HOPE*ann*FAITH

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


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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


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Embracing the Simple Life


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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


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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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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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My Journey


Hi. Welcome to Hope*ann*Faith blog where I share my day to day journey.

TuesdayToday I am participating in Tuesday at Ten over on Karen Beth’s blog. {Follow the link in her logo to the left.}

T@T is a word prompt for Creatives, each week where the writers, photographers, artists share their interpretation on a single word prompt. Karen can correct me if I’m wrong here … The prompt she gives us each week is to stir in us a heart post based on our lives and experiences. Karen and Finding the Grace Within blog are all about healing and getting connected. So join us, using any creative style you like and share your heart.

This Tuesday prompt is:    Journey.

So about My Journey. The journey to continuous Hope and Faith.

My Journey is probably my most used Category and Tag on this blog, because blogs are simply a virtual diary of one’s life, and life is certainly a journey.

So much is involved in one’s journey through this life. Mine is no different from yours. However the circumstances of our journeys are unique, giving us the illusion that my journey might be more intense than yours.

I. Think. Not.

There is a misconception among Christians that God will not give us more than we can handle on this journey. This is not true. I believe God does give us much more than we can handle without Him so that we choose Him.

The following scripture is often misunderstood/

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Nowhere in this scripture does it say God does not give us more we can handle. Like I said, I believe God gives us more than we can handle each day so that we will Call upon Him!

My journey has certainly come to a place where my pride {though it often rises to say, “you got this Andrea”} bows to God and I call upon Him daily; many times a day.

My walk, my journey is with God. When I remember to walk with Him, that is.

So if you’re new to my humble little blog here you may have an idea of what my journey is today. Me and mine are being tested in many areas of life these days, hard and simultaneously. We deal with normal things in life like:

Family – Bills – Jobs – Lack of Jobs

But we also deal with some extra things like:

Cancer

Heart Issues

Heroin Addiction

Extended Family Issues that deal with: Age, Mental Illness and other addictions.

Sounds rough, yes?

It is. No doubt, but we rely on God and He has been faithful.

Recently I was reading Psalm 23 … an oft used Scripture for those who are on harder journeys. And I saw something in verse 4 that I hadn’t truly understood before …

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord
Forever.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;

Our journey is not through the valley of death!

On our journey we travel through the valley shadow of death! A shadow is just an ether … it’s harmless, unless we add fear giving the shadow body and the ability to harm us, because we allow the shadow more power than it is capable of without our permission.

This scripture assures us that God is with on this journey. He is there before we know Him, protecting us. He is there when we decide we are going to do these things on our own, watching over us and waiting patiently until we call on Him for rescue. And He is tangibly there when we trust wholly in His constant presence in our lives and on this journey.

Dear God

Dear God

My journey is a rough one. One that often requires me to pray in a warring fashion against fear, because I refuse to give that shadow any power.

My journey is about endurance, as is yours. We all battle and war and endure, but I encourage you today! DO NOT tolerate that which is not of the Lord.

It is said of journeys:

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~ Lao Tzu

Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson

The only journey is the one within. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

The second two really speak to me on the spiritual level. I truly believe that the journey, though it feels as if it is external, is truly one within. I believe there are tests in our lives that build our faith and endurance . Let me remind you of my beginning Scripture …

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear … though we will be tested beyond what we can bear … because God is faithful and will provide a way out, so that we can endure the test … with His assistance.

God knows the end of our journey from the beginning of His time … we are equal to the challenge of our personal journey in this life; we just need to trust God and rely on Him, then we will not be overtaken.

Because, in all these things we are more than conquerors

through him who loved us. ~ Romans 8:37

Thanks for stopping by and reading. Blessings to you.

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A Relationship with God * His Grace.


GraceGrace:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ. In accordance with his pleasure and will – Ephesians 1:4-5

Grace is a huge subject and one I am very careful with. Why, you ask?

Because right now Grace is the “BIG, NEW” thing in Christian “revelation”; and I am concerned about how the message of Grace is being taught in some circles.

Quite frankly there is NOTHING new about God’s grace and God’s grace is BIG! Grace holds the same tremendous message as it did when Jesus came here as man, and so much more!

Jesus was God’s grace. Jesus is Grace. Jesus extends Grace.

We were extended God’s grace in the man of Jesus. We are to extend God’s grace to others. We are to show God’s grace in the fruit of our lives.

See … there is so much more than we can fathom in one small and beautiful word.

Grace is about Relationship.

{for this post I was lead to the relationship with God that we receive through grace}

Like I said Grace is so many things. Such a broad canvas, but it began with God and His desire for relationship … with us.

RelationshipGrace was sent and Grace chose us before the creation of the world! Do you realize what that means? God created this world for us. So we would have a place to live and be with Him! By His Grace, and for His pleasure and will He created us to be Sons of God! And to secure that in it’s most pure and holy form God sent His only Son for us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

That’s it. That’s the Grace we are all talking about. We didn’t deserve it. We don’t deserve it. It’s simply that God loves us.

ALL.OF.US.EVERYONE.

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10

THAT.NONE.SHOULD.PERISH.

You see, I’m a Christian. A follower of Christ on a mission to do what Jesus did and more. I’m here to show you grace. To give you grace. And to point you to the person Grace, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am no longer lost. I have attained grace and the eternal life Jesus extended to me. It is now my job to let you know this …

By God’s grace He loves you. Right where you are. And too much to leave you there!

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been. He chooses YOU. Right Now. Right Here.

Have you accepted the gift of Grace? Have you accepted the Grace that is Jesus Christ? Do you believe that He died on the cross for your sins and sickness? Do you believe that He rose again to reconcile God’s relationship with you and for you?

If your answer, today, is YES, then you’ve entered into the Grace.

The Grace that is the Love of God. Jesus.

Welcome to the journey, there is much to do and learn, and you are not alone. There are many of us here with you … come let us walk with Jesus.

If you have any questions, please, I would be happy to share this truth with you personally. You can contact me through the comments or personally at: romans826-28@comcast.net

Thanks for reading my friends. And blessings to you all.

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Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten


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How God Assures Me He’s On It :: A Much Needed Sunday Healing


Sweet, Sad Eyed Boy

Sweet, Sad Eyed Boy

This is my sweet boy. My youngest. My sad little guy. And OH how he had reason for that sweet, sad look. And OH how I sometimes, still, ache for my blindness.

The Man

The Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the man… angry and battling his demons. Very scary demons. And OH how I dreamed of reaching that sweet boy who was hidden in that angry man. I was incapable of reaching into him, to the boy. He wouldn’t let me. I wasn’t, still am not allowed to even hug him. It’s truly heartbreaking for me. And I’m sure his heart is broken. But He battles daily with his illness, his addiction. Heroin. And even when he stumbles, slips and falls flat out; he gets back up to battle. He’s superman in his head. He still thinks he needs to be I think. Because, I couldn’t protect him, because he couldn’t tell me … until they did, when they were barely in grade school … and the man (teen) you see above hid the sweet boy. Seemingly forever.

He fell this week. Wasn’t able to recover from an apparent stumble and now he starts over again. And my heart is broken watching him be sick. Very sick as he starts to stand back up to this illness, this craving, whose whole intent is to kill that sweet boy he has hidden in his heart.

Shane light editThis is him at the beginning of the last run of sobriety. Tired but strong. He’ll be there again.

And I know this because God and I met in worship this morning at church. I started the day very worried about my sweet boy, who hasn’t been so sweet these last few days. He was sick and in pain and irritable. I mean who wouldn’t be when they felt sick; I certainly am not fun when I am ill. But this is different.

There’s nothing I can do. And if I do something I am jeopardizing his life by enabling him. He has to walk out the withdrawl himself. He has to want to feel better. He has to choose between sobriety  and oblivion.

Unlike the cancer his father battles, the boy chose his illness. Chose oblivion over the demons of something he had no say in and I had no knowledge of. The demons who continue to tell him it was his fault. The demons that tell him I should have known. The demons who tell him he’s superman and he can live through the dangerous choices. The demons who tell him no one loves him because he’s unlovable now. This monster heroin quiets the demons I imagine. But then they begin to rustle again and bite … I cannot fathom the pain, though I experience his pain and suffering while he battles the withdrawl and fights for the breath of air that sobriety brings him.

As I sang praises to God today. As I worshiped the Father that promises to heal us. I cried out and from the depth of this mother’s heart and soul I sought my God’s assistance for my sweet boy. And God assured me that with that relinquishing, once again, of my boy to His care, that the boy, the man, would be healed.

During this song, as the lead singer of our worship band and assistance pastor sang this favorite, God met me in my aching for my sweet boy. I quieted and prayed for him and for The Hubs and was assured that He had them, that their healings were imminent, promised. And I quieted into the precious peace of the music, in Father’s presence.

You see, I’ve realized that the enemy has put a hit out on this family. Two of my men are battling grave illnesses, and the boy does not know the promises we believe! So I, WE, as a family must believe for him. He does not know that heroin addiction cannot kill him, as his father knows the cancer cannot kill him, though we tell him.

The boy does not know, as the father does, that because we believe, he is saved from his illnesses and cleansed of his sins, sins that are not even his own, but believes to be. The boy doesn’t believe that Jesus loved him so much that he took the heroin needle for him to the cross and died there with that illness upon Him! So we must believe and pray until the boy understands his worth to the Father.

And what mother, father and brother wouldn’t do this for a boy, for a man?

Oh how I wish the boy believed that he would live. Oh how I wish the boy believed he is loved beyond his mother’s ability to put it in words. Oh how I wish he knew the joy I get when he is well and smiles and is a participating member of this family. A participating member in his own life.

So I leave this post as another prayer to God. It holds no scripture, only a song of worship and praise to our Father God expressing my love and honor to him. I leave it as proof that I acknowledge His response to my need, my boy’s need, this morning. And I thank him again and again, without end that my sweet boy is starting to feel better and is two or three (I’m not sure) days back on the road of sobriety.

To every parent of a child who battles the illness of addiction, or any illness for that matter, I sing this song for you and your child. I pray that God vanquish this demon and send it to hell from whence it came, and I put the enemy and heroin under the feet of Jesus.

We are healed. Our children are healed. Our land is healed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thanks for listening to this outpouring of a mother’s heart.

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The sweet boy’s mom. =)