Hey Friends —
The past few weeks have been difficult. Real difficult.
On the one hand, I’m used to it.
I learned early on in ministry, not to be surprised when the attacks come. Pretty much without fail, every time I’ve geared up to launch a new Bible study or ministry project, there has been opposition.
However, this season’s setback threw me for a loop. Big time.
Whereas I can’t go into specifics or details (thanks for understanding) — please know your prayers for my family/marriage would be super appreciated and welcomed.
In the mean time, I’m clinging to God and His Word. A verse that has been helping me navigate these challenging circumstances is Hebrews 10:23 —
How do we hold on to hope –- keeping a firm grip on God and His promises –- when we’re faced with seasons of disappointment or discouragement?
Not that I have all the answers (trust me!), here’s what I’ve been learning, friends —
1. Be Honest.
One of the things I’m mindful of — I must have safe places where I can be honest and share how I am really doing.
I heard a woman share on Oprah once (don’t judge) you have to “Feel, deal, heal”
For me, part of being honest is allowing myself to ….
- Feel – feel the hurt and disappointment (which, let me tell you, as a former addict is not easy). Sweet friend, we cannot selectively numb. We must be honest with our feelings.
- Deal – find healthy, life-giving ways to cope. Talking with a trusted friend, counselor, or journaling my thoughts and prayers.
- So God can heal –believing God can heal, repair and restore hurts and disappointments — if I give them to Him.
I’m super thankful for the few trusted confidantes who have allowed me to be honest and share how I am really doing.
2. Be Open
Confession: when life gets hard, everything in me wants to hide and isolate myself. How about you?
But I’m learning, if I want to victoriously journey through this hard stuff, I need to stay open and vulnerable. I’m asking God to help me keep my hands and heart accessible to Him and His work.
I keep asking myself, “Cindy, are you living with open hands or tight, clenched fists?”
3. Be Prayerful
Sweet friends, I believe with my whole heart that God is near to the broken hearted. If you too have found yourself in the midst of challenging circumstances, please don’t stop talking to God. Please be prayerful.
Some days my prayers have been more articulate and expressive than others. At first, it was just a lot of nonsense and gobbledygook through puddles of tears.
The next week, my prayers were shaped by structured prayers my mentor Mary has passed along to me (Check out Mary’s amazing prayer packet here) Powerful!
I believe HOW we pray in the midst of despair isn’t as important as IF we pray.
Remember, pray is just talking to God. Keep talking, friends, keep talking!
4. Be Expectant
I believe we serve a God who brings beauty from the ashes, and I’m fully expectant in His perfect timing God is going to redeem every bit of this yuck.
As I mentioned last week, I’ve been listening to this song like 800 times a day. Or so. 🙂 These words bring me hope every time…
Be expectant, friend. This isn’t the end of the story, I promise. If you too find yourself in a chapter you don’t like one bit, remember it’s not over yet. (Thank God!)
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. –Hebrews 10:23 NIV
- Be Honest.
- Be Open.
- Be Prayerful.
- Be Expectant.
How are for you, friend? How do you navigate through the storms of life? What are you holding on to for hope? I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! I’m thanking God for the gift of being honest, open, prayerful, and expectant before you.
With a hope-filled heart–
P.S. Although this post was originally written in 2014, it is every bit as true today. Maybe even more so. Am I surprised by the opposition when my manuscript is due August 1, 2016? No. Do I need to reach out to my sisters for prayer and support? Yes. I pulled up this post today because I needed to be reminded of HOPE, and then realized I might not be the only one. If you are sitting in the midst of chaos and confusion, please know you are not alone. <3