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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Dear Sorrow,


I’m a little late to the party over at Kate Motaung’s blog ;but at the time of the link up I hadn’t completed my journey into grief.

The Hubs battling cancer and the boy battling heroin addiction takes up a lot of one’s time and mind space. Not to mention battling heart ache and depression. All at that same time. You see Grief has not managed to settle in here in Hutchland … but her cousin Sorrow has come to visit.

Dear Sorrow,

There are so many things you want from me here today. You entered quietly and sit pretty and dainty in the corner just waiting on Grief to arrive.

You arrived just before midnight on New Years eve; determined to begin 2015 with our family; and you did. Like a quiet breeze of numbness after the phone call. My boy, in custody, again. Ending the festive and peaceful Christmas season wrapping your cool, almost light, arms around my shoulders. Lowering yourself, snug at my side, whispering your sweet lies into my ear. But you are simply at my side. You can only whisper, hoping I will give in to your almost warm and comfortable dark.

I realize you are a part of life. You visit in times of loss and hardship and stay for awhile. Lingering too long over a cooling cup of tea and hardly nibbled sandwich in a lonely, quiet living room. Sitting a touch too close on the sofa of a darkened, quietly sleeping home in the wee hours of the morning.

It seems I must face you; but I refuse to believe that I must allow you to reside here, in my heart of hearts, in my spirit.

Sorrow, you are not meant to reside. You are not meant to remain.

Life adjusts and it changes as God, Himself is put in charge of this home. This heart of our family.

Somethings need to be so that Joy can move in and reside.

The battle with cancer continues; definitely on the path of healing.

The battle with heroin continues, now, hopefully, on a path of healing. Definitely on a path of repentance.

Life continues and I, Sorrow, continue forward with a goal of self-discipline in mind.

So, Sorrow, I don’t believe you have a place here in the heart of our home, yet. There may come a time for you to visit a while, but it is not today.

Today I seek a deepening of my relationship and dependence upon God, the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today I seek a deepening of my trust in Jesus for all areas of my life. I say: “I trust You, Jesus.”

So I bid you farewell today, Sorrow, you have no place here.

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent. Psalm 34:17-18

Today's Prayer

Today’s Prayer

Thank you, dear Reader Friends, for stopping by. Be blessed.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. Psalm 27: 6


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He Gave … He Came …


He Gave ... He Came ... John 3:16-17

He Gave …
He Came …
John 3:16-17

Give … ’tis The Season.

The Greatest Gift of All.

Christmas … a season of giving. I want to tell you a story. So get that cup of tea {or coffee.}, settle in comfortably.

Are you comfortably? Ready? Let’s begin … =)

God gave us, His children, the best gift we will ever receive. He gave us this gift because He loved us so much He sought to reconcile each and everyone of us to Himself.

This is not my story. I copied the biblical version from Biblegateway.com; because I felt it needed to be told correctly. This story is so very important to humanity and it’s been told and retold countless times that I didn’t want to diminish it with my “version”.

I give to you the story of Father’ giving to us, all.

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:11-14

Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JesusHe will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.  Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary, then went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant. They rejoiced in their visit and the magnitude of Mary’s pregnancy. Even, Elizabeth’s child (John, the Baptist) rejoice within the womb.

The Song of Mary

 And Mary sang:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

And Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and returned to her house.

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Today, I give you the true story of Christmas. The truth of the season and why we give one another gifts each year at this time. Some would say we are not celebrating Christ’s true birth date, but let me submit to you that it hardly matters to God, the Father or to Jesus, His Only Son, when we celebrate Jesus. It only matters that we celebrate Him and what He did for us …

So this year, I choose to give JOY … Give Joy

The very thing we need here in the earth. The very thing we need here in Hutchland.

JOY TO THE WORLD! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to ALL!

Thanks for reading my dear friends and God Bless You.

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HOPEannFAITH Recommended Reading: Bible Verses Need Context « Janet Pope


I just took a “how to study the bible course”; it was actually a consolidated, quick Hermeneutics class.

hermeneutics
1. The branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the bible or literary texts.
How we “read” and “study the bible is vital. When we simply like a verse and decide to memorize it, often times, because it is out of context we lose much of what God is saying to us.

 

And then … we apply it wrong and when things do not work out the way that we “think” God is saying it will, we get angry at God; when all the time we were mistaken as to the meaning.

This article explains this in easy layman’s terms. Because most of us are studying God’s word to apply it to our lives, not for college purposes!

A HOPEannFAITH recommended reading! Enjoy:

Bible Verses Need Context « Janet Pope.


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Trusting God in the Face of Fear @ 10


God's Got This Welcome.

Today I’m joining my writing/blogging friends over at Karen’s Finding the Grace Within’s Tuesday at Ten writing prompt.

Here writers creatively represent the word prompt that Karen gives us at 10 am and then we all connect with one another {HERE}. There aren’t any real rules, no word limit or time limit … just one heart connecting with the prompt and sharing their thoughts with the others.

Today we ponder what the word FEAR means in our lives, right here and right now …

So join us by following the link above or the one at the bottom of this post.

Fear. We all encounter it in our day to day lives. From the little worries like being on time or not missing that call from a friend to the larger more daunting fears that involve life and death!

For me it’s no longer about the fear … In the past I feared everything from making someone mad to really doing something very wrong. It created a vicious cycle of anxiety, which my family sees as an illness. It’s not!

Cancer is an illness. Addiction is an illness. Fear is NOT an illness, we control fear. It says so in the bible.

There are two types of fear described in the Good Book of the Good News! Remember that … it’s the GOOD News, you can always trust it’s guidance.

Fear of the Lord.  

Fear of the Lord gives us authority and allows us to trust God in the face of the spirit of fear, which strips us of our authority and is brought by the enemy of our soul.

The spirit of fear is NOT of God.

Fear, or REVERENCE {to have a reverential awe of (fear God)} of the Lord, is about respecting God, as you would a father.

[Now if your earthly father wasn’t the greatest, or you were actually afraid of your biological dad, stay with me.]

God, Himself, was His original template of who and what a father was supposed to be. All loving, strong security and steady guidance for His children.

This Fear [of the Lord] is beneficial to us and brings with it promises and blessings. The bible says it is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding to all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever {Psalm 111:10}. It leads to life, rest, peace and contentment and evil will not visit {Proverbs 19:23}. This Fear [of the Lord] is the fountain of life {Proverbs 14:27} and provides security in a place of safety {Proverbs 14:26}.

Good News, right!  =)

If we respect God as our Father Creator, and follow His guidance for our lives, we benefit as any child who accepts guidance and correction from good parents. Think about it, we only fear what our parents feared, for the most part. If time and appearances were of concern {a type of fear} to our parents, then we grow up to be concerned about time and appearances. But dig this!

Our Father God, repeatedly, tells us to FEAR NOT, because He has given us the tools of authority over fear.

We control fear. Fear does NOT control us.

Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident. {Psalm 27:3}

The second kind of fear in the bible is described to us in guidance.

We are told that God didn’t give us this spirit of fear.

 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. {2 Timothy 1:7}

There it is, the guiding reminder that we were given: Power, Love and a SOUND mind.

(remember I said that fear leads to anxiety and people see anxiety as an illness today?)

We have a SOUND MIND.

Fear is a real thing. It is what we do in the face of this fear that matters most. Do we conquer or fall in defeat to fear?

I choose to conquer fear, and trust me, today, this very moment, I have enough going on in my life that if I allowed the fear [of the unknown results] of my circumstances I could easily curl up into a ball of tearful fear and anxiety and never see the light of day. In fact, when I think about this, even at this moment, I feel fearful of that possibility.

I prefer my Sound Mind!

How do I conquer these fears? Fear of cancer, of addiction, of my happy life changing severely, of not knowing what my life could possibly look like if the worst happened?

I. Trust. God.

I. Pray. ~ and I pray scripture.

1 John 4:18 says: Perfect Love casts out all fear. {God is Love.}

God promises me; ‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed {another form of fear}, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’.{Isaiah 41:10}

The overwhelming truth is that I must FEAR NOT.

Did you ever notice that when we are spinning with fear we don’t allow anyone to help; that we resist those that would be with us and uphold us! God knew we would do this and clearly instructs His children not to fear … to …

Be Still … and know that He is God. {Psalm46:10}

Isn’t it interesting that the “scary Old Testament” God continually told His creation to FEAR NOT. He clearly wanted us to ALWAYS know that He was with us and was our protector, even from the very beginning.

So, as Franklin D. Roosevelt said, in his First Inaugural Address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,”

Do not fear God, reverence and trust Him. Only fear fear; it’s not from God.

It is said, much too often, “give it to God”, and I must say it took a lot for me to completely come to an understanding of that Christian cliché. When I finally came to a true understanding of and relationship with God I changed how I used that friendly, if not dismissing, cliché to …

Bring it to God. If you are afraid today. If you harbor what seems to be uncontrollable anxiety in your day to day life. Bring your cares to God. Compare what you are afraid of to what God says about that thing in His book. Present it, as I do, to Him in prayer and just watch what He does to quell that fear within you. He will wipe it away, I promise.

BE STILL.

FEAR NOT.

BE COURAGEOUS.

GOD’S GOT THIS.

Come walk with me, and fear not, God is always with us!

Thanks for reading and God bless.

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Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

Hiding-Psalm-27-in-My-Heart_DoNotDepart