Tag Archives: abuse

2018: A Year For Hope (Week 14)

I just met “C” outside of the computer store picking up my laptop from weekend repairs.

Dear “C”
If you are reading this, I want you to know that everything below the dashed line was actually written by me last night on my cell phone.  In light of our meeting, I believe it is no ‘coincidence’ that I had scheduled to reblog something written by The Abuse Expose with Secret Angel.  I am sure you will find much on their website (and I hope by my own story, starting back in the 2014 blog posts) that will be of comfort to you as you are walking out your journey.    I am going to continue to pray for you, and of course you now have my name and phone number.    #GodIsBigger #TheDevilHasAlreadyLost  #ThisDoesNotDefineYou

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Alas, I am without my computer (in for maintenance) and so instead of trying to type out my writings on my phone (I assure you, that would not end well), I am sharing this lovely poem entitled “A Pure Heart

With a shared passion for the abused and broken, I have been following The Abuse Expose’ with Secret Angel for several years. I highly encourage you to check out their blog.

https://wp.me/p3u5ZW-4fd

Blessings!

2018: A Year For Hope (Week 9)

She prayed. She believed. She spoke in agreement with the promise. And she is still waiting and praying.
He found the scriptures. He stood on them. He was genuinely surprised when everything fell apart anyways.
The little boy whispered, “God, are you still there? Are you listening?”

Many of my posts have to do with the subject of HOPE and FAITH.

HOPE; the confident trust and expectation in the promise of God. FAITH; the best buddy of HOPE that is grounded and established on the immutable Word of God. There is a natural tension between the two … a mystery to be walked out by those who would claim to have believing faith for something they don’t yet have or possess or see in the natural.

“You can’t have FAITH without HOPE;
and hope without faith is just a wish.” ~unknown

“Hope is a divine inner image. It’s a dream birthed by The WORD of God
in the soul of man. It’s the blueprint of our faith.” ~Kenneth Copeland

For the next few weeks or so, I am going to try to tackle the subject of something I wrestle with on a regular basis. Like the imaginary people above, I’ve prayed for specific needs. I’ve researched the scriptures for the promise related to those needs and laid claim to them. I’ve gotten my mouth working in agreement with the Word. I’ve locked the door to fear. I’ve stood my ground before the enemy of doubt and ….

(sigh!)

I call this period, this process, this slow-as-molasses season …… the wait of Faith.

If I’m being completely honest, for me it’s one thing when I have a practical need. Maybe I need finances for car repairs, or I need a new wardrobe because I lost 33 lbs on Weight Watchers. (a little shout out to my WW group! Whazzup my friends!!) I have His promise, I know it’s His will (because it’s in His Word), and so basically, I just need to keep my eyes looking upward and trust He will bring it to pass in His timing.

But (again, being completely honest), it is a much harder deal when you are praying as an intercessor. Like when you’re praying for healing for your child, grandchild, or spouse. Or praying for someone to be delivered from drugs, alcohol, or pornography. You see the lives impacted. You see the pain, doubt, and fear. And you can’t do anything to fix it but pray and believe, and pray some more! This is where the Wait of Faith takes on a whole new meaning, for not only are you affected by the pain and doubt and wreckage you see happening in the life of the one you are interceding for, but your own pain and doubts need to be managed.

“She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Lead on; don’t slow down for me unless I tell you.” So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel. When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, “Look! There’s the Shunammite! Run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?’” “Everything is all right,” she said.”
2 Kings 4:24-26

It’s not that the Shunammite woman (whose child had just died btw) wasn’t experiencing a torrent of emotions. She was! BUT … she held them in check (didn’t give them full reign), and purposefully determined in her will and spirit to trust to the spiritual authority of the Prophet as higher (of ranking priority) than her own emotions. Let me say that again but in a slightly different way.

She made a conscious determination and willful choice to put her trust in the authority of the Prophet (the OT representation of Jesus Christ) as greater than the torrent of her own emotions and thoughts and fears.

And that is ultimately what saved her sons life!!!

Let us also purposefully determine during our own Wait of Faith, to give our confidence and trust (our HOPE) to the promises, power and authority of matchless Name of Jesus which is higher than whatever is facing us today.  If He said it, He will do it!!

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

2018: A Year For Hope (Week 8)

My Pastor used a term on Sunday to describe the world that we live in … “uncertainty”.    There most definitely is uncertainty in the world, and across the globe there are terrible things that happened this year, this week, this hour.

“Your joy is your own; your bitterness is your own.  No one can share them with you.”  Proverbs 14:10

Earlier in the week my daughter asked me to share with her a Scripture that really helped stabilize me when my own world was topsy-turvy.

That conversation reminded me of a compilation I put together a few years ago … a collection of Scriptures that met me where I was and spoke the cry of my heart.  

Tears2,Sunscreen

“If I’m going to cry,
let them be tears shed before my God.”

Proverbs 14:10 tells us that ‘each heart knows its own bitterness’, which to me means that sometimes you just need to cry it all out.  I think that’s why I collected the Scriptures I did.

Some gave words to the depth of my pain.
Some were cries for mercy and deliverance.
Some spoke deeply to my soul of  irrevocable promises that God would see me through it and work all things together for my benefit in the end.

“You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears. Aren’t they all listed in your book?” Psalms 56:8

And that is why I call them Love Letters for they were -and still are- love letters from Him to me, letters of strength and comfort to my (still*) hurting soul.  I hope they bring comfort to you as well.

*Disclaimer alert!  I’m saved and I’m greatly changed from the broken girl I was in my teens and wrecked woman I was in my 20’s and 30’s.  But by no means, have I “arrived” at that place of wholeness or perfection.  Can we ever, this side of heaven? 

Nope, I’m a work in process, just like you.   Whatever God did for me, He is more than able and willing to do for you too … even more, in fact.  But it will require your faith (confident trust and expectation in His goodness) and your pursuit of His face.   Oh but friend, it is a worthy pursuit indeed to seek the presence of God, and He is SO willing to be found by a heart hungry to know Him.

What are Scriptures have that special place in your heart?  Please comment below with the passage, and if you are willing a bit about the why behind it.

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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.

 

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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.

2018: A Year For Hope (Week 7)

In a prior post (week 3), I shared a few definitions of hope, as well as a definition for what I call Bible-HOPE. The latter is a far better kind of hope, for Bible-HOPE (HOPE) is rooted in the Promises contained in the Word of God, and most often to a covenant Promise made between Himself and we, His people.

To hear His voice and receive His deep love for us, this is the very birthplace of HOPE.

But sometimes, life sucks the hope right out of you! And then what, my friend?

How is one to respond when you’ve been smacked upside the head by the frying pan of life, and had your hope knocked clear across the floor?

I’ve experienced both, and no doubt you have too.

Jennifer Arimborgo authors the blog Feeding on Jesus. I think her post “Can You See Him?” beautifully and artfully speaks to this very type of situation, and she has graciously given me permission to share it with you. as follows:

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“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Ps. 27:13, NKJV).

Do you believe you will see the goodness of the Lord in this life? According to these words from Psalms, being convinced that you will is the antidote to discouragement.

What comes to mind when you read the phrase, “seeing the goodness of the Lord”?

Probably most of us start to imagine desirable outcomes to our current circumstances. These are some concrete ways His goodness could manifest in our lives:

• The healing of a family member struggling with chronic illness
• Sudden, unexpected financial provision for paying off debts
• The restoration of a rocky marriage
• A child being born after a long journey battling infertility
• A loved one delivered from drug addiction

Yes. All of these are most definitely overt expressions of how good He is. Each of them showcases His kindness in a dramatic way. However, I’d like to share with you a deeper nuance of this Scripture than what may be apparent upon first glance.

To do so, I’m going to bring in another passage to help illuminate this one. It’s from Jesus’ teaching in Matthew. “But blessed are your eyes, for they see…” (Matt. 13:15a, ESV). He spoke these words to the disciples, contrasting them with multitudes of people who could see with their physical eyes but had no real perception happening at a heart level (vv. 13-15). He was pointing out to them what riches were theirs because they could perceive truth.

Do we have eyes that see? To see with our spirit means to discern, to recognize, to ascertain, to be aware, to understand. If we do have heart’s eyes that function this way, blessed are we! This is why Paul interceded for the Ephesians’ spiritual power of sight. This was so crucial that he never stopped praying this prayer: “I keep asking… that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you” (Eph. 1:17a, 18a, NIV).

Like them, we, too, desperately need eyes that can supernaturally ascertain and absorb real hope. Now, let’s look at Psalm 27:13 through the lens of this vital truth. David says, “…Unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord…” Do you hear what Holy Spirit is expressing? “Unless I had believed that I would perceive His goodness… that I would profoundly recognize how good He is… that I would discern the true character of His heart, how pure, how kind, how faithful is His very nature… that I would become aware of how tender His intentions are toward me… that I would comprehend with every fiber of my being how much He loves me… I would have lost heart!”

This, my friends, is where hope is born: when we can see Him. When our heart can understand who He really is. When we can truly see His goodness, then we don’t ever, ever, ever lose heart. Blessed are our eyes when they can pierce the fog of adverse circumstance and perceive Daddy’s kindness and love in the midst of it.

How we need such eyes! I would encourage you to pray Ephesians 1:18 and Psalms 17:13 over yourself right now, and then every day for the rest of your life!

Daddy God, I pray that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened, that I may know the hope to which You have called me! Out of Your great, merciful love, allow me to see Your goodness in the land of the living!

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What a lovely word picture this is to me. To have ears that hear and eyes that see with the heart (spirit).

But I think this type of engagement requires a willingness to look outside ourselves and above our circumstances so that we can attend to (focus on and interact with) the loving countenance of our Daddy God. And to hear His voice and receive His deep love for us, this is the very birthplace of the HOPE we so deeply long for and desperately need.

In my current watercolor (below, and still a work in process, but I’m going to be revealing more within the next week or three), I like to imagine “Miss Hope” as lifting her arms in complete surrender, as an offering to her Lord. Some days arms are raised in prayer, other days in worship, and still other days in sorrow. But whatever her emotion, there is intimacy and intention to her interaction with God. She knows to Whom she has sought out, and has called upon, and to Whom she is now kneeling before. His voice is comforting and familiar to her ears, and she is able to be restful and surrendered in the sacredness of this moment with Him.

Dear friend, if you have been ‘smacked upside the head by the frying pan of life’, my prayer is that you would take some time to seek out your Daddy God, and allow His voice become familiar to you. If you will seek Him, He has sworn by His own Name to be found by you.

And HOPE can revive again!

“His voice is so sweet and heavenly
Although I can’t really hear Him

I can feel Him speaking to me
Assuring me, calling me near Him

He is watching over me
Always loving me
Always there for me

I will listen with the ears of my heart
For the voice of the One who loves me.”

(poem written by my beautiful daughter L.V. in 1994)

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

If you enjoyed Jennifer’s post, I bet you’ll enjoy her other writings too (I know I do!). You can find her at: https://jenniferarimborgo.feedingonjesus.com

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.

Lord of the past

I have loved this song since I first heard it in the early 90’s.  It was my anthem during a particularly difficult time in my life, but lets face it – everyone has a past!  Everyone has been hurt by harsh words and experienced the disappointment of broken promises.  Everyone has experienced the pain of loss, disgrace, shame.   Everyone has watched dreams die and grieved for missed opportunities.  Everyone has said and done things they deeply regret and wish they could take back.

Everyone hurts!  The question is – what do you do with that hurt?

photo provided by Dez Pain.
photo provided by Dez Pain.

Some of the most personally impacting lines of the song come at the bridge and poignantly speak to the way we so often try to isolate ourselves from the risk of future pain by building walls of self-protection and even self-deception.   I did this for years, refusing to come to terms with my past and doing everything in my power to convince myself daily that the truth that was staring me right in the face did not exist; in effect creating ‘my own reality’ so that I didn’t have to deal with the actual reality that hurt too much to acknowledge.   And like the song said, it was killing me.

Are you hurting today?  There is hope.

For me, it was only when the train-wreck of my life reached its lowest possible point, that I finally surrendered and cried out to God to be the Lord of my past, my present, and my future.   I pray you don’t have to get to that low a point before you reach out for the hand of Love that is reaching out to take yours.  There is no judgement in His eyes, only deep compassion for you and a longing to restore you.  And if you will allow Him, He has promised in His word to transform even the most painful aspects of your past, and give you beauty where there was once only ashes.  He is able.  He can do anything.  Truly, He can.

LORD OF THE PAST

Bob Bennett
© 1989 Matters Of The Heart Music (ASCAP)

Every harsh word spoken
Every promise ever broken to me
Total recall of data in the memory
Every tear that has washed my face
Every moment of disgrace that I have known
Every time I’ve ever felt alone

Lord of the here and now
Lord of the come what may
I want to believe somehow
That you can heal these wounds of yesterday
(You can redeem these things so far away)
So now I’m asking you
To do what you want to do
Be the Lord of the Past
(Be the Lord of my Past)
Oh how I want you to
Be the Lord of the Past

All the chances I let slip by
All the dreams that I let die in vain
Afraid of failure and afraid of pain
Every tear that has washed my face
Every moment of disgrace that I have known
Every time I’ve ever felt alone

Well I picked up all these pieces
And I built a strong deception
And I locked myself inside of it
For my own protection
And I sit alone inside myself
And curse my company
For this thing that has kept me alive for so long
Is now killing me.
And as sure as the sin rose this morning,
The man in the moon hides his face tonight.
And I lay myself down on my bed
And I pray this prayer inside my head

Lord of the here and now
Lord of the come what may
I want to believe somehow
That you can heal these wounds of yesterday
So now I’m asking you
To do what you want to do
Be the Lord of my Past
You can do anything
Be the Lord of the Past
I know that you can find a way
To heal every yesterday of my life
Be the Lord of the Past