Monday, September 26, 2016

More About Hope

I've learned a lot about hope over the last year.

Hope is not a wish.
It's not a desperate desire for something to happen.
It's not even a dream for the future.

Hope is so much more than wishes, dreams, desires, and lofty goals if your hope is in the right thing.
If your hope is in something constant, reliable, and good, then hope becomes an assurance.
That's what hope in God is. It's an assurance. Hope in anything else is just fairytale wishing.

Remember this old hymn:
Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

But, wait ... verse two is even better ...
When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

That second verse is my true life story right now.

I recently read a perfect visual of what hope in my unchanging God looks like. Holly Wagner (Find Your Brave) compared hope to floaties ... the floats you wore on your arms as a child to help you stay above water.  As a child, I trusted those floaties with my life. As a mother, I trusted those floaties with my children's lives. When those floaties were on your arms, you weren't going down. Not at all. They kept your head above water and they kept you from drowning.
I trusted those floaties. I would not sink.

Hope in God looks like that floatie. 
I trust it. I put all my confidence in it.
I know that He will not allow me to drown.
He will keep my head above water.
I can swim here and there ... shallow water, deep water, roaring water. Whatever the water is like, He will keep me afloat.

That's not to say I won't get wet or water up my nose or in my mouth; better yet, I might have to dodge a shark or two, and probably a multitude of jellyfish. There will be many, many times I have to remember to take breaths and remind myself I'm not going under.

Most importantly, I have to not allow my floaties, my hope, to get punctured, causing the air to release. Because if that happens, I will drown.

And, if I'm being honest, that's sometimes the hardest part ... keeping my floaties full of air.

Keeping your floaties full of air is something only you can do.
Keeping your heart full of hope is your responsibility.
You have to be the one who fills yourself up with all the hope that is found in God alone.
You have to read God's Word every day. 
You have to remind yourself daily of who God is and who you are as His child.
When you don't do these things, anyone can poke a hole in that hope floatie of yours. Or you can just allow the air to seep out by not carefully guarding that precious hope.

This Scripture is in the "Notes" section of my phone. I read it constantly.
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.  Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:  The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. (Lamentations 3:20-26)

I'm learning and living this lesson of keeping hope alive.
I have been stuck in moments of despair and hopelessness. And, I know that happened when I allowed myself to start sinking and forgot that I had floaties on the whole time.
I'm far from perfect and have had some real talk with God this year.
I can't say that I won't have more moments of sinking and splashing frantically about in the water. Honestly, I can guarantee that these moments will come.
But, when they do, I won't drown because I know my hope is in the One who will NEVER allow that to happen.

Hope in Jesus is not a wish. It's an expectation.
It's a "I know that I know, that I know, that I know He won't fail me" mindset.
It's where "everything will be okay" comes from.
It's a promise that can't be broken.

Our hope is firmly in our incredible, loving, powerful, just, merciful, unchangeable, grace-giving, healer, and ever-present Father God.

With that said, we continue to be hopeful that our sweet La Petite Belle will continue to recover. 

UPDATE: We have moved back up to the 8th floor so that's definitely a step forward again. The fungal infection has cleared. 🙌It looks like her kidneys are going to need time again to recover so she is on intermittent dialysis 3-4 days a week for 4 hours at a time. She's pretty miserable during this time. We are praying & believing for her kidneys to recover swiftly & heal. La Petite Belle is also on a Heparin drip to treat this blood clot in the vein where her dialysis catheter is. We are praying for that to also clear soon. La Petite Belle does continue to vomit & continues to try to eat a bit here & there, but with not much success. The doctors think it's related to her stomach needing to re-learn how to work again. We are praying for her stomach & GI tract to completely heal & work the way God designed it to work. And, lastly, she has lost more strength from being in the bed again for so long. We are praying she regains her strength & can stand so that she can get out of this hospital & begin to live her life again.

Thank you for your prayers and standing with us for complete healing for our precious girl.
If you would like to financially support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing, you can find more information here:  All funds go to cover medical bills and expenses.