HOPE

We all need HOPE, nowadays more than ever. Last night, as I was going through my jewelry, I found a ring that says HOPE on it and my mind went back to the night I found it. Memories, good and bad, will surface at the oddest times from years ago, just like it was yesterday.

My mind went back to when I went to a large arena, I am unsure if it was a sports or a music event and I am unsure of those I was with, but I was not alone. I say that because I know I went for a reason and with others but even in the huge, dark building filled with thousands of people all around me, I felt alone.

It is hard to even think so far back of that time, reliving this moment, it is just as real and allowing the pain I felt deep within my soul. It seemed as though everything around me in life was like a huge, dark cloud that I was living in. It was lowest time of my life due to situations. I had nobody to tell or to trust of what I was experiencing, I felt hopeless. I did keep a lot to myself. In that, depression enters and you survive another day, at times making one foot go in front of the other, just to move forward.

I experienced that period of deep depression, but I wonder how many others share the same sense of hopelessness, the heartache within, wearing a mask that all is well. It doesn’t matter if in your circle of friends, family, passing others in public and sadly enough, sitting on the same pew at church with you. Life sometimes does not go well. Odds are, they are there among you, among all of us. We are all going through something.

As I sat in my seat at the arena, for whatever reason I was looking around, probably at an intermission time, and I saw something shiny in the corner under a seat. Since I was alone and the seat was empty, I hesitated but then reached for that shiny object. It intrigued me so why not. As a I pulled it out of the muck that can build under seats, I wiped it off. I knew it was round and a ring and knowing such items are lost at times. Wiping it off to look at, I could have bursted out crying. It had HOPE stamped on it all around the band.

It’s in the dark places that you grow, even if you feel stomped on and near death. We may not understand the dark valleys we walk through and may question God, why? He is with us, He was with me as I held that dirty ring of HOPE. I was reminded of His Love and to hold on, for I was not alone after all.

You cannot tell me that God does not see us and knows where we are. I walked in with no hope and walked out with HOPE.

Knowing it was not an expensive ring, I knew someone had lost it. As we were exiting, there was nowhere to return it to lost and found. Odds are the person who lost it will never come back to claim it or even look for it under the dirty seats. So I made the decision to keep it, as I needed HOPE and it did indeed give me just that. I cleaned the ring better at home and it was on my finger.

Not to forget through this, somebody lost that ring and at some point needed hope, too, and I do hope and pray they are doing well in life. I would like to think that they, too, hope and pray for the one that perhaps finds the ring, me.

In life, there are times we walk through and feel stuck in the muck and nasty stuff, just like this ring. Still through the mess, the ring was shining through as a fleck for me to see. We each are blessed with gifts and talents, which may seem dim and useless to us, or to even put forth an effort trying, feeling so worthless. He has to remind us, even in such simple things as this ring. He cleans us off and makes us shine so that we can share His Love with others and provide HOPE when there seems to be none.

There is HOPE!

https://formerheathen.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/blessed-in-the-dark-places/

“And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security.” Job 11:18

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Psalm 62:5

“But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.” Psalm 72:14

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his wordI hope;” Psalm 130:5

“More than that, we rejoice in out sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces, hope,” Romans 5:3-4

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans’ 12:12

The Bible is full of HOPE, as He knew we would need such in our lives to pull strength from, to live on this earth day by day. “My soul, finds rest in God; my hope comes from him.”

It’s Time To Be Quiet

My hopes, my dreams, my goals and my plans are for me. Those things that are in the working stages in my life are mine to hope for, figure out, contemplate and discover. They are not yours, they are mine. Many times when we speak of such to another, they don’t understand or care enough as we would like and to not fully understand our journey that we are on. We walk away sometimes discouraged. The reason being, it is not their journey. It’s ours.

Your journey is not my journey. I am not to point my finger and tell you what to do or make you feel less than because I do not agree. Many have their opinions and are willing to freely give. Some are good points to consider but the final choice is ours, good or bad. Perhaps their input is pushing the plan a little quicker than we’d prefer but we know to wait. The wait is hard to understand and impatience shows up to rush the plan. Just do it! No! An uneasiness within catches my attention and it should. Timing, as I have mentioned before in my blogs, it will happen when the time is right. Of course, I have had those moments thinking if am I right, am I just afraid or just plain stupid. Waiting is hard.

As I shared some information the other day with another, I walked away feeling as though I don’t want to share nothing any further. Something was different, it’s like I am to be quiet. It’s not a withdrawal of sharing due to depression but the steps I now must take is to be private. It is not necessary to share everything. As it comes to pass, my faith grows because my trust is in the Lord and not others. He says, I know the desires of your heart. I must believe Him.

There is an excitement within me to figure out what lies ahead. Early in this pandemic, I woke up and immediately sat up in bed with the words, saying aloud, “Do you trust Me?” Another time, the same but more of a peaceful expression, “You are my hiding place.” Each time I would write such words down and put before me to see on my wall near my chair that only I see, as I don’t want to forget and I want to be reminded. I look at it often and oftentimes say it to hear myself, to know that it is okay, to have peace. The words, “Be Still and know that I am God,” is one I glance at often when I worry, more of my son with this one verse but also in all things, when thoughts come that bring fear.

I know He knows my name and I know He knows where I am. Just knowing He knows, a peace comes when I feel unsteady going forward and what is around me seems chaotic. Too many years have passed of holding onto those words to not believe and watch what is to happen. Faith. We must have faith!

Trusting yourself, to trust the Lord, brings growth.

https://www.mondayslife.com/the-season-of-transition-waiting-on-god-for-the-next-move/

https://proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2014/06/11/lord-i-dont-know-what-to-do

“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.” Psalm 25:4 (NLT)

Let Me Hide

Today at church, which has been great to attend again, a late, smaller service and no cameras. Just for me. Too many have been ill with the virus through the months, so I declined going. The morning was beautiful with the sunshine, even though it was quite cold. The joy of knowing springtime is near.

I was reminded today of how far I have come.

As I am sitting there waiting for church to start, a lady commented that my face looks thinner. I had to laugh and said, yes I hear that all the time. While nice of noticing a difference in my face, it actually hurts me when this is said. I get frustrated more with myself. It makes me feel hopeless.

Also, it is my internal thoughts that start stealing my peace and my joy each time, because it is like a look of disgust received that I am still fat. I am.

As I turned to sit in my seat ready for service, for a couple of minutes, I had a war within. All the negative thoughts were being thrown at me and an urge to go hide. Just go hide, as it hurts too much. I was considering to leave and go home to feel safe in my rocking chair, throw the covers over my head and call it a day. All because I am fat, the thoughts of unworthiness, I should hide my fat, I am a disgrace nobody wants to see me, etc. WOW

The struggle was real but I worked through it soon after and stayed. I am not where I want to be, but I am not where I used to be. There were many years. I did hide.

Life can throw some heavy rocks of condemnation, unworthiness, shame and every negative word or thoughts to the point of hopelessness. I was there, in a pit of despair for so many years due to several circumstances. I had given up. What’s the use, just hide and let my comfortable chair hug me to a long deep sleep, sometimes hoping I would not wake up.

Even though I deal with weight issues, which I allowed to increase over the years. Depression will do that to you, as some of you may know. I have had to deal with being over weight. We probably each have a struggle in one way or another. Exactly where the enemy wants us, to hide and be depressed, believing the lies.

This won’t be the last time that I will be told my face looks thinner and then they glance at my body. It hurts because I see it happening, and I know I will need to deal with it afterwards. Thankfully, I did not leave church. I did not go hide in my bedroom and rock the negative thoughts to sleep. It can feel like a prison, locked up.

The first worship song, I sang along and clapped my hands, while still tossing a few of those negative thoughts. It was about the third time around of hearing and seeing the words on the screen and me singing, “He set me free, Yes He set me free, and He broke the bonds of prison for me” I actually felt joy rise up within me.

I know I have been in prison, not actual prison, but one in my mind that I am no good, etc. I don’t want to even type the words now of what I struggled with again or elaborate. I think you get it.

I am worthy of God’s Love whether I am overweight with a thinner face or whatever. He loves me. I don’t need to go hide away from life and people. I don’t need to fear but have peace knowing He is doing a work in me.

Perhaps you understand and at times want to hide yourself as the negative thoughts bombard your mind, or people are unkind in their words whether they know it or not. Whatever it might be. Please know, YOU are Worthy of God’s Love. He loves YOU.

I felt the prison bars opened for me today. I just need to walk out with my head held high. I don’t need to run off and hide. Just shut the door for no re-entry when those moments come and I want to hide.

Lord, don’t let me hide.

“I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” (Isaiah 45:2-3) 

..if the Son sets you free, you will be absolutely free. John 8:36

“God has opened the prison doors for you to walk out into the freedom He promised through Christ.

https://findingtruthwithin.com/2016/04/29/freedom-friday/

https://bessg.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/prison-in-our-life/

https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/08/18/isaiah-611-the-opening-of-the-prison/