Sunday, November 8, 2009

Words of HOPE

I discovered a book that was released earlier this year entitled "Rain On Me - 40 Day Devotional Book" by Holley Gerth. I have not read the entire book (it's on my Christmas wish list), but I did discover an excerpt available on the author's blog (Heart to Heart With Holley). I don't typically like to quote from other people (I prefer original writings :) but this was too good not to share. For me it summarizes some of my innermost thoughts quite well... I wear two rings. The one on my left hand is a symbol of love for my husband. The ring on my right hand is a small silver band with one word on it…HOPE. This month marks the five-year anniversary of the reason I bought that little ring. My husband and I have been on the journey to starting a family all that time. In a way it feels like forever and in another it seems incredibly short. When we started down that road I thought hope meant believing God would give us a child. As time went on I discovered true hope is believing God is good no matter what He decides to do. Let me tell you, getting to that place is not simple, neat, or easy. But it’s worth it. I used to think hope was a fluffy, faraway feeling—like cotton candy for your heart. I’ve learned real hope is gritty, real, and raw. It’s strong and wild, unpredictable and fierce. I’ve had so many conversations with God along the lines of, “Lord, no more with the hope thing. Just answer the prayers already.” (Haven’t you had those too?) He lovingly responds, “Lean into me, daughter, lean into me.” When I listen and lean rather than resist, I find rest. I have the hope my heart craves. And (dare I say it?) I even discover joy. We tend to think what we need most is whatever we’re asking for in that moment. God knows what we really need is more of Him in every moment. I’m holding my ring up to the light as I finish writing these words. I can see scratches on the surface. The edges are rough in places. It still needs some polishing. But somehow, despite it all, in the center HOPE remains. Next week Tim and I are hosting a Strong Bonds marriage retreat for Tim's battalion. The location is Savannah, GA and we are presenting the material in Dr. Gary Chapman's book Five Love Languages. We are both a bit nervous for things to go well but have placed it in God's hands for Him to take charge of the outcome and bring the increase. Satan must not be pleased already, for we have encountered great difficulty in just giving life to the possibility of this retreat! This is one of the cool things that the Army allows Chaplains to do, and because I went through the training for Strong Bonds during CH-BOLC I am qualified to co-teach with Tim. What a wonderful opportunity to serve alongside my spouse and soldier! Please be in prayer for the couples in attendance, that the Lord will open their eyes within their marriage and that any spiritual needs that arise that weekend will be handled with the Father's grace and love.

1 comment:

Holley Gerth said...

Jenn,
Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing an excerpt of my book! I'm praying for you and your husband right now as you prepare for this weekend. It's easy to see you have the heart of encourager and I'm sure those listening to the two of you will be blessed!
Thanks again!