HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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In the face of fear …


fear

I’ve been away from my virtual journal here for the last several weeks; and I’ve been feeling it! I’ve searched for words and phrases to inspire the words to flow, but they would not come. Writer’s block? Nah.

FEAR … I’ve been literally battling fear; so when I saw Karen’s prompt on Tuesday I shrunk back in trepidation (nice 50¢ word for fear); alerting me to the fact that I was, once again, indulging in fear. And as you can see it took me three days to be able to get this moving ….

So here we are again … my Tuesday @ Ten post on Friday at 9:30. But … thank God that those words, so backed up in my heart, are now flowing; at least for today!

So … the thing about fear … it’s a liar. The biggest liar that you will ever encounter! The creativity of a fearful mind rivals the greatest story tellers of all time, in my humble opinion.

When in a full blown state of fear, the kind that comes with the unknowns of this life, the mind can conjure the ugliest, most desolate and crushing scenarios of ones imagination. And that’s the thing … it’s the imagination!

Don’t get me wrong, there are true tangibles in life that warrant a certain self preservation form of fear, but that is not what I am referring to here. I’m not talking about the fear that stems from wisdom; that fear is called caution. I’m not talking about the natural fear we have in reference to something that is dangerous; that fear is reverence ie: I fear the lion over there.

NO … I’m talking about the fear that stems from circumstances beyond our control; fear of the things of life and death …

Fear of the things and outcomes only God controls.

Can I play my broken record here? Just for the edification of those who might not read this blog regular.

What are Hopeannfaith’s fears?

Cancer. Addiction. Loneliness in Alone-ness. Deafening silence. Loss. There are so many, we all have a list!

This post is now being written through a lens of tears! I told you … I realized with the e-mail that announced this week’s prompt that I was in a state of fear, again!

Fear is a thief! It steals my hope, my faith and my peace. It robs me of God’s presence in my day to day.

It’s the constant whisper of dread to my heart’s ear and it convinces me to give up, slowly, without knowledge … I just give in and indulge like a glutton hosting her own pity party. Curling up into the outward silence of my own isolation; unknowingly, once again, seemingly protecting myself from harm, while dying slowly in the arms of the thief.

But God …

Yesterday Lysa Terkeurst posted this gem to her Facebook wall:

Soak in these words tonight before you go to bed:

– God is the solution for every single one of my troubles.
– God is within me and perfectly equips me to know what to do.
– God is with me therefore there is nothing I’ll face alone.
– Evidence of His constant work is all around me if only I will choose to see it.

And I did … I wrote it down and I brought it to bed and I chanted it a few times before I went to sleep.

A prayer.

One that was answered this morning … New Mercies!

To me, walking in fear is a sin … it quiets Holy Spirit in me; oh, I know He’s there and I am comforted in an odd way, while continuing not to trust … I can hear the dim, muted whisper but not make out His Words as He calls me back to Him. So then He yells … using Lysa, my friends, music, whatever He has to to pull me, one of His most stubborn girls, back from the pit. And I thank Him for His Awesome Faithfulness to me.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear … ~ 1 John 4:18

Fear is the opposite of faith … and when I am out of my faith walk I begin to wither and die; we all do, I believe. So I’d like right now to give you some of God’s Word to ward off the fears that you may encounter today. For me it’s called renewal of mind and spirit … putting God’s Words in place of my own thoughts. Maybe you know it as taking each thought captive. It is that and so much more …

God’s Word is Salvation! It rescues us from the pit of hell, which is a very real place and destination.

How do I conquer the fear? God, The Word, Worship …

Take Courage … take it today and indulge there, in God’s Word and promises.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can Man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

He left us peace. God’s peace vanquishes all fear!

Are you fearful today? If you are, I encourage you seek out God’s Word on the subject. Not the subject of your fear, rather the subject of fear itself … you see the subject or circumstance of the fear is not the point, the spirit of fear is the point. It is the spirit of fear that paralyses us, controls us and causes us to separate ourselves from God our salvation!

god-has-not-given-us-a-spirit-of-fear

As I pray fear away, I am praying that all fear be vanquished today. For you, for me, for all.

God bless and thanks, as always, for reading my dear faithful reading friends.

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It’s Not about Me {YOU} … It’s a God Thing


Forgiveness …. I have written MANY posts about forgiveness over the years {You can peruse that library of posts right here, if you’re bored!}. Much like you, and most people, I’ve forgiven MANY for MUCH. That’s the way life is.

But what about those people … those acts, that we cannot seem to forgive?

Is it in our nature to forgive? I don’t think so, not in our natural, carnal selves.

To err is human, to forgive divine. ~ Alexander Pope

Forgiveness is a Spiritual thing of healing.

Forgiveness is a God thing.

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake and remembers your sins no more.
 Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence. Isaiah 43:25-26

So if God blots out my transgressions (sins) and remembers them no more and offers to argue (discuss, workout) the matter with me; who am I not to forgive those who transgress against me?

Forgiveness is not about ME. It’s about God … It’s me being about the things of God.

Like I said: I forgave many for much; and when I say much I mean a tremendous amount of wrongs! And in this world, even in our families, today, tremendous wrongs are an everyday thing. We’ve fallen so far into the depravity of the world’s view that the “I’m not hurting anyone” mantra is rote.

Well un-forgiveness is painful! To ourselves and to the other parties involved.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

Forgiveness is a God thing. Good thing He made us all in his image, to be like Him and do His work in this earth.

Un-forgiveness is like a cancer, one we choose to cultivate! It doesn’t harm the un-forgiven party as much as it harms us, ourselves. It causes bitterness and resentment and eventually total distrust of all, if left unhindered.

So if forgiveness is such a hard thing; and yes a thing, in my studied layman’s opinion, that we are incapable of on our own, without God; how then do we do this thing?

For me it was a hailmary task. I had nothing left in me when I came searching for home … for God. I’d been physically, emotionally, verbally and sexually abused. I’d been abandoned by act and deed and choice and neglected due to illness and lack and simply lack of responsibility.

And finally … I had found refuge in the Hubs before he was the Hubs. I didn’t trust at first. I actually fought, inadvertently my own worst hit man. I undermined my own security and happiness for many years. That often being the result of those who endure much abuse and neglect over time; they grow to believe that this is their lot in life and that they somehow deserve the cards that were dealt, when in fact, they, themselves deal from the bottom of the deck they are holding. Essentially choosing their abusers, as a form of control , and controlling when and how the abuse occurs (this is a DEEP subject that needs a post of it’s own, someday). Anyway, this is how I dealt with life prior to the Hubs and my road to my Salvation!

My road! Ha! It was God’s road and His plan! Seriously (again, for another post).

So back to the path of forgiveness ….

It was only with God, on His terms and with my submission to the Word, that I was able to come to a place of forgiveness for the Many and Much. For the most part I’ve been successful … it’s been 13 years, this month!

I didn’t forsake the fellowship. I attended (attend) church and keep my mind renewed by staying in the Word and prayer and relationship with God.

To forgive is to set the prisoner free and discover that the prisoner is you. ~ Lewis B. Smedes

Let me say it this way …

My hailmary, as I walked down the aisle, to the altar one Wednesday night, to accept the grace of Jesus as my Lord and Savior, was to beseech God, for what I wasn’t sure, but somehow I knew this was where I had to be, to fix it all. The very next thing God began to work on (FOR YEARS) was my un-forgiveness! It really was the first (well after ridding me of my previous “religion”) thing that was tackled in my spiritual walk. And it remains an everyday discipline.

The Many and Much are not gone. They walk and talk and tap at my heart strings, trying to play their melody of anger and resentment from time to time.

But I am FREE. I set aside the echos of my past and turn to the Word and fellowship of my fellow believers and continue to move forward, “It’‍s the only direction God gave us.”Gabe in Wish I Was Here; and I forgive, again.

Forward

Abandonment is an issue these days. Being the wife of someone battling cancer you find that your family and friends are kind of afraid of you. Oh they ask after the Hubs and offer prayer and blessings. But rarely do they ask the wife how she is, afraid that they won’t know what to say. Their priority if they are believers is to concentrate their prayers on his healing (and oh, how thankful I am for that!) and if they aren’t, I hazard to think of the pity prayers they offer up!

And there is the cancer itself, that threatens everyday to leave me alone, my heart destitute of the only honest and true love for me that has existed in this world (aside from Father God’s, that is.).

So I wake each morning thanking God for the faith and hope that He has given me, it’s His really. I thank Him for the army of intercessors that have gathered around the Hubs and I soak in those healing prayers knowing that they are for me too, even if they are not offered to me, per se. …

And I forgive Me, for being human and angry and resentful, for shaking my fists at the circumstances of my wisp of a life, right here and right now.

Because when we realize that God has forgiven us our worst, hidden in that dark corner of our deepest crevasse of soul, sin and remembers it now more, though we keep it in the corner of that crevasse, we can then begin to forgive ourselves for those sins, not the least of which is a lifetime of resentful un-forgiveness. Only then are we able to realize we aren’t capable of forgiveness on our own, so I …

Repent and thank  God that He has created me in His image to be about the work of His kingdom and ask that He help me to forgive the new Many and Much and move forward on the path He would have me walk … today.

Today … I walk in faith, not looking to the right or to left, simply looking to God, and I walk in forgiveness. Tomorrow I will start again, because Jesus did …

 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28

Thanks for reading my faithful friends. Blessings to you all.

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Growing Mature in the Waiting


Five Minute Friday … All writing, no editing! Join our community over on Kate’s blog; where we share from the heart, throwing grammar and punctuation to the wind!

I’ve attempted this post three times in the past six days! The words come to me in God’s timing … and I wait on them before I venture forth. =)

Today’s (Friday, the 30th’s) Prompt is: Wait … Go!

There is a lot we wait for in our life times. We spend time waiting on line, on hold and on God. And there in lies the key.

Waiting on God and His perfect timing. For me this took much discipline over the years. I (we) want answers and guidance right now … but good comes to those who wait, and who wait on the Lord. Right? Do I hear your amen(s) echoing out there?

Lametations 3:20-26

My soul still remembers
And sinks within me.
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

Hope ... I will wait for Him.

Hope … I will wait for Him.

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.

There is much I (we) wait for here in Hutchland these days. The most pressing is healing and restoration! Cancer, Heart Issues, Obesity and Addictions; they all are what we are waiting for in all faith, trusting God at His Word. Knowing His promises are secure and our blessings are in the acknowledgement that healing and restoration was attained in our Salvation.

We have hope … in Jesus. Not the wishfullness that the  world sees as hope. Our hope is in the Lord and we will do all that we know to do. We are utilizing every option that God has presented to us in these life trials we are struggling with.

And then … We wait …

and … Be still [wait] , and know that He IS God; He will be exalted among the nations, He will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10

And in the wait, in the hope, in the clinging to God’s Faith, I find myself assured of the Answer. I find control of emotion and wisdom in the wait when I rely upon Him for the answers.

He, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit is also Answer.

So as I (we, YOU) wait, rely on God and His perfect timing. And when you wander from the line, losing your place, repeat this …

I trust YOU, Jesus. I will wait on YOU, God.

STOP.

Thanks for reading my friends! This has been a FMF post (finally!). God bless YOU!ASignature