About the Author

Karina Allen is devoted to helping women live out their unique calling and building authentic community through the practical application of Scripture in an approachable, winsome manner.

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  1. I love, love Anna! and Simeon is a super great role model as well! and I think you hit the nail on the head…there were probably many things that Anna wished had been provided for her, but weren’t! I need to learn this lesson of being thankful for the truth of Who He is, instead of the ways I feel taken care of or blessed or not! Thanks!

    • Thank you Tami!

      Father, I pray that You will cultivate in Tami’s heart immense gratitude. May she see beyond what You do to who You are, beyond the gift to the Giver. You are the prize. You are our heart’s desire. You alone! Amen!

  2. I feel like Anna today! I have been in a season of exhaustion and there are times where I feel God is so silent. But in my heart I have to keep believing He has the perfect plan. But like Anna, in this season of waiting, quietness and exhaustion, I serve and God had taught me to be the hands and feet of Jesus!

    • Amen!

      You are doing a work in VH and we are thankful. Continue with this good work. I pray that You would give her grace for this season. You are with her and near to her broken heart. I pray You come in with strength, peace and joy. Be all that she needs. Reveal Your plan to her in Your timing. You are faithful!!!!

  3. Karina,
    I think we all have our seasons, be they short or long, of being in the desert, yet I am encouraged by what Anna did…she kept in constant communication with God and she reached out to others. We may not feel like doing these things…but I believe that God will honor our continuing to show up and wait upon what He will do to work through us. Thank you for a much needed post this morning!
    Bev xx
    Bev xx

    • Thank you Bev!

      Father,
      You walk intimately with Bev every step of the way. Whatever season she is in, may she continue to persevere and do the next right thing. Reward her faithfulness with Your presence and Your purpose. May she be actively patient and trust in Your timing.

  4. I am kind of in one of these seasons and it feels like everything I pray, the opposite is happening. So thank you for this post, it is a blessing 🙂

    • Jesus,
      This is a time for miracles. I pray that You bring one into Natasha’s life. Be her comfort, peace, strength and joy. Give her a glimpse of Your plan and give her ears to hear Your still small voice. May she stand on the truth of Your Word and the consistency of Your character and not her emotions or what she can see.

  5. Karina!
    Thank you for answering the call to share your words.
    They are a comfort to my heart today.

    I have never noticed those verses on Anna before, and loved reading them here! Bravo!

    I, too, am in a valley. Plucked from training for my first marathon (after a miraculous healing from a disease that fuses the spine) just two weeks before the race, I’ve since been trying to pick up the pieces of what I thought God wanted me to do. Running is a giant part of who I am and has greatly affected the way I spend time with God each morning. Instead of listening to worship songs and gazing at His glorious work in the sunrise over the lake each morning… I’ve had to shift that time to a still position.
    I’ve also had to deal with the physical changes that have come along with resting injury instead of running.
    With so much to be thankful for in my life, I pack on the guilt for any concern I have over these issues.

    Over the last 7 months, though I have felt lost and scared, God shifted my life. “OK, I’ve got nothing…” I’d pray. I found a great prayer journal that suggested lifting up particular worries to God each day, and that was extremely helpful. He plucked me from my agenda and sat me down in the midst of His. My life as a writer has begun to evolve. My family attends a new church that is bringing out our faith in conversation and teaching us the power of worship.

    It’s still not easy, and I ache to run everyday.
    Just as you write about, leaning into God in prayer an in study of His Word has been my ticket to freedom.
    No matter the circumstance of my day, I have been able to have a slight “Paul” attitude… To be happy no matter the circumstance.
    I have found comfort in reaching out in reading and commenting on this space, and in other Christian forums… And have felt the Holy Spirit working in those conversations. To think what loneliness might have swallowed me if I had stopped reading, writing, and talking…
    Fighting that urge to shrink back is worth every bead of sweat and ache.

    I relate so much to you, sister in Christ.
    May God’s blessings continue to overflow from your words, just as they have here today.
    Much love you! And I would love to pray for you to. What do you need prayers for, sweet one?
    Happy Weekend!!!
    Megs

    • Meg, it’s been a long day!!!

      Father, praise You for Your faithfulness! You are good and Your love endures! I pray supernatural healing over Meg. Give her strength and endurance. Be all that she needs. Continue to lead her and guide her with Your presence and Your Word. You are the prize. You are the reward. You are her source. Teach Meg to live and love You out of rest, not striving. Keep her engaged with You and community. Amen.

      I’m good. Just praying that 2016 ushers in more of His presence and His purpose for me.

  6. Please pray for me also, I looked up the other day and said, ” Father I am in a storm,”

    • Jesus,
      Be near to Adeola. You know every need of her life and you long to meet every one of them. Come in power and might. Do a work that only You can do. Be her peace and joy. Lead her in Your way, in Your timing. Amen.

  7. Thank you to you Katrina and to God for this beautiful post-it was an answer to a prayer. Anna was a model of love for God and His people, how she persevered in faith. I have been in a valley, wilderness for a long time now, but God has been so good. Seek and be thankful for His face more than His hand- I have to remind myself that that He knows my needs and there is no reason to worry. I pray that you and everyone here today is richly blessed in His love and mercy and grace as we await His blessed birth 🙂

    • Father
      Thank you for A. Thank you for perseverance and strength, You are the source. Teach her to be committed to You and Your presence more that what You can provide.

  8. Been in a valley for a year. There are moments I think I’m coming out. ..then I’m back. My strength is weak, and I feel lost.

    • Father,
      Your strength is perfected in our weaknesses. Give Sarah glimpses of a way out. Teach her to lean into mystery and to trust You beyond what she can see. Fill her with hope, joy, peace and purpose. You are good and faithful!

  9. Karina,
    I am in a valley too. Loke others who.have posted here, there are times I think I am coming out of it, and bam, I am right back in it. I was fostering a child to adopt her and she was placed back in her family. The loss I feel and have felt since March is profpind. I have never felt pain this deep. God keeps bringing me back to Isaiah 54:, “Sing O barren woman…for the children of your house will be many…” I have to be honest, the pain of loss and the weight of waiting for another child make it hard to sing some days. But you are right, being thankful and staying connected to church and my life group make it bearable. God is still good and He is still our unchanging, loving Father.

    • God, You are good and faithful! Teach Beth how to lean in to Your presence. Be all she needs. Meet every need, Heal every hurt. You are near to broken hearts. You inhabit praises. Surround her with sweet, authentic community to help shoulder burdens.

      • Thank you Karina! God is good and faithful. Your prayer is true, I need to learn to lean into Him more. Thank you Karina for taking the time to pray.

  10. Thank you for this. I really needed it. I have let my feelings and emotions over shadow who God is. Asking for guidance on how to deal with several troublesome situations. I pray that God will show himself through it all and I really see Him not what is clouding my vision of who He is, a loving and caring Father.

    • Father,
      You are loving and caring. It’s who You are and what You do. Show yourself strong and mighty. Come in power. Come and do what only You can do. Heal every hurt. Meet every need. You are good!

  11. I love that in those three verses we get this glimpse of a life. We see sorrow, trust, and faithfulness. A woman waiting for her savior like that is deeply encouraging. Thank you for spending time with her story and sharing your insight here.

  12. Hi Karina,
    Such a good post! I do want to say, there are appropriate times where a family needs to be relieved from church responsibilities to be able to just manage what they have on their plate with their family. But, it is important to still be in contact with other believers. I have in the past though been in churches where the most unsafe place was in the church because of criticism not knowing our situation because of not listening well, or assumptions, or minimizing what we were going through and giving pat answers. I still stayed in contact with believers, and spoke and cried with a small group, but I needed to tuck away to heal. In a different church we did learn to trust again. The experience taught me to not trust as much in man, and learned God is always faithful. I do trust people, but don’t expect as much from them anymore.
    Karina, from reading your posts, I’m certain you spoke to the women right where they were and reached them in their heart.
    Blessings, Joanne

    • Thanks Joanne!

      May the Lord continue to bring healing into your life. May He surround you with sweet and authentic community to walk with you through mountaintops and valleys. You are completely faithful and trustworthy. You are our goal. Amen.

  13. This is a great story. While we don’t stay at church all the time, by the Holy Spirit, we are His temple. Anna could prophesy, a gift of the Spirit, we should all desire, to follow love and speak the good things of God over others. Imagine getting to see Jesus as a baby.

  14. Thanks for posting. I needed a great reminder that even though I have questions and doubts that God is surprised by it at all. I pray that for all of us to preservere in Christ. God bless!

    • Father,
      You take great joy in Marissa. She is Your daughter and You love her deeply. You are the answer to all doubt and fear. You know best. May she trust You beyond all reason. Amen.

  15. Karina,
    I was in a deep valley last year. Too much stress that made me fell ill. I would pray, but still nothing. I made myself dwell on my thankfulness to God. After a year of worry & valley living God pulled me out. We need to be more like Anna–at church always, praying and praising God!
    Prayers for you my friend! May God bring you out of the valley soon!
    Blessings 🙂

  16. During times of greatest grief or pain, I don’t always feel distant from God, or even unwilling to connect with Him. I simply can’t find words to pray and I feel deaf to His voice. I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit can stand in the gap for me and that others with the words and strength can pray for and with me. God bless all that find themselves in a dark valley during this holiday season.

  17. I’ve been in one of those seasons for the last 7 years. Cancer, pain, depression and now divorce. It’s been no fun. Please pray for me. It’s hard to keep believing.

  18. Ive read this scripture several times thus far this Christmas season but just today the word THANK jumped out at me. I am reminded to give Him thanks even when it is difficult to accept. I am committed to redirecting my attention all day to giving Him thanks even in the right spaces.

  19. Whenever I think of the “valley” I can only picture a place where it is fruitful. I once read a quote along that line stating there is fruitfulness in the valley. It changed my perspective on valley living.

    I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where our valleys are gorgeous with rich soils that produce amazing produce! Maybe others live in a place where valleys are dry and desolate, that would be my wilderness places, but even in the valley you can find life, some with lush grasses and rivers running through it…places of refreshing. Reminds me of Psalms 23!

    I agree that valleys are hard seasons because of the pruning, plowing, removing, and preparation but it’s all for the harvest that is promised to come; the abundance of fruit that is ripening on the Vine. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t whined, complained, grown weary, or cried excessively! Believe me, there is no condemnation here! But when I look back, after having walked THROUGH the valley, I have learned to see it for what it is…a place of fruitfulness.

    And for that I am THANKFUL! Wonderful post Karina!

  20. Thanks for sharing the example of Anna. An intimate relationship with Jesus will make our lives useful for him.

  21. I sooooo needed this today. Thank you so much. I’m in a valley for sure right now, with my kids and my finances … was feeling so desolate and hopeless. What a wonderful pick-me-up!! Would love for you to pray for me as well. My two oldest sons are both experiencing difficulties in their lives right now and have begun to be angry at me for my intervention or lack of it depending on the day … I am exhausted and broken. I finally hit a breaking point last night and figured out I’m at the bottom … no place to go but up from here. I’ve put it at Jesus feet and am trying diligently to leave it there and wait for him to do what he does best if I’ll just quit trying to help Him !! Thanks again for a wonderful article.