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Ignite the Journey: Prayer

Join author Mendy Fedotowsky in the latest "Ignite the Journey" blog post series. Get ready to reflect on your own growth journey and gain insight on how to navigate obstacles, deepen your prayer life, and seize opportunities.

From Stranger to Beloved: My Story of Jesus’ Love 

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a dog in my life. They fit into my life so perfectly. Dogs love to go on hikes and love snuggles. They’re always excited to see me. Always up for an adventure. Dogs are quick to forgive, and they love unconditionally. 

It makes me wonder if it’s really a coincidence that God and dog have the same letters in their name. They share so many of the same characteristics. Although, to be honest, I haven’t always seen God as a source of unconditional love. 

When I first heard the Gospel message I was a teenager. The message came from my newly converted brother. He had been to the “mountaintop,” and he wanted to share the enlightenment he received: Jesus was going to return soon, and we all needed to repent or we would spend eternity in hell. 

Initially it was fear that brought me to Jesus. This was followed by guilt and shame at never feeling like I was enough. I didn’t pray enough, serve enough, love enough. 

Try as I could, I just didn’t live like Jesus. In fact, I actively hated my stepmother. The Bible says that if we say we love Jesus but hate our neighbor, we are liars. Now I had to add liar to the list of my inadequacies. It was just another message to my 15 year old self, that I wasn’t enough. 

This relationship with God seemed like it was leading me toward religious bondage instead of freedom. As I understood it, as long as I repented, I wasn’t going to hell. 

While I always knew that my place was with God, this just wasn’t a good look for me. I dressed the part. I was a prude. I was self-righteous and judgmental. Without wise counsel, I was floundering. 

Still, leave it to God to love me too much to leave me the way I was. The summer of my eighteenth birthday, a dream trip to study abroad was canceled, and I ended up spending the summer at home…and very alone – or so I thought. God had an amazing plan in store for me. 

God gave me one simple verse that completely changed my life. This verse changed my relationship with God, myself and others. It’s so simple, but so powerful that everyone should memorize it and you maybe already have. 

“Be still and know that I am God.”  (Psalms 46:10, NIV)

That’s it. Eight little words. I went to the Lord with them every day that summer. I simply sat with the Lord. And He began to pour out His unconditional love. 

In my soul, I received the redemption that had already been purchased and came to truly believe that nothing could separate me from the love of God. (Romans 8:38, NIV) NOTHING. Not my sin. Not my weaknesses. Not my inadequacies…NOTHING. 

This release and freedom was a very good look for me. It was as if chains had fallen from me. It was a freedom and joy I had never known. I was filled with love and purpose. 

God allowed me to have grace in my relationships. It filled me with a desire to please a loving God who abundantly loved me. It was a miracle. 

He’s doing it again. After 47 years, God is wooing me into His presence. A flame of rekindled love and faith is igniting within me. I’ve had my share of spiritual ups and downs. So I’m humbled and grateful to be falling in love all over again. 

Several factors contribute to this awakening: christian friends, good books and amazing teaching. But the most impactful has been daily devotions. One small act done consistently every day without fail. This time I spend with Jesus includes scripture reading, praise and gratitude, praying the scripture into my day, submitting any concerns and claiming His promises in my life. 

My dog Misha sits beside me while I’m having time with the Lord. It’s so easy to spend time with him. Sometimes I don’t even have to be doing anything with Misha to feel love and contentment. I imagine God calling me into that same kind of relationship, and I am at peace. 


A powerful image has been drawing me into God’s presence. There is a traditional greeting in New Zealand called “hongi.” The hongi is performed by two people pressing their foreheads and noses together. In the hongi, "breath of life" is exchanged in a symbolic show of unity. Through the exchange of this greeting, the two are blended to establish a connection.

I’ve been practicing “Divine Hongi.”  I enter my prayer time imagining my forehead pressed against God’s forehead, and my nose pressed to His nose. Then, with long breaths, I place myself in His loving presence and rest there. 

In this time, I sense God reminding me of His love for me and for the world. It gives me the grace to love even the most difficult people in my life. It helps me find God’s purpose in every situation, and it helps me to see the world the way He sees it.  

I invite you to try “Divine Hongi” in order to deepen your relationship with God. Spend some time breathing in God’s love and grace, and exhale those things that distract you from your relationship with God. God loves each of us and wants to be loved by us. I hope this practice draws you into a closer relationship with the Lord.


Lord, as I place my forehead to Your forehead, my nose to Your nose and breathe with Your breath, fill me with Your love. Align my heart with Yours. I pray that as I am being rooted and established in Your love, I may grasp how wide and long and high and deep that love is. To know this love surpasses my knowledge, and I am comforted to be filled with Your amazing fullness. Amen.

About Mendy Fedotowsky

My life follows a familiar storyline. Marriage, child, devastating divorce, remarriage and more children. During that journey, I found God, fell in love with God, left God and found Him again with a fresh hunger and thirst. 

In my life, I’ve been a product manager, a corporate trainer, a business owner, a mother, a wife, a volunteer and a friend. Today, I have landed in my sweet spot as the Director of Pastoral Counseling at SouthBrook Church. We train and equip volunteers to help hurting people find freedom from bondage, comfort in pain and joy in life. It is an honor to watch people find the courage to create lives they love. 


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