When Linda Evans Shepherd waited for her infant daughter to emerge from a year-long coma following a car crash, she discovered Job’s secrets to a prayer that not only saved her life, but emersed her into the miracle of peace. This sweet spot of prayer can never be duplicated with begging, demanding, or scolding God. It’s also powerful enough to prevent emotions from controlling your life. With deep insight into the peace that passes understanding, Linda shares her journey from despair to miracles. Her latest book, Praying Through Every Emotion, Experiencing God’s Peace No Matter What offers you a way to pray peace into your own life. I invite you to open your heart and welcome Linda to the farm’s front porch today…
The first beams of dawn poured through a naked pane of glass as I lay listening to my daughter’s mechanical breathing. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and starred up at Laura’s heart monitor.
Its glowing red pulse told me she was still alive. Sort of.
I sat up from the hard plastic mat in my window seat bed and stared down into an inner-city neighborhood.
That’s when I saw him. The figure of a young boy. For weeks I’d watched the child climb upon the roof of his white clapboard house as if to hide from the trauma beneath its shingles. I longed to join him to let him know I understood.
If only I had a rooftop where I could wait for my heartbreak to stop.
I looked back at my peaceful twenty-one-month-old daughter, in a sleep so deep that no one could wake her. Her lungs rose rhythmically as her ventilator puffed breaths of life.
I stood and kissed Laura’s cheek. How I loved my precious baby who no longer smiled, cried, or called me, “Mama,” at least, not since the car crash three months earlier.
Though I pray you’ll never hover over a child’s hospital bed, I know you’re already initiated into pain, heartache, and despair at dark times in your own life.
The truth is that sometimes we can’t escape these difficult emotions. They creep in uninvited and in response to circumstances, trauma, self-pity, tragedy, anger, grief, lack of sleep, hunger, bad moods, and more.
But we don’t have to let our emotions rule us. I’ve learned the peace of God can transform our pain.
My discovery came after a team of healthcare professionals surrounded me with their prognosis of my daughter’s future. “There’s no hope,” they declared. “Your daughter will be a vegetable until she’s eighty.”
That night, as I sat in the shadows of my daughter’s hospital room, my eyes fell on my bottle of pain reliver. If I swallowed the pills and unplugged my daughter’s ventilator, we could escape our living hell. Why not? God hadn’t intervened in these three long months and the weight of my hopelessness was too much to carry.
But it was Job who stopped me from ending our lives. Yes, Job, the biblical great who lost it all; his possessions, livelihood, and even his children. To make matters worse, his best friends denounced him as a sinner while his wife told him to ‘curse God and die.’
Job’s heart and life were broken, and all the while, God remained silent.
But despite his despair, Job prayed, “Lord, even if you slay me, yet I will trust in You.”
In my own dark night, Job’s prayer inspired me to call to God.
I prayed, “Lord, I’m going to trust You and give You this terrible mess to see what You can do with it.”
That’s how prayer became my heavenly rooftop escape from pain.
However, I found that not every prayer brought peace.
I never found relief in begging, demanding, or scolding God. I only found relief in prayers of trust.
This kind of prayer meant I had to turn over my problems to God. It was the only way to make a difference in my difficulties.
The results were so marvelous that I begin to share what I learned with others. Groups began to invite me to speak, and with delight, I would lead my new friends in prayers of relinquishment and trust. As I spoke, I could hardly wait for the moment where the faces of the members of my audiences would glow into sweet smiles of peace.
I’ve discovered that the prayer of trust is the real prayer of faith.
The more I trust God, the more peace I feel and the more miracles I experience. In fact, my daughter woke up from coma despite the doctor’s prognosis of hopelessness. It happened the moment we put her newborn brother into her arms.
I’ll be honest, emotions like loss, anxiety, grief, stress, disappointments, anger, depression, are still a part of my life. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have victory over these emotions.
When my daughter breathed her last breath only a few years ago, I grieved for her.
Yes, I miss my sweet girl who had grown into a lovely young woman with multiple disabilities; disabilities that made no difference in my love for her.
Though I’ve experienced the sorrow of losing her, I am trusting God to hold her in His heavenly arms.
I trust Him, even in her death.
Linda Evans Shepherd is a woman who loves to say “Yes!” to God. God first surprised her with an assignment when He called her to write a book, even though her daughter was just out of coma and she still had a baby on her hip. That was thirty-five books ago, with her bestselling novels and prayer books receiving acclaim with multiple awards including Selah, EIA, Carol, and Christian Literary awards. Her writing continues with her latest book, Praying Through Every Emotion: Experiencing God’s Peace No Matter What.
Human beings are emotional creatures. We feel deeply, and at times our emotional responses to our situations may be overwhelming. Whether it’s disappointment at an opportunity missed, grief when a loved one dies, anxiety when we go through a big life change (even a positive one!), or uncertainty when faced with a situation outside of our control, we can take those feelings to God–immediately — in prayer, and He will give us peace, comfort, and clarity.
Topically arranged so you can go directly to your particular need, Praying Through Every Emotion offers transforming Scripture and prayer to help you change your perspective, heal your emotional wounds, and find yourself unburdened from cares and concerns.
The power-packed prayers cover nearly 70 different emotions, from feeling angry, broken, or exhausted to feeling confident, hopeful, and joyful–and everything in between. You’ll even find prayers for the really hard things, such as when you feel depressed, shamed, or suicidal.
Your emotions are a gift from God, and He uses them to help you grow, both closer to Him and more fully into the person He created you to be. Let Linda Evans Shepherd help you manage those emotions through prayer and see your attitude and mind-set transformed.
[ Our humble thanks to Revell for their partnership in today’s devotion ]