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When you're going through a deep, dark valley

Originally published Sunday, 16 November 2014.

A note from Wendy: Today's guest devotional is by a women I've never met but who reached out to me to tell me her story, her story that was like mine but different. Her story of meeting a man with skin darker than hers and making South Africa her home. They now live back in her home country, the USA, but somehow it feels like she could come over for milk tart and rusks and we'd get along just fine. 

And finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (VOICE)

We were having a Ladies Coffee Morning at our church, and I was the MC. To be honest, I can’t even remember what the topic was for the morning.

I just remember her testimony.

I had asked a friend of mine, a college student at the time, to share her story. She stood up to the podium, and the microphone amplified her voice throughout the church hall.

She told us how her mom had died recently. 



And how, when she had heard the news, she didn’t know what she was going to do. 

How she was going to cope. 

How she would ever make it through this deep, dark valley.

But she stood in front of that room full of women, captivated eyes fixed on her small stature, and she explained it simply.

“It was grace. It was all grace. That was what got me through. I never thought it was possible, but He did it. It’s still hard, and it probably always will be, but His grace is how I can face each day.”

And that’s when the tears began.

I couldn’t contain them.

They hovered on the brink of my eyelids and I tried not to blink, but they spilled over anyway.

You see, I was on the other side of her story. My mom was dying of cancer, and I knew the end was near. I knew that my friend’s story was about to become my own, and yet I couldn’t believe it.

I heard her words about the power of God’s grace, and I thought to myself, “Well, that’s nice for her, and I’m glad she can say that now, but it won’t happen to me. I just don’t see how I’ll ever cope when God takes my mom and she’s gone from this place.”

I doubted the grace of God. 

I knew He had promised that His grace was sufficient, but I acted like that promise didn’t apply to me. Like I was an exception.

Four months later, my mom died.

And what I never expected, happened.

God carried me.

He caused me to keep my composure as I traveled alone across 8,000 miles to the funeral. He gave me the strength to make it through the visitation and the memorial service. He helped me to console my grandmother at the gravesite as we watched the casket get lowered into the ground. He gave me a clear mind to make decisions that had to be made. 

It was awful and it was grace, all at the same time. 

And it’s still grace, with every day that stabs and stings and sleeps and wakes.

I doubted, and God proved me wrong.

I was faithless, and God was faithful. (tweet this)

And now, I can stand with my friend, my fellow motherless daughter and testify myself that His grace is sufficient, and His power is made perfect in weakness.

To God be the glory.

Ponder: Can you recall something you went through that was awful but that God’s grace carried you through?

Prayer: Lord, when I doubt you, come and prove me wrong. Show me your faithfulness in my faithlessness.

{About the author of this guest devotional}

Kate Motaung is the wife of a South African pastor and homeschooling mom of three.  She has contributed to Ungrind, Radiant Magazine, (in)Courage, StartMarriageRight.com, Thriving Family, MOPS and Young Disciple magazine.  You can read more from Kate at her blog, Heading Home, or on Twitter @k8motaung.

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- This was orginally published on my site in August 2014. To read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com