Have you ever felt cursed or punished by God? I have felt that way in 2016 when my Christian husband filed for a divorce four months after our wedding.
This daily devotional is focused on this truth: you are blessed by God with every spiritual blessing, according to Psalm 32:1-2 and Ephesians 1:3.
The format of this devotional for women is “self-examination” so I’ll be sharing my personal story of how I went from feeling cursed to feeling blessed, all thanks to God who opened up my eyes.
The reason why I chose the self-examination format for my devotionals is because whenever people share with me how I should think, I feel preached to, but whenever people share about their faith journey, their own internal struggle, their heartbreaks and breakthroughs, I feel touched by their story, encouraged, and empowered.The power of vulnerability is huge, so I trust that sharing my struggles with feeling punished and cursed, as well as presenting my spiritual breakthroughs in this Biblical devotionalwill encourage and empower you.
Daily Devotional for Women: “I am blessed”
Michel and I were married on May 14th, 2016 in front of family and friends.
[our wedding video]
After the wedding, we had not a honeymoon but a trimoon, aka doing an IronMan competition instead of honeymoon.
[instagram pictures here]
Then, Michel started disappearing every evening and weekend saying that he wanted to be an IronMan and complete in Kona.
He called his IronMan bicycle “My other wife I cheat on you with” and rejected me sexually saying that he needs to save himself for his IronMan training.
Prior to our wedding, Michel asked me to honor him by taking his last name. That’s how I became Anna Szabo.
[Anna Stevens vs Anna Szabo video]
He also asked me to deposit my paycheck into our joint checking account he created with USAA.
Now, my paycheck was spent and I was left with a balance of below zero dollars three times. I remember being at work and walking to get lunch… only to discover no money in our checking account.
I confronted Michel about his lifestyle. He filed for a divorce.
Four months after our wedding, a private server Jerry served me with Michel’s divorce papers at a Christian conference “Harvest” at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, GA.
I felt cursed and punished by God…
Doubting God’s Existence
To be completely honest with you, after being served with the divorce summons at that Christian conference, I doubted God. Actually, I wondered if there is God after all.
I didn’t understand how a good God could allow such a deception in my life. I was wondering how the goodness of God was even possible when I was suffering so much in that Narcissistic marriage.
[narcissist videos playlist here]
Finally and most importantly, coming from an abusive childhood experience and having an abusive marriage experience, I wondered about my future and how much more abuse I’d have to endure, according to God’s plan. I even wrote a suicidal poem about my thoughts of hopelessness.
[suicide poem video here]
Then, I read Laura Story’s book called “When God Doesn’t Fix It” and learned how God allows us to not just go but also grow through trials.
I read the book by Randy Pope called “The Answer” and learned why God allows adversity and what truly is the purpose of my life.
I watched “The Case For Christ” on Netflix and realized that the realness of God is not based on whether or not He gives us what we want. The realness of God is in the life of Jesus Christ.
After I finished the movie, I wrote this poem.
To believe or not to believe?
To believe? Not to believe? That is the mystery…Without faith and in faith people live,
It takes equal faith Either way:Your own fate or god’s plan -You obey.
C. S. Lewis said it bestIn his last days:Christianity at a test may be false But who cares.
But if true, he said,Then it’s everything!If Jesus suffered for us and bled,Faith will salvation bring!
To believe, not to believe…You decide!Just ask yourself while you live:Where will you go once you’ve died?
[make and insert a video poem here]
Believing in God
Once I settled my mind and decided that I believe, the next question for me was: is God punishing me?
I didn’t understand why I had to endure so much suffering. You see, I thought that a blessed life would be a perfect life of happiness with my husband whom I loved with all my heart. A blessed life would look like a great marriage relationship, lots of money, a beautiful home, and good-looking kids.
In my season of trials, I realized how immature I was in my faith. I was offering my faith to God expecting that He would give me everything I wanted on a silver platter.
I soon began reading and re-reading the story of Job. Satan went to God to ask to tempt Job to test his faith. And God allowed Satan to tempt Job.
He lost everything but he kept his faith. He was called God’s most faithful servant but Satan expected Job to curse God in adversity.
Yet, Job never did.
I believed in God but I questioned if I could ever be as faithful as Job.
Why God Matters
You may have been brought up in a Christian home and went to Sunday school. I actually was raised by a very abusive single mother in a family of alcoholics where I lived in a state of war every day.
God was not a part of my life. I was an alcoholic and a sex addict. One time, I was physically violent with a security guard at a local hospital in Kursk, Russia, where I grew up. I was locked up in jail! I tried to commit suicide twice when I was 11 and 12. I gave away my body when I was 16 and slept with many married men for nearly a decade after that.
I gave my life to Jesus on October 19th, 2018 and ever since my journey has been that of maturing in my faith and learning to trust God.
In that moment of adversity in 2016 though, I questioned why God even mattered: in general and to me personally.
The thing I realized is that God never let me down. I began studying His character and promised and what He said about me. I discovered 52 incredible truths about my identity in Christ and wrote a book called #52Devotionals
[Download #52Devotionals Now ]
I found 3673 promises of God in the Bible. And as I looked back, I saw that He kept each one of them in His relationship with me. I actually wrote a poem about God’s promises.
Standing on God’s Promises
Life is a series of seasons,With moments of sorrow followed by happy moments.To question God we have many reasons,Especially when facing some devastating disappointments.
Sometimes we question God’s very existence,Or just His presence in our lives.We may confront the idea of God’s goodness with resistance,Especially when grief our daily emotions drives.
Our emotions are not a very reliable source of information.How we feel changes often too randomly.That’s why to confidently walk toward our destination,We need to immerse ourselves in truth extendedly.
We need to understand and believe God’s faithfulness.We need to embrace His eternal promises.We don’t need to make them up or guess -Reading His word is what confidence encompasses.
In the Bible, there are 3573 promises,The word “promise” itself occurs 50 times.End of suffering, protection and forgiveness,Peace and joy are guaranteed to us always and not just sometimes.
God’s promises are the only solid ground to stand on.Everything else is unstable and temporary.His word is the truth for us to lean on,So that our lives can be for His glory and extraordinary.
I realized that God matters because out of His love for me He sent Jesus as a sacrifice, as a payment to redeem me from my sins.
Psalm 32:1-2 says this:“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.”
For me, to know that my sins are forgiven is comforting. But it’s not just my emotional comfort that’s found in Christ but my whole eternity, too.
Jesus set me free.
Jesus paid for my sins. He gave me a new life of joy. He taught me who I am. I can confidently declare my identity as a daughter of God, a true Princess.
Realizing all this, made me so aware that I began seeing God’s presence everywhere.
God’s Presence Everywhere
God, I see your presence everywhere.To hear your voice for me is not at all rare.Once I finally quit being worldly and blind,Now in everything your glory I can find.
Anywhere I look, there you are!In my suffering, you count my every scar.My pain you turn from dust into beautyAs I follow your calling and fulfill my duty.
God, I don’t need any special presents.All I want is to continue being in your presence.I love leaning on you and having you near.To my heart, your presence is very dear.
I began trusting God in my adversity. I saw that my journey wasn’t about God meeting my expectations of a perfect life. I saw that my journey was about maturing and growing in my faith. Looking back, I saw how God was faithful all these years. And I learned to trust God again. That’s when this poem was born.
Your plan is always perfect
You said your plan is perfect.Can I believe it, God?Sometimes I feel in conflict,With scope of trials so broad.
But then I look around,I pay attention close,And see your grace aboundIn sorrow and in loss.
I trust your every vow,Your Holy Word I trust.Sometimes I wonder howYour beauty comes from dust.
Your plan for me to prosper,Have future and the hopeWholeheartedly I trust inAnd never will I stop.
Ephesians 1:3 says this:“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
“What blessings was I blessed with,” I wondered. And I started digging deep to understand exactly what were those blessings.
Acceptance by GodHis unconditional loveClose relationship with JesusThe Holy Spirit who lives in meMy Salvation Adoption into God’s family Victories God had already won on my behalf Forgiveness of my sinsGod’s infinite wisdom available to me through His wordProtection from evil Confidence in my eternal security God’s plan for my life where He works all things for goodThe riches of God’s gloryPeace that passes all understanding The joy of the LordEternity in heaven
For me, this truth was liberating and comforting no matter the trials I faced in my everyday life and marriage.
I wrote a poem about blessings in my life and my life being a blessing in itself.
My life is such a gift
My life is such a gift.My life is such a blessing.I’m grateful for each day,Which I’m with joy professing.
I’m grateful for the peace,I’m grateful that I’m healthy,For joy that may not cease,And being friendships-wealthy.
I’m grateful for abundanceOf food and drinking water,And clothing choices hundreds,And being God’s own daughter.
I’m grateful for each mentorWho time invests and wisdomTo ground me and centerIn Gospel and God’s kingdom.
I’m grateful for awarenessOf who I am in JesusAnd for my journey’s rareness.To love it I have reasons.
My life is very special,And I am special also -I have a high potential,With Scriptures armed, I know so.
I was able to see and believe that my life and everything about it was a blessing.
What about you?
Take some time now to dwell on your blessings. Express your gratitude to God for those blessings. Praise Him genuinely and wholeheartedly for His grace and love
Do you accept God’s blessings? Are you recognizing that you are blessed?
If so, memorize the Biblical affirmation below to remember that you are blessed.
I am blessed
I am blessed by God with every spiritual blessing.My transgressions are forgiven and my sins are covered.Without Jesus, about my future I was wondering and guessing.But now my future is certain because God’s grace I discovered.
How does it make you feel to know that you are blessed? Share with me in the comments below so I can rejoice with you.
If this devotional was helpful, download all #52Devotionals now.
Dear #TruePrincesses! I’m Anna Szabo, the founder of Online Discipleship For Women.
On this Christian blog for women, I write about the six pillars of joyful living: Faith, Food, Fitness, Finances, Felicity, and Fortitude.
Please post your comments and questions for me. Your opinions, thoughts, life stories, and experiences matter. Why? Because every story is for God’s glory. I share with you my life experiences and believe that God has each of us on a very special journey. He wants to uniquely equip and qualify us for special ministry in His kingdom. The purpose of adversity is for us to persevere, grow in faith, and share hope with others. So, share freely here!
May this ministry be a blessing to you!