HOPE*ann*FAITH

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


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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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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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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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Where’s the joy …


Hope & Joy

Hope & Joy

If the joy of the Lord is my strength, I sometimes wonder where the joy is, because I feel so weary and weak.

But … they say this is to be expected. I’m in mourning after all is said and done.

It’s funny … in an odd, un-haha fashion, that I look at the calendar some days and count the days he’s been gone. I think it’s probably odd that a wife knows the exact time of her love’s last breath and heart beat … 12:30 am. I don’t think I’ve gone to sleep before 12:30 am on any day since My Love went home to the Lord.

Maybe it’s not insomnia. Maybe it’s some odd internal clock thing that has to wind itself down into a new normal.

New … sounds nice, right? To me it’s like a present I have no desire to open, because in my heart of hearts, truth be told, I want what I had before.

A comfortable and lived in life with the man God chose for me.

You see nothing is comfortable these days. Living is a surface thing, I skirt around my days and I do what needs doing and I behave like I am supposed to behave. But something is missing.

It echos in the early morning sun and feels hollow and alone in the late of the night.

A friend and I figured it out … there’s no joy right now.

I do things I “like” to do and feel nothing really. I’m just doing them …

I eat foods I “loved” and nothing … I eat to nourish my body and give it the fuel it needs to do those things I’m just doing. Right now I’m best when I am busy; so God has sent the jobs.

I am so thankful that My God is faithful to me, always. And I so don’t deserve His devotion.

This photo I posted, from my trail walks I do weekly, is lovely right? I see the beauty all around me and capture it for memories. I see the beauty. I appreciate the beauty. But I long for the joyful sensation of that beauty.

The scripture says I have much to write … OH, I do!

But that I don’t want to use paper and ink … I’d rather it be face to face, completing our joy.

“So that our joy may be complete.”

I know that in the coming months and years happiness, joy and my comfortable lifestyle will return. But today I find myself talking to God and admitting that if I were to go home to the Lord today that would be okay. I have a twinge of sadness with that reality in that I’m thinking of missing my children and friends … but being face to face with My Love again … that would definitely complete my joy!

(NO! I am not suicidal! Relax my sweet reading friends!)

I guess for me this is my way of sorting through the veils of this grief of mine.

I dreamt last night and My Love spoke to me … it’s lingering is at the same time comforting and painful in it’s ripple. I guess in my dream I was looking for answers, so I will let God sort out the dream’s misting ripples and I’ll get my answers from Him.

In the mean time …. when I am mindful of it, I will choose to find God’s joy in my world.

I will choose to see the beauty of sun rays bouncing off of dew drops as joy.

Dew Drop Tears

Dew Drop Tears

I will choose to hear the joy in an others laughter and see the beauty of joy in a smile.

Until I go to eternity I have much to write and share … but I’d rather it all be face to face, with God and My Love, in the JOY of the Lord … wherein is my strength.

Loving him to eternity ❤

Thanks for indulging my words and God bless.

Love A signature


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What I learned at church today … That moment when God reveals His Word to you …


You know the story of Job, right … God gave satan permission to mess with Job, to prove to all that Job was a righteous man who loved God … Well! The hell that was perpetrated by satan on Job was nothing less than personalized torture. In this story Job lost EVERYTHING … his life’s work, his fortune and the worst … the one thing that made Job sorrow was the loss of his children. If that were not enough this rich man was faced with doubtful and basically blasphemous friends and the words and actions of his wife are questionable (Jobs wife is for another post, soon). They certainly were not good company at the time of Job’s most desperate need.

At church today Job’s story was one used in the sermon and two things were revealed to me; some realizations that were meant to speak to my grief.

First was this scripture; Job had just been told that he had lost everything, and had just been told his children were dead …

Job 1:20At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

and naked I will depart.c

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;

may the name of the Lord be praised.”

The end of verse 21 caught my heart. Everyone sees this as Job blaming God for the tragedies that are being poured upon his life … but they misunderstand the meaning of this line …

Job is not blaming God, he is stating a fact of his, Job’s, understanding of God’s character toward all of us … Let me show you …

Job is saying I came into this world naked and naked he will leave it. You see Job understood a fundamental piece of our relationship with God the Father … that our lives are from God … He created us and we were born with nothing and everything we gain in this life of ours is God’s; and, that when we leave this earth to return to Father God we can bring nothing we’ve gained, materially, with us … yet return to His glory!

More importantly Job understood something much deeper …. “…The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Job understood that all he had gained in his privileged life was a gift from God. He also trusted that while the things that were taken from Him were known and sanctioned by God, that God was his provision. And  He praises God in his sorrow.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;may the name of the Lord be praised.”

In my sorrow I continually praise the Lord … Why, some ask? Because, God did not take My Love to harm me, I know this. God did not give My Love cancer, he knew about it and it was allowed to happen, for reasons I cannot tell you, but I will know the answers in God’s perfect time.

I know some think this crazy, but I know this all to be truth. It has been revealed to me just how deeply intimate my relationship is with Father God. I have learned that Faith is not multiplied without trial and tragedy because we cannot flex it within us without those things. After all, why would we need Faith if not for trial and tragedy? We cannot grow in our faith in God without sorrow and fear.

I may be the daughter of the One True King but I am far from a coddled, spoiled child. I am a warrior for my faith and I have faced and am facing the hard things in this life.

Oh, I could justify the whole sackcloth and ashes mourning in this life of mine, many times over; who couldn’t? But I won’t, my faith does not allow me to mourn in this fashion.

I learned that God truly gives us all what we need to live this life, abundantly, and that even if it is taken from us, for known or unknown reasons, God’s plan and purpose for us is established by Him alone, and He will see to it that those plans and purposes will succeed. It is God’s plan and purpose, it is His job to establish and see to it’s success.

Isaiah 55:10-12

10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.

I’ve learned in so many lessons in this life, specifically in that last two years … that His Word does not return void.

Who is His Word?

Christ.

Where do we live?

In Christ.

Are we His Word?

Yes … when we are in Christ.

My Love returned to God having completed his mission. I know he returned to hear that most desirable line, “Well done good and faithful servant.”!

I will also return to God having completed my mission. I will not return to my Father void.

… my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

That’s what I learned today … Thanks for reading, my sweet and faithful readers. God bless you.


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To sleep perchance to dream …


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

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

Not much encourages me lately. I’m having trouble reconciling being encouraged about life, while my heart and air have been taken from me.

But God … just when I need it He gives me comfort and encouragement …

I’ve had some trouble sleeping lately. Not out of fear, I don’t think. Just insomnia, probably brought on by dragging out getting up in the morning (afternoon). It’s waking up I fear.

Well maybe fear is too strong a word. Let me use an equally strong, but more accurate term; loath.

No denial here. Just anger.

Last night I fell asleep with artificial help for maybe an hour or so last night and then I woke about 3 am to a silent home. I turned the tv back on with the volume low and laid back down and slept and dreamt.

I closed my eyes in prayer, hoping that My Love would come in a dream … he did. ❤

I remember clearly his arm around my middle, that close familiar comfort.

I talked to him about normal stuff. I remember getting up and doing normal stuff, like before he was ill. Talking to him all the while.

Though I don’t remember hearing his voice. I don’t think he spoke. He just shook his head when I asked before waking up, …

He answered me when I asked, ” Are you really here or am I in denial?”

He shook his head to both, I remember knowing he was answering both questions.

No he wasn’t really here, it was a dream to comfort me for sleep.

No I wasn’t in denial, I was having a dream.

And right now as the tears come I am comforted by the dream God allowed me so I would sleep.

I am encouraged that I will see him and have the momentary comfort of his presence, if only in a dream.

Thanks for reading and God bless.

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I wonder … and endure …


HastingsCelticWomanI’ve been struggling lately, for obvious reasons. Yet not so obvious to myself … I guess that doesn’t make sense. Anyway …

I’ve been wondering just how people endure this thing called grief. The world says there are five stages of grief …

denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Well I didn’t spend any time in denial … how does one, in all sanity, deny that death has taken their heart from them. I wake each morning to an empty bed. At 5:30 each evening, as his pup Habby sits at the window, no barking of joy marks his return. And the worst … I haven’t heard his voice or that laugh of his that I so loved in in almost a month (more really).

The bible says, in Romans 1 verses 1-5 that we have …

Peace and Hope

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

I guess this numbness and realization that this is my new life can be defined as a kind of peace. Like I said denial was never a place I truly visited.

We walked in faith. We prayed God’s perfect will and for healing. But in the end Don had an appointment to go home to be with the Lord. So denial and bargaining are (were always) off the table. So what is left?

Anger, Depression and Acceptance.

Well right now I am angry and depression sneaks up from time to time; but depression is just anger turned inward … so they are the same thing. And acceptance, I’ve excepted that my Love has gone home. So if I’ve logically come to terms with all these so called stages of grief I wonder how much longer the pain will remain.

When I am not in the throws of this anger; this slow burning dislike of life and breathing I feel, I know I am in faith.

I wonder … does anger affect faith? Does it change it?

I believe, no, I know that anger changes a person if left unchecked. So I don’t indulge for too long. I pray.

I look around my, our home and I wonder how, just how am I able to go on. I wonder if I’ll ever be happy again, because I am truly unhappy right now.

Is it really anger, I wonder, or just deep, deep unhappiness?

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

In my faith I don’t have the luxury of denial or bargaining. In my faith I must control this anger and depression; the bible tells me I have control over my emotions according to the Word and Will of God.

But this unhappiness is so vitally deep and when I try to get to it to reign it in it goes deeper.

I guess I’m just wondering, often these days, how long it will take to accept my new life and calling in Christ. I thought I knew my roll and God has suddenly changed that … so I wonder and endure …

Thanks for reading. God bless.

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