Today’s Truth

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever (Psalm 136:26 NIV).


Friend to Friend

The doorbell rang, but I had absolutely no desire to answer it. I was desperately trying to withdraw from my world. It was too dark and too painful. I just wanted to be left alone.

Clinical depression was sucking the life out of me. I was seeing a counselor. I was also under the care of a psychiatrist who discovered I had a chemical imbalance that required medication. But it would be a long, hard road.

The doorbell rang again. I pulled the covers over my head, determined to outlast whoever was trying to work their way into my pain. It was easier to just surrender to the darkness than it was to struggle my way to the light.

The doorbell stopped ringing. Whew! I was so glad I had dodged that bullet.


A loud knocking ensued … followed by the voice of Michelle, my best friend, declaring, “Mary, I know you are in there. I am coming in to clean your house, and I have groceries for you in my car. I don’t care what you or your house look like, but I am coming in one way or another.”

If it had been anyone else, I might have had a chance. But Michelle Johnson would bulldoze her way through the front door if necessary to get to me.

Love shows up.

Over the years Michelle has been “God with skin on” in my life so many times and in so many ways. She never waited until I asked for help … she just showed up to meet whatever need I have had in my life.

During the two worst years of my battle with clinical depression, Michelle did the things I could not do. She bought groceries, picked up cleaning, lined up meals, took our kids to buy soccer cleats, and just listened as I poured out my pain. Sometimes she called and invited me to walk the half-block down the street to her house. But some days that half-block might as well have been a thousand miles, so she came to me. Her friendship is a priceless gift.

Now that I think about it, some of my best friends are people who saw a need in my life and met it. In fact, the most precious friend I have saw my greatest need and met it in an amazing way!

Jesus looked through my sin and shame and saw my need. And oh, how He showed up!

God’s love compelled Jesus Christ to willingly exchange a throne for a manger, divinity for humanity, and Heaven for Earth – all for me. And all for you!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).

God’s love showed up.

God’s love showed up when David met Goliath (1 Samuel 17).

God’s love showed up when Jesus went out of His way to meet the woman at the well (John 4:1-42).

God’s love showed up when the Good Samaritan rescued a wounded man, a Jew, on the side of the road (Luke 10:25-37).

God’s love showed up when the woman who had been doubled over in pain for 18 years met Jesus and was healed (Luke 13:10-13).

God’s love changes everything and everyone who receives it. God’s love protects and breathes life and purpose into every minute of every day. God’s love is a gift beyond measure that surrounds us and covers us when life falls apart and even when life is good.

“Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:26 NIV).

Do not believe the lies of the enemy when he tells you that your God has forsaken you. God is with you – Emmanuel. He endured the cross, completely, and alone because He loves you.

No one can take your place in the Father’s heart. God knows your pain and He understands. God created you and paid for your sin for one reason alone – He loves you. And true love always shows up.


Let’s Pray

Thank You for loving me, God. Honestly, I don’t understand that kind of love; a love that sent Jesus Christ to the cross so that I can live. But today, I celebrate Your love! Father, please help me learn how to freely share that love with the people in my world.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Let’s Keep in Touch

June 30, 2023, Girlfriends in God is coming to a close. Thank you for linking arms with us in ministry for the past 17 years. We still want to share life with you! Click here to continue receiving devotions from Sharon Jaynes on Tuesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Mary Southerland on Wednesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Gwen Smith on Thursdays.


Now It’s Your Turn

Can you remember a time in your life when love showed up? A time when you didn’t even need to ask – He just came?


More from the Girlfriends

True love doesn’t collapse under pressure or fall apart in hard times. In her book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, Mary shares her story and explains how to define, discover, and experience unconditional love – even in the midst of darkness.

Be sure to check it out!


Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email

© 2023 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.

7 Responses to “When God’s Love Shows Up”

  1. Sherri says:

    Oh how I needed this….this morning ( sitting in the tub at 1:30 am ….fighting a heavy heart)…. EMMANUEL…HE IS WITH ME ….HE IS WITH US

  2. Carol says:

    I love this writing.
    We all should be like your friend Michelle. “A bull moose in a china shop” when necessary, to show up like “God with Skin on”!
    I struggle with boldness. Sometimes I don’t react when I should, out of shyness. I just have pray for a stronger sense of knowledge, I guess.
    I do know I’m working more to be the Hands and Feet!
    Thanks again, Mary for you, showing up with your testimony!

  3. Ashley says:

    Love this devotion so much. Thank you for all you have shared over the years! Will the archive still be up after June 30? I was hoping I would still be able to pull up the old devotionals.

    • Avatar photo Gwen Smith says:

      Hi Ashley! Thanks for doing life with us. 🙂 Website will remain live for years. Come visit and navigate the archives at any time. 🙂


  4. Cindi says:

    This story is me, just the names changed. I too fight clinical depression. I wish I had a Michelle in my life to help me and push me on. Jesus is always there for me and gets me through and I am very grateful.

  5. Aileen says:

    Thank you Mary, Sharon and Gwen for your many years of dedication to the Girlfriends in God ministry. My heart is full of appreciation. The expertly composed, insightful devotionals were inspiring and prompted me to grow spiritually. I greatly appreciated all of the encouragement woven throughout the ministry as well. God Bless each of you in your future endeavors!

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8