Jingle: An Advent Devotional – November 30, 2022

Writer’s Name: Maria Arias

Writer’s Ministry:  Communication Specialist

Scripture: Genesis 1:26-31

I remember back in 2012, just a little over 10 years ago, I experienced what people say “rock bottom.” Just before that, my family and I were winning. My husband (at the time) and I were both working successfully and running our own businesses. Our daughters were doing very well in school; in addition, we attended all their sports games and activities. I also had the most amazing friends anyone could ever have. I was also volunteering at my church and even tithing faithfully… I was happily busy with life… One late night, I remember waking up to a buzzing noise. After noticing my husband wasn’t in bed with me, I quickly got up to check the house. The girls were sleeping peacefully, and my husband was sleeping on the couch. In the dining room, I could hear his cell phone vibrating. I grabbed it and saw that someone had called him repeatedly. As I’m looking at the screen the call comes in again, so I answered.

“Where are you, baby? I’ve been waiting for you for hours.” I can hear her breathing hard as she sighs. “I miss you… are you coming?”

At that moment, my heart dropped so quickly I just froze. I couldn’t speak and tears just started rolling down my cheeks. I ended the call… Moments later, I called her back and asked her who she was, which she responded that if I really wanted to know I should ask my husband… That night was the last night my husband stayed at our home. About a month later, after a routine check-up, I was told I had cervical cancer.  Then my best friend of 25 years passed away. Shortly after, I lost my job of 12 years and had to live off my savings. I started experiencing anxiety and depression. Not only, because of the separation from my husband, who triggered my father’s absence, but because my best friend’s death triggered memories of my mother’s death, which I never dealt with before. I was 19 and pregnant went my mother passed and my father was never in my life. I went into a depression and couldn’t leave my room. I was afraid and for three long months I couldn’t function. My daughters’, while in their own pain, looked after me- I remember them trying to feed me, bathe me, taking turns sleeping with me. I was a prisoner in my own room, night after night I lived in fear. I was afraid to live, I was afraid to die… I was afraid to leave my room…

One morning, I woke up and watched the sun light streaming in through the window blinds. I took a deep breath, got out of bed, and laid on the floor facing down. With my arms over my face, I wept for a long time. I BEGGED God to heal my heart and my body. I questioned why everyone always left me, including my father who, was the root of my pain. Why am I not good enough to be loved? I cried for hours… That same day, I decided to make an appointment to see my family doctor, who prescribed me medication and suggested I see a therapist. My daughter’s called my sister, who referred a Christian therapist. Not only did Dr. Marquez hear my cries, but she anointed my body from head to toe with oil and prayed over me. She read scriptures speaking God’s promises into my life… Slowly, I was able to get out of depression. Two weeks later, I stopped taking the medication prescribed by my doctor and felt I didn’t need them anymore. I continued my sessions with Dr. Marquez, who continued to pray over my life. I started regaining my strength again and one evening at one of the women’s prayer meetings at a home, I requested prayer for my body. The eldest lady at the house put hands on me and prayed for God to heal any cancer attacks. The next couple of times I went to the doctors- the cancer was not there. God healed not only my heart, but He also healed my body. And for that I give Him ALL the praise! I am ALL In because He loves me! Just when I thought I wasn’t good enough, He made sure I LEARNED that I was. He created me IN HIS IMAGE… and He saw that I was very good!

Daily Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for creating me in Your own image. Thank you for healing my heart and my body. Thank you for all Your promises- I receive them, in Jesus name.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  1. Do you think you’re not good enough?
  2. Do you believe in miracles?
  3. Do you truly believe God loves you?

7 responses to “Jingle: An Advent Devotional – November 30, 2022”

  1. Sandra Lando-Madsen Avatar
    Sandra Lando-Madsen

    Maria, thank you for sharing your difficult story and Praise the Lord for all that he has done in your life to lift you up and bring you to us. Your story is inspiring.


    1. Thank you, Ms. Sandra. I can only praise Him for everything He has done for me. God bless you!


  2. As I read your devotional I thought of that tiled cross in the narthex lobby…purposely made with broken tiles. Some askew….not lined up into any type of pattern. Different colors. All still tiles though. ” Broken, misaligned….same, but different”. Those tiles were put together…adjoined…and created into that beautiful cross. Just like the people of Lake Deaton UMC. We are the broken, struggling and healed people of the cross. One family. I am so thankful you are one of our beloved family members. God led you to us….and you shine a bright light on the path for others!


    1. Maria, my heart goes out to you over what you have been through and rejoices with you over God’s miracle in your healing physically and emotionally. He is so good and is always with us all showering us with love and healing. God bless you and thank you for sharing your inspiring stiory that will enrich all who read it.


  3. What a powerful testimony! Isn’t it amazing what God can do if we only let Him. Your losses may have been heart wrenching but your gains are without measure. And what you have shown your daughters is powerful.


  4. Thank you for being so transparent Maria! Your testimony is so powerful, God is evident in every step of your road. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sandra Lando-Madsen Avatar
    Sandra Lando-Madsen

    Maria, this is the second time I am reading this as I am reading it to my husband.
    I am thankful that you are now part of our Church family where you will receive love and know how good you truly are. You have tremendous courage along with a very strong and loving faith. Praise God for you!

    Liked by 1 person

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