Emily says she “turned her back on God” as a teenager. After university, her 70-hour workweeks as an accountant didn’t leave time for spiritual reflection.
“I thought I didn’t need God,” Emily remembers. “I was very successful in the corporate world, and I just kept going each day until I fell over from exhaustion.”
Although Emily’s parents were concerned, they didn’t say a lot. Instead, each time they visited, they simply slipped her the newest issue of the same devotional they read as a family throughout her childhood—Today.
Most of those Today booklets ended up in Emily’s recycle bin. But not the one she needed most. One sleepless night, stressed from the lifestyle she was living, Emily remembered the Today. She found the most recent copy her parents had left and read it. The words from that day’s prayer made a lasting impact on her:
“Father, since Jesus will not fill those who are full of themselves, I want to accept any experience you may allow in my life to empty me of my self-interest.”
Shortly after praying, things took a turn for the worse. Doctors diagnosed Emily with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a complicated disorder that can’t be explained by underlying medical conditions.
“Sometimes I would sleep 24 hours a day and sometimes I couldn't sleep at all,” Emily remembers. “I really encountered Jesus during that time because there was finally room for him.”
While the causes for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are unknown, it can be triggered by a variety of factors including viral infections, stress, and hormone imbalances. Because it is such a complicated illness to diagnose and understand, doctors told Emily she would likely live with this condition for life.
But she didn’t accept that.
“I decided, after trying everything else, that I was going to try Jesus,” Emily said. “I prayed, ‘Jesus, if you heal me, I'll serve you the rest of my life.’ After that, he came, and he touched me.”
Then Emily’s symptoms of extreme fatigue went away!
Emily still keeps the prayer she cut out from her
Today booklet because she believes that reading it played a crucial role in re-establishing her relationship with God.
After that day, the trajectory of Emily’s life changed forever. She began taking part in international mission trips and eventually became a pastor at the Journey Church in Kitchener, Ontario.
“Serving internationally gave me more of an understanding of the worldwide family of God and understanding of Scripture when he calls us to the nations,” said Emily.
The family of God is big—it stretches across oceans, over mountains, and through almost every language on the earth. But there are still people who don’t know him. Your support allows us to continue printing and distributing Today devotionals—just like the ones Emily’s parents so faithfully gave her.
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