Back in the beginning of January, after praying to the Holy Spirit, each member of my bible study group picked a word of the year and a saint for the year. My word is gift. I have been thinking a lot about it and recognize everything is a gift. Our sufferings, triumphs, and all that lies in between. Oftentimes it can be difficult to see hardships as gifts, and yet I have come to know that it is in the hard that the best gifts are given.

Last week a dear sister in Christ was wrongfully accused of something and is really suffering the consequences of something she proved she did not do. I do not have the answers, but I will share with you my response to her situation in hopes it may help another.


“I know you are no where near thinking this yet, but someday you will look back on this and realize it was a gift; perhaps in the most obscure way.

I believe it is a mini martyrdom. A walk with Jesus in the desert. Just you and Him. There will be hunger and thirst and pruning of the heart. Yet, on the other side of the desert is a beautiful valley, mountain range, ocean. It is whatever you make it be. So, use your walk in the desert wisely in order to find what is on the other side.

Many will be against you but know this: God is for you. He knows every hair on your head and knew your name before you were knitted in the womb. Do not ever forget your worth. You were created uniquely and beautifully and made for a purpose only you can fulfill.

Unite with Jesus on the Cross and offer your sufferings for the body of Christ and for those who will suffer after you.”


Like in the gospel reading today, God always provides what we need for our situation. We are called to trust and surrender. Decide what to do with the time He has given you. Choose wisely and recognize, it is all a gift.

[Readings: Gn 3:9-24; Mk 8:1-10]

Joanne Huestis-Dalrymple

Joanne Huestis-Dalrymple is a freelance writer residing in Wake Forest, NC. She is a wife and mother of eight, plus two in heaven. Joanne coaches the St. Thomas More Academy swim team and is a member of the school’s CrossFit team. Joanne has a devotion to our Blessed Mother and she enjoys reading, writing, gardening and going on adventures with her big family.


  1. Ellen S. on February 12, 2023 at 9:46 am

    These trials can be a purgation. If we respond by clinging to the cross keeping our eyes on Jesus, it can catapult us toward holiness. Ultimately our gift may be the crown of righteousness.

  2. Jerry DeMelo Jr on February 11, 2023 at 10:40 pm


  3. Ann on February 11, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Thank you Joanne for this message. ❤️

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