Posts Tagged ‘hope’

falling down a hole

Believe.  That word has been rattling around in my head for a month now, but I’ve been struggling to grasp it.

The insecurity of life became too much for me, and so I retreated into a corner, hugged my knees, and closed my eyes in an effort to provide a false sense of security.  That only lasted for so long, when I began to feel my body being moved and turned.  A breeze swept over me as I lost my equilibrium.  It felt as if a deep cavernous hole had opened up and I was spiraling downward towards the inevitable.  At first, I resisted, but then growing weary of the fight, I found solace in the darkness that was sure to come when I hit bottom.

Believe!  The soft spoken word pierced through the dark thoughts.  Believe what?  Believe that someday I’ll be able to wake up without fear gnawing at my heart and stomach?  Believe that I can someday accept who I really am – a daughter of God?  Believe that joy will come in the morning?  A spark of hope flickered and was instantly snuffed as I twisted and turned in my fall.

Believe! The word seemed to bounce off the jagged rocks that formed the deep pit.  “Believe what?”  My mind screamed in confusion and horror.

“Believe that I have called you.  Believe that you are mine.  Believe that I see you and won’t let you be harmed!  Believe that I love you!”  The unseen voice sounded desperate almost pleading.

“I want to, I really want to, I just don’t have the strength anymore.  All I see is darkness, and all I hear is the wind swirling around me, and all I feel is the weight of gravity pulling me down.”  I frantically rambled.

The tender voice responded, “Open your eyes and look up!”

“I’m too scared!” My voice squeaked out.

“Open your eyes!”

Ever so slowly, I pried open my eyes and looked up.  Instead of seeing pitch black darkness, I saw a handsomely rugged face peering anxiously down at me.  “You’re not falling, I’m carrying you!”

“But I…”

“You became scared of the world around you and you closed your eyes.  When I picked you up, you thought you were falling.  If you had opened your eyes, you would have seen that I am carrying you to safety.”  He gently explained.

“Believe,” I whispered.

“Yes, just believe and you will see the truth.”  My Abba hugged me close as I clung to him realizing that I had been safe in his arms all along.


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life is short coffee

One of the perks of being an admin. for a pastor is that I get to clean my boss’ coffee cup which I am staring at right now.   After many times of washing it, I have finally stopped to read the words on it:

Coffee Break, n. 1) a break from life for coffee, a pause, etc. 2) an oasis in a sea of insanity 3) five minutes alone 4) fifteen minutes with a friend 5) a moment < Starbucks

Something about this just struck me, I guess maybe it was the concept of time and how we all need more of it. What if we did get more time, what would we do with it?  Would we stop to have a cup of coffee, and I mean really enjoy it just for the heck of it, not a grab, run, go? Would we use the extra time to just sit with a friend and share life, or curl up with that book we swear we’re going to read someday, or maybe just do nothing but stare at the nature around us?  Somehow I doubt it, with the addition of more time we would add longer working hours in order to obtain financial stability so that way we could someday enjoy more time.  We humans don’t make sense.

This past week I’ve been listening (yes, listening) to the book, The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnston. In it he explains that one of the reasons people lose hope is because they are doing too much.  Hope gets lost in the busyness of life.  More people suffer from stress related illness than any other illness.  Do you feel like you lack hope in your life?  If so, reevaluate your priorities and give yourself that needed coffee break!  Who knows, that  brief oasis may just give you more time.

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?  Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. –  James 4:14 (NLT)


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Hope vs. Fantasy. Last week, I came to the place where I reevaluated my past and my present and decided that the hope I clung to was just fantasy.  For years, I kept clinging to the hope that circumstances would get better, that there was a purpose for me, and that God had a future in mind for me, but last week, I gave up.  I don’t know what brought this on, other than just discouragement.  My hope switch flipped to off.  I convinced myself that it was better to give up than to continue on in my “dream world”.  I didn’t realized that when hope disappears, it would create an empty void rather than bringing peace.

God knew I had hit rock bottom and as I shared last week, the very next day he shared a verse talking about hope. He continued with that conversation this weekend by placing several people in our path to help us take the next step toward the “fantasy” future, and then today a friend stopped by my work and left me an audio book to listen to on hope.  Once more, God was reassuring me that my needs were very real to him.

Which brings me to a question – all those years of dreaming of a future filled with purpose, was it really just fantasy or was it hope? I now believe it was hope, not something I made up.  And that hope was based upon Jesus and a belief that he has started a good work in me and will bring it to fruition (Philippians 1:6), and that his plans for me aren’t for failure but for success. (Jeremiah 29:11) Without hope, life became pointless, but with it, life is worth living once more.

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Christ is enough

“Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.” – Psalm 28:15 (NIV)

I wrote this verse in yesterday’s blog, Rattled Thoughts. I didn’t have to wait long for my Abba to give his input on my ramblings about hope.  Last night was church, but I decided to stay home due to sickness.  After my family left, I dragged my achy body into bed and turned some CCM on hoping to hear from God.  As I closed my eyes, the messages of surrender and Christ’s unfailing love swept over me.  I was reminded that Jesus is in my today and that He was enough for me!  Peace came.  Jesus showed me that when I can be content with him then that’s how this square peg can peacefully fit into a round hole.

This morning, I opened up my Living Word app to see what verse would pop up. When I read it, I knew that my yesterday’s ramblings were heard.  My Abba was answering – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Notice the word he used?  Hope! 

Yep! That’s my God!  No matter how I may question or dig my heels in, He always responds so lovingly and encouragingly!


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Hope. This is the word that my husband and I kept coming back to in our conversation yesterday.  By the end of the day, I was beyond discouraged, I was losing hope.  Several months ago, someone had shared a great encouragement with me about what I would someday do.  I hung it on my wall by my bed so that I would always remember, but yesterday, I snatched it off my wall and crumpled it up.  I no longer believed it.

My philosophy about faith (which I’m not sure is a good one anymore) was based upon a story I heard. It goes something like this:  two farmers prayed for rain.  One farmer went out and plowed his fields preparing for the rain.  Which farmer exhibited faith?  Of course, the answer is the farmer that plowed his fields.

Looking back on my life, it seems as if I’ve always been plowing my fields in anticipation of future “rain”. Even now with starting a non-profit, my mentality has been, while we are in the research/development stage, I need to get a master’s degree to prepare myself, or we need to do this and this and this and….all in preparation for the day we become supported and full-time.  But, I’m not sure this is quite the right mentality to have.  Forgive me.  This is a rambling blog in which I’m trying to figure out how I feel.  I gave up all hope yesterday.  Have you ever felt like you were stuck in a room with four walls with no means of escape, with hyper-active classical music blaring, and fingernails scraping against a chalk board?  You get the picture.  Hope of rescue may have sustained you for days, but it begins to die out as the weeks go by.

That’s pretty much where I was at. For a year, I’ve thrived on hope working towards a certain future, but when I look back, most of the fields I plowed in my life never received the anticipated rain (maybe it’s still coming).  My husband suggested that I was placing too much hope in an unsure future and not placing it here in the present.  “All we know is what God gives us today, so find peace in that, and let him guide you into the future.”  He advised.

But how do you find peace when you feel like a square peg fitting into a round hole? I guess it’s back to faith and hope – believing that God has you in a temporary situation to better you for the future, and that when the time is right, He will let you out of the 4 walled room with loud classical music and nails scraping on chalkboard.  Until then, I guess I’ll learn to focus on the hope of today – God, my family, and the relationships I have right now.

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” – Psalm 39:7 (NIV)

“Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.” – Psalm 28:15 (NIV)

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Thomas jumped out of the taxi before it came to a complete stop. Throwing the back door open, he reached in to help slowly ease a semi-conscious Adi out of the cab. Picking her up, he rushed through the sliding emergency room doors

“I need help here!” Thomas called out.

Immediately the receptionist phoned for a gurney to be brought to the front at once. A team of doctors and nurses rushed to the bed, surrounding Adi, while throwing out questions to Thomas. Thomas followed after them answering the questions as best he could. As the team whisked Adi through a set of double doors, Thomas was stopped short by a nurse.

“This is as far as you go. Please wait out in the lobby.”

Panicked, Thomas balked, “But I have to…”

“Go!” the nurse snapped.

Dejected, Thomas turned and slowly walked back to the waiting area. Michael stood there waiting for him.

“They’ve taken Adi behind some doors and they won’t let me in,” he fretted.

“Don’t worry, Thomas. She’ll be fine.”

Looking about, he noticed that Matthew wasn’t there. “Where’s Matthew? He said he’d be here!”

Michael slapped the despondent man on the back, “He’s here. He’s with her right now.”

“But how…”

“Thomas, no one can see him. Being able to go invisible has its perks, you know.” Michael attempted at some humor to cheer Thomas, but it was lost on him.

Looking perplexed, Thomas stared at Michael, “Michael, do others see you right now?”


Thomas’s eyes widened, “Then it looks as if I’m talking to myself?” he exclaimed.

Michael gave a light-hearted laugh, “Yes, it does, Thomas.”

“That’s not funny, Michael. Why is it that I can see you in human form and in angel form?”

“Because you are from Miskana, Thomas. Those who reside in Miskana see both

“Oh.” Thomas furrowed his brow and slumped into a seat.

Michael clapped him on the back, “I’m going to talk with the Ambassador. Just wait here for the doctor.”

…to be continued…

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Picture: NBC News Dallas Fort Worth

A continuation…

Thomas and Matthew sat in silence as the taxi cab passed into the rough neighborhoods of Soteria. Having the cabbie wait throughout the evening was the only thing that went right, but of course, the cabbie wouldn’t have missed being apart of this prestigious event no matter who his occupants were.

“Uh, sir, we just passed our motel.” Thomas pointed at the motel’s sign.

“We’re not going to our motel just yet.” Matthew quietly stated.

“Is this another ‘just wait and see, Thomas’?”

Matthew laughed. “Yes, Thomas, it is.”

Thomas sighed as he returned to his musings. A few minutes later, the cabbie pulled up to what appeared to be an abandoned house. Blankets and old newspapers covered the cracked windows. Steps up to the front porch were missing. Cardboard boxes, soda cans, cigarette butts, and other trash covered the floor of the sagging porch. Matthew and Thomas carefully picked their way through the overgrown grass and the trash finally arriving at the front door. After several persistent knocks, a deep voice bellowed, “Snake, get the door before I crack you one!”

Thomas looked apprehensively at Matthew, “Sir…”

Before he could express his complaint, the door slowly opened. All that could be seen through the small opening was a pair of vacant dark eyes. “What do ya want?”

“My name is Matthew and I am an ambassador from the kingdom of Miskana. I would like to speak with your boss, Rasha, isn’t it?”

The eyes continued to stare as in a daze. Thomas began to wonder if the man had heard Matthew hoping that the man would turn them away. With a delayed reaction, the man’s eyes widened and then disappeared from the doorway.

“Hey, Rasha, there’s two guys saying they’re ambassadors from…from…someplace. They want to talk to you.” Snake slurred.

“Ambassadors? Gimme a break! Can’t you do anything right, you worthless slime!” Rasha angrily stomped across the room to the door.

Another set of hostile eyes peered out the crack of the door. Thomas shifted uncomfortably in his dress shoes. At last the door was flung open revealing a short bulky man with a deep scar across his right cheek. Noticing the sharply dressed men that stood before him, the hostility in his eyes only deepened.

“Come in,” Rasha grunted.

As Thomas followed Matthew through the front door, he tried not to gag at the stench of urine and the sickly sweet smell of drugs. He tried to remain expressionless, but he had a difficult time not staring at the squalor that surrounded him. Men and young women layed about the room half dressed in a drug induced stupor. He struggled to fight the nausea that threatened to overwhelm him. Seeing the tenderness in Matthew’s eyes, gave him a new perspective on the pain that these people endured. The door slammed behind him causing him to jump. Snake was leaning on the wall next to the door trying to look alert.

“What’s your business with me?” Rasha’s hostile voice interrupted Thomas’ thoughts.

“My name is Matthew from the kingdom of Miskana. Have you heard of it?” Matthew asked brusquely.

Rasha snarled, “Of course, I’ve heard of it. So, how’s King Peneul?” bitter sarcasm laced his tone as he broke into a mocking chuckle.

Matthew ignored the mockery. “You are aware then that King Penuel has a son, Prince Joshua?”

“Ya, so what?”

“The King would like to make a match between the Prince and your daughter.” Matthew stated diplomatically.

This proclamation silenced Rasha. He stood there speechless, eyes wide with unbelief. At that moment the front door flew open, startling him. He stared at his wet shivering step-daughter. “Where’ve you been, girl?” He roared.

“Rasha, I got your money and…” Adi cut off short as she recognized the men in tuxedos standing next to her step-father. Self-consciously she touched the bruise on her cheek hoping that it was still concealed. Matthew frowned in concern as he noticed the gesture.

Immediately, Rasha calmed down. “Show me.” He commanded.

Embarrassed, Adi slowly reached under the bottom of her skirts and unpinned the brown leather pouch. Fearfully, she handed her step-father the bag forgetting about stowing away some money for herself. Rasha greedily grabbed the bag and emptied its contents.

“Eleven thousand! Well, girl, you saved yourself from a beating.” Then turning to Matthew he proudly announced, “Your Prince can’t marry my step-daughter. She’s too valuable to me. Who else would collect my money as well as her?”

Adi nervously fidgeted as she shyly looked up to Matthew, “Marry?”

Matthew kindly looked at her, “Yes, Rasha, your daughter is valuable, she’s a precious jewel.”

Rasha threw his head back and let out a cruel laugh, “Adi? A jewel? Ha! Your Prince would be in for quite a surprise! She’s no jewel, but if you really want her…”

“Yes, with..Adi is it?” Matthew looked inquiringly at the shaking girl. Without looking up, the girl nodded. Matthew continued, “With Adi’s consent the Prince would like to make her his bride.”

As in a daze, Adi stared at Thomas and then at Matthew, “Prince Joshua wants to marry me? But why?”

Before Matthew could answer, Rasha grabbed Adi’s arm and pulled her roughly to him. “NO! Adi will not marry your silly Prince Joshua!” He exploded.

“It’s Adi’s choice,” Matthew stated firmly staring at Rasha.

With a trembling voice, Adi began to respond, “I’d like…”

Just then the front door flew open…

…to be continued


To understand the ancient Jewish customs in which this story is based off of, watch this 1 minute video.

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