Tag Archives: hope

Hope That Sprouts Peace

I’ve never been one to pick a word of the year. Not that I have a problem with it, but my tendency would be to feel like I had to stay camped out on that word even if God was moving me toward something else. If that makes sense.

What I have been doing though is using alphabet building blocks to spell out a word or phrase as a visual reminder of a specific truth. I’ll call these “here and now words,” since they are simply whatever God is impressing on me for now. It’s amazing since paying attention how frequently in Bible study and everyday life the present word or theme crops up.

My first word, after being given the set of blocks was “weakness.” If you read this blog regularly, or follow me on Instagram, you may remember I wrote a couple posts about God showing me weakness is strength since it is in our inability and need that we see his power and might. Well, I’ve seen my need alot lately. And seeing who he is for me in my weakness, it is now “hope” that I’ve adopted as my “here and now word.”

I first encountered “hope” as a recurring word at Christy Nockel’s Night of Hope Christmas Concert. She likened her story (and song) of the Amaryllis, a flower that blooms in the winter when everything is cold and dark, to God’s love breaking into the sin and darkness of this world in the person of Jesus. The Light of the World who came to give hope.

After the concert I listened to the Amaryllis song over and over again so it’s no surprise really that when the handmade Christmas card (pictured above) arrived, “Hope” jumped out at me, There it is again. Ever since clinging to hope seems indirectly related to what I’m reading, my conversations and circumstances. Like I said, “It’s amazing since paying attention how frequently… the same word or theme keeps cropping up.”

So to realize in picking back up 1 Peter (which I literally started reading in September, but put down for a couple months until last week) that it’s all about living hope is not random.  In fact it seems the reason I never fully got through it in the fall is because this message is what God wanted for me now! How cool is that!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a LIVING HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus ChristThough you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

This hope is not found here, but assures us of something so much greater. This hope reminding us to keep an eternal perspective can change the way we view things now. This hope we are called to by the God of all grace and is met in Christ who himself will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish. This hope does not disappoint!

Therefore, as Peter concluded his letter, “Peace to all of you who are in Christ.” Peace. Perhaps my next “here and now word.” What about you? What’s your word, or what inexhaustible truths are you seeing in his word?

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Eating Disorder Resources

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  And because this is an issue that has hit home for us, I am passionate about breaking the silence and shame of eating disorders and fostering hope. True hope in the One who is the Great Physician and makes all things new.

Therefore, please find a list of past blog posts on the topic, as well as, a link to my friend Martha Kate’s site for plenty more articles on the subject of eating disorders from a gospel-centered perspective.

The Intruder Named ED

I Had No Idea: The Secret Truths of Eating Disorders

Breaking Up with ED

Giving Up The Fight: The War on Eating Disorders

Freedom from ED

Why I Won’t Say you Look Skinny

Why Our Daughter Got a Tattoo {and we allowed it}

How to Help Our Kids Stand Secure when Body Image Issues Surface

Leaving Perfection Learning Grace

Straddling Between the Peaks and Valleys

For me, this past week has been one of great highs and low lows. On one hand, my book launched and I experienced the culminating thrill of all the hard work finally coming to life. In addition to release day festivities in my hometown, our family traveled to Nashville where I attended a couple book events.  The trip, however, was primarily to visit special friends. Just being with them, meeting their friends and exploring a different place transported us to a place of rest and temporary forgetting of our responsibilites at home. Although it would’ve been great to be at home to cheer on my daugher’s friends on the high school volleyball team that won State Saturday night. Certainly all highs not typical of every week.

On the other hand, while away we learned of the tragic death of a teenager at our high school. One of my sons is only a grade behind this young man, who he had wrestled with. His dad is the varsity wrestling coach and science teacher. In a separate incident a single engine plane crash killed a man from our community, whose college freshman daughter is someone my daugher knows. My Nashville friend was also grieving – over the loss of her friend last week to suicide. Cancer diagnoses, relational conflict and emotional bankruptcy also dotted my week.  Lows that can’t go much lower.

While every week is not so extreme, we do live in constant tension between joy and sorrow, the now and the not yet, good and evil, and ups and downs. We want to celebrate what is good, but feel guilty when we know others are suffering. And yet if we were all in deep darkness who would be there to give light? So we are left conflicted, straddling between the peaks and valleys… where real life is lived.

We want to stay on the mountaintop, but because we don’t we are reminded this is not our home. And while the good times and blessings are a pointer to what’s to come, we must endure the sorrow and despair all around us. Only we don’t have to go at it alone!

Just last night at my girls’ Bible study we talked about the reality of Jesus’s sacrifice and suffering. Not just on the cross, but in taking on our humanity. Think about it – Jesus left the perfection of heaven to enter into our sinful, broken world only to be persecuted and rejected. But it was through His suffering, which He counted as joy, He was made perfect! And because He was He is now able to perfectly identify with us in our pain and suffering.

In becoming man He experienced every emotion, disappointment and heartache that we do. He knows what it is like to be misunderstood, rejected, gossiped about, excluded, lonely, sad, stressed, afraid, angry and to face temptation.  Because He understands, He draws near and gives hope.

Hope, as David Crowder sings, that “earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.” And when we struggle to believe this is true, He calls us again to drink from His fountain of grace to sustain us until that day when all things are made new.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold I make all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.” Revelation 21:1-7