Day 12 ~ Hope

This evening Tom and I cashed in on a 7 year-old gift card to Chili’s (Thanks Alan & Jeane!) and on the way there we drove by a building that houses a national university that specializes in online degrees. It was one of the places I researched a few years back (has it been YEARS already?!) when I first thought of going back to college. It’s a great school but ultimately God led me to Fresno Pacific University, which in turn changed the trajectory of my life. At the time, my only goal was to finish college and get my bachelor’s degree. That was all.…but God had something more in mind. =)

At that time in my life I was beginning to emerge from the shadows of the deepest days of grief and I knew I needed something that I could dedicate myself to (and honestly, that would just keep my mind busy!) and returning to college seemed as good an idea as any, so I registered for my first class – just one class – and bought a pack of multi-colored highlighters, not even knowing if highlighters were a “thing” since the last time I was in school. (Note:….totally are!) I remember swallowing tears several times during the first night of class – I wondered what I was doing there and felt like I’d never be able to concentrate (grief and depression do a number on your ability to focus) but I chose to be honest with my professor and scheduled a meeting to explain my situation and also my fears. He was wonderfully understanding and supportive and, though it was challenging, I ended up loving the class and decided to take a few more….

It’s a long, amazing and beautiful story that I don’t have space to share here, but the short version is, I continued to trust God to help me with the things I couldn’t do on my own, and with lots of support I graduated with honors at the end of 2018. With each new class and each new challenge that I thought I wouldn’t be able to meet, God continued to show up for me….every new class, every submission of every assignment, every midterm and final….over and over I continued to cry out to God when I felt overwhelmed (which was often!) and now that some time has passed I am beginning to see what God did for me then and continues to do for me today.

He gave me opportunities to practice trusting Him again….

When I took that first class I had no idea that God had a much bigger plan of hope and healing in mind for my broken heart and muddled mind….a plan that has led me to Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary where I’m working on a master’s degree in counseling. I’m undone at His grace in my life….at His patience with my hurt, anger and confusion as I’ve slowly been making my way back to Him. If you would have asked me a few years ago where I thought I’d be in 2020 I don’t think I could have imagined anything – getting through the day seemed goal enough, but God wanted so much more for me!

Funny how passing a building on your way to Chili’s can bring you to your knees in gratitude for God’s presence and provision in your life….but the truth is, God speaks to us all of the time, in all sorts of ways if we will watch for it. During this time of reflection and introspection that often accompanies the season of Lent, I have an idea: let’s look for God in places we don’t ordinarily expect to find Him. Let’s be honest with Him about our fears, our disappointments and anything else that feels too heavy to carry any longer. There is hope….I promise you, there is hope. <3

So much love…

Shellie

As I walk this great unknown
Questions come and questions go
Was there purpose for the pain?
Did I cry these tears in vain?
I don’t want to live in fear
I want to trust that You are near
Trust Your grace can be seen
In both triumph and tragedy
I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
But sometimes my faith feels thin
Like the night will never end
Will You catch every tear
Or will You just leave me here?
But I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
Yes, I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
So, whatever happens I will not be afraid
Cause You are closer than this breath that I take
You calm the storm when I hear You call my name
I still believe that one day I’ll see Your face
I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me
I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
Songwriters: Jason Ingram / Michael Donehey / Jeff Owen
I Have This Hope lyrics © Essential Music Publishing, Fun Attic Music, LLC

 

 

About Shellie

Welcome ~ I am a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a dreamer and a writer. But most of all I am a woman of faith - I have a deep longing to know and love....God.
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2 Responses to Day 12 ~ Hope

  1. Connie says:

    Thanks for sharing Shellie!

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