Lisa Appelo
About the Author

Lisa is a single mom to 7 and young widow who found God her Rock when her world was rocked. One of her delights is teaching women every Sunday morning at her church, FBC Jacksonville. She writes and speaks on faith in the hard and God’s healing hope.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Lisa,
    I can’t even imagine the pain of losing one’s true partner in life. I lost my first husband to verbal abuse and continual infidelity and I can’t even fathom losing the wonderful man that God has given me now. He brings such joy into my life. I have a broken relationship with my daughter and so I find that I am tempted to cling to the human relationships I have. Your beautiful post reminds me that I need to really focus on clinging to Him and ask Him to give my anxious heart peace about fearing the loss of more relationships. I know God is able to restore my relationship with my daughter, just as he brought the unspeakable joy into my current marriage. Sometimes we/I need to look back to remember His faithfulness which gives us confidence to go forward into the unknown. Also, reading stories like yours which testify to God’s goodness are good for this soul. Thank you so much for sharing and congratulations on the wonderful new adventures that await you with the upcoming changes.
    Bev xx

    ps. For all you soon to be mothers and grandmothers, check out these adorable baby blankets knitted by one of our RCF, Inc. Board members. This will be first on my list when I become a grandma 🙂

    • Wonderful devotional. Thank you for speaking to my heart through it. May God bless you with more joy on all your future adventures!

    • Bev, I’m so sorry for your losses. God is on the throne and delights in restoration. I’ve found it’s not grief or joy, but joy right amidst the grief. Thank you for your kind words. I’m looking forward to welcoming a newborn!

    • Bev, I
      I am so sorry to hear your relationship with your daughter is so distant now… I had that experience for many years also. My heart ached.
      Meanwhile what I didn’t see was all the wonderful daughters-in-Christ God blest me with …YOU have encouraged so many women through your insight from tough hurtful personal life experiences. I am one of them.. Re my marriage and I THANKYOU for taking the time to reach out to myself and others you have never even met. God is mightily using you!!
      God has spoke to me to give you this same verse he gave me as I cried out to him over my years of not having a relationship with my daughter.
      Isaiah 43:18-19. EXPECT – HOPE – WATCH and SEE — what the Lord God WILL do!!
      I now have the most beautiful times with her and my 2 grandsons… Keep love in your heart for her and praying.

      • Cheryl,
        Thank you for your sweet and encouraging words. They really blessed my heart today. AFter I read your comment, I went and read Isaiah 43 (the whole chapter) which spoke so beautifully about restoration and deliverance (I do pray for my daughter to be delivered from the worldly attitudes and viewpoints she now maintains). I play to Expect, Hope, Watch and See what the Lord Can and Will do!! Thank you so much for the reminders and encouragement. Your story brings me hope!!

        Blessings and ((hugs)),
        Bev xx

  2. My husband of 13 years walked out in January. I am having a really hard time. There are many untold details, but suffice it to say that I can only walk one day at a time. I cannot manage beyond that and feel sometimes that I cannot get through the day.

    • Jennifer,
      I experienced the same abandonment.
      Cling to our Lord. Pray … find a Bible Study group… surround yourself with Faith filled women who help lift you up.
      God loves you and he knows your pain….
      Take it one day at time….sometimes it’s one hour at a time.
      I pray for your heart to be restored….
      I’m still walking in the pain… but I refuse to let my joy be taken away. God is in control
      God Bless you

      • Yes, sometimes it is hour by hour or moment by moment. The hardest part is trying not to believe the worst of my husband. I look back over the years and wonder if others saw what I refused to see. When I married Tim, I had been divorced for over 20 years and had waited on God’s best for me. Tim seemed to be just that. On January 1, after a Christmas trip to my daughter’s home in Destin, Florida, I went to a site where I feed a couple cats and dogs. When I returned, Tim was gone. Our Christmas holiday was great so I was really shocked. I feel as though I am in a nightmare and cannot wake up.

        • Jennifer,
          Our stories are similar. I too had waited a long time until I thought I had found Mr. right. Looking back now I too wondered the same thing …was I so delusional. I thought he would never betray me… didn’t think he was the type. I have been mortified to find out what type of person he has become. I don’t even see the same person I married.
          I have tried very hard to MoveOn and I have made great strides. Besides my Bible study, one of the biggest things that help with finding a therapist. Crying to my friends is great but then having that professional outlook is a good dose of medicine.
          But I still pray every day to our Lord “you said you would restore the restore twice what was lost and heal the brokenhearted”
          Keep believing in yourself and keep trusting the Lord

          • Amen! I have been seeing Brenda with Stephen’s ministry. I do not miss church, even though I have to force myself at times. I am a retired teacher but still teach parttime in a prison. Believe it or not, my job is what takes my mind off of the thoughts of Tim. I only teach three days a week, so the other four can be difficult. Honestly, I do not know where I would be without the Lord.

            Where did you find a therapist?

          • Ask around… or check on the internet…
            “Looking for therapists who specialize in…”
            Then check their reviews…
            Or ask at the church…
            Good luck…you’re already in good hands with God

    • I’m not grieving literal abandonment, for which I am truly grateful. BUT, I lost the closeness to my mother when she was wrestling with Parkinson’s Disease. Little by little, she lost more of herself…over a period of 20 years, she became a different, very sick woman. I was grieving for the her I knew & cherished all my life. Her death was many years ago, & I was able to grieve & move on. Now, I’m going through another type of abandonment. My husband had 2 episodes of cancer, for which he is now in remission, thank the Lord. But, after his last surgery, he developed what we thought was something called chemo-brain. It holds similar symptoms as dementia, but as far as I know, is temporary. That started around 5 years ago. Since then, over time, his memory & cognitive skills have deteriorated to a point where I’m constantly having to repeat myself, explain something over & over again, help him find things, comfort & encourage him when he is panicking or extremely sad. He is not the man I fell in love with & married. I’m losing him bit by bit. But, praise God, he is giving me a measure of peace & patience that I’ve never had before. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you hope & a future.” Jeremia 29:11. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior & my God” Psalm 42:11 Thank you, Lisa, for your sharing your circumstances & how God is giving you hope & joy.

  3. Lisa,

    I have had periods of time when my I thought I’d never see or feel true joy. Assisting in the care of my aging dad was hard. He had many health issues and I was on edge waiting for the next phone call. Like you said I clung to Jesus-even in my darkest days at the worst of his dementia. Restoration was given for a time. We were allowed to enjoy walks and He could take bus rides to see the lake. This year it all ended on March 15. That is ok. Joy has been given back. I know he is in Heaven with mom dancing around.

    Blessings 🙂

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, Beth. <3 There is a joy that come from knowing that our loves are living out pure joy in heaven. It makes heaven that much sweeter!

  4. Dear Lisa,

    Thank you for sharing your sorrows – and (esp.) your JOY! ‘Like apples of gold in settings of silver…’ are your heart felt words. God bless ya – and, yours’! I’m battling through a sort of funk, yet God surely has many loving sisters & brothers in our good Faith to encourage – I’m thankful… Soli Deo Gloria! My devotion time this morning yielded a reminder from our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus, to wit” “Do not be afraid — only believe”. That reassurance, with the Isaiah 41:10 promise — along with your encouraging words surely make my day… and will see me into the future. Yes, LOOKING for joy in all life throws at us – with our loving Father’s presence and help. ‘Joy comes in the morning…’ indeed!

    • I think you’re right, Bill, that we have to look for that joy — and sometimes fight the enemy for it. I cannot tell you how many mornings God buoyed my faith through His word just as you described.

  5. Lisa! This is my summer of the graduation, wedding, and grandbaby as well, and while my head spins, I’m thanking God for all the goodness. Thank you for the gift of Psalm 126 with it’s song of praise and it’s memory of longing and fulfillment!
    Blessings to you as we soldier through these crazy, delightful, chaotic, celebratory days!

  6. Lisa, you’re such an inspiration. Thank you for being so open with your story and for being a testament that — joy is a thing. Congrats on all the blessings of May in your household. ((xoxo))

  7. Throughout my married life, 43 years… husband and I would look forward to the next phase with anticipation. God’s path seemed so clear…..and then the unexpected would happen – just the usual pain and suffering of this life, but it would send us on a new and unknown course. Sometimes it was our sin, but most painful of all, was when it seemed to come from the sins of others, often fellow believers. And each time there were those days when I just couldn’t imagine there being any joy, of those days ending……yet Scripture is focused on JOY…..and his name is Jesus.
    And the changes continue- we’ve just sold a house, and are looking at retirement. 5 grown children, 14 grandchildren…..looking back at where we’ve been and wondering where we are going. Physical aging – pain and suffering- and emotional suffering – I’m showing the signs of my mom’s frightening mental illness in her last years……But God is faithful. He knows our end from our beginning. He has always been there, and always will be. No matter how dark the room appears, He is there. 1Peter 1:8 KJV -Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

    • “No matter how dark the room appears, He is there.” And that makes all the difference. Thank you for your testimony and wise words, Lee. Many blessings to you and your husband.

      • I am just reminded of something that Corrie ten Boom wrote. She said that it is dark when the train goes through a tunnel, but you do not get off the train because of the darkness. You trust the conductor. When it gets dark, I keep my trust firmly in Christ alone. Thanks to you, Lisa, and to all these others who have shared. We are, indeed, the body of Christ.

  8. Hugs to You, Lisa and congratulations!
    You’re faced the death of your Beloved Husband and the life you’ve shared together. Now, you’re watching new things being birthed with your Children.

    Thank you for deciding to share your heart with Us. I pray that God will continue to Bless You and keep You in this difficult and emotional time.

  9. Lisa, mercy, you are in for a lot of changes. But I love how God has taught you to embrace. Such wisdom. Your writing touches a deep place in my heart. Good stuff!

  10. Your post is timely for me. Thank you. Life has been so hard for so long, I find very little joy or happiness in life. I try, yet it seems just beyond reach. I truly don’t know how folks survive without faith. I know I wouldn’t want to try. God is so good and kind, and knowing that He truly cares is what keeps me going.
    Congratulations in this season of celebration of life and new beginnings! I pray you find deep joy and much happiness! ❤

    • Oh Brenda, there are days and seasons when we have to just cling to what we know and not what we feel. Praying for you right now to cling to God in these dark days, knowing that He who is faithful will do it.

  11. Lisa, this is a beautiful post. I could so relate to many parts of your story. Last year my husband had open heart surgery (he was 53) and I didn’t know if He would pull through. But praise God he did. And not only have we had the birth of our first grandchild this year but our son is graduating from college this month, getting married, and moving away for graduate school. In addition, our last child (a daughter) begins her senior year in the fall and will be going away to college. Along with the heartache and struggles, God brings blessing, joy, and new adventures, for sure. God is good! And God is faithful…

  12. Lisa, you are bringing me to tears right in the middle of a noisy Panera! What a beautiful testament to God’s faithfulness and your fierce perseverance. Many blessings to you and your dear ones during this busy season of change!

    • Lois, you are so faithful! And so encouraging. It feels good to feel good and to see fruit from days when it was all I could do to get feet on the floor and my Bible open. xoxo

  13. Lisa so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. I admire you for pressing through to want to live again and find true deep joy again. Blessings to you as you enter this time of transition with your family, graduation , wedding and a new grand baby sound like and exciting adventure even though it’s a lot of change.

  14. So glad for a God who restores. That journey can be wrought with wait and uncertainty, but all of it is in His able hands, nestled in His perfect timing. Thank you for you encouragement, Lisa. Thrilled to watch God unfold such beauty in your life!!

    • That’s it exactly, Tiffany! All in God’s “able hands, nestled in His perfect timing.” I’m getting this lesson down deep in my bones for the next wait and uncertainty. Love you, friend!

  15. Lisa, thank you for sharing your story. It has truly blessed me. I had a miscarriage about a month ago and still feel like I am living in a fog. It gives me hope that not only can I be happy again but that God truly delights in giving us abundant joy.

    • Michelle, I’m so sorry for your loss. Tears b/c that is so hard. I’m praying for you now that you will see Light in your fog as you heal.

  16. Lisa, every transition, every valley, every storm allows for mountaintop joy and the promise of the sun (and The Son) reflecting on the surface of future calm oceans.

    Your words are beautiful and I am so blessed and encouraged by them.
    I cannot wait to witness what our King has in store for you, your children, your precious new grandchild.

    Sending you love and peace!

  17. What a beautiful reminder shared at just the right time. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. May God bless you and your children with strength and joy. Sending love xoxo

  18. Beautiful, Lisa. You’re offering hope to this gal who’s only walking one of the same paths. Sending loads of hugs and prayers, my friend. xo

  19. Lisa,
    Thank-you for sharing your sad/joyful story. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband.

    Prayers to you and your family

    Have a blessed day,

  20. Thank you Lisa – your words are a sweet reminder for me to keep on keeping on. Sitting on a roller coaster of emotions is where I seem to be living these days – but unfortunately there’s not much true joy – everything is so hard for us. Thank you for this needed encouragement today. Blessings sweet friend!

  21. It’s a question some family and friends are asking. Thanks for taking it on. Thanks for being fierce in the grasping and the digging and that going after. For your sake. For those who need to know not to give up.

  22. There is strength in change and being able to handle diversity. You’ll get stronger and wiser and hopefully be able to pass on that wisdom to others. Dont give up.

  23. I love the hope you provide in this perspective, Lisa. We don’t have to settle for less in life, just because we’ve lost much. I, too, have experienced some deep losses and wondered if I would ever feel fully joyful again. But in time, God did restore my joy. Of course I still grieve the people that are no longer with me and I never “get over it”, but I know they would want me to be happy again as does God.

  24. Thank you so much for this post. What an encouragement that even through all the things you’ve been through, you have chosen to let God be your joy.