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  • Samantha Patschke

July 3, 2024 – Day 37– *A Brief Description *

I love buying furniture at the do-it-yourself hardware store. The instructions give you the help you need but you still feel like you are doing and accomplishing something. The most valuable part of the instruction book in my experience has been the front cover. That picture of what it should look like when its finished, if done right.

I know I am far from “done” and even further from “done right”, but I thought maybe if I shared what God looks like to me, it might be a motivation to you.

God found me right where I was at, standing at the back door of the house I lived in at the time. Feeling defeated again.

My life has always been good. I have never needed anything; my immediate family has always been healthy. I have gone through some rough stuff, and I have been kicked around a bit.

Feeling defeated was a feeling that I knew well at the time. I would try and fail. Try and fail. Try and fail. I can’t tell you how many times my well-developed plans would fail.

It felt like the biggest failure when my family fell apart. So many questions. I had a 2-month-old and an 18-month-old. Both boys, I never wanted boys. My pregnancies had been rough, and the first 18 months of childrearing were challenging. Defeated. This one thing that I always wanted to do right; I was doing wrong.

After thirty Godless years, I decided to go to church. I needed to try something new. Some of the best parents I knew and admired were Christian.

I had a great friend, a missionary in Honduras. Her family gave me my first Bible. I spent a lot of time at her house growing up. I wanted to be a mom like her mom; wholesome, kind, and strong. I loved her pound cake.  

I ended up at church. There I discovered free babysitting. For a single mother of 2 rambunctious boys, the appeal of free babysitting won me over.  

As I sat sermon after sermon, Sunday after Sunday, sipping on free coffee and enjoying the dimly lit church, I started to listen to the message. When I did, I realized the message was for me!

There must have been five hundred plus people in the building, but the message was written and spoken in a language only I could understand. It was Him speaking to me.

I am a scientific girl, so I immediately started to study. First a seminary named Global Action, then a degree in Biblical Studies, then a master’s in biblical studies. I did it all. Although the degrees did help me get a job or two, when I put the effort into the degrees it was only because I wanted to understand who was talking to me.

The combination of unexplainable belief and effort in study made my relationship with God possible.

You needed to know all that to understand who God is to me.

God is my salvation. He saves me from myself. He is good. All goodness I see and feel in this world is Him. When I allow each ounce of goodness that I experience in the world to direct my life, despite what my flesh may think, I am allowing God to direct my life. Giving Him the control in my life is my salvation.

I am a stubborn person. My selfish feelings and dark thoughts take me in the wrong direction. I cannot change that, but having a deep relationship with God, allows me to communicate daily. That connectedness keeps me in the Good, keep me in God.

That voice I heard is the voice I still hear today. I hear it when I need an extra push. I hear it when I need corrected. I hear it when I write these devotionals. Most often the voice sounds like a feeling. “I left the stove on!” A deep feeling that is easy to hear. The audible voice of God is an experience I have only ever had once. Maybe one day I will share that story, but I am not ready.

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