Filling Up On Hope

Hope. Depending on how life has been treating you lately, the word hope probably holds different thought and emotions. For some it is the light at the end of the tunnel. For others, it is a vague notion they are holding onto in a very dark place.

For me, no matter what where I am on the spectrum, I can't think of hope without thinking of the greater hope that is found in God. Because of that, I have asked Connie, one of our Mentor Moms and our MOPS Bible Study leader, to write some blog posts about hope. To give us some perspective of hope in our motherhood journey and wisdom regarding our eternal hope in Christ. 

If you would like to learn more about the God or enjoy some spiritual fellowship, please join us at MOPS Bible Study on Tuesday 9:30-11:30 upstairs in room 201. All are welcome. It is a great place to come, ask questions and learn
Being a mom is a challenging and tiring job. Sometimes we give so much as moms, we feel totally depleted. We are sure we have nothing left to give. Other times we encounter emotionally stress as we face unpredictable obstacles in mothering: a sick child, maybe a long term diagnosis, dealing with behavioral issues, financial difficulties, and deployments for military moms. Life doesn't always go as smoothly as planned. In fact, it seldom does. Sometimes the only thing that gets us through those difficult situations is hope.

Having ten kids and being in the military (which meant moving every three years) led to a lot of uncertain times for me when my kids were younger. Yet, the hardest time to hold on to hope was when we almost lost my oldest son to a severe asthma attack

He was 12 and I had given birth and brought home my ninth baby the day before. After many hours with three doctors working on him, Brian ended up in the ICU. We feared for his life. The doctors wanted to give him a sedative to help him sleep, but he refused. Later, we found out that if he had received that sedative, he would have died.

Two weeks later we discovered he had a rare lung disease. A fungus was damaging his lungs, resulting in the cilia in his lungs not working as they should. The normal person's level for this fungus was 100-200. Brian's was 1,200 and had irreparably damage to his lungs.

When we found out about the disease, the doctor looked at Brian in confusion. Most children with this disease were failure to thrive children; Brian was always over the 90th percentile for his height. Both my husband and I looked at each other with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and awe. Both of us thankful and mindful that GOD had protected our son.

To our dismay we were told that even a cold could result in losing Brian. I wanted to put him in a bubble. However, with eight other kids, I knew that there was no way to prevent a cold from happening. I cried out to GOD and a peace came over me like I've never experienced since. I knew, that through this feeling of peace, GOD was saying He loved my child even more than me and He would protect him.

My son is now 26 years old with a wife of his own, and is pretty sure he's indestructible. He never had another asthma attack to that extent again. He still deals with asthma, but honestly, I call him a walking miracle.

I wish I could say that if we come to GOD, He will take all our worries and problems away. But that's not the case. I still worry about Brian and my other children who have asthma. GOD didn't choose to take that burden away. Life as a Christian is not a life of comfort and ease. It's actually the opposite.

In the Bible GOD promises that life will, in fact, be difficult. As a mom, I currently face frustrations of sick children, raising teenagers, as well as dealing with financial difficulties. Recently, after my husband's vehicle had to be replaced, we had our fridge go out on us, my husband had to take an emergency trip to Michigan because his father was seriously ill, and within the next two weeks both my car and my teens' car died on us and had to be replaced. We live in a world filled with problems - some of them our own making and others just happen. They are totally our of our control.

The good news in the midst of uncertainty is that there's always hope. And where do we find that hope when life gets difficult? We go directly to the source of all hope and pray.

Romans 15:13 says that our GOD is a GOD of all hope - and in Him we can find joy and peace. What? Peace in the midst of hard times? How does that happen? Only through GOD. In fact, the verse goes on to say that through GOD we can overflow with hope, because He pours it out into our lives.

Here are four practical ways that we can tap into this overflowing fountain of hope.

  1. Pray for GOD's guidance, wisdom and love. 
  2. Ask a good friend or a mentor to pray with you/for you. 
  3. Look for the positive in the situation. Where do you see GOD's love showing up? 
  4. Read GOD's promises in the Bible.
In the Bible, GOD speaks His love. He sends His message of peace and hope for you when you feel that life is out of control. There have been times (like last night) when I am in a frenzy of worry. When I stop to open His Word, He encourages me with the words I need to hear and the direction I need to focus. 

Any time we seek GOD, He is waiting to be found. The Bible is called GOD's Word, because it is GOD speaking to us. Open it and listen. Let His peace and hope fill you to overflowing.

Here's a few verses go-to verses to turn to when life gets hard.
Romans 15:13 NIV "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 5:5 NIRV: "And hope will never let us down. GOD has poured out His love into our hearts. He did it through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us." 
Ephesians 3:12 NIV: "In Christ and through faith in Him, we may approach GOD with freedom and confidence." 
Hebrews 4:16: "Let us then approach GOD's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need." 
James 4:8 says: "Come near to GOD and He will come near to you."

How have you experienced God Pouring His love into your life and filling your with His Hope?

Connie is the mom of 10 kids ranging from 10-25 years old. She has been involved with MOPS for almost 25 years. This year, Connie is one of our co-lead mentor moms and leads our MOPS Bible study on Tuesdays. When not raising her family or serving at MOPS, Connie enjoys reading, hiking and working out with her husband.