2018: A Year For Hope (Week 3)

She closes the door and leans up against it, but it does no good. She can still hear the cutting rants of her stepson as he shouts to the world how much he hates her, how he wishes his dad never married her, and begs her to go away and leave them alone. Sometimes she thinks it might be better if she did leave, as her rejection by the kids has created a chasm between her and her husband as wide as the Grand Canyon. They married three years ago. She thought things would be better by now, that they would find a way to work things out together … as a family. She slumps to the floor and softly weeps.

Behind-the-veil glimpses like the one above and those shared in the prior week’s reveal and remind us that we all experience trials and hardships, pain, and disappointments in life and to varying degrees.

Broken homes
Harassment
Family conflict
Financial strain
Loneliness
Unhealthy environments
Abuse
Loss
Addiction
Betrayal
Health issues
Abandonment
Peer pressure
Strained relationships
… and the list goes on…

And it is during the absolute darkest moments of these trials that the enemy of our souls is quick to whisper (or sometimes shout):

“It / he / she will never change”.
“You will never change”.
“There is no hope”.

While praying about the content of this post, my spirit ached for those weighed down by these types of heartaches while my mind recalled my own darkest days. A dysfunctional and abusive upbringing.  Abandonment.  An abusive marriage. Years of nightmares. The hard work of healing and restoration. In those days, hope seemed evasive and there were seasons when by all appearances hope just flat out left and moved to another country altogether!

But you can’t experience HOPE until you know how deeply and completely you are loved.

And what exactly is “hope” anyways? If you ask Google for the meaning of hope you get the following:
1. (n) A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen
2. (n) A feeling of trust
3. (v) Want something to happen or be the case

And according to Wikipedia,  hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation”.

As accurate as those descriptions of hope may be, they pale in comparison to Bible-Hope. Bible-Hope is a better kind of hope, for Bible-Hope is tied to a promise of God, or a truth found in the Word of God.

 

img_20180111_203901963_hdr854888339.jpg
untitled –  a work in progress, PHTW 1.15.18

But you can’t experience Bible-Hope (hereafter referred to as HOPE) until you know how deeply and completely you are loved. Why? Because if you don’t know-that-you-know-that-you-know that you are deeply loved by God, you will never be able to trust (confidently reply upon) Him or His promises.

 

An old song comes to mind … one that brought me a lot of comfort during some of my darkest days.  I pray you will listen to it with an open heart, and let the Lord speak to you of His deep and all consuming desire to cherish you, treasure you, and love you completely.   “You Can Belong To Me”  by Joanna Carlson.

 

 

If you have been following along, above is the initial sketch for the word picture along with it’s progression to the current state in the larger picture.   There are components of this piece that are going to be revealed as this blog series continues, so please keep coming back to watch the image in my head/heart come to life on paper.  
What do you think would be a good name or caption for this particular word picture?
Also, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about any of the word pictures in this blog series, or any other of my posts.  My prayer is that they will speak something unique to your heart/spirit, and I would be honored to know how they move or impact you.
_____________
All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.

 

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