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DAY 13

As we moved into the start of 2023 as a family, I had been feeling weary and asking God to bring me back to a restored closeness with him. We had come through a challenging season of parenting our two boys, one of which was struggling with sleep and the other moving into the high energy toddler stage.

Living overseas away from family nearby added to the challenge of making it through the days without growing frustrated or exhausted mentally. As Christmas and New Years came, I felt like I was surviving and knew God had more for me and for our family, even in the middle of a hard season circumstantially.

I usually ask God for a word each year that I can be praying over myself and pressing into, and the word that I was drawn to was “refresh”. My desire was to be refreshed in Him and to live from the fullness of who He is and who I am in Him again rather than struggling to manage life. As we moved into 2023, I was tasked with extra responsibilities at the church and new opportunities to grow into. I quickly realised I had to be fully dependent on God and to live each day in what I hear Him saying. As I was in the lives of people and praying for them in spring 2023, I began to see how amazing the love of God is for His children, and for those who don’t know Him yet. God sees through brokenness and sin to how He’s created us to live, in oneness and fellowship with Him. God began bringing me back to the simplicity of the gospel, how He made a way back to perfect union and relationship with the Father and that all it requires is childlike trust and faith. As I sat in that truth, our whole life as a family began to be aligned to Him more and more. Things that would cause stress became prayer moments. Areas of tension began to be opportunities to surrender and trust that God’s love for us is enough. All the thoughts and feelings of the hard months of parenting began to be overwhelmed by the simple truth of who Jesus is and who he says I am in Him, which anchored my mind and heart to not just survive anymore but actually grow in Him.

This all came from times of simply praying: “Lord, I need to be refreshed in you. Help.” I am so thankful for our God who uses every moment we give Him in relationship to reveal Himself to us and to grow us in Him. He is a Father who wants to be in every part of our lives.


Stewart Long

Re:Hope West End


Our word for these 40 days is ‘life’. Pray LIFE over yourself, your relationships, and your one main prayer request today.


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