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!

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“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.”

One More, Gone

I found myself the other day feeling the loss of many in my life, but not in death basically, but out of reach. Our relationship will never be the same and our paths may never cross again.

Honestly, I have had to fight through the anger when this has happened. Anger with the Lord. Why? Why are you removing them from my life. I feel so alone. I miss them. I don’t do well with change and feeling abandoned tops the chart in my emotions. Lord, why is this happening as I am alone already?

Through the last few years, more losses but now I try my best to grasp that even though another leaves, the Lord is still with me. It is that knowing deep within that He will never leave nor forsake me. I know that but I am human, too. Loss is hard. I miss them even before they are gone.

Saying goodbye to another just this week, due to his family moving to Arizona, a loss. Odds are I will never see or speak to him again. Our paths crossed. I’m thankful. This happens all the time and I am sure with you, one moves, one retires, one is sick, etc., but they all accumulate to where a sadness develops, as you miss them and the relationship.

The other day, thinking over all of those that I have lost, just in the last five years, I was sad and selfish and wanted to have a poor me, pitiful pity party. I did not do so but I felt it coming. To remind myself, I was blessed to have them in my life for the period that I did was truly a blessing. I hope that I blessed their life in some way.

As I write this, I thought about my former counselor and her last note to me about being a stepping stone in my life. While I understood that from her, I was devastated our time was done too soon, as we just talked about having one more year in counseling together. I was angry with her and reading those words she wrote and even angry with the Lord. I was not done, my dependency on her was still needed, I thought and of our plans. We were making so much progress. Just the visual of a stepping stone and her writing that to me, I wanted to pick that stone up and smash it into smithereens. No matter, it was over and done. I’m just a closed file in her filing cabinet.

As for being angry with the Lord, it is okay and it is okay to scream that you are angry, you may even hate Him at that moment, as He let you down, too. He knows it anyway. Actually, it’s freeing to do just that, scream. Go ahead.

I have had to wonder nowadays if I hear from another person in my life, calling or telling me of whatever is happening in their life and of their situation, and they will be leaving me, too. Am I putting up a wall to avoid such hurt or am I just accepting the fact that nothing or nobody is permanent in my life. Perhaps reluctant to be friends because they might leave. Is this reality or a cold-hearted feeling I have anymore. Dealing with abandonment in my life, this really knocks me off kilter. Please don’t leave me! A part of me is that I understand, and I really do. There is also a part that throws a temper tantrum, fine go ahead and leave me. The sensible, understanding adult and the anxious, fearful child fighting within.

Thankfully, in time I get it together as change and loss is hard. Even through the dark, lonely and emotional stages it all brings, I know I am not alone. Even though I was angry with the Lord, I know He loves me still and I Him. I can share my broken heart yet again but yet again be reminded, He is right here with me.

Like the sweet church song we sing, ‘I don’t know about tomorrow but I know who holds my hand.’ In life we are faced with many losses and situations we don’t know which way to turn, our steps are unsteady, our faith is wavering and we finally throw up a white flag, surrendering our need and call upon the Lord.

In those midnight hours or when you or I feel so alone, people have left our lives and no hope in sight, there is One that we can call out to and He hears our cry and sees our tears while collecting them. How sweet and caring is that?

So I have learned through my losses, I am sad and tears will flow while grief is present. I am not to build a wall to not be hurt again, as I will be, but to accept and wish them well on their journey. Hopefully, I was a stepping stone in their life as they were in mine.

A loss is great but the Love of God is even greater!

May you feel His Love all around you in whatever you might be facing or going through. You are going ‘through’ so have hope because He knows your name, He knows where you are right now, and He knows where you are going. Be Blessed

I Became Her

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The other night I had to laugh at myself, as I was reading something with my reading glasses on and looked up, realizing my glasses were lower on my nose, and I am looking over the rim. When I was young, I’d see older D686905C-1D11-421E-B8BA-B51B3989E663women doing just this and hated it, thinking I will never do that. I became her.

Going back in my memories, my parents would dress up and go to company dinners. I was young and was always fascinated watching my mom put makeup on at the bathroom mirror, as most little girls do. When finished and the final step was the lipstick, as she would always give a quick pucker-up kiss as a stamp of approval.  I stood in the doorway, just watching and waiting. Before she started the process of applying makeup though, the Oil of Olay 28BC5192-DB01-4419-8E45-0D3C94E0B990would be smeared on her face, with me asking why she does that. Of course, her reply was that it was to reduce wrinkles. I told her that I was not going to have wrinkles. I still remember her slight laughter and saying, okay we will see how that works out. I became her.

F57FFC5C-C925-4E3A-8D64-CCF2AB296D17Another time with mom, she loved Jergens hand lotion and used regularly. I looked at her hands and from years and age, her skin was looser than mine, being a child, as I observed the differences. Of course in my child’s mind and stating the fact, my hands will not look like that. Today, I have aged and I see my mother’s hands when I look at my own. I became her.

When I was in fifth grade, my teacher was so pretty. I was at an age of growing up, going through puberty. While I had sisters and my mom, they were too busy to help me in areas that young girls should know about. I watched this teacher, admired her hair, how she dressed, matching shoes, jewelry, plus she had a sweet and caring personality. To me, she was a role model, and I learned by observing and paying attention to details, which have helped me through my life. I became her.

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As I was in my senior year of high school, not knowing what I was going to do after graduation when asked by the shorthand/typing teacher. I really and truly had no ideal what the future held for me. It was when she not asked if we wanted to go but said we were going to the local Vocational School for Business & Office training. This teacher took two of us to visit the school, and we signed up because she said to, so my friend and I went to Vocational School. This has been my livelihood since 1977. With her teaching me, leading me, actually guided my life, I have been able to succeed and teach others. I became her.

During this pandemic, with no haircuts and a lot of things we take for granted were not being had. As I was working in the yard, I had a bandana around my neck as my sister visited and I pulled up over my mouth and nose, not knowing what we were all dealing with and respect for her. As I continued to work, sweating but making progress with our landscape, I took that bandana and slipped it on my head, holding back my hair that is now longer than usual. I went into the house at one point and glanced at a mirror on the way out, stopped and laughed as I saw my mom’s reflection look back at me, as she would wear a bandana the same way. I became her.DE7D0BC6-5908-4C15-9461-DDFDA9063584

Many have been in my life as role models, some as a mother figure to help me, to care and to give me those hugs that I longed for in my life. So many helped me know how to be a Christian and mature in my faith. Others, helped me understand life and who I am. To be a wife and a mother, and how to love and teach my children, I watched many through the years. Plus, how to be a good daughter-in-law and how to be a good mother-in-law. I have been touched by so many in my life and I can truly say from each one, I became her. Blessed

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 We tend to become like those we admire.” Thomas Monson
“Sometimes a teacher is the only positive role model a student will see each day.”
“God puts people in our lives on purpose so we can help them succeed and help them become all He created them to be. Most people will not reach their full potential without somebody else believing in them.” Joel Osteen 

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