Common Ground

Paths to Hope, #1

1_CommonGround_Image by Jim Semonik from PixabayWe set out on the journey to hope from common ground—our lives are mutually pocked with pits and scars, unpleasant memories and devastated dreams. Our brokenness marks us, whether it comes from shattered promises, damaged relationships, splintered plans, threatening health, or challenging finances. Whatever our unique challenges may be, we are rendered vulnerable and our hope is assaulted.

We must waste no time rescuing what little hope remains and fan a flame under its smoldering embers.

The problem is, bruised hope has blurred our vision. Our strength is sapped, our motivation maimed. But we must press on and engage in one more battle for hope—the alternative is too dreadful to consider. So we step forward.

Yes, step. There is no energy for a surge so we put one foot in front of the other and haltingly limp down a path that promises to renew our hope. But we don’t limp alone—before us we have the Spirit of God [1], beside us are fellow travelers [2], above us is a cloud of cheering witnesses [3], and beneath us is the well-trodden path they walked.

Don’t give up. Brokenness and pain do not end your story. There is more to be written, so let us press on.

Join me next week to embark on the H Path of Hope.

[1]  Isaiah 31:8, [2]  Romans 12:4,5, [3]  Hebrews 12:1
Image by Jim Semonik from Pixabay

I Was Broken, Too – launch party

I Was Broken, Too #5

Written to Celebrate

Image by Gerd Altmann from PixabayNow, there’s an oxymoron━brokenness and party. These words should not be uttered in the same sentence, unless you read the subtitle: Four Paths to Restore Hope━because this party celebrates hope that rises out of brokenness.

Hope can be restored, regardless of your struggle and it’s threatening finality. I invite you to change the punctuation. Erase that period and insert a semicolon. Periods are from a lying enemy who is destructive by nature. God sprinkles semicolons throughout our lives because there are chapters not yet written, purposes we can’t imagine, episodes we cannot dream. 

Hebrews tells us “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Heb. 11:1). Reading to the end of the chapter we realize it’s not the “what” we hope for, but the “Who” we hope inHe is together with us, making better plans perfect (11:40). We can trust Him and celebrate what we cannot see. 

Join me at the party━if not with your presence on Saturday, in spirit with faith in our God, “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Eph. 3:20-21).

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Copy of I Was Broken, Too

I WAS Broken, Too

I Was Broken, Too #4

Written to Ignite HopeImage by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Note the operative word in my title: was, past tense. I Was Broken, Too is not a book about pain and disappointment, but hope that grew in spite of it. It’s a story of restored hope that resurrected from a place of darkness and despair.  

Let me state the obvious: brokenness does not disappear. We are not restored to our former place, but to a new place. The scars remain and, really, would you want it any other way? Would you want your pain completely erased, as if it had never happened? As if that person, dream, or place never existed? 

Of course not. That’s why you, me, we will never be the same.

“I will never be the same” is not a statement of despair but of truth. In many ways I am better, deeper, and more grounded.

“I will never be the same” is also a statement of faith when it relies on God’s promise to take all the aspects of my mess and work them together for blessing. (Rom. 8:28) 

“I will never be the same” is even a statement of hope because it acknowledges that something new has happened. Something new is happening. We will never be the same when we agree with the psalmist that our times are in God’s hands and He has great goodness stored up for us. (Ps. 31:15, 19)

I pray that you can (or soon will) say with me, “I was broken, too,” and attest to God’s mending mercy in your life.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Please drop in at my Book Launch Party!

Copy of I Was Broken, Too

I Was Broken, Too is now available

I Was Broken, Too #3

Written from a Place of Brokenness 

book_Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

I never wanted to be defined by the death of my daughter, but it wasn’t my choice. I am forever marked by a sunny day in October that became the darkest day of my life. 

Everyone says a child isn’t supposed to precede a parent to the grave, but it happens, every day. October 11, 2004, was my day. Stacey wasn’t ill, so we were completely unprepared for her death… although, I doubt a parent can ever be prepared.

One simply cannot anticipate how hollow life can become, how effervescent joy can become a threatening hole, how silence can scream, feelings become numb, and loss be unfathomable, incomprehensible…bottomless. I wrote I Was Broken, Too from this place of brokenness.

Previous losses in my life were not as devastating but, unknowingly, they prepared me to endure the unthinkable and, step by step, through paralyzing sorrow and unstoppable tears, the unexpected happened━out of the blackest darkness I began to catch a glimpse of hope. I Was Broken, Too describes four paths I walked that restored my hope. 

I don’t know what losses you have suffered or what holes exist in your life, but I do know that the God who brought me through will do the same for you. You are precious and loved by Him. There is a purpose for your life, redemption for your pain, and hope for your future. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

coverCroppedIf my blog encourages you, I trust my book will do the same. You can find I Was Broken, Too on Amazon, goodreads, and through Barnes & Noble.

Please drop in at my Book Launch Party on July 27 at Cornerstone Christian Church in Wyckoff, NJ.

My Book will be Released July 8!

I Was Broken, Too #2

Written by Me

workstation-Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Who am I to write a book? That was another objection that contributed to my dawdling. I’m ordinary. I’ve not done anything outstanding, obtained qualifying degrees, or received accolades━so what do I know?

Well, I know pain, loss, disappointment, disillusionment, and consuming grief. I know how it feels to live in a dark place, unable to see one hour ahead. I know what it’s like to wonder how I could still breathe when I hurt so bad. I know the devastation of shattered dreams, untimely death, and the assault of personal worth. You know these things too.

I also know God’s mercy and have learned how to overcome, how to breathe and, yes, how to hope again. So I wrote I Was Broken, Too to tell you that God sees your brokenness, He cries with you… and He repairs broken hearts. 

I wrote a book to remind you that your focus matters, that shattered plans make room for new opportunities, that you can reboot your mind, and, mostly, that you can expect grace. These are four paths to hope I describe in I Was Broken, Too. Each one is supported by personal experiences, biblical truth, and the stories of others. 

My prayer is that my journey back to hope will inspire your journey and, as you walk the paths described in I Was Broken, Too, you will renew your hope.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

My Book Release is coming!

I Was Broken, Too #1

Written for You

writing-Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

It would have been easier to keep my pain private, locked away, not out there for all the world to see. I dragged my feet (or rather, my fingers) and resisted revisiting tearful, painful places. I didn’t want to reopen the wounds and feel the grief anew. But then I thought of you. 

I thought about you living━no, merely existing━in that place of brokenness that drains hope and devastates the heart, a place familiar to me. And then I started writing I Was Broken, Too. For you. 

I had to let you know that you will survive, that although you don’t see a glimmer on the horizon, it is possible to hope again. Rejection, loss, and pain do not have the final word. They are not the amen to your life!

Then I thought about your friends━those you cry with and pray for and want to comfort. I Was Broken, Too is a gift that tells them you care and are with them on their journey. 

And I kept it short because I remember how hard it is to do anything when broken, how the simplest task appears gigantic. 

Life isn’t easy━let’s walk it together━and find hope along the way.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

 

Uncommon Touch

Uncommon Sense(s) #5

Touch—feel, stroke, pat, caress

5touch_Image by RitaE from Pixabay

  • Touch the hand of one you love
  • Touch the softness of a baby’s cheek
  • Touch the arm of one who’s suffering
  • Touch the rose petal, the brook pebble, the ocean surf, the caterpillar fuzz
  • Touch the fabric silky and smooth, furry and sleek, velvety soft

Spiritual touch

  • Touch the unnoticed—the children,1 the lepers,2 the rejected,3 the poor,4 the sinners 5—with the compassion of Jesus’ touch.6
  • Touch one another—with a holy kiss,7 with a helping hand,8 with an encouraging act,9 with Christlike 10
  • Touch Jesus—by the hem of His garment, seeking healing;11 by the prayers He invites, seeking answers;12 by the cup of cold water, seeking to bless in His name.13
  • Touch heaven—with overflowing worship.14

Tomorrow’s touch

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”15

1Mark 10:14; 2Matt 8:2-3; 3Luke 14:13-14; Rom 12:16; 4Luke 12:33; 5Matt 11:19; 6Matt 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; 7Rom 16:16; 8Heb 6:10; 9Rom 12:9-13; 10Phil 2:5-6; 11Matt 9:21; Matt 14:35-36; 12Matt 6:9; John 14:13-14; 13Matt 10:42; 14Rev 5:13; 15Matt 25:21
Image by RitaE from Pixabay

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