Joyful Hope. Who does not want a supersized-double-heapin’ portion of that!? What is it? Well, it’s about finding meaning in your life experiences. It’s gleaning the good, learning the lessons- no matter how tough- and then being able to encourage others. It’s handing over to fellow pilgrims the insights, wisdom, grace and even perhaps the “life-hacks” you learned from the road that God, by His grace, allowed you to travel.
Nothing like experiencing something first hand, and living to tell about it, to give you compassion and the ability to gift joyful hope to those going through the same or similar circumstances. My favorite quote by Winston Churchill is this: “If you are going through hell...keep going!” Only one who has been there and crawled through it, can say that!
I recently went to a young mother’s home who over the holidays had given birth and was struggling greatly as the baby was a month early, she had two other small children and her house was under construction. She said she was so embarrassed at the shape her house was in. I was so impressed she was even able to get out of bed and get dressed! I had been in a very similar situation not so many years ago and so my heart ached for her. I can remember a friend coming unannounced to my temporary rental house while our permanent home was undergoing one of its many construction projects. Couch cushions, blankets and towels used for fort-making were strewn all over the room, the kids and I were still in our nightclothes (it was way past noon) and to top things off, a giant container of UTZ cheese balls had just been wrestled away from my two year old spilling EVERYWHERE. My newborn was screaming, the door bell rang and as I was racing to answer it, my nightgown caught on a protruding door knob, ripping from top to bottom-- I let out a yelp! Just at that moment my friend burst into the door and shockingly screamed, “OH MY GOSH! Should I call the police? What has happened here?!!”
All I could do was break down and cry.
So... my meeting with this young mother of three was full of compassionate “NO WORRIES! You can do this! Your house looks great, it's so full of love! It only gets better--I promise! Let’s pray and thank Jesus for all the GOOD things in your life.” You know…passing on joyful hope from having been there, done that, and well, bought the new night gown!
What road have you traveled? God can and will use YOU and YOUR STORY to pass on joyful hope to others… if you let Him.*
This is the last week of our Interior Peace Journey, already in progress. If there are no technical glitches (and sorry about that! Another joyful hope story in the making, I am sure!) ...this next week’s steps to Interior Peace will arrive in your inbox on Sunday! God bless you! And stay tuned...the regular blog will return NEXT Thursday (God willing)!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
* Want to be JOYFULLY- HOPEFULLY encouraged? Join Something Greater Ministries for our annual Women’s Retreat! You will NOT WANT TO MISS IT! Three time Grammy Winner Ashley Cleveland and I will share with you BLESSED! Teachings on the Beatitudes…award winning music and stories of life. The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, April 10 or 13. Space limited! More Info and to Register HERE.