Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Return to Sender

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Author Biography

    Diane has worked in CBN's Prayer Center for over 20 years. She loves playing the piano and singing worship songs, shopping with her daughter and taking walks with her dog.

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Diane Stevenson - Prayer Center Chaplain/Recruiting Manager

Have you ever received a package that was sent to you in error? 

When that happens, we usually leave the post carrier a note that says, “return to sender.” There are several reasons a package can be returned to the sender; however, one common reason is that the receiver did not accept it.   

When I thought about the process of sending things back to the sender, I began looking at my life’s journey and reflecting on those times when I wanted desperately to put “return to sender” on the gifts and calling God had given me. Like the person who returns a package, I felt like the “Sender” must have made a mistake.  

For most of my childhood, I was a quiet and shy girl. As a teenager, I accepted Jesus Christ into my life and fell in love with sharing the word of God. My heart was overwhelmed that God chose to use me to teach and preach His Word.  

Initially, I was like Peter in the gospel of Mark, full of passion and faith to serve Jesus at all costs and to operate in my gifts. In Mark 14:29 (NIV), Peter said to Jesus, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” I had experienced the mighty hand of God in my life, and I was excited to share my experience with all that would listen and receive. There were powerful times of miracles, signs, and wonders.  

Through life’s journey, I experienced many challenging times that left me with battle scars and brokenness, and I eventually reverted to the quiet, shy girl of my yesteryears. I wanted to run and hide like Elijah did in 1 Kings chapter 19 and return my gifts and callings to the Sender. 

During those times, I had low self-esteem; I did not believe I was smart enough or good enough to carry out such an awesome plan of God. But one day, while reading the Bible, I came across the Scripture in Romans 11:29 (NKJV) that said, “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Irrevocable can be defined as final and not able to be changed, reversed, or recovered. God was not waiting for the gifts and calling to be returned. He had given them to me, and He had no intentions of changing His plan for my life. Instead, He was waiting to give me instructions and help me carry out His purpose and plan. After praying and praising God, I knew I was ready to walk in my calling and use my gifts again. But now I allow every scar to represent my victory and my testimony is of God’s love, grace, mercy, and faithfulness.   

Each of us has gifts and a calling that God wants us to use to bring Him glory and to be a blessing to others. We will have His presence, promise, and provision when we are faithful to His plan.

Your gifts and calling are not a mistake, and they are not to be hidden or discarded. I realized, and I pray you will, also, that “Return to Sender” is not an option.   


Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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