“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (the book of Hebrews)
After almost a year of navigating the tumultuous polarization and division that is running rampant on social and regular media from every possible side, and then more recently following both the natural and man-made disasters, last night, I was done in emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I felt as if I was living in a place and time where there is no hope. No hope. Not a good place for this Dolly Mama, the one whose fierce passion is to bring the message of hope and healing. It’s what I normally shout from the mountaintops. There’s always hope. But last night, I was mired in a place believing I might be wrong. There actually might not be any hope.
My thoughts swirled. Who is going to fix this? Why do people hate each other? What’s with all the natural disasters? Why do people keep vilifying those they are not in agreement with? Where is the love? Doesn’t anyone see that divisiveness will destroy each valuable person? I was pretty much on a rampage to convince myself that I am wrong to think that there is redemption and hope and healing. Hopeless might just be a more true place. Right in the middle of my thoughts running amok, there was a song that kept running through my mind as I turned in for the night and rang loudly again in my head as I woke this morning. It was one of those catchy tunes you wish you could get rid of but just keeps going around and around and around in your brain. The words eventually caught hold of my heart as I was trying to tune them out.
There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus.
(Click here for the full version but come back and read.)
Having nowhere else to turn and not really liking the place I was in, I made a bold move. I actually took the song up on the challenge and cried out to God. I asked Him to bring voices of HOPE, RESTORATION AND HEALING today to my heart instead of voices of fear, divisiveness and destruction. I needed those voices today. I needed that healing and restoration. Many days, I am that voice. But not today. I was desperate for those voices from others, those that reflect the very heart of the God of unity, truth, healing, encouragement, kindness, love, hope, peace, joy, patience, all that is GOOD. I promised Him I would keep track of them if He would just send them to me.
I quickly went right back to a “not-so-good” place and asked myself if I was just purposefully trying to avoid the bad stuff. Shut it out. Not deal with it. Pretend it’s not there. Go on in my “nice little world” and not have it be shaken up. That thought deeply troubled me. I am not sure that my answer was purely 100% “no.” Life is hard. Terrible things happen that shake me up. I get caught up in the drama and the opinions and the tragedies. The world is suffering and struggling. I do want to avoid it. However, a louder voice and a deeper, truer message broke through the darkness of my soul. God sent those voices today.
On this, my “Thankful Thursday,” I share them with you.
- A beautiful sunrise on my walk and talk with wise daughter, Sarah. She shared her heart for the poverty-stricken children she has in her second-grade classroom day after day. She loves these kids with every cell in her body. A voice of HOPE.
- A text from my dear friend, Cindy, about her love and thankfulness for me and our friendship. A voice of HOPE.
- A quick word with my mom about my dad coming through his surgery with flying colors. I think this man may outlive me. A voice of HEALING.
- A letter from my friend Kim in prison pouring out words of truth, grace, mercy, and wisdom far beyond anything I have personally known. A voice of RESTORATION.
- A blog post from my online friend Shelby. A voice of HEALING.
- A walk and talk with my pastor friend Tracy. We shared our differences and our similarities with kindness, love and grace, with humility and reason. A voice of RESTORATION.
- A hard phone call with my patient husband working through a disagreement that we’ve been struggling with since Monday night. A voice of HEALING.
I will end with an excerpt from Shelby’s blog post. She speaks truth, the deeper truth of HOPE, HEALING AND RESTORATION!
“Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is present, He gives freedom. And the Spirit is EVERYWHERE.
God knows we long for freedom—freedom to live and love and laugh and experience the grandeur and beauty of this precious life He’s given us. Freedom from evil, discord, scarcity, oppression, shame.
If we would only look longer into the eyes of every person we meet, friends and foes, perhaps the God in them would have a better chance of connecting with the God in us. Together is the only way we press forward through these moments of suffering. Arm in arm, heart to heart, breath to breath.
Let’s make sure we love…with every fiber of our being.
Love binds, love sustains, love endures, love heals, LOVE WINS.”
(Read her entire post here)