Stand Strong

Stand Strong

You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.

PSALM 10:17

My childhood was marked by traumatic events that produced a lifestyle of emotional pain. As an adult, I became caretaker for both of my parents. Food became an addiction and resulted in major health problems. I wanted to die. Daily I asked, “God, why did You wake me up?” Now I ask, “Lord, what are we doing today?”

That transformation began to take place through knowledge of God’s Word, the work of the Holy Spirit and encouragement from First Place 4 Health friends. Sometimes our journey takes an unexpected turn. On March 26, 2005, I was almost killed in an auto accident. In the ER, although my body showed no visible signs of injury or pain, further diagnosis revealed the true picture of my life-threatening injuries. My family was told that I would not live. When I did live, I was told that I might never walk again. But I did learn to walk again! My nephew contacted Beverly Henson, a First Place for Health friend, informing her of the accident. Within 24 hours, prayers and encouragement from First Placers (some I had never met) began to pour in!

Their outpouring of love was so incredible that hospital staff came to see and ask who I was. The day before I went home, a hospital volunteer delivered more gifts and cards and asked, “Are you someone special?” My answer was, “Yes, I am a child of the King.” She asked, “What country?” I said, “All of them!” Through her tears, she responded, “I am too!”

I stand amazed in the presence of a loving, powerful and holy God! The physical therapist told me that before I could walk again, I must learn to stand. Standing is more than a physical position; it also is a mental, emotional and spiritual position. We are able to stand strong through the promises and instruction contained in God’s Word, and the support of prayers and encouragement from God’s people. God hears the cries of His children and leaves evidence of His presence in every situation!

Prayer: Lord, give me the strength to stand strong mentally, physically and spiritually. Help me to see who needs a card or helping hand today.


Stephanie Rhodes

Arlington, Tennessee