|Joy in finding that true relationship.|
Of course they are in love, weren’t most of us at that age?
There’s nothing like a first love. Everything is exciting; even rainy days are followed by beautiful rainbows. The world is seen through colored glasses and pointing to new adventures, with the one you know you will spend your life with forever.
I am sure that Michael and Gina felt the same way with their marriage, only that’s not how it began. A turn in life’s journey led them to where they are today.
Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list.
New on DFB – Guam; Belgium; Kranj, Bohinj, Slovenia; Ludlow& Burgess Hill, England, UK; Maria Ellend, Niederosterreich, Austria; Benalmadena, Andalucia, & Toledo, Castilla-LaMancha, Spain; Sevstopol, Ukraine; Kathmandu & Jhapa, Nepal; Quezon City & Catubig, Northern Samar, Philippines; Santiago, Region Metropolitan, Chile; Lagos, Nigeria; Regesnburg, Bayern, Germany; Dhi Qar, Al Muthanna, Iraq; Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar; Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany; Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa, Japan.
USA – Willow Springs, MO; Cary, NC; Margate City, Mantua, Harrison, Dumont, NJ; Philadelphia & Jim Thorpe, PA; Eucha, OK; Lomita, CA, Opelika, AL, Dahlgren & Harrisonburg, VA; Chester, MD; Chattanooga, TN; Muskegon & Spring Lake, MI; Charleston, AR; Muskogee, OK; Minneapolis, MN.
If I left anyone out please let me know. Thank you for your continued support and sharing this Outer Journey on Daily Favor. (DFB - Daily Favor Blog)
Read updates on Hubby’s Heart Attack.
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below. All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life. Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.
Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
First, but Not the Last
|Matt & boys|
Gina was a vibrant, highly spirited Italian girl who fell in love with her college sweetheart Matt. They married and began to build a family when something happened.
Her “first love” was diagnosed with cancer that eventually took his life on Christmas Day 2005, leaving her a widow at the young age of 36.
A very strange thing happened the day of Matt’s funeral. His childhood neighbor Cathy came to the service and spoke to Gina, a woman she never met before that day.
Six weeks later Cathy would join her friend in heaven succumbing to a fast-growing brain tumor, making her husband Michael a widower with three kids of their own.
The lives of two families would be profoundly changed as each traveled the grief road that would bring them together for this part of their journey.
Gina believed that if they didn’t find a way to let God transform this tragedy into something good they would miss out on His ultimate plan and purpose.
A Vessel He Could Use
Even though Gina lost what she believed was the love of her life, God was able to minister to her in the way she lived her life before others. She allowed herself to be the vessel God could use, and in turn the Lord brought people into her life that would uplift and encourage her family through difficult times. Michael and his grieving family would be a part of that “new thing” God was doing in their lives.
When Cathy left this earth it wasn’t something Michael’s family expected. After all, she wasn’t sick for years like Matt. Although it was painful, Gina had time to prepare to some degree. Michael didn’t handle the situation in the same manner as a God fearing servant, and in fact he had no answers at all.
It was Gina, the church, family and friends that helped Michael get back on track so he could continue his journey. Only this time it would be with someone new.
Four Shall Become One
Two years passed when the grieving families would become a blended one. Gina describes their new journey as one of “Imperfect people trying to love the Lord and others.”
|Michael & Gina|
As he has grown closer to God, Michael’s invitation for us is to be mindful of each opportunity we have with family and friends. Find a way to be servant minded and learn more about Jesus.
In their search for God’s perfect will, Michael and Gina never forgot that Matt and Cathy were the reason this all came about in the first place. Their marriage embraces those they have lost and they allow the Lord to use their story to bring others to Him.
Gaining Joy for the Journey
|Michael and Gina Spehn|
This isn’t a lesson or even a story about finding true love and your soul mate here on earth after heartbreak.
What was the key factor to Gina and Michael’s new life together and being able to establish a ministry? When their sole mate (the only loved one) was no longer here on earth, they remembered they had a soul mate, Jesus Christ.
God was able to take what the devil meant for harm and turn it into good. They each returned to their first love, Jesus who is first before anything or anyone else on earth.
Gina describes it as the walk with God in her faith journey that set her on the path for greater things. He turned her mourning and weeping into joy for the rest of her assignment.
Is Someone Against You?
When we accept Jesus into our hearts as our Savior, He becomes our first love in our new life as a believer. He gently takes us by the hand and leads us into new destinations.
We look to Him for guidance, are excited to read the Word of God, can’t wait to share what we’ve learned with others … it’s like our first real romance.
Everything changes when we receive Christ, and our anticipation of each new revelation only heightens our relationship with the Lord.
Somewhere along our journey life takes over, and before we know it Jesus is no longer the first person we turn to when things go wrong. He is often the one we blame.
“…Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4 NKJV)
By returning to our first love, which is God, He can turn the most tragic situations into something pretty amazing and for His glory. He promises that He will bring a new thing into our lives, if we put Him first.
“We love Him, because He first loved us.” God has always put us first in his heart over everything else. We matter to Him.
What I want you to take away from this isn’t the pain and suffering of two families, but the joy that God brought to help them through the valley.
When God becomes our first love, He changes the way we love and the way others love us. He bestows grace, mercy and favor in abundance when we return to our relationship with Him.
So that’s where I want to take us for this week’s challenge – back to our first love.
Remember When …
Try to remember those feelings you had when you saw the “one” that changed your life forever. The one thing that stood out for me was my husband’s beautiful eyes and long lashes. He still has lashes every girl wishes she had.
|Read the Story Behind the Book|
I couldn’t wait to tell him the events of my day and holding his strong hand made me feel so loved. If he were in a crowd of people I could pick him out by his walk or the sound of his voice.
Things that make him happy are easy, because they are mainly related to food or animals (besides me naturally).
All these little bits of information let me know that he is important and first in my life. It’s the same with the Lord.
God has attributes and characteristics also, and if He really were our first love, we would know them.
Returning to Our First Love
Just as you know your loved one here on earth inside and out, this week we’re going to be specific in what we learn about God.
When we really know God, we can describe Him and learn to live like Jesus.
Living a life pleasing to the Lord is something that others can see. It’s measurable, a term we have learned for this part of our outward journey for Christ.
Here are a few questions we need to find answers to that will help us return to our First Love through salvation.
1 - What do you know about God’s eyes?
2 - Describe God’s hands.
3 - Do you look forward to talking/listening to the Lord?
4 - How do you recognize God in a situation?
5 - List some things that make God happy?
Think about this, everything you desire to know about a person you love should be something you already know about God. Rediscover your first love as a believer in your journey back to God.
Find out about the God that loved you before you were born. (Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV)The more you learn about Him, the more you’ll see that He has favored you all along.
"Because you loved me first Jesus, you will always be my first l♥ve!"
Until next time, favor your First Love, Jesus.
Check Messages throughout the week.
“Return to me, I’ll always love you.”
– Jesus Christ
What's New this Week: Two Selections
Return to Your First Love:
A Journey Back to God
by Teresa Jones
(I receive no compensation for
promoting these books for charity.)
How Two Families Found Faith, Hope and Love
in the Midst of Tragedy
by Michael and Gina Spehn
Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also. Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.
Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image: Couple Hands/Heart Book First Love
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.