting wedding planning first during those weeks while letting other priorities get pushed to the backburner. Priorities like God.


Whether you’re getting married in a few weeks or a few months, whether you’re working in a high-stress job, whether you’re caring for a cranky child or any other number of life experiences, we all can easily justify this mistake. 


It was so easy for me to look at everything before me that needed to be done and to just dive right in, dealing with my circumstances first rather than nurturing my soul. It was so easy for me to tackle the demanding first while letting the life-giving sit idle.


After only a few weeks of this, I found myself in a place where I hardly recognized myself anymore. I found myself in a place of faith crisis. I even called up my then-fiance and told him, “I don’t know if I believe in God anymore.”


I had never stopped loving God during that time period. I hadn’t even stopped going to church or Bible studies. I had simply stopped connecting with Him. I’d severed those ties that had bound us so closely together just a month earlier and saw how quickly it had all unwound. I saw how doing so left me feeling empty and detached from the Lord so that I questioned his very existence.


What a revelation. 


It spurred me to dig back into my faith, to pick back up my trusty Bible and pour my heart into it. To get back on my knees and pour my heart into my prayers. To reclaim the priorities that mattered most. A wedding will come and go, but faith lasts through eternity.


It’s for that reason that my daily quiet times are now a non-negotiable priority, why I contend that making time to spend one-on-one with God is the only resolution that really matters. I have been in that place where I saw the result of their absence. And I have seen how that daily investment—a daily piece of Sabbath in the mundane and the chaotic—can bring life back to a deadened heart.


“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.
He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit,
and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.
You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”
John 15:1-4

Carmen writes the blog, Life Blessons, which provides an intimate look into her life as a twentysomething woman as she details her experiences learning how to live out her faith, enjoy the simple things in life and be the woman God created to her to be. Along the way, she shares the blessings and lessons that are a part of this journey, the things she likes to call her "blessons."

Feel free to learn more at her blog, Life Blessons.

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