Melissa McLaughlin grew up in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. Her caring, Christian parents provided a childhood wrapped in a blanket of love. By the grace of God, she gave her life to Jesus around the age of twelve.

Melissa was the famous “middle child.” Always looking up to her big brother, she wanted to copy his strengths and endeavors as he was a great role model. Melissa’s younger brother is special. Special needs, that is, and his disability had a profound engraving process on her heart. Melissa’s younger brother is loving and kind. He enjoys music, trains, and walks. However, life is not easy for him, as he is developmentally delayed and autistic. His unique approach to life helped Melissa develop greater empathy, understanding, and patience for someone who may be struggling with a disabling condition. He is an inspiration to Melissa and her family.

Marriage, Family, and Career

When Melissa met her husband, artist and teacher, Tom McLaughlin, they were blessed to view marriage as an extension of Christ’s love in their lives. With joy, they welcomed three children into their family, and how they still treasure those gifts from God above!

From an early age, Melissa always wanted to be a teacher. She graduated from Eastern University in St. Davids, PA with a dual major in Elementary and Special Education. Melissa earned her Masters Degree as a Reading Specialist from Temple University in Philadelphia. These degrees and multiple certifications were put to good use. Over the years, Melissa’s teaching career included: teacher in regular elementary education (K,1,3,4,5), special education (K-5), reading specialist (K-5), at-risk program facilitator (K-5), Inclusion facilitator (K-8), homebound instructor (middle school), tutor (all ages, all subjects, you name it!), not to mention Sunday School teacher and VBS teacher at church. For Melissa, there is no joy greater than seeing a student learn something new and be filled with the desire to learn something new again tomorrow!

An Unexpected Twist

However, this dream-come-true career took a turn for the worse when Melissa’s lifelong health issues overshadowed everything. At age 50, while she had many wonderful years of teaching under her belt and many more still to come, Melissa’s ongoing back problems became completely debilitating. Melissa underwent back surgery years prior, but suddenly, despite medication and treatments, she could no longer sit, drive, carry a teacher’s manual, bend over student desks, or get through the day without searing pain. Though crushing to her spirit, Melissa accepted she could no longer teach. Consequently, she took an unwanted, unexpected, unplanned early retirement.

To give up her hard-fought, hard-won, beloved teaching job was heartbreaking for Melissa. She was shaken to the core. In addition, she had no idea where her physical condition would leave her, as the intense levels of chronic pain multiplied the despair she felt. Though Melissa was supported by her husband, family, and church, the future appeared dim. Praise God, after many months of ongoing treatment and lifestyle changes, Melissa’s pain, though still chronic, was at a less debilitating level. However, with the physical limitations still a requirement for her adapted lifestyle, teaching was out of the question.

Being a teacher was how Melissa viewed herself, the role she had always longed for and cherished. Now that was gone. Melissa grappled with her faith and feelings. God, what are you doing? Why have you allowed this? You are the Creator. You can do anything. Why won’t you heal me? As the days trudged by, the cries and sighs she poured out to God seemed empty and at times there were only tears, no words. Melissa began reading the Bible for hours at a time, collecting verses that filled her mind with hope and refocused her eyes on Jesus. Very slowly, the Bible verses became interwoven into Melissa’s thoughts and the Bible itself became her prayer.

God Used it For Good

Melissa’s heart and mind grew deeply through this process. As the sorrow in her heart began to subside with daily Bible-based prayers, she realized this prayer process might be a lifeline for someone else whose life had taken an unwanted and painful twist. With the support and encouragement of loved ones and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Melissa eventually put that pain-driven, Bible-based prayer process into words and completed her first book:

In Dark of Night When Words Fail
Voice of Jesus Pray For Me


Available on Amazon – In Dark of Night When Words Fail Voice of Jesus Pray For Me

What God is Doing Now

Melissa considers this blog one part of a grand, God-led continuation and blossoming of that whole painful but more importantly, fruitful process. Looking back, she can see the greater good of God’s plan. He has moved Melissa into a new role, perfectly intertwining her faith, writing, and teaching. The lessons learned from her teaching experiences can now be applied to her writing. In God’s economy, nothing goes to waste. She still uses words to teach and learn, but now her words are from the Bible. She still connects with people who desire to learn and grow, only in this setting we make up a classroom of Jesus’ students, helping each other make the most of each day as we run toward a prize that’s even better than recess, Jesus Christ Himself!

Melissa McLaughlin continues to be a student of God’s Word and by His grace has earned a Certificate in Foundations of Biblical Studies from Biblical Training, an online Bible training website with classes taught by seminary professors. The founder and president of Biblical Training is Dr. Bill Mounce.

The devotionals, prayers, and poems written on this blog are the result of ongoing daily Bible reading, prayer, singing to the Lord, and inviting the infusion of the Holy Spirit into every syllable, space, and utterance. Melissa prays that these words will help you see, know, and love Jesus more. She is convinced He can provide you with the comfort, faith, hope, and strength that He gave to her, even if you are facing the darkest of times. Join Melissa here and together we will taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8


Thank You

Melissa would like to extend heartfelt appreciation to:

Christian Speaker and Author Julie Dibble, gently and repeatedly invited me to start a blog. Julie has a powerful blog herself, Julie Dibble as well as a poetry blog Faith Hope and Poetry which will stir the fires of your faith.

Christian author and dear friend, Dr. Louima Lilite, of Oklahoma Baptist University, provided Godly encouragement and graciously wrote the foreword of my book capturing the essence of my work. Dr. Lilite has published two books titled, Weeding Impatience and When Music Meets Faith. In addition to his work at the university and writing, Dr. Lilite hosts a Christian teaching blog, Choose Freedom. To purchase his books on Amazon click here: Weeding Impatience and When Music Meets Faith.

Ministers Donald and Precious Graham of Promise and Destiny Ministries provided wise publishing counsel. Follow this link to read Minister Donald E. Graham, Jr.’s blog. They have published inspiring books, along with preaching, teaching, and leading seminars on many Christian life and growth topics. Their book titles include: Loving Her Means Loving Him, Navigating Your Seasons of Change, and The 4 P’s of Marriage. Click here to purchase their books or to receive a blessing from their teaching videos and other life-giving ministries: Promise and Destiny Ministries.

Finally, Melissa wants to thank Jesus, the One who loves her like no other.