Exchanging Hurt for Hope

Happy Fall, Y’allautumn-leaves-borrowed.

I know it’s been awhile since I have blogged on Amen and Ehmen. My job changed in July and has dominated my time and energy ever since. During this time I have been on an emotional roller coaster, going from majorly disappointed and hurt by many of the changes to just plain tired, both emotionally and physically.

And, if I’m completely honest, I have also been spiritually fatigued during much of this time as well. Truthfully, of everything that I have been through—80-plus hour work weeks and numerous disheartening career developments—the spiritual exhaustion has outweighed it all.

Please know that I don’t intend this missive to be a cry for pity or even an excuse, but rather an explanation and an apology for my recent silence.

First and foremost, I must apologize to you because I want Amen and Ehmen to be a real reflection of my life with God; not a sugar-coated, air-brushed version that may give new Christians or those exploring Christianity unrealistic expectations. The facts are this: Being a Christian does NOT mean that you will no longer have problems, hurts and disappointments; it just means that you are never without hope and that God is always and in all ways working for the good of those who love Him. People like you and me.

I also owe an abundance of apologies to my all-loving, almighty Creator. During the many difficult days that followed the untimely death of my dear brother last September, health concerns for myself and other family members as well as the career crisis that continues to plague me, I have allowed my spiritual life to intermittently lay dormant.

If I’m truthful with myself and with you, I guess I have been internally blaming God for this dark and foreboding time in my life. In actuality, however, it has not been God that has been silent in my life. Quite the contrary as He has remained busy, continually weaving miracles and beauty into even the most brooding of moments. Still, all too often and way more than I like to admit—including this very weekend as rumors of yet more disappointing events swirl around me—I’ve allowed myself to focus on the disappointments instead of the hope that God continues to bring.

And, therein, lies the lesson that I know in my heart He wants me to learn. It’s a lesson with which I have always seemed to struggle—having complete, unyielding, unwavering and unconditional faith in Him. It’s hard, but it is possible. And, I know it is necessary if I ever expect to fully live the life that He has planned for me; to accomplish everything that He has put me here to accomplish.

And, so today, I pray for help in growing an unconditional and unyielding faith in Him and His plan for my life. I pray to always remember the many beautiful moments and miracles He has shared with me as He continually proves His loving intentions for me. I pray that I will commit even more time to tune into Him; to study His Word and connect with Him every single day. I ask you, Dear Lord, to turn every moment of worry, self-pity and disappointment into a growing desire to praise You for all the many blessings that You continue to pour out for me.

Yes, it has been a tough year, but it’s also been a blessed year which I know that I know is being used to further shape and make me into the person that God desires me to be. I pray today that I allow that refining to happen in His time and in His way. And, Lord, I also ask that you hear my prayer for everyone whose eyes are reading these words at this very moment. You know their needs and You love them so completely and powerfully, just as You also love me. Let us all feel that love right now. It is in Jesus’ mighty and beautiful name that I pray. Amen and Ehmen.

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