About the Author

Kristin Vanderlip is a contemplative soul, veteran military spouse, bereaved mom to her little girl in heaven, mom to two growing boys, and author of the Life Worth Living Journal. She writes to help women draw near to God and persevere in Hope. Kristin and her family currently call California’s...

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  1. Kristin,
    So many times when we are plagued with trials and struggles, well-meaning people will tell us to forget the past and concentrate on the future. I would beg to disagree. For me, looking over my past and seeing ALL the Ebenezers I’ve raised to God’s faithfulness reminds me of how God saw me through each and every dark time. It may have felt like He was a million miles away in the very crucible of it all, but hindsight gives me 20/20 vision to see that God knew what He was doing all along…to see that He could bring beauty from hopeless piles of ashes. Knowing that God has NEVER forsaken me and has always walked me THROUGH the valleys gives me hope, courage, and strength when I face yet another valley. May we never forget how God is faithful to us even if our faith in Him fails. Beautiful post and may God continue to touch the forever hurting place in your heart.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Hi Bev, I love your words – thank you for sharing them! And YES! Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past certainly helps us in our dark moments and is not the same as staying stuck in past pain. It’s very possible to live in the present moment while recalling God’s faithfulness and being expectant of Him in the future! Amen to your words. Blessings to you, Kristin

  2. Thank you Kristin …that is such a beautiful post. Last week at our weekly Bible study group we had a time of recalling God’s faithfulness and leading …as a few shared it felt so good. Now reading your story of pain & loss and God’s faithfulness as you recalled, seemed so good indeed . it is a post I will share with our group. Ebenezer was my dad’s middle name and ‘Thus far the Lord has helped me’ came to mind as i read your title. Thank you for the reminder that He never forgets and is true to His promises. ox
    love
    Sal (Sri Lanka)

    • Sal thank you for your comment! I would have loved to sit in on that Bible study with you. Thank you for sharing these words with your group. I hope it blesses them. And also, how incredible that your dad’s middle name was Ebenezer! Blessings to you, Kristin

  3. Thank you for this reminder. I remember all the good things God has done for me in the good times, but when times get difficult I am the first one to shout out, “God you have forsaken me!” I will begin today the practice of making Ebenezers as reminders.

    • Jennifer, Oh I am so similar – and aren’t we all? The practice of being intentional in recalling God’s faithfulness has been so helpful. What Ebenezers will you make for yourself? Stones? Journal? I’ve even seen people use beads! I’d love to hear what you decide to try. Blessings, Kristin

  4. Prone to wander and prone to forget–that’s me, and I’m grateful for your words today about the importance of taking that walk into our memories of much loved people and the times when God has come through for us in astonishing ways. May we never forget!

    • Oh me too Michele! Your words make me think of think of the song lyrics “Prone to wander Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love, Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it….” Thank you! Kristin

  5. Dear Sweet Kristin,
    Your devotional really spoke to me with remembering the past but I also have learned to remember it with thanksgiving to the Lord for all of the blessings He’s bestowed on me. I was raised in a Jewish home where we didn’t have the joy of the Lord. We’d have wonderful family gatherings but they didn’t include thanks to the Lord. As I became a Christian & married a wonderful Christian man I’ve learned over time to have joy even in the hard times. We lost 2 children before they were born & so many people in our lives didn’t know how to respond in a loving way. Amazing what people say not thinking of their own words. I really believe when you go thru trials you learn how to respond to people in a Godly, loving way. You were blessed with a little girl for a moment to have a few memories with her but someday you’ll be reunited with her & spend an eternity all together. Lord bless you as you travel with the military & make new friends, learn new areas & experience the country around us.
    Barbara

    • Barbara, thank you for sharing those sacred parts of your story here. I’m truly grateful for them. I’m so sorry for the losses of your children and can relate to the pain of others’ responses at times. It’s certainly an unexpected gift to learn what it is to mourn and comfort so we can then comfort others. Thank you for you reminders and kind words. Blessings, Kristin

  6. At this busy season when I get so overwhelmed by the pressures of society to accomplish the tasks that I am worst at, I need this Ebenezer! There are some very real hurts in my congregation, and your post takes me back to several weeks ago when I visited the gravesite of my mentor. God knows what is happening, and in His perfect timing, He will work all things out! May I never forget the example laid so sacrificially before me to walk in His paths.

    • Mary – YES! I am the first to admit that it can be easy to slip into forgetting about God (or just not pay attention / be mindful) when we become overcome with busyness. Reading of the pain within your congregation and the death of your mentor, my heart hurts with yours. I hope remembering the Lord’s faithfulness and goodness in those before you and in your own life help you to live expectantly in this season. Thank you for sharing this here. Blessings, Kristin

  7. Hi Bev, I love your words – thank you for sharing them! And YES! Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past certainly helps us in our dark moments and is not the same as staying stuck in past pain. It’s very possible to live in the present moment while recalling God’s faithfulness and being expectant of Him in the future! Amen to your words. Blessings to you, Kristin

  8. Your post touched my heart deeply.. THANKYOU .. May God continue to be your ‘stone of help’.
    I had underlined this verse years ago but now it means so much more.

  9. Yes, God’s faithfulness does not rely on our faithfulness to remember. That IS good news! Yet how much stronger our faith and richer our lives when we do intentionally remember who He is and all that He has done. Thank you for this wonderful post, Kristin. I’m so sorry for your deep losses, yet grateful for your willingness to share your story here at (in)courage.

  10. Kristen,

    We are so much like the Israelites. They often forgot what God had done for them. He parted the Red Sea so they crossed on dry ground, He gave them manna to eat, helped them defeat their enemies. Yet they were always forgetting. After crossing the Jordan they put up 12 memorial or Ebenezer stones to remind them of what God had done. We, too, need reminders of how faithful God has been in the past. How He walked us through the valley of the shadow of death. Keeping a journal is one good way to constantly remind yourself of His faithfulness. That way when trials come you can think back & know that He will see you through this one also. Remembering our loved ones, losses & God’s devotion to us & our well being is helpful in healing from the past & getting us through another trial.

    Blessings 🙂

  11. many hugs to you! i live everyday with the loss of my son too. Holidays are difficult but the Lord will help us through. Bless you xo

  12. Dear Kristen,
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Thank you for being real and transparent. Thank you for this wonderful reminder of all of the many, many times God has been faithful. Big hugs to you and yours. Love in Christ, Anita