I have so many “you-think-you’ve-got-it-bad” moments but I honestly feel like I have been dealt a really, really hard hand in life at times. Some things I do to myself and some things are out of my control and just seem to happen to me (always at the worst of times). I have endured heartbreaking marital problems, the loss of a baby, my youngest child going blind from an adverse reaction to a vaccination, caring for my dying abusive father until he took his last breath in my house, caring for my dying grandmother who I know loved me yet always made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough for her, raising sons (which really is a super hard feat, just sayin’), teaching a severely dyslexic child to love reading and writing, tightening my child’s night splint leg braces as he cried and his legs seized with spasms, and enduring so much judgment and rejection in my role as pastor’s wife. There’s that word: enduring. I have endured. I have been strengthened through enduring.

Ezekiel 22:14 – Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong in the days that I will deal with you? I, the LORD, have spoken and will act.

Aside from praying and giving it all to God, the method that has helped me to put my anxieties and fears to rest is writing. This blog is my tool to put my experiences into perspective and to (hopefully) give you (my dear readers) hope and strength to endure the trials that have been foreordained for your lives.

John 20:31 …but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

When I was struggling in my marriage, I was told that one day I would help someone else who was going through the same thing. I am here today to tell you that if you’re struggling with trust and betrayal, there is hope.

Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

When I miscarried I felt so alone. My pain was met with responses like, “At least you have a girl and a boy already, some people can’t have kids,” or “Thankfully it happened at just 8 weeks along, I know people who’ve miscarried after 2o weeks.” I am not only here to validate your pain and the life of your unborn baby who now rests with Jesus but I am here to tell you that there is hope.

1 Corinthians 15:19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

When my daughter was three years old and laying in the pediatric ICU struggling to breathe, having seizures, and in a coma and doctors couldn’t assure us she’d make it through the night I am here to tell you that God is the giver of life and even when life does not continue in illness, there is hope.

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

When my daughter was four years old and we told her the lights were broken as she sat in her hospital bed for days without light perception because blindness had robbed her of her sight and she realized that she’d lost her vision I thought all hope was lost. She has spent weeks blinded by anti-MOG seven different times in her life since that first time. She and I have learned to read and write braille, we’ve learned how to learn without our sense of sight, and even so dear reader: there is hope.

Mark 10:52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.

When my father (who had verbally abused me all my life) needed my help and I had nothing left to give any human being on this planet, I mustered up what strength I had left and opened my home to his dying body. After just a few weeks he was gone and in that time of living under my roof, he gave his heart to God. Even in trauma and abuse: there is hope.

Titus 3:7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

When my grandmother called me seven or eight times a day because she was so lonely and only wanted me but my four kids were all under age 11 and my youngest was chronically ill, I went to her and loved her and gave her all I had to give. I cooked meals for her and cut her hair and shopped for her clothes. I did all this but never felt like it was enough. I disappointed her but even then- even when I didn’t measure up, there was hope. I learned how not to be someone’s savior. We have a God for that. There’s the hope.

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

When I was told by six master’s-degree-holding education professionals that my son would never read and write, when nothing seemed to be working for him I did not give up. There had to be hope. I studied and learned and studied some more. Alas, something clicked and he learned not only how to read but how to write. His passion for reading and writing warm my heart and remind me every day that there is hope.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

When my little boy begged and cried and begged again asking me not to put the braces on his legs at night because the spasms were unbearable, I gently massaged his calf muscles and assured him it was for the best. Would he walk normally? Would he ever live without pain? Yes. And now his body is strong and healthy. Get through the hard things, mamma. Be consistent. There is hope.

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

When I open my heart to women at church and call them “friend” and invite them into my home just to have them turn on my husband, the ministry, and me… there is hope. My hope is not found in my kids, my friends, my husband, my ministry, or my sanity. My hope is found in Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

And today, as keep pressing on under the weight of exhaustion I know that my inner self is being renewed day by day. I am being refined. I am being perfected. This is the hope.

Galatians 6:9 – And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

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