About Hope

Finding freedom in letting go and letting God.

I am a Princess

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When I was a young girl, about 7 years of age, I was a princess.

I was playing in the dirt with my friends one day; she called out to me. I loved her so much that I would have stopped any activity to be with her. We entered her house together. She cleaned me up so tenderly. She stepped into her room and came out seconds later with the most beautiful princess dress you could imagine – blue with sequins here and there and puffy sleeves. It flowed like a breeze when I twirled. “You’re my little Princess” she said as she kiss my forehead. “You’re my little Princess”. I am a Princess!

Eventually, we moved away. I still had the dress – but I wasn’t a Princess anymore – and that is how I felt for decades to come and go. I was no one’s little princess.

Sometimes life gets away from us; it doesn’t go the way we expect it to go. Sometimes it just sucks the life right out of us. Do you ever feel like you are the farthest thing away from royalty? Do you ever think that you are no one’s special person? That you’re alone in the world and life has its hands wrapped around your throat and it’s squeezing the life right out of you?

It doesn’t have to be that way. I learned the hard way, but I would never trade what happened in my past for what happened when I finally surrendered my hurts, bitterness, unforgiveness, and hardened heart. Hurt people so often build a wall around their hearts for protection – I know I did. I was in control – but on the outside – hmm, not so much. Reality checks indicated that I had hit the wall I built with full force and it knocked me out until there was nothing left of me – nothing.

Then it all changed. I gave up all that “control”. I gave up. I surrendered. I called out to a God I didn’t really know. He called me Princess. He called me His daughter. He loved me the way I needed to be loved. He cleaned me up and adorned me in a royal robe. Imagine. The wall around my heart began to crumble, brick by brick. The bitterness turned into forgiveness. He helped me become the person I was created to be. I am a Princess – a daughter of the King of Kings.

I don’t know where you are in life, but I know that life can kick you in the gut and comes a point where you just can’t get up again. Jesus can pick you up. Jesus can clean you up. Jesus will call you Princess because that is who you are. It’s who you were created to be. Trust Him. He calls the broken-hearted and weary and takes the yoke of burden away. If you’ve hit the wall and you are ready to surrender your life to Him, He is a breath away. Call out to Him and He will answer. He will answer. The grip around your neck, and the pain in your gut, will turn into a gentle kiss on your forehead. What do you have to lose? Call Him.

His promise: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.

I know this because I am a Princess.

I’m not all that! Or am I?

Who told you that you aren’t all that? Who told you that there was nothing special about you? Who told you that you were useless, that you would never amount to anything? You are all that and then some. Your life is filled with purpose.


I want to challenge what you have come to believe about yourself. You may wonder what gives me the authority to speak on this issue. I’ll get to that. Without sounding like I’m giving myself a colossal pat on the back – I want to qualify myself by putting up my personal experience and testimony.

I spent the first 40 years of my life being told how useless I was. I was told I was fat, loud, overly emotional and unintelligent. I was told I was “simple-minded” and should be content to find myself a man who would accept me as I was. Many cruel names were given to me – they became my identity. I believed everything that was said about me because the words were spoken by people I loved and trusted. Every word cut deep and carved a scar of untruth that reached far into my soul, into my identity, into my very core.


It wasn’t until a brush with suicide brought me to call out to God. I needed to be loved. I needed to be protected. I needed to know that I wasn’t fundamentally bad.
Have you been told hurtful things about yourself? Do you think you’re “not all that”? Lies. Stop believing the lies. You are more than you know, and you have a purpose. You are so loved by God and He wants you to be His child.


Psalm 139 is a psalm that tells us who we are and what we mean to God – how very special each of us is in His eyes. He has made each one of us with personality and has given us gifts and talents unique to our purpose that He calls forth in us.

“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”


You are all that and more, says God Almighty – the Creator of the universe – your Creator. Whose words speak life into you? Make a choice to believe Him. He who created you has spoken over you. You are all that and more.

You Waited

Through the window I looked gasping for breath.

The heat choked me, gripping my throat, tightening its tentacles.

He was finished with me; you were just getting started.

 

TreibsandYou rescued me with a brief, cool breeze – it penetrated the thickness of the dense air.

You sent me hope – to prepare me. I knew you’d stay with me – he wasn’t going to stop.

I sought you out by my spirit; you spoke to my soul as deep unto deep. I treasured you in my heart

For a time – until I blamed you.

I didn’t understand.

The pain blinded me, made me deaf to your tender words.

 

Was I alone in my brokenness?

My shattered heart sobbed for the child that never was.

Stolen years.

Endless tears.

Betrayed by my fears.

Overlooked by love and driven to my knees.

 

Saved and unchained at Humility’s Throne

You washed me in your grace.

Restored my hope, made all things new, and gave my past a purpose.

You sought me out like a shepherd over his sheep.

 

For eternity you love me

Then and now and all days future.

You counted all my tears and saved them in a bottle.

You redeemed my life from the pit and crowned me with your glory.

I am renewed.

You waited.

 

 

Where You’re At

prato fiorito con farfalle bluRecently, a friend and I were discussing the possibility of renovation that I had been considering for my home. I’m the sort of person who takes a long time to render a decision, but when I do – it comes out of the blue and gobsmacked  me in the face. “Why don’t I just sell my house and move? Brilliant!” I blurted out. With big, beautiful eyes and a charming smile, she responded, “Why don’t you consider doing the renovations for yourself and just enjoy where your at?” Enjoy where your at. Hmm, enjoy where you’re AT.

That spoke volumes to me, but this time it had nothing to do with my natural dwelling and everything to do with my spiritual dwelling. My personality is one that likes to be a step ahead of the game. I’m organized. I’m a doer. Fittingly so, in my spiritual life I want to be today where Jesus wants me tomorrow. I want to impress my Heavenly Father. I want to be the best. I want all the spiritual gifts that the Spirit has to offer. I want my life to reflect the fruit of the Spirit. And I want it all now.

In God’s Kingdom it’s all about being aware of opportunities in the moment, today. It’s about what I do with my spiritual life now. Its not about what I want; it’s about God’s plan for me, His direction and His timing. Its about being so in tune with His Spirit that it would never occur to me to think about what may happen tomorrow because I am so utterly occupied with His Kingdom, because I am abiding in Him. Abiding does not leave any space for yesterday or tomorrow. In God’s plan for me I am supposed to enjoy where I’m at. Where I am at. Abiding is being where the great I AM is at. And so, in the natural, I will enjoy where I’m at and in the spiritual, where Jesus is with me, I will enjoy being where He’s at which is where I belong.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4.

All in

Crystal_Blue_Ocean_1280 x 960

You entered my life in a quiet way

like rippling waters

approaching from afar

touching so lightly that

I could barely feel it

a hand – inviting me to share

life

I wasn’t there.

 

But you were.

you were always present, aware

a witness to the violence and abuse,

for the lies and the drama,

the rejection and abandonment.

I think sometimes I heard you cry

when I no longer could, or would.

 

Even now I ask myself, what did I do? Where did I go wrong?

but you’ve always had

your hand upon me

telling me it wasn’t my fault

though I wouldn’t listen.

there were good times – I see that now.

my reflections were poison

you were the branch thrown into the water

that made it clean

for me.

 

In your sight, I was highly esteemed.

I needed love but didn’t trust yours.

you never gave up. Even when

I was a wanderer

into this and that

as rebels can be.

I drifted farther and farther away

like a boat tossed about in a gale.

 

You stayed

storm after storm

you charted my course

from the eye of the hurricane

to a calmed sea.

you raised a standard around me,

hedged me in

and saved me from drowning,

from certain death

eternal.

 

You saved me

just as I was going under.

giving up

hope.

you gave it to me.

you lit a candle in the caverns of my soul

you were a light in the darkness

for me.

 

First a flicker

then a flame

darkness no longer draped itself over me.

I was drawn to you

attracted like the pull of a magnet

into your arms

I clung

redeemed.

 

One of ninety nine

I was –

forgiven. You gave me hope.

became my anchor

in fair or stormy weather

I took hold of you – with my life.

I’m surrendered to you

your love, your will, your desire.

 

I cannot be separated from you.

you claimed me from the start

when others rejected

you drew me into yourself

and held me

with your very life.

 

Joy immeasurable.

Peace-filled

I am.

Love surrounds and abounds.

I live for you. I love for you

because you

loved me first.

I give you

All of me

All in.

Never Alone

The Path

Whether it’s due to a bad day, grief, or depression, most people have felt lonely. I suffer from major depressive disorder so I am quite familiar with a deep and lagging feeling of being alone. Sometimes it seems to take on a life of its own – it grips on with its long and mighty tentacles and won’t let go. Well, that’s how I feel about it and I know that, ironically, I’m not alone in my notion.

I have a painting in my home of a path – just a path flanked by a fence and trees, leading to who knows where – perhaps a land of fog. For the longest time, my interpretation, of the painting was one in which I saw myself on that path … alone and lonely.

There’s a truth that my feelings project on my soul and then there’s the real truth – The Truth, and that is The Truth that I trust and have faith in. Unfortunately, there are times when I let myself be guided by how I feel rather than what I know. When living in the world of my sentiments I exist in a foggy world of sadness and loneliness. When living in The Truth, I know that despite what I might see or feel, I am never alone.

I can honestly testify that even though I am unable to see or touch him, Jesus Christ saved me at the point where I was contemplating suicide, over a decade ago. Though there are times when those feelings want to overtake me, in His strength I know I have the power to overcome those perceptions. I know that I am never alone. I hang on, through faith, to the eternal reassurance that I can never be separated from His love. Today, when I see myself on that path I see two of us. Me and Him – together forever. I am never alone. Never.

You don’t ever have to be  alone. Put your hope in Him and He will renew your strength. Seeing is not believing; believing is seeing.

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of age.” Matthew 28:20b ESV.

The Mount

“I remember those days as if they happened yesterday; they were the most meaningful and remarkable days of my life. It was hot, of course, the desert always is but, the nights were cold and the journey quite long – almost two days.” Her face lit ups as she squinted her eyes with joy, “Wherever I walked following me was a cool breeze at my back, a blessing from above. I would never complain about the walk because there were some who walked three, four and five days, bless their souls. Now children, you must remember that it wasn’t safe for a woman to walk alone in the desert. Nefarious men traveled in groups throughout the desert looking to rob, harass and even kill people, but I felt safe, I felt covered.” The children moved in closer. “My journey was predestined, that I’ve never doubted. I walked to hear this one man speak.”

Natania tugged at the hem of her skirt, “Savta Issy, please, tell us the part when you arrived. The anticipation of telling the rest of the story, the best part, gripped her as much as it did David and Natania. She drew a deep breath and began.

“The sea was as calm as glass. I cooled my tired feet on the shore. I looked to the north and saw hundreds, maybe thousands of people – too many to count – sitting and standing on the mountainside. I tried to get as close as I could. This man was the talk of Israel. They said he was a prophet sent from God himself, wiser than King Solomon; some believed he was the Messiah! I wanted to see his face clearly, trying to make it all the way up the mountain but it was too steep for me to climb right up to the top after such a journey. I finally squeezed myself, in and out, between the men, close enough I supposed. Some looked at me – wondering what kind of a woman – travelling without a husband – would have the gumption to come to the mount. Hah! I didn’t care.”

“Twelve men stood with Him – six on either side. He raised his arms and all the people suddenly became quite and sat. I was captivated by his presence. He began to speak; the sound of his voice was soothing to the spirit. My soul was moved, inspired by his wisdom. His words washed over me like fresh, living water. It was as if he was there for me, only me. His purpose rang out – connecting directly to me, like an arrow hitting its mark.” “What does he mean by this?” some whispered. Others said, “He speaks with such wisdom and authority.”

“I closed my eyes momentarily, fixing on blocking out the chatter until all I could hear was him speaking. Every word he spoke was like honey on the tip of my tongue – resonating in my deepest being. Then, almost as in a fantasy, he slowly moved his eyes from one side to the other and, for the briefest moment, and I know this sounds impossible, but, in that moment we connected.  Time surely stopped, children, because he looked right through me. I felt it. ‘Follow me’ a whisper touched my ears then blew through my hair. My knees weakened, though only for a moment. I felt joined with him – forever.”

“We were there for days. Some left, but I couldn’t have left if I had tried. Why would I have? I tell you this story and yet my own words fail me. He spoke of His father with such passion and reverence – calling him ‘our father’. He said he was come down from heaven – sent by his father! This man Jesus … the son of God!

“He gave us a better law; a new covenant he called it. he taught us how to pray, how to love, and that there was no point in worrying. Children, you know how much your father worries. You must teach him what you have learned. He told us we must forgive all trespassers against us in order for His Father to forgive us. Yes – our sins forgiven. He said we must earnestly seek the kingdom of God. He told us we could live in paradise with him if we believe. ‘ Follow me’ he said. ‘Take the narrow gate, it won’t be easy’ he said with a comforting smile. I felt secure, loved, renewed in my spirit. “

“His friends dismissed us. The crowd began leaving in droves. Of course you understand, many had jobs to return to. The people who came left everything behind to hear his wisdom. After he concluded his discourse, he began making his way down the mountain toward me! I closed my eyes and prayed to the God that his son would stop near me – that I could just look into his eyes – look into the eyes of the Son of God! Suddenly, I felt a warm hand on my shoulder. The warmth travelled from the top of my head to my toes. I was somehow afraid to look up – well perhaps not afraid, but I felt unworthy. Mere seconds felt like minutes. I looked up, into his eyes, and I could not look away. ‘My daughter, my betrothed’ he said, ‘peace be with you. Your sins have been forgiven.’ I knew my past, my transgressions – all of them. I was so unworthy. I felt as if he knew them too and he didn’t care what they were. They were nothing to him any longer because I believed. I left my guilt at the altar of his presence. ‘Follow me if you desire to live forever’ he whispered. And I did. And I do.”

“That, my little children, must be the closing of my story; it is time for sleep.” She walked with them to their beds, kissed their foreheads, and returned to her chair facing the fireplace. “Oh, most holy heart of Jesus – bless your holy name” she began to pray.

“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12.