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and a fulltime customer service manager for a small manufacturing company.
Her passion is encouraging the Body of Christ with words and by example.
The Vine Publications, her own enterprise, publishes and promotes her work.
Through her writing, she hopes to encourage women, young and older,
to pursue God in all they do.
She shares HOPE from her heart,
she believes and lives HOPE – because it changes everything!
Susan is also an inspiring regular contributor (LifeWriter) here at LifeLetter Café
and is today’s featured contributor to “Find It Only Here On Friday.”
Her Café exclusive “Contentment, The Greatest Gain” can be found below . . BUT FIRST . .
the Café thought you just might want to know how an Encouragement Leader like Susan Shipe
has herself been encouraged in her own faith recently.
In her own words…
In October 2012, as we all stood around my mom’s bed in ICU,
singing praise choruses and praying, I knew two things for sure.
One, she was about to enter the gates of heaven;
and, two, I was no longer going to be confined to living in the location
that had been home for almost-25 years.
What I didn’t know was the Lord was about to take me on a journey
which was going to show me that contentment only comes
when one realizes, “He is more than enough.”
Today’s Find It Only Here On Friday
“Contentment, The Greatest Gain”
by Susan Shipe
But godliness with contentment is great gain…
– 1 Timothy 6.6 –
I should have packed better …
for this journey God was about to take me on, I found myself ill-prepared. Yet, He was most patient and gracious with me.
It all began after my mother’s very unexpected, sudden death in late October 2012. She was 86 years old and although on a walker and a couple of meds, she was doing well. She was on her way to the hairdresser, riding with a friend, when it happened. She clutched her chest and said, “I feel dopey.” The next thing she knew, she was being transported to the local hospital where she was admitted into the ICU upon arrival. Our mother went home to glory less than forty-eight hours later. Escorted through the gates on the arms of Jesus and Queen Esther – but that’s another story for another time!
Thirty days later, we celebrated her life in a four-hour memorial service at her home church. It was a long, but celebratory time of sharing and testifying of her impact on people’s lives. The day was glorious. It was Thanksgiving weekend.
Christmas came and went …
Then, the 2013 winter months set in. Long, cold, gray, dismal days. My state of being followed suit. I blamed it on losing my mother but it was more than that – I began to be very discontent in almost all areas of my life but most of all WHERE we lived. We are in the northwest corner of North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains – we live on fourteen acres and have one neighbor. Living the country lifestyle was my dream as long as I can remember and believe me I had loved living here. But there was a strong “niggle” for something else and that something else was to live on a body of water.
Spring of 2013 found me searching …
for something of which I didn’t even know what! My husband was not in agreement with this yearning for water I had, but I looked anyway. Then one day, I was doing a Google search on “lakes in North Carolina” and this real estate listing literally popped out on the screen – I was convinced it was God. The listing sounded perfect, and I convinced hubs we should check it out. The next weekend found us about 3 hours from our current location, we took my daughter and her family with us, and we all knew this was it. I could already picture us on the huge pond in our canoe and the grandkids in kayaks. I had already picked out the color of the Adirondack chairs I was going to place on the dock. It was perfect and although I couldn’t believe it, we made a written offer on the house contingent on the sale of our mountain property, before leaving that day. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself.
Two days later, I told the realtor to rip up our deposit check because we received bad news from a local realtor regarding our property. My short-lived elation turned to sadness. And, a monster moved in…severe discontentment syndrome. SDS stayed with me for at least a year. I measured everything by how miserable I was. You can only imagine what a charm I was to live with, right? The Lord and I were (relatively) fine; however, I was rather disappointed with Him. The longer I held on to the disappointment, the less hope I had in my heart.
October of 2014 I took the challenge …
to blog on one topic for thirty-one days straight. I chose the subject of Hope. I knew mine needed to be re-kindled and others needed a fresh dose and I reached down deep and wrote.
Lo and behold, the God of Hope filled me with all joy and peace as I (chose to) believe, and I overflowed in Hope by the power of His Holy Spirit. Romans 15.13
Slow and sure, God began doing a great work of contentment within me. I asked my husband for his forgiveness and I confessed and repented to my good, good Father. I’ve not looked back. Yes, we still live in our old farmhouse on fourteen acres. But the Lord took that burning desire of my heart away and replaced it with an abiding presence of a contented heart. He gave me Himself and stubborn me realized that He is more than enough.
Sure, I still love the water and I’ve already put my order in for a heavenly mansion on a lake but for now? My longing is Him and where He wants me to be. I have gained much!
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