• Today's Daily Devotion
A Baby So Longed For
Octavia Stephens, a young wife and mother, suffered much during the Civil War, yet she retained her faith in God.

A Baby So Longed For

Octavia Stephens, a young wife and mother, suffered much during the Civil War, yet she retained her faith in God.

Octavia Stephens in Her late Teens

P. K. Younge Library of Florida History

Near Thomasville—March 15, 1864 With a sad heart I begin another journal. On Sunday, February 28, dear Mother was taken with a congestive chill. On Friday, Mar. 4, Davis came with the news of the death of my dear, dear husband. He was killed in battle near Jacksonville on the first of March. Mother grew worse and on Sunday, Mar. 6th, she was taken from us between 12 and 1 O’clock. She passed quietly away, (Typhoid pneumonia). At 7 p.m. I gave birth to a dear little boy, which although three or four weeks before the time, the Lord still spared to me. Mother was buried on the 7th and Rosa was taken with fever, but recovered after two days … I have named my baby Winston, the sweet name of that dear lost one, my husband, almost my life.

God grant that his son, whom he longed for, but was not spared to see, may be like him. I now begin as it were a new life and I pray that the Lord will give me strength to bear up under this great affliction and with His help and the example of those two dear ones now with Him I may be enabled to do my duty in this life and be prepared when the Lord calls me to meet them in that better world, where there will be no parting and no more sorrow.

Thomas R. Fasulo made a touching observation. “We often think of the Civil War as having 622,000 soldiers killed in action dying of wounds or diseases. What we forget is that the casualties numbered in the tens of millions among civilians who suffered heartache.”

These have come so that your faithof greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by firemay be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1:7


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