From Struggles to Hope.

Romans 15:13
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Below is a devotional associated with this verse from Daily bible app.
One of the things my great-grandma and I had in common was our tremendous love for flowers and plants.
So when she passed away a few months before my husband and I were married, I took some cuttings from a few of her plants so I could start my own to remember her by. The most special one of all was her heirloom tea rosebush. I took the cuttings home to my Granny so we could plant and tend to them until they took root…if they took root.
They did and by the time John and I said “I do”, the tiny bushes were ready to plant. Over the span of thirty-seven years those bushes have been moved four times and numerous cuttings have been taken from them to be shared with others. But on this last move the bushes had to remain in buckets for several months…something they don’t tolerate very well.
When I was finally able to get them in the ground I was nearly certain they wouldn’t make it. I was heart-broken. I know it sounds silly, but I prayed for those roses to survive. They seemed to be just sitting there doing nothing, but when I returned home after teaching in a Bible camp for a couple of weeks, I ran out to check them and…they were getting new leaves!!! They were growing!
Those rosebushes remind me of many things: My sweet great-grandma, my enormous and loving family, and the fact that even when things seem dead or hopeless, God knows better. With Him there is always hope and always joy if we will let Him cultivate it in us and trust in His timing.
Pray: God, let me see the good in all things in my life. Give me the courage to trust You to always know what is best. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Journal
What hurt do you need God to heal you from?
How has God used a difficult or painful situation in your life to bring about good and hope?
These Journal questions were at the end of this devotion. Now I read this devotional a few weeks back but i saved it and I kept going back to it because I can relate so much not just to the story, but these questions.
I have been hurt, we have all been hurt. At first I didn’t channel my hurt appropriately.
I didn’t go to God to heal me from my pain and anguish. I ran.
I have spoken about it in previous posts.
Yet after some time, after My kids, I used my pain to openly talk to others complaining about the same pain I once had.
4 years ago a friend of mine and I were discussing infertility.
At that point my oldest son was 2 and half.
During her venting she said to me, you don’t understand my struggle, you have a cute, doting toddler at your whim, I have nothing.
She was right, I did have my 2 year old. What she didn’t know was the years of suffering, miscarriages, pain, loss in hope, depression, medical procedures and tests that I have endured to get where I got.
I had decided to make lifestyle choices prior to getting my son.
I had to recenter myself and focus back in Christ.
I made dietary changes.
I made life changes.
I made spiritual changes.
I did the ultimate prioritizing in my life and eliminated toxicity from it.
I shared my struggle.
I shared my burdens.
I shared my stories of miscarriages.
She was shocked.
I may have said it in previous posts, but I rarely open up to people and share my stories and my struggles.
So I got outside my comfort zone and she was inspired.
She went ahead and decided to make some changes.
She decided to loose weight.
She decided to change her diet.
She made life style changes.
She also made spiritual changes.
She omitted toxic people in her life.
She got pregnant a few months after.
Ironically around the same time I did.
Though she found out about her pregnancy before I even suspected about mine.
Our kids are two weeks apart.
She needed that pep talk.
She needed to recenter herself with Christ.
She needed to make some changes in her life.
She needed to do her part like I did, for God to do his.
This is an example of how my hurt, my pain, my trials brought good, joy and hope, not just in my life but in hers.
Father God I want to thank you for your love. I want to thank you for my trials and my tribulations. Everything that I have been through in life has only brought me closer to you. Everything that i have been through has only made me stronger. Every form of suffering which you have healed me from have brought joy, good and hope to others. Sharing stories, sharing our difficult moments, can be of a blessing and inspire hope to others. Our trials and our life experiences are not merely our own, but for others so that they too can learn from them and be inspired to grow closer to you. Father you are an amazing teacher and healer, I thank you so much for all you do. Amen.
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Love

Sometimes I start rambling, writing, reflecting and then I forget about them.

Here is something I wrote a few months back.
Love.

A four letter word used without meaning.

Love.

A four letter word that encompasses so many feelings.

Love.

Where did it go?

Love.

Is it under my toes?

Love.

So quick to say but is it even real?

Love.

Is that really how you feel?

Love.

How did it fade away?

Love.

Was it ever here to stay?

Love.

How can you love and not love?

Love.

It was sent from high above

Love

We are meant to love each other

Not let it drift away.

But here we are

Loveless

Emotionless

Love

Come back…. you’ve drifted too far.

#BFF


#BFF
Tween’s, Teens and Millennial’s (myself included) are constantly using Hashtags (#) for everything.

#Iwokeup

#Iate

#IhashtagforNoReason
We tend to post pictures of our loved ones and besties.
#bff #MyBestFriendIsBetterThanYours #MyBestie

Spaces between words no longer exists with the hastag movement.

#IJumbleMyWordsTooLazyToUseTheSpaceBar.

What I often see a lot is the #BFF #BestFriends.

Now I don’t find that offensive in any way. I too have best friends, friends I love dearly, and occasionally when I post a picture on social media i also #bff to these pictures. (such a millennial lol – oh there I go LoL vs Laughing Out Loud).
I married a wonderful man, whom I consider my best friend. He is just truly amazing. Amazing Individual, Amazing Father, Amazing Husband, Amazing Son, Amazing son in law, Amazing member of our Church, Amazing brother in Christ and an Amazing Best Friend.
I also have my best friends whom I have had since child hood, best friends that no matter how many days go without us speaking, no matter how long we go without seeing each other, no matter where in the country they live (none of my best friends live near me…They have all continued their lives in other states, that is ok, because distance does not kill friendships, they are my besties despite distance). Yet I feel we are just close as we were when we lived near each other. Love friendships like this that can last the tests of times and distances.

My siblings are my best friends…we fight, we bicker, we get along…just like your average siblings. I love them and I consider them my best friends.

However my #BestFriendForever has been by my side from conception.
God the father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. The Divine Trinity has been by my side since day one, while undergoing mitosis and meiosis in the womb, when I was just a single cell, before becoming a full fetus/embryo.

The Holy Spirit has been with us from day one. The Holy Spirit is your true best friend forever. The trinity has been with us from the very beginning, while are cells are developing into bodies, God was apart of that process, ensuring that every aspect of you and I came to be as it is today. What kind of best friend would be with your during these early developments? A divine one. #HolySpiritBFF!!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 New International Version (NIV) 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies
From day one. the Holy Spirit is within us, the Holy Spirit, who is God, is within us, guiding us. Divine, holy, eternal, true, omnipresent, omnipotent, always and forever with us. #HolySpiritIsMyBFFemphasisOnForever.
John 14: 6 – But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
The Holy Spirit guides and Helps us. The Holy Spirit teaches us. Our worldly best friends can help us, but none in the way God can. #HolySpiritIsMyBFF
Romans 5:5 “Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
When we are Weak, the Holy spirit lifts us, guides us, intercedes for us, searches our hearts, knows our thoughts, encourages us, for God’s will. The Holy Spirit has done for you and I more than any one of our Best friends in the flesh has.

#MyBestFriendTheHolySpiritIsBetterThanYours. (ok, maybe that was a bit much…we do not want to gloat…father forgive me, but you get the idea.)
Romans 8:26-27 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
The Spirit counsels us with Wisdom, understanding and knowledge.
Isaiah 11:2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
Currently at my church we are in the midst of studying the Trinity, but particularly the role of the Holy Spirit. These classes of the Holy Spirit has inspired this post. If you didn’t know you will now know that the Holy Spirit is God. He is apart of the trinity. We do not have Gods, but a God.
The Holy Spirit is a divine aspect where you can feel God. A mediator. The trinity Is God our father, God the son, God the Holy Spirit. One God, three variations of God, yet the same one true God.
In these lessons, from where we have gotten to thus far we learned the personality of the Holy Spirit, we’ve learned the various names the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit (OT & NT). We learned the role the Holy Spirit places in our lives.
The main emphasis given throughout the lesson is building a relationship with God using the Holy Spirit. Just like in your friendships and relationships here, you have to build a relationship. You need to be open, honest, show love and affection, be close with the Holy Spirit. Treat God as your best friend… share with him. Have God be your #bff. That is possible. The Holy Spirit makes it possible.
Remember as mentioned before the Holy Spirit was there with you from day one. Don’t hold out, God knows you better than you do, but still maintain a relationship. The same way your closest friend knows with just one glance what you are thinking…. you still tell your friend everything.
God I thank you, I thank you for sending a piece of you to me. I thank the Holy Spirit for being that direct connection to you. For being my best friend from day one. For guiding me, enlightening me, pushing me, embracing me, toughening me, teaching me and loving me. Thank you for the outpouring love, for the miracles you have given in my life, and the miracles that have yet to come. I trust in you my lord, my true Best Friend forever. Amen.

#GodAlmightyIsMyBestFriend

Wearing ones heart on your sleeve.

I saw this piece of art work online (I googledheart on sleeve, and found this image though you’ll find it herehttp://narakafurin.deviantart.com/art/Painted-Heart-on-sleeve-154036631 ) and it got me thinking.

Sometimes this is exactly how I feel. I don’t know what the artist wanted to deliver in their art work…. but with my first reaction all I can say is “I can relate with you sister”.

I feel your pain, your torment, your scars, and the markings that across your body.

Loving is something, strange, yet pure.

One day many years ago, my late aunt told me. “You and I are more alike than you realize. We both have a lot of love to give, sometimes we don’t get that love back. Though at times it bothers us, though at times we are pained, though we can think of many reasons to give up on others, we don’t, do you want to know why? We have both a blessing and a curse, for we wear our hearts on our sleeve.” I was baffled.

Didn’t realize she understood without uttering a single word how I felt (and at times continue to feel).

We love…. wholeheartedly.  Even if we arent loved back.

We will give you the shirt off our backs if need be…. even if you would never reciprocate that offer.

Not eat, so you can eat.

Give you my last couple of dollars, if your in need.

Help you in the midst of your crisis…. though in our storms we’ve carried that burden solo.

This is an ode to my aunt.

Someone who understood me…. despite how often we fought (both of us were stubborn…. passionate in what we believe in… despite the similarities and differences)…. one thing is for certain….. she knew how to love the way I do.

She knew….as I know…. that our hearts were always used and strung along.

Many have taken advantage.

Many have scarred us.

Many have broken us.

Many have hurt us.

Many have abandoned us.

One thing is for certain…. none of that stopped us from continuing to love and help… despite the scars, the wounds, and coverups…

It’s both a blessing and a curse wearing your heart on your sleeve,