This year has been one of those years where I have visited the funeral home far too many times and the newborn nursery not nearly enough. Listening to all of these eulogies got me to thinking, what do I want to be remembered for when I am gone? What do I want to leave behind? Words are the most powerful weapon any of us have. The words we speak to others, the words we speak to ourselves, have a long-lasting impact that will persist long after any physical injustices have healed. May our words leave this place a little better than we found it. May our words lead others back to the Light of the World.
There were days not too long ago when I felt hopeless. My heart and my life were broken and I felt no hope of ever being happy again. If any of you suffer from depression, then you understand this ache. On those dark days, you think ‘why bother’ or ‘why should I try?’ This is when we know the devil is lurking and must not give in to his lies.
Honestly, I hate writing about this. I would much prefer to talk about something I have already walked through and share how the Lord came through. I love those messages! But that is not this message. Because, let’s be honest, some of life’s messes take a long time to walk through. Sometimes God’s redemption seems a long way off. Sometimes we are hanging on by a thread.
This year I will celebrate a milestone. It is the longest time my husband and I have lived in any one location. 8 years and as I think about what it means to have a home and to be a part of a place, I keep coming back to the time I spent in 1 Peter.
In Job 2, we are introduced to a righteous man who has just lost everything, yet he still remains faithful to God. It is not until chapter 42 that his health and wealth are restored. Most of us are living a story much like Job, although maybe not quite to the same extreme–just trying to make it through from Job 2 to 42.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the middle. You know, the part of the story before the denouement–before the climax. Before all the plot lines come together and the connections become clear. It’s the part when the story gets messy. Even downright ugly. The part when the protagonist goes through a time of testing. She doesn’t know how it’s all going to play out, and she’s trying not to lose hope. It’s a time when things can feel awkward, uncomfortable, even scary and hopeless. It’s the middle.
“I was sitting in the gymnasium at my kids’ elementary school as 200 squirmy students sat on the floor, their teachers perched slightly above them on metal folding chairs. The atmosphere was charged with palpable energy, excitement, and anticipation.
They were all waiting for a guest performer to take the stage. The man was Red Grammer, a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and performer who the CBS Morning Show described as: “a superstar to the young and a hit with parents too!” And we were all about to find out why…”
Circumstances can pull us away from our once fierce hope in the Lord. We don’t know the whole story and must submit our “hoped for’s” to God’s plan. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel… Luke 24:21a, ESV The road to Emmaus…Cleopas, (and several scholars believe), his wife Mary, were… Continue reading Hoped: Past or Present, God Reveals and Restores
Anxiety is something many people deal with. When we are anxious it is important to bring it to God, and when those around us are struggling we need to come alongside them with kindness. I have dealt with anxiety for much of my life. It has been one of those issues that seems to ebb… Continue reading Anxious: Casting Our Worries on God to Allow His Kind Consolation
The feeling of being dirty can cause us to feel like we are in a sea of darkness. When we are in these times it is important to remember that light is never gone and hope can always be found. We must stand with women who have been through trauma and we must speak out… Continue reading Dirty: Bringing the Darkness of Trauma into the Light of Hope