HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


3 Comments

I believe.


I’m in love with two songs these days: You Say and The Way, I’ll share the videos at the end.

It been an incredible 3 years. I don’t know how I got here, seriously. But here I am and I keep waking up and showing up. It’s hard most days, and I never know when a wave of sorrow will wash over me.

I spend much of my time alone these days and I’m slowly (tortious slow) getting used to it. So it’s either tv or crochet or… I do go to church on Sundays and to Bible study on Thursday’s…these are my social life. I go to the grocery store…this is my exercise and quiet time.

But lets – (STOP for FMF). get to the prompt. Loved and the two songs. They speak to how and who I am in Christ. Just a few weeks ago I said to my loved minister/mentor that I didn’t know if I was a mature Christian. She lovingly said that I was. Yet, sometimes I continue to question where I am in faith. Enter the songs that simplified that question.

Listening to the fairly new Lauren Daigle #LaurenDaigle song, You Say #YouSay the Holy Spirit rose within me and hugged me tightly as I listened, replayed, and gain as I soaked up the love of God. We make faith so hard, putting rules and measurements on faith when it is really quite simple.

The Word says that we ARE Loved. For the sake of time, I’ll give you these scriptures to look up…it’s always better to check the Bible yourself, especially for context.

  • Zephaniah 3:17
  • Romans 5:2-5 and 5:8

This line in Daigle’s song tears me up, to actual crying:

”You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing”

She ends of this chorus with, ”I believe… I believe what you say of me.”

You Say -Lauren Daigle

The Word tells us simply…We must believe. Believe in what Christ Jesus did for us on the cross. Jesus, The Word, is alive and we must believe this with/in faith.

I believe I am loved when I literally (still at times) don’t feel a thing.

The song #TheWay by #Housefires clears up faith for us, quite simply. The lyrics are right out of scripture, specifically John 14:6.

I have a pet peeve, while I believe we are still living in the concept of the Book of Acts, I wonder often while others think they need books outside of the Bible to know God and His plans. I’m huge on ”go to the source”. The Bible is clear and simple, though I also firmly believe one needs Bible Truth teaching church and like-minded fellowship, regularly.

Housefire’s is directly from God’s Word and it truly is Alive.

Again we are taught to believe, by faith that God is. Throughout the some are the lines, punctuated as complete.

”I believe” and ”I believe You are ”. Simple.

The Scriptures again are lovingly stitched into the entire song. I Loved this song immediately and again I play it repeatedly.

So as I join you I encourage us to seek God’s Word only through His Word, the Bible. Go to the source. And as we begin to believe more our faith grows much more.

We begin to believe we are Loved, unconditionally, no matter our circumstances.

The Way – Housefires

I pray this blessed you, my dear readers. As always, thank you for stopping by.

 


2 Comments

doing life tired …


go …

question: how are you? what is the correct answer? the truth? a convenient lie? silence?

do people really want me to tell them how i really am? or just return the platitude?

wladyslaw-slewinski-sleeping-woman-with-a-cat-ca-1896-1342824718_b

Sleeping woman with a cat Wladyslaw Slewinski (ca. 1896)

Lord, i am so tired.

i don’t say that as exasperation to our society’s platitudes. their desire to connect but leave the door open so they cut an run at a moments notice.

i feel like being my friend has become inconvenient for people. i’m one of those transparent, honest kind of people. my friends, yes, i really do have great friends. more than most, i have to admit; i am blessed in that area. so my friends know i’m going to tell them the truth if they ask how i am. and some still ask. others … not so much.

so what’s the answer? my answer is i’m not okay and i’m so very tired.

i function now. for goodness sake, Don has [only] been gone [just a short] three years; and my boy, my Shane, [only] a year and a half.

it’s exhausting keeping up with the inconvenience of my life. to function;  when it means getting out of bed showering and getting dressed. this level of functioning can knock me out with fatigue. i simply cannot explain the fatigue from functioning in a normal human’s day.

it’s complicated, grief driven fatigue. it’s apparently ptsd, too. i don’t know about that diagnosis though. i’m a God believing, born again, Christian who believes healing is for us, for today.

stop …

but wait … there’s more.

so i fane function. i work from home so i can cheat, but most days, after waking from 8 to 9 hours of sleep, as tired as i was when i fell  asleep the night before and get dressed. most days i force myself to do the housework, the office work and those day to day things we all do. when the day meets evening i am in physical pain and tired, bone tired.

and forgive me as  i say … i’m tired of being tired.

i want to engage in my gifts and callings regularly, but i cannot seem to motivate. plus they still bring sadness. Don bought my camera as a Christmas surprise because i love[d] photography, and he loved my photography,  i’m good … well i’m good when my subject is in natural light and stays where i {or God} put them … like flowers and the sky.

and this, my writing. he loved my writing and encouraged me. always and in all things.

so when I do these things [there are still pictures in my camera from a trip i took to Montana last july], i get sad, and a sense of tired discouragement comes over me, and i tend to stop.

honestly, these are supposed to be cathartic activities, they should soothe and help with the healing. but that’s just it …

one does not heal from the loss of chunks of the heart.

think about this [this thought makes my just ache with fatigue] … think about never seeing them again, never hearing their voices or feeling their touch. think about not being able to talk with someone you spoke with every day for thirty years [29 for my boy, but hey], or laughing with them … {i miss the sound of Don’s laughter the most. we laughed everyday for over thirty years.} think about having to jolt yourself to a stop because you step into a room and say their name to tell them something and in that next second of silence remember they are never coming home.

those thoughts would make anyone tired.

so the honest answer to “how are you?”?  i’m tired and i’m not okay … today.

fortunately, i can finally say … ‘today’ at the end of that sentence, sometimes … today. but there are still those “not today” days.

please do me a favor … if someone you know has lost a loved one; a husband, a child…[the absolutely most painful of all deaths, hands down], a parent, even a pet …

don’t ask them how they are. ask them to coffee or lunch even. ask if there’s something you do for them today.

or even better, just say hi! it’s nice to see you.

trust me it will make them feel alive and present. they will remember you were kind, and a true friend when their life was in utter tatters. just saying hi, will make them feel rested because someone had treated them normally and they didn’t have to remember to lie or try to stop the burst of tears, because they just can’t stop the tears when they think about “how” they are.

thanks for reading these musings of a tired widowed mother of the … son who died.

Love A signature 5minFrihttp://fiveminutefriday.com/linkup/
.


2 Comments

that your love may abound more …


More …

Joining in with the FMF group (on Monday), a weekly writing prompt exercise where the writer (me and you), settle in and write freely with NO rules. Just write, no corrections, no worry, no comparing our talents to the other writers. Just writing for writing’s sake. Check it our HERE.

“that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,” Philippians 9:9-10

Have you found that we often feel and actually … “there has to be more …”? Satisfaction is often our focus. We desire more. We need more. Look at any area of your life and I’ll bet that you can find at least one “more” question there. Sad.

I have experienced a tremendous amount of loss in the last two years and when I briefly raise my head out of the grief I seek only one thing more … God’s face. I must. After losing so much I’ve lost one’s focus changes drastically, and I am blessed with a faith so strong it conquered death.

STOP

There was nothing more that could have kept me breathing. Things and people no longer what I seek. When I seek more and more of God. When I purposefully seek to deepen my relationship with God more I am able to trust His plan for my part and purpose in this life.

Though my blessings and His promises will be more in heaven. I have much more to do here.

Though the prompt this week was MORE … when we seek more we must first fix our focus ….

So I seek … More of Him.

“… One final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

If you knew how focused God is on you … you’d be amazed and you’d never fear again! If you knew for certain would you focus on Him?

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands. Psalm 138:8

Thanks for stopping by. I encourage you to read more from our FMF community, you won’t regret it!2Andrea


4 Comments

I just let go …


I just let go …

Surrendered again this morning …

I feel raw – fully awake and enduring the pain. I’m a mess. I don’t care about anything right now – just going through the motions of life – work and all the trappings of this life – simply so no one actually sees the brokenness.

Nothing else to lose is how I feel. But even now I realize I thought that 6 months ago as I was rounding 18 months without my husband and my boy went home to the Lord by his own hand …

I surrender now. Each.Day.Anew.

Today seems to be killing me … 2 days to 2 years living this life without my marriage. 2 years without hearing his voice, seeing his eyes laugh at me. I can hardly believe … 2 years!

So I went to YouTube to my praise and worship playlist and did my office work for the day.

I find myself singing the words through the tears … those tears I know God collects for me.

sing

STOP

You see it’s easy to sing and praise the Lord when life is all sun shine and rainbows.

Not so much those gloomy and dark days when the sun doesn’t break through the mist of rain drops and wind.

When life is just proving to me that there will always be days that the memories or the aloneness will bring my heart to a stop. When I realize I’m not breathing, let alone moving. Stuck.

It’s been a hard week. I swear my body knows how close the pain is before I begin to feel it’s aching on the edges of my soul. It gets harder as the day gets closer …

Grief knows the date …

Grief stretches into years. We don’t move on … we don’t let go … we simply move forward and learn to live with the pain.

God I need you now … trusting you on this path I didn’t plan.

I thank God that I am in a place in my faith that I can wake each morning and praise Him through the deep ache of loss. That I can sing through the tears, worshiping His faithfulness.

It is well with my soul. 2Andrea


9 Comments

Embracing the Simple Life


fullsizeoutput_7e3

I’ve decided to be the authentic me. I’m weary from grieving my husband and son. I’m weary of being who others want me to be.

I’m even working slowly returning to my authentic hair color! Pulling out the red and looking for the gray.

I realize I cannot be who others want me to be, because the events of my life have me in a place of transition. I cannot make it faster. I cannot slow it down. And I certainly cannot go back. Oh, if  I could but go back . But that’s a fairytale and this is my real life.

I’m weary.

And when I think about finally embracing the authentic me, the honest and simple me, I feel peaceful. I feel like God, Himself is embracing me – the real me, the daughter He created.

My life has been utterly shattered. My little family literally cut in half in a year and a half’s time. Yet, here I stand.

Unashamed that I haven’t showered today. Okay with the fact that I was honestly relieved when our church’s game night was cancelled, so that I can remain home and embrace the solitude. Finally content to be me, finding who I am while gently shedding the mother and wife.

I am okay to stop the constant need to improve, strive and acquire. I won’t compete and grasp for those things that I don’t even really desire anymore. I don’t believe that their must be pain to gain – acquire – acceptance in this life. God said to be still. He said He would fight for me and I could keep my peace. (Ex.14:14).

This is my life. I desire humble (simple) and safe. Quiet but not necessarily alone. My husband and I did quiet together, he was a soft spoken, intelligent man. I desire to enter into that safe quiet and embrace the humbleness of solitude.

The Word says: Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). Be still in this verse literally means: desist, cease your efforts. This is Jehovah Rāpha – The Lord your healer urging you to allow Him to be my focus, my exaltation of Him in my life. This exaltation of God heals us. It’s His child reaching for her father in her weariness.

STOP – Five Minute Friday   

 

I desire to be still. To not rush to those decisions that exalt themselves above my peace. The peace that God promises me in His Word. To not worry about cleaning my house, because everything/one tells me it must be “clean”; that my comfortable clutter and the dishes on my counter make me less than … I’m okay with my way of just maintaining the order of my house right now.

I desire a whole and healthy body, spirit and soul. And that means slowing down. Being still. Allowing God to order my life. Embracing who I really am. Passed the widow, the wife without a purpose. The mom, the mother without a child to care for. The “whoever” others expect me to be, when I just want to be me.

I’m embracing the peace of God.  It’s where I want to spend time getting centered and balanced in this 52 year old broken woman. The authentic me.

Thank you for taking the time to read my musings.

2Andrea


Leave a comment

Pain.


Have you ever experienced emotional or spiritual pain so devastating that you simply didn’t believe you could survive it?

I completely understand.

I’ve read several articles and blogs that say  essentially (paraphrased and combined) that pain is a gift [from God] that motivates. This is not biblical and it frustrates me.

The Bible says that every GOOD and Perfect thing is from God. This implies that bad and flawed things are not from God.

James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Pain is neither good, or is it perfect.

Pain is NOT from God, though he will use it to push us forward. It is not the pain that motivates us, it is our level of faith and trust in God that motivates us toward Him and forward in our lives on His strength.

There was another concept that I read … “The pain is in the healing”. I thought this to be unbiblical also, but when researched it became clear, expanding an understanding I already held.

God doesn’t cause the pain. However, He advises us not to be surprised by what comes against us in this world we currently reside in.

And pain definitely comes against us in this world, in many different forms. Pain can also mark us, for the good or the bad. I am not simply referring to our outward appearances but more importantly who we are at our very core. Who God created us to be.

It changes us, pain does …

there are

So He uses the pain to motivate us. However, again, it’s not to persevere or endure alone, or with out earthly companions. It is to motivate us to press into Him.

Many in the bible cried out to God for relief of pain, or to ask God why; David, Job, and even the tenacious Jeremiah. Pain was bore by Adam and Eve; in the fall. Sin brings in the pain. I recently ministered to my sister saying that sin allows painful things to occur. In our bodies, our minds and even our spirits.

Pain within our physical [body], mental or emotions [our mind/soul realm] is subject to the consequence of sin in and around our lives. That’s why Peter and Paul advise us not to feel that these things are strange. It’s a product of earthly living.

Our Spirit on the other hand is experiences pain when our body and mind take us away from God. Whether from the intensity, or the frustration, or simply weariness we forget and function within our own abilities and outside of God. And sometimes we weary because the pain continues even as we press into God.

But as Peter and Paul and God have encouraged, be courageous, do not weary, do not fear .. God is with you in the midst of your most terrible pain.

I am currently experiencing devastation within my emotions. I recently lost my beloveds; my husband and youngest son. They passed within 16 months of one another. There are day when I cry out in agony. Mornings when I hear myself refusing to be awake, loathing the thought of the pain the day would hold.

It is a constant ache that rises in unannounced waves. No rhyme or reason, just a thought or a scent, a movie scene or the scene of a happy couple or parent and child. I feel pain intermingled with jealousy when I attend family or church events. It’s terrible to feel all that knowing that bitterness and contempt are attempting to take over.

I trust in God. I have faith in God. I have the knowledge of where my beloveds are. The knowledge that God holds my every tear as He comforts me. I feel like I am fighting a never ending battle, but know in my heart that God is the one fighting and that I am simply enduring the pain and pressing into Him.

I’ve been mourning for just short of two years now. A compounded grief multiplied by both losses.

Yet …

I rise each day and move forward.

I minister to others.

I nourish entire self with God’s Word.

I sit under His annointing.

I persevere while resting beneath His wings.

I know your pain today. Grief is grief and mourning is mourning … no one’s is more than another because grief is bore out of love. We mourn only that which we cherish. Even bodily pain can be known by each of us; no one more than the other.

These are not competitions. These are our lives giving us decisions to make, sometimes in the blink of an eye, changing us deeply, marking us for eternity.

What is your pain today? How can I pray for you?

I encourage you to seek God. Cry out to Him. I can confidently promise you that even before that seeking, that cry, His full attention is on you. Desiring nothing more than to strengthen and heal you while you rest beneath His wings.

My prayers are with you today. The prayers help me to heal too. God bless. 2Andrea

 


4 Comments

Comforted


donot-be-afraid

 

In vv. 17 & 18 of Revelation 1 Jesus comforts John, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and life.

You see John was completely overwhelmed with the situation he was in at the time – actually floored by the amazement of being in Jesus’ presence. And Jesus, having not changed, comforted John with the information/reminder that He, Jesus, was much bigger than the situation. That He was Omnipotent, that He had conquered death and now possessed the keys of death and life. Therefore John had no reason to fear because Jesus was in control and all things would be alright.
I know, for me, my situation these days can be completely overwhelming. All to often bringing me to my knees. Like John in the beginning of Revelation I often fall at Jesus’ feet as though dead. But as I remain in His Word He continually reminds me who He is in my life and comforts me with “Do not be afraid …”.

** For my dear readers who may still be looking to read, I’ve been gone for a LONG time. I tried to write after my husband passed, and succeeded a few times here and on A Widow’s Journey, however I was not able to sustain it. And then, after believing that no thing in the world could ever be worse than my husband battling and losing to cancer, I found that I was correct about the only thing I thought might top the level of sorrow I was experiencing, the loss of a child.

My youngest boy (man) lost his battle with heroin October of ’16 and I was slammed to my knees with the most devastating sorrow one could experience.

So I’ve been learning to breathe again. Learning to rise above the ever present grieving and live.

So here I am. I believe it’s time to write.

What has you on your knees today? Have you thought about How big God is? Have you remembered today that this is His plan and He won’t let it fail you? Have you looked up for help?

I encourage you today to open your Bible and get to know your Heavenly Father. I know that all my study of just the 1 chapter of Revelation brought me fresh understanding of just What and Who Jesus is to me … and who I am to Him. It’s comforting.

ASignature