Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This is a photo of my dear sweet friend Natalie Stephans ( shown on the left). She has been writing beautiful spiritual devotionals on my website for over 3 years. I received very sad news today that Natalie passed away. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer in October of this year.  She leaves behind a loving husband and two young teenage boys. Natalie was not only a dear friend but a spiriual guide.  She touched the life's of so many with her writings, grace and goodness.  She was a Godsend to me when I needed a shoulder. I will miss her deeply...

I want to share with you Natalie's last devotional...

Peace of Christ

By Natalie Stephans

 And the Peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7


Ever been through a really tough trial? Lost some one you loved very deeply? Most of us have experienced this heart breaking moment. If there ever was a time we needed our faith in Christ it is at that very moment. The Word promises us a peace in Christ. Not just any peace but a peace that surpasses all knowledge. A peace that comforts the soul and heals the heart like nothing this world could ever offer. This peace comes from Christ alone. 


Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27


What comfort our Savior offers us in these words do not be afraid your Jesus loves you very much. You only need to go to Him pour out our hearts and seek His peace and comfort. Our world today is not always stable. But all we have to do is keep our eyes on our true Prince of Peace.


...Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. Isaiah 57:19


In today’s busy world I hear less people offering to pray for one another but this is the day we must stand in the gap and pray for our family and friends. And how often do we try and find our peace in many worldly distractions? Peace is not there it never was there for us… look only to the One that loves you! Today make it the day that you become the face of Christ to others even the smallest gentle acts of kindness bring joy to a weary soul you would be amazed my friend what your encouragement will bring and how it will help heal your own heart!


Let me encourage you to look up these Verses Psalm 27:14, 2 Kings 6:16, Isaiah 40:29, and Psalm 42:11. They will soothe your weary heart and soul.


Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:18


Dear Heavenly Father..


You know each one of these ladies personally, you know their individual struggles and situations. God you care so much for each one of us that you sent your precious Son to die on the cross for our sins, You gave us a way into Your Arms eternally. Father strengthen their hearts and help them through their hardest trials. Your Word is there to encourage and give them hope we just have to read and believe those promises. I am agreeing with each lady in your perfect will today..that she will in fact receive help and strength for this very moment. The Word says all we have to do is ask and we shall receive. Matthew 7: 7-8. Thank you God You do hear our heart cries and prayers. You love your precious children very much Father thank you for your matchless love! ~Amen~ 


He loves you more then you could ever imagine dear friend! God bless and I will be praying for you.

  Natalie Stephens



debi said...

Jo-Anne, I'm so very sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend Natalie.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and her family.

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Dear Jo,
I am sorry for your loss and of Natalie's family's loss. What a beautiful, spiritual lady who lives on in many, many people's hearts.

Thank you for sharing her last devotional. That must bring you peace and it's certainly something for all of to take to heart and remember always.

My thoughts & prayers are with you, Jo-Anne.
Hugs (((Jo)))

Stacy's Shabby Shoppe said...

Jo ~ that is such sad news. I enjoyed reading her devotionals on your site. They were so beautiful. My thoughts are with you and with her family as well. ~Stacy~

A Romantic Porch said...

Jo-Ann, I am SO sad. And I am heartbroken for the loss you are feeling at this time. I always loved Natalie's devotional thoughts on your blog. She will be missed. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Rachel

Becky said...

Heaven is a richer place. She definately let her light shine and brought the Lord Glory with her life. What a wonderful example for all of us. May you find comfort JoAnne in knowing you will see her again. And may her words of encouragement whisper in your ears.
And if you need a shoulder...I am here for you.

ShabbyInTheCity said...

I'm so sad to hear this! I've read her devotionals on your site and loved them.

Tutti Chic said...

jo~I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear sweet friend natalie. Her family & yours are in my prayers. Her last devotional was beautiful & something you can reflect on time & time again. Peace to you during this trying time~xo Chris

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

Jo-Anne ~~
I am so sad to here of the loss of Natalie ~ I have loved to reading her devotionals ~ Her family will be in my thoughts and prayers ~ I am so glad to know though that she is in the arms of our loving Father ~

Diana Frisch said...

Natalie was a very dear friend of mine as well, Jo-Anne and I miss her dearly. She was my angel on earth, now she is my angel from above. She will light up heaven with her smile.
Natalie was big supporter of my jewelry making when I didn't believe in myself. She was right by my side whenever I doubted life or myself.
I loved her emails to teach us about tidying up our homes and her devotional.
God bless,

Sandra~Romantique Inspirations~ said...

Jo-Anne, You have really gone through alot this year. Keep up the strengh in the Lord. Hes the only one who can pull you through the difficult hardships in your life. I really am sorry to hear about Natalie's loss. I will say a special prayer for you!
God bless you, Sandy

Suzie said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend Natalie. I know how much her writing and thoughts touched you. It's been a tough year and let's hope for a better year in 2009.
Love you,

Enchanted Treasures said...

Jo~ It will do your heart good to be with your father. Sorry to hear of your friend's passing. My prayers are with you dear friend.
xo Roberta

Gina said...

I'm so sorry. My thoughts are with you and your friends family. Hugs, Gina

FrenchGardenHouse said...


I am so sorry to be so very late reading this. I still wanted to tell you how very sorry I am about your Natalie. Although we know she is with the Lord, I know you all will miss her terribly. Her devotions were such a blessing to read {and still will be}