Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Shall We Gather At The River"1 (Lyrics)
Writing devotionals from real-life situations and how they pertain to biblical Scripture in order to inspire and help us to gain a deeper understanding of God's love for us has been a passion of mine for a few years now. It hasn't always been like that.
I immigrated to Canada in 1957 from West Germany with my parents and brother. I was nine years old. We moved quite a few times during my life, and I guess that deep down inside, I regretted it, as I always had to make new friends, which was very hard at that time. When the kids found out that I had come from Germany, I became their target of literal insults. There came a time when I didn't want to tell anyone of my German heritage in order to avoid being bullied. As time went on, I became a victim of my surroundings, and I lashed out the only way I knew how. I was a troubled youth and hung around with the wrong crowd. I also rebelled by being a disturbance in class and not wanting to learn. I did not like geography or history or any other subjects that were taught. I never read any books that were assigned. I hated school. The telltale sign came when I looked at my report card. Back in those days, if you got a "D", "E" or "F", your parents' signature had to be on the report card. My parents never saw the report cards, because I forged their signatures. But I was found out at the end and got punished. And then one day, I met my husband-to-be. He was in grade 12 and I was in grade 9 — high school sweethearts, as they say. Things started to change then. We both attended the youth group in our church, and after some time, we got married. It was during that time that God was starting to tug at my heart, and I surrendered my life to the Lord.
It was when I went on a retreat and wrote a non-rhyming poem that the teacher suggested that I contact the PresbyCan Daily Devotional website to see what was needed in order to write a devotional. To my surprise, I was considered as a contributing writer of daily devotionals. With the help of Robin Ross, who began editing a daily devotional page on the Presbyterian Church website with contributors from around the world, to date, I have written over one hundred devotionals. I have received many e-mails from all over the globe, thanking me and letting me know how the devotional had come at the most appropriate time or how it had helped someone.
As I am writing this, I reflect on what has happened over the years and wonder why God chose someone like me to share His love with others all over the world.
Ephesians 3:7-12 – I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (NIV)
For some strange and unknown reason, God chose us, together, to spread His message of love to a world so desperately in need of reconciliation, forgiveness, and love. We are worthy in His sight.
Prayer: Loving God, even before we were formed in the womb, You knew how we would turn out. You see the hearts of individuals; we see only the outside. You see us as worthy, where sometimes, we see ourselves as failures. Thank You for loving us so much and for considering us worthy of Your calling. Amen.
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A touching story Rosemary.
Great story. Thank you for sharing!!
Thank you for sharing your journey of faithful writing with us Rosie. Blessings.
Good stuff, Rosemary.
Thanks for sharing your story of how you started writing devotions for the Daily. May God continue to inspire you to write! Have a great Canada Day weekend!
What a powerful story! It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing it (especially being so personal), Rosemary, and for all the inspiring writing that you do.
What a great devotional Rosy. Why don’t you assemble your devotionals in a sequential order to illustrate how God has moved in your life. I’m sure this would resonate with many people ho have followed in a similar path.
Rosemary, this is an awesome story of yourself and I enjoyed it very much as always. I want to thank God for bringing us together. May God continue to bless you and may you continue to share your blessings with us.
Thank you Rosemary for sharing your heart. What an awesome God we have. Today I know it was God just as you have touched me today. Blessings on your week and keep writing.
Thank you for blessing us time after time with your thoughtful writings.
In Him, are we.
Thanks for not giving up. while it is not Christian nor right for Americans to scorn you as a German you can understand the anxiety of the situation. The end result is that God blessed you and us. He does work His wonders in miraculous ways.
Thank God for your talent and thank you for writing. I am one of the many people who wrote to you. Let us continue to pray for one another for God’s loving care in all areas of our lives.
Happy Canada Day on Monday.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. Children can be very cruel and can make life intolerably difficult. I am so glad that God chose to point you in the right direction and that you obeyed. If He had not done that, we would not be enjoying the messages of hope and discovery that you bring.
Thank you for sharing your heritage with us today. I never realized you had such trauma as a young person.
I can’t support my hope spiritually, but I hope we have time in eternity to talk to others and hear their stories and testimony of how Jesus affected their life and get to see how other lives were impacted. Mozart is quoted as having said “Jesus, I am the reason for your journey”.
I appreciate your taking time to write these devotionals as I enjoy reading them. May the Lord continue to bless you and yours for His glory!
Wow.. fantastic devotional. I too know some of the pain of name calling, however, I am a third generation Part German born in Canada in the 1950’s. Nasty children say nasty things…taught by their parents.
There are many reasons why one gets teased or bullied and everyone reacts differently. I pulled into myself until there was no where left to hide. That is where I found God. Like you, through poetry I found my voice and my ability to praise my God. It never ceases to amaze me how much he cherishes me.
Thank you so much for sharing your journey story with us. May God continue to bless you with writing and words that come from the heart and reach out to touch others.
It seems like you an I have been in Canada about the same length of time. Coming from South Africa I too had the odd bit of flack where I had nothing to do with apartheid. On behalf of my church I taught Sunday School in a black township for my last years in Johannesburg. But, to many of the folks in my new country, I was a racist. I was in my 20’s and better able to deal with the situation, forgiving those who knew not who or what I was in those days. I remained in Canada because I found the far greater majority of Canadians to be loving and caring people and now all those year later we are still very happy in this lovely country.
Your devotional today was very inspiring to me.
Rosy, I always enjoy your devotionals and this one especially. I have now written devotionals but they are difficult for a math and history person. Both devotionals relate to my life in some way. It takes quite a bit of time to put it together. Thank God for Robin’s dedication.
Thank you for your wonderful devotional. Who is worthy indeed? — Those who cry upon the Lord for help, and then the mystery of love, and faith, and hope begins.
I can so relate to your journey even the rebellion at school. I was expelled so many times for fighting that my father got a special permit from the Quebec government and sent me work at age fourteen. And the rest of my life was a similar disaster until I too in total desperation called out to the Lord. I have received help and encouragement for the few devotionals that I have had published, however I have, like yourself, chatted with several people around the world, and helped spread the seed of His Love and Compassion.