HOPE*ann*FAITH

Living and Writing on Purpose: God * Life * Love * Realtionships * The Important Things.


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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

 


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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.

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When you pass through the waters …


“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,” Isaiah 43:1b-3a

Go!

Me ... Prayer I have to admit I’ve already written a FMF post … but I have a lot within me to share, to purge. I haven’t written here in nearly three months. I’ve been spending more time on my other blog ~ A Widow’s Journal.

Today, though, after I wrote the first post over on Widow’s Journal, I began reading other writer’s posts, as is the deal. And one this one: Maybe You Should Pass, spoke to me on two levels. One was the story of the grandmother teaching her grandchildren the game of Rook; my grandmother’s game was Scrabble! 🙂 The other was the scripture above. So this second post feels like a cheat! :/

Specifically these verses:

You are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,

This last year I have passed through an ocean of tears. And even as I felt I was drowning I knew God was with me, so I continued to pray. They did not overflow me.

As I walked through the fire of deepest grief and felt as if I would shrivel to dust at my driest, I continued to pray. I was not burned. No flame scorched me.

Grief changes a person. Particularly the widow/er. Our lives crumble at our feet in the blink of an eye. One second Our Love is there and the next they are gone. But God ….

He remains… For I am His and He is the Lord my God.

STOP!

Thanks for indulging this second post. God bless you.

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New Depths


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

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

 

February 6,16

The world, my life, has become a desolate and dry place. Unforgiving in it’s doling out of pain and deep distress. Though it has become easier to smile through the hard moments and push through this ever so dull, empty ache.

I have tried to find solace and relief in the things of this world: food – mindless entertainment – people, only to find that nothing satisfies – nothing heals the deep wound I have sustained. All of my futile attempts at solace have brought me closer to ill health and damaged relationships. I find I’ve made the mistake of seeking relief in the wrong places, the wrong things, the wrong persons.

This relief is only found IN God.

Seeking God is a concept that I’ve found, in my 14 year walk with God, cannot be taught. It cannot be imitated. How another reaches intimacy with God is not how I will reach that intimacy. God, while constant, made us “in” his likeness and each of us is unique in how we show God through us. We each walk our own route on His narrow path.

Seeking God, at first glance, seems a concept; one that seems just out of reach. I can feel it. I desire to be with God in a deeper relationship, it seems I’m just shy of understanding how to reach the next depth.

Unfortunately there is no guide, no instruction man can provide that teaches the how of seeking God.

It must be a desire; a crave. A immeasurable, almost desperate, desire – one set within by God. The Word says he gives us the desires of our hearts. In this place that I reside today, a place where I desire almost nothing in the numbness, I find my deepest desire is to know God. Deeply. Intimately.

I found in my bible studies that God desires us to desire him, he desires a relationship with each one of us; and he gives us the desires of our hearts, when we seek him and his righteousness. It’s cyclical … He has put our desires and dreams within us and our ultimate desire (realized or not) is relationship with God. And round we go. There it is – as simple and as complex as that.

He has set a limitless desire within me and I have realized it. He desires that I desire him, and as I desire him I seek him more.

{his patience with us is unlimited, he’s waited 51 years for me to realize my true desire}

This is not that school girl’s, or lonely lady’s, running after the heart of a mere man. A fickle soul who may tease and stray. This is the pursuit of a heart that has longed for my desire for him since before the foundation of the world that is now, finally, dry and unforgiving under my feet. I’ve come to the place in my life where I only want a deeper relationship with God. I don’t want an earthly relationship after losing my heart to heaven. Nothing that basic will sustain this heart. Nothing so human will help me continue forward in my life.

Tonight I seek God with great passion. I seek to know him with an intense intimacy so as to settle myself quietly within his heart. I what to know the Who that resides in the depths of me. I want to see and be present in his glory. I want this world to become a dreamscape that I frequent while I reside in the kingdom of God. I want to know his mysteries. I want to know him more intimately as I knew my husband.

I want to walk with him daily, as I did my love. I have nothing left for this world, except to be God’s instrument, my heart is in eternity. I long no more for things, they are not filling me with life or health. I long for heavenly mysteries.

Beautiful Dreamer

Beautiful Dreamer – Lauren Rudolf Art

I’m seeking God knowing that I will find myself within him. Him within me. Like I said it’s cyclical. Only then will I be capable of fulfilling his will and desires for me here on this earth.

I want so much to be hidden within God knowing that this will fulfill my every desire. Quenching that thirsty need that nags at my splintered heart, making it whole once more.

I want desperately to feel God’s presence continually. I want it to become that presence to become my presence. I want to feel his tender embrace and know that I am being embraced. I purpose to be present in those moments, knowing it’s God. I purpose for those moments to become constants.

I know, today, that I am cared for in a much deeper capacity than any human heart can offer. And I can be content there.

I am actively seeking God – to know Him – to glorify Him – to love Him – to be one with Him.

Thanks for reading. Be Blessed.

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Deep Quiet


It’s on mornings like this, when the house is quiet and I am alone with my thoughts, that a soft sadness envelopes me.

Don’t feel sorry for me, I am not looking for attention; just sharing a part of my life with you, as we bloggers do. Don’t be burdened by the thought that you must say something kind and comforting in the comments, you don’t. There is no worldly comfort for this and I imagine there shouldn’t be. This type of pain is God’s territory.

And this process is about trusting God and the spiritual changes that come with such a significant change in one’s life.

Moving forward in one’s life after such a loss is difficult, always. Not like before when change was uncomfortable, maybe even painful and resisted; no nothing like the ease of that.

The perspective has changed.

In the quiet I experience the changes in my life both physically, tangibly and inwardly. The full human affect. They become more real, more apart of me, as I move forward to who I am without him.

He was such an integrated part of who I was, and who I am, still. Though even after only eight and a half months that seems to be fading into the background. And while that is a good sign that I am moving right along and well, there is an acute sadness that wants to be guilt.

We, no one, is who we were yesterday.With each passing moment, each morning sunrise, we are someone completely new. Our core self, our spirit, remains intact and unchanged. But the part of us made up of our morals and values – those environmental settings built into us by our parents and cultures and religions; those are changeable, those are the things that move and adjust along with us on this plane of life. The things that change about us, if we allow it.

Our minds change. Our perspectives change.

After the loss of my other half I realize that some of those environmental and family cultural things have changed. Don’t misunderstand me here, those who know me know, that I am vastly different minded than the majority of my family; and I say majority even when I have found no one amongst my siblings, cousins or extended family who is of the same mind as I am. I don’t cling to those things that families clings to; as if I would lose who I am if I didn’t cling to the fact that I am just like everyone else in my family.

Reminding me that I will not lose myself with the loss of my husband.

I trust God and with that trust comes an ever flowing change of who I am to who I am in Christ.

Of late I don’t resist change. I’ve come to know, in this time of me without him, that the old adage is absolute truth: Change is inevitable.

Not only that, but … Control. We literally have no control over this thing called our lives. Again, this is God’s territory.

If change is inevitable. If I am not who I was with him, if I am not who I was yesterday, but did nothing purposely to change me … do you see where I am going?

And so the sadness comes in. I guess to a certain extent I am different from some widows. I don’t feel guilty that I am moving forward because I don’t see that I have a choice. I am moving forward, because back is impossible. And I don’t think I realized it as impossible before I lost him.

Before I lost that vital part of who I was for the last 26 years.

A lifetime.

Time for our children to grow into adults. Time for us to be finally considering a life for just the two of us …

Now it’s just a life for me … and that’s really sad. And it’s really okay.

… All at the same time.

It’s all so very much to take in, in one sitting of quiet. Yet, it is so very simple.

So in the quiet of this morning … with my warm cup of lemon and water, I look at the day and wonder.

Who will I be today? And I feel sad that it’s just me. And I miss him. And I get up, with thoughts of him helping my heart to beat and forge into this day.

Thanks for reading. God bless.

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Behold … the new has come


It’s the new year, and new things have definitely come.

I have only one resolution and that is NOT to bring 2015 into 2016.

I will begin anew.

I haven’t written much here in the last year. I have been writing,though I have realized that my writing has reverted back to it’s original form … pen and paper (journals).

So what’s to come of this format of writing, for me? Well … I plan to take time each week … one day here at Hope*ann*Faith and one day on the sister blog, which I plan to rename: Letters: A widows journey. Mainly because I have 2 journals … A gratitude journal and a journal that has transformed itself from letters to my late husband to just letters about my new life journey as a widow.

So there’s more to come as I journey to find the new, individual me and my new, personal journey with God.

I think I’m actually looking forward to what may be … but it is covered in a light throw of sadness. But, then, I think it should be; for a bit longer anyway.

Happy New Year Everyone. God Bless.

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Thankfulness.


It’s that time of the year, and frankly I’m finding it hard to focus on the things I am thankful for. Instead my heart leads my mind to what I have lost.

And I have lost a most vital part of my life, and myself. My husband. And I don’t know who I am or what to do without him, much of the time.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Being thankful in the down times is vital for our faith to remain strong. I tend to ignore what I am feeling and pray thankfully each morning. Thanking God for the day, his guidance and his faithfulness in my life. I thank him that he is sovereign and in control of my life and I submit myself and my day to him. Most days.

This doesn’t always help me focus on the things I have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the roof over my head, but dread that I no longer hear my husband footsteps on the porch, or his voice in the other room. I miss how his laughter used to fill this home.

I am thankful that my boys are still home with me, even though they are adults. Yet, I feel as if they are being burdened by me.

I am thankful for my friends. They truly have saved my life several times these last several months!

I pray. It’s how I remained focused.

I sleep. It’s the depression and sadness. But then I dread waking up … but like I said I pray each morning, thanking God for the day and his presence.

I am focusing on this:

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which, indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

The Peace of Christ in my heart, because on my own I don’t have peace in this loss. And for his peace I am thankful.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2

In consistant prayer I am able to do what needs to be done and be watchful and wise over my life. I am thankful that my relationship with Father God has brought me to this place where I am able to pray even when my heart is shattered.

Staying thankful, even when on the surface it is a reach, is so grounding. I have lost my heart, the very air I used to breath. However today I continue to breath and function and live, and sometimes I even laugh and enjoy. I have God to thank for this. I have God’s plan to rely upon, because without it my purpose escapes me.

I am thankful. I just, sometimes, have trouble expressing it. It’s almost like I’m wrong, somehow, to be grateful after such a great loss… but thankful to God I am.

What am I most thankful for at this time? Well, that’s easy. I am thankful that I know exactly where My Love is. I know he is up there with God, in the mansion Jesus prepared for him. Well, healthy and enjoying never ending love and joy. I long to be with him there. All in God’s timing.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever! Let all Israel repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” Let Aaron’s descendants, the priests repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” Let all who fear the Lord repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”

In my distress I prayed to the Lord and he answered me, and set me free. Psalm 118:1-5

We were taught on Genuine Worship this Sunday at our church. Genuine Worship is a lifestyle of worship. Obedience, surrender and relationship with God the Father, Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

I am genuinely thankful that my relationship has taught me these things. Because even as I am sad and fractured I am able to honestly be thankful that God doesn’t forsake me … even when I feel so very alone.

In my distress I pray to the Lord, and I can honestly testify that he answers me and sets me free.

How do you deal with being thankful in your hard times?

I encourage you to seek the Lord, pray, seek his kingdom and his righteousness … There’s a scripture for that! 😉

Thank you for taking the time to read. I truly pray this blessed you.

God bless.

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