Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hope Spoken // friend's voices

We experience different pains and losses but our hope and comfort is the Same.

"In regards to relationships,
A few years ago, I did everything 'right'
There was nothing necessarily self seeking or blatantly Biblically adverse about my heart towards this person.
Time passed, it ran its course.
All the while, I was diligent in prayer and requesting guidance.
When the chips fell into place and it proved dead-ended,
I wrestled over many questions concerning the ways of God, and on a practical level I wondered:

Would we not have served God well together?
Did I make a mistake?
Did I interfere too much or not enough?
Did he have some sort of character flaw outside my vision?

Honestly, I was very discouraged at my failed ‘work,’
My failed prayers and all I had dedicated to personal and spiritual growth.

No fruit… or at least not the expected fruit…

And I am so incredibly glad for this event in my life
And I am so incredibly glad that it failed.

Let me be clear, it is not because I have found some reason to disrespect him, or realized some blatant incompatibility.
It is not that I see him now and suddenly find him unattractive or off-putting.

It is because I realized I don’t have to work for a blessing.

Now I realize something beautiful about the Lord,
That He desires to bless me.
And thankfully, He is not controlled by my desires or my prayers

He did not owe it to me to cause this situation to play out just because I had prayed that it would.

He wants to bless me, and as My Father, He will.
But He wants me to know its not because of me or what I do, or sacrifice, or pray for, work for, or improve for.

It is just because of Him."
|| Michelle Tolomeo << read more here


"'...the beauty of knowing Jesus is that a woman in labor will never be on her own. No matter what the outcome is, no matter how naturally we are able to give birth or which interventions may happen, no matter the amounts of intense agony and pain and complications, no matter the walls I come up against physically and emotionally... God, I believe You are enough. I believe You will be my Rock, my Helper, my Strong Deliverer. I believe You will be working for my good. I believe You will not, for one second, leave or forsake me. I believe You will use this experience, not to glorify my strength or exploit my weakness, but to honor Yourself.'
>> Journal entry on February 21, one month and one day before our precious little man's birth day. The outcome was so different than we thought and the pain so achingly real but the above is still true. Our God is enough, He is working for our good, and we are clinging to His mighty, steadfast love with every breath."
|| Ervina Yoder


"It was my colleague on the other end of the telephone that said it sure tonight, how the life we live in that land, it's one of 'consistent sorrow, yet always rejoicing.' And I nod my head, yes and amen. 

The past year birthed consistent sorrow.
I bear the laboring pains.

But, as I bid farewell to the land that mid-night, my heart swelled to overflowing. In my tears, He spoke: I am the sustainer. These tears? The welling inside? They're evidences of my love. They're the expression of my heart in You. Your heart and your flesh fails. You've been hurt by the very people I've called you to love. You've been tested by the very place I've called you to live. You've been oppressed, but not crushed. Yet, these tears and this sorrow? That ache you feel, leaving these people, this place? It's unnatural because it's Mine. I sustain this love. I sustain You. Hope in Me. 

And, oh, how He loves us.

In the place that tests me most, He is loving me most. Never let me leave. 

'I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because He is at my right hand, 
I shall not be shaken.'
Psalm 16:7-8

And so as the heart aches and swells, I rest.
In all this distance,
In all the confusion,
In all the waiting,
He is actively sustaining."
|| Meg Murkli << read more here


"amidst the trials.
the strain.
the weariness. 
the sifting. 
amidst the unknowns. 
the waiting. 
the silence. 
amidst the longings. 
the unfulfilled words and dreams.
the "not yets".
and the "soons". 
amidst the perseverance.
the patience.
the pressing on.
and pressing in. 

there is a banner hung high. 
and it covers me. 

because the Upholder of my life, 
His name is Jehovah Nissi--  [the Lord is my Banner]. 

and i soak in Exodus 17. 
because when all looked like fail. 
like loss. 
like impossible. 
God shattered the doubt, the fear, the dismay. 
He promised. 
He -- [[promised]].
He promised >>this will not end in defeat<< and Moses believed. 
and God came through.
and the people prevailed. 
'And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi' 

and i hoist it up high. 
never to be lowered. 
because when the Lord is your banner. 
victory is always certain.

and so, 
as you're bending and breaking. 
brought low. 
let your praise lift your Banner high. 
and "may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13). 
because our victory is certain. 
and He's ushering a new thing forth.
taking our weak, broken, empty places 
and birthing life through them.
beautiful, new, abundant life."
|| Kelsey Jonas << read more here

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