Hope Is Painful

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…But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 

That scripture convicts me to think bigger and increase my willingness to believe in what I haven’t seen. But can we just take a second and be real about how painful it can be to have hope?

Have you ever wanted a job really badly? You feel like it’s yours so you share it with a friend? Then you don’t get it. So then you find another one and the excitement comes back, but you don’t get that one either. So next time you keep it to yourself so that your hopes aren’t up and you can take your loss quietly.

Have you ever wanted to see someone be healed from a life destroying disease? You pray for them. You pray for healing. You continue to watch them suffer. You pray harder because you have hope. Then, it gets to the point where you see that it’s not getting better. Against all logic, you press beyond the cognitive dissonance and you continue to have hope. You see them hurting and realize that they need and want rest, but you continue to believe. The hope helps your mind rest, but makes your heart ache because your heart acknowledges the reality.

Have you ever decided to open your heart to someone new only to find that they’re gonna break it too? Part of you wants to try again, but the other part just wants to admit that having hope sets you up for disappointment.

After so much hurt and disappointment, life teaches us to be pessimistic or unmoved so that the bad doesn’t damage and the good comes as a total surprise. But I just want to say that no matter how much it hurts, have hope. Believe only the best things are coming for you and your people. Somebody has to see the glass half full. If you can recall the hurt that all the above situations caused, you can also recall life going on and eventually getting better after them.

Hurt happens. So does healing. Keep hoping for the best.

OhCAE?

And She Was Beautiful

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I hadn’t seen you in quite some time

I didn’t realize how much I missed you until you walked by

Something about you looked different, but I couldn’t place my finger

But I was trying not to be rude so I didn’t let my eyes linger

That’s when she walked over

A teeny tiny version of you

I would’ve known that face anywhere

She looked like she was about two

Those eyes

That nose

Her hair

Oh, her jet black curly hair!

I wanted to stop you

I wanted to talk 

But I couldn’t get my feet to move

They had forgotten how to walk

No words would come out

I gave talking my best try

All I could seem to get out was a soul cleansing cry 

Because I saw you today and

You’re a mommy now. 

I figured you would be, but of course I was cynical. 

But for myself, I saw your baby girl

And she was beautiful. 

  

So I Asked

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This is a Part 2 to another blog called “Ask” so if you really wanna get this one and if you wanna make me feel good go read that one first. Click this link!
Ask, Seek, Knock

Oh Cae.. You done now?

As you read, for YEARS The Lord has been showing me that all I have to do is ask for what I want, but I still struggle to believe Him for crazy things.

I’m about to take you on a journey that I’ve been on since last summer. OhCAE? Follow me.

In July 2014, I moved to a new city after living in East Lansing my entire adult life, 8 years at the time. I didn’t have a job. I had spent my savings on my last few months of rent and car notes. The move was abrupt and I had no plan. Gas was still 3.75+ per gallon so commuting to my church in Lansing wasn’t an option. So I started going to another church that I was introduced to via my home church. Before I left the Lansing area, my home church started announcing a trip to Israel. I heard of it and thought it’d be cool to go, but as you’ve read I had no money. Fast forward to attending the new church and they announced the trip to Israel. (It took me a while to realize it was the same one). And when they announced it, they explained that this is an annual trip they plan to give people a right for Israel, but this year was different. This year isn’t gonna just be a normal tour. This is a year of strategic intercession, a year to be a watchmen on the wall, year to go into that region and be purposeful about shifting the atmosphere. That announcement charged me up, BUT I was bummed because although I had started making a LITTLE cash, a trip to Israel was super far fetched.

I started getting sad about my life in general and I just cried out to The Lord and asked Him why did it feel like I could never have or do anything I want? Why did I seem to only do things out of necessity. I told Him I really wanted to go, but it was impossible.

A few days later, I was rereading some of my blogs. I came across the one mentioned at the top of this one and The Lord began to minister to me through that piece. So… I asked. I asked The Lord if He could make a way for me to go on the trip.

In November, I decided to move to Detroit (yes, I was doing a lot). When I moved to Detroit, the family I was babysitting for didn’t want to lose me so they increased my hours as well as my salary. I was able to afford commuting and pay bills and still be able to save a little for the first time in forever. Still… Israel was a no go. I didn’t know what to do. So… I asked.

I posted on Facebook and asked my friends if I made a donations page would they help me pay for the trip.

I made it and chose an arbitrary end date in January and I was encouraged because people started giving, but that was before I found out the money was due December 18.

I wanted an extension. So… I asked.

I ended up getting an extension and I made the final payment the day before my extension deadline.

To paraphrase myself in “Ask”, There’s nothing wrong with asking your Father for what you want. He doesn’t love you any less just because He tells you no. Accept the rejection and remember that He knows the end. But just like with my shirt and trip to Israel, even though it may seem crazy, sometimes the answer is yes, but you won’t know that unless you’re crazy enough to ask!

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As you can see, I started composing this months before I had the money, but I have learned something recently that it so simple that it’s hard to comprehend. If you want to believe in something, just believe. Did you get that? If you want to think something is true then just think it. And when you are convinced that it’s true, you’ll start to act as if you believe it. I really wanted to believe that God’s word is true when it says ask and it shall be given, but in order to show I believed it I had to ask and expect that I’d get what I asked for.

So… I asked.

Empty Phrases

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Two phrases parents and caregivers make sure their kids know can be two of the emptiest statements we ever hear. “Thank you” and “I’m sorry.”

Neither of those matter if actions don’t show gratitude or remorse, respectively.

During Manners Week my kids learned one of the most valuable life lessons they’ll ever get. “Sometimes ‘sorry’ doesn’t work.”

We put it to them like this “If you’re playing in the block area and someone comes over and knocks your tower down. That might make you angry. So they tell you they’re sorry. That’s a nice word, but does that solve the problem? What else can they do to show you they’re sorry?” Most of them agree that getting down on the floor and helping to rebuild it will make them feel better.

When you do stuff to people whether it’s on purpose or accidental saying sorry doesn’t always help. It’s a start to show that you’re apologetic, but it’s not enough. Your following actions need to align with your words. Sometimes that means stopping what you were planning to do to help the person you hurt pick up the pieces of what you destroyed.

Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean they will get over the fact that you knocked their tower down. They still might not want to play with you even if you help fix it. And that’s just something you kinda have to deal with because you were the one who caused the initial break down.