One passage that always comforts me is Romans 8-38-39
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Could there be anything better than knowing that nothing could ever separate us from God’s love? To me, no. Sometimes, this is exactly what I need to hear. When I feel myself growing distant I remind myself that His love is stronger than all and ever present.
I’m not by nature the most confident person and, sometimes I open my Bible for a little pep talk. Philippians 4:13 is short and sweet but does the trick for me.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I think what I like most about the way I read this passage is that it’s not about what I can do or choose to do but instead it is about God’s will and His glory. And that in itself somehow makes me feel strong and confident.
But I think the passage I turn to the most often is Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
As much as I’m always fighting God for the steering wheel I know it is best when He’s driving. I love knowing that He has not only a plan for me but a good plan at that. I know I’m happier and better off when I’m letting Him guide me and I feel an excitement inside of me when I realize the endless possibilities of the wonderful life He has laid ahead of me.
My worn, written in, tattered Bible remains my most precious possession. In it I find passages to turn to when having a bad day or going through a rough time. In it I find serenity.
In NINE DAYS, twenty-three year-old Mary Grace Mastrianni returns home to face her difficult past. She had a lonely childhood after the painful death of her mother, and Mary Grace left it all behind her when she escaped to New York City to attend college and build a new life. When Mary Grace is forced to return to sell the family home, memories of her early years suddenly surround her, making her come to terms with unresolved feelings and desires she had pushed away for so long.
Mary Grace finds her mother’s tattered sweater that has not been touched since the day of her mother’s passing, Mary Grace slides her hand into its pocket to discover a yellowing square of paper on which a Novena is printed. The prayer promises that any request will be granted as long as the person fervently prays the prayer in church for nine consecutive days. Mary Grace, who often lacks faith, decides to stay in town just long enough to pray the Novena. In her heart she holds a very special request. In addition, Mary Grace stumbles upon the “to-do” list her mother was in the middle of when she died. Mary Grace understands that her mother was the most faith-filled person she ever knew, and Mary Grace decides to not only pray the Novena but complete the “to-do” list as well. She hopes that by walking in her mother’s shoes, her chances of having her Novena request granted will increase.
Mary Grace spends the next nine days completing her journey of prayer, visiting the church each day and following through on the not-so-easy tasks on the “to-do” list. During these nine days, Mary Grace meets a variety of people who help her build her own faith by sharing their faith with her: She volunteers in a hospital neonatal unit caring for a sick baby, reads to children at the local library, visits with a lonely elderly man in need of company, serves food in a soup kitchen, goes to Confession and visits the gravesites of family who have passed. As Mary Grace dutifully proceeds along her nine-day journey of prayer, she feels her faith growing. The beauty of God surrounds her, but she can’t help but wonder if her most private, heartfelt prayer will be answered.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christine Pisera Naman is the author of six books including, Faces of Hope 10 Years Later (Health Communications, 2011), The Believers (Kirk House Publishers, 2011), Christmas Lights (Random House, 2007), Caterpillar Kisses (Random House, 2005), Faces of Hope (Health Communications, 2002). Christine has appeared on many national television programs including the Today Show and Fox & Friends, featured in a variety of national and local print and online outlets and interviewed on numerous radio shows around the country. Prior to her illustrious writing career, Christine was a Catholic school Kindergarten teacher. For additional information please visit her at www.christinenaman.com.