May 4, 2019

Forty Days to a Transformed Life

My book, “Lessons of a Dragonfly, Forty Days to a Transformed Life,” now available on Amazon. This forty-day journey of prayer and daily readings are accompanied by scripture for further study, thought-provoking questions and prayers. In this post, I share the Introductory Chapter of the book. 

Introduction

“I will betroth you to me forever.” Hosea 2:19

My first book, The Making of a Dragonfly | Following Christ Through the Winds of Change, was not the book I originally set out to write. However, as I leaned into God for direction in what to include, I sensed He wanted me to share my personal journey of walking through the winds of change. In that book, I share the account of brokenness that almost crushed and rendered me lifeless. My heart was raw and tender. I was buried under fear, rejection, abandonment, insignificance and insecurities, struggling to find my way out of the rubble to catch a breath. The book journeys through grief to God’s promise of healing and restoration. It speaks of a life filled with love and betrayal, obedience and rebellion, heartbreak and joy.

What is the Book I Intended to Write?

Well, it is this book, Lessons of a Dragonfly. Throughout the healing process, in the hardest of places, I found the sweetest presence of the Holy Spirit who held and sustained me with the gentlest of words. He led me into the wilderness; not to a place of punishment, but to a place of solitude, comfort, and healing. A place I could sit at His feet, ask questions, and seek understanding. He gave me the grace of time to process through my grief and pain, He opened my eyes to see how He took the scars of my wounds and turned them into beauty marks of His love, and He engraved His name on my heart, so I will never again fight the battle of being not-enough or less-than.

Being in the wilderness with God brought me to new life. He called me out of the tomb of brokenness and placed me in the womb of His love. “Mary, my beloved, come forth to new life.” I shook off the grave clothes and walked into a spacious world where I have freedom in Him. I worry less about what others think of me, as I have learned to be true to myself. That is the work of God. It took pain, despair, and grief to bring me to a place where I found healing and discovered the immeasurable, unconditional love of God.

What Can You Expect from This Forty-Day Journey?

The stories in this book lead up to and chronicle my life through the wilderness. As I leaned into knowing God intimately, He showed me life through His lens and from His perspective. These are the life-changing stories He used to captivate my heart, teach me His ways, and mesmerize me by His love. My prayer is that these same stories will call you deeper into the heart of God, and you will desire to sit at His feet, and know Him from the inside out. As you embark on this forty-day journey, allow time to scribe your thoughts and prayers in the space provided.

Included at the end of each devotion are questions to consider as well as additional scripture references. I suggest finding these verses and writing them in the margin next to their place of reference (within the devotional). This will be helpful in scripture application as well as navigating through the Bible.

The Way Forward

Whether you are recovering from a broken and raw heart or you are in preparation for days ahead, this book provides insight and wisdom. May the Lord guide and fill you with His breath as you read, journal, and pray during these next forty days. He extends the invitation, “Come.”

PRAYER

Father,
You hold our lives in the palm of Your hand. Hold us steady as we embark on a journey of prayer and devotion, desiring to draw near to You. Open our ears to hear Your promptings, our heart to understand Your scripture, and our eyes to see You in the comings and goings of life. Let our desire be for You alone. Amen.

SCRIPTURE FOR DEEPER INSIGHT

Hosea 2:14
Luke 10:39
Isaiah 44:5

REFLECTIONS

Why do you feel drawn to this forty-day journey?

Have you had a wilderness experience where the only comfort found was sitting at the feet of Jesus? What did you learn about God during this time? (Example: He is Comforter, Friend, a great listener.)

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Mary Ethel Eckard is an author, speaker and teacher called to encourage Christians in their faith journey. She is passionate about sharing Christ with all who will listen. Through her captivating testimony of relying on God's strength and guidance through the heights and depths of life, Mary helps others find freedom from the shame and pain of their past. Mary resides in Frisco, Texas and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

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