Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

Hope, How I’ve Missed You!

To hope is to be truly alive!

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three…” -(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Hope is essential. So essential, it made it to a very short list, which includes love of all things!

When I started Hope’s Diaries, I never imagined how great a thing hope was. I thought I knew its worth, but I’ve learnt over the past almost 4 years that I didn’t.

In some of my posts, I have written about my optimistic outlook on life. I’ve always been an optimist. I had no idea I could ever struggle with that part of myself. I thought it was this unshakable, unchangeable thing.

For these years past, I have learned patience and endurance, contentment and trust. Trust in God means that I don’t have to bug Him every 5 seconds about something I’ve thought or planned or wanted. It was first God’s offer and then it became my choice to learn patience, trust and contentment. It was very difficult- has been difficult.

However, somewhere along the line, having faced disappointments in walking down my path of good intentions, I lost a lot of hope. I say a lot of hope as if hope can be quantified, because my eternal hope in God was secure, and my hope in some of His promises was intact. I lost a lot of hope, and dreamed less. Why? I was afraid.

“I was afraid”, the very first words of Adam after he sinned against God.

“I was afraid, and so I hid”. I hid from life, from hope, from dreaming.

The Bible says that perfect love casts out all fear. Fear also works against hope. And hope against fear. To hope is to overcome fear. Hope.

Hope is essential for faith which is essential to please God, which is essential for life. I haven’t been taught much about hope; in some circles, hope is for the weak; for those who aren’t making their own destinies.

There’s such a thing as sure hope. Like the Hope the Bible talks about for those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. That’s a sure hope. And it’s within your reach. We can have hope assured because of God’s love and God’s promises which are so many. We can hope because we are loved by Someone so large, so…Love. We can hope so we can believe, and then we would truly live.

To hope is to truly be alive!

Can I hope again? Or dream again? Can I look forward even as I look up? Yes. I can. I will hope. I will have lot’s and lot’s of hope!

Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

To Own My Definition 

Wow. I don’t know where to begin with this. I feel like I have so much to say and yet so little. 

I’ve been asking myself and God some tough questions that have been bugging me; all surrounding the same issue. 
Why am I so restless and anxious every day? Is there a life that normal people have, different from mine? And can I have it? 

I think I’ve been looking for this life for a long time, wondering if it even exists. For years I’ve been trying to make the grand discovery of what I will be, and what I will be doing with my life. I thought wrongly that those labels would determine who I am. Doctor, Artist, Engineer. Those are nice labels but they aren’t “who” we are. They could be a part of who we are but we are defined by so much more.

I wish someone explained this to me a decade ago. But it’s okay because I get to look forward to a different chapter of my life, free from anxiety.

I know who I am, and I know some of what I can do, but the important thing is that I know who I am. And I can own who I am.

God has done in me what He does best; He has transformed me. This is beyond receiving quick answers to prayers.  It’s more like seeing the answer to your prayer unfold.

I feel like a rock. Solid. I’m no longer seeking my definition in labels. I am defined by who God has made me and is making me. I am a rock. And God is my Rock. I love it.

Uncategorized

Whispers in the Silence 

I’m learning slowly but surely how God leads. He knows all the parts and how they come together. Sometimes He seems too silent when I want Him to spell everything out clearly. Clear instructions written in the clouds. But not quite.

God is so precise in how He leads. He sees the whole picture in a way that I can’t.  It’s so much easier when I don’t have my own agenda.  So much easier when I count on Him to write the whole story  and not just a part.

I can follow,  I know I can. Even when it’s only His whispers I hear in the silence. He does speak, little brushes over our spirits. 

I haven’t blogged in a while mostly because I’ve been technologically disadvantaged for something like a month.  I apologise.  I’ve also been waiting a lot. And in this period of waiting, I have seen myself more clearly than I  ever have. It’s been refreshing.  🙂 

Anyone else  feeling God’s silence this season? Any lessons learned? 😀 

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

The Twenty-Third Psalm

The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.

Go on…

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

Wow. If I’m sheep lying down in the only food I want to eat, and surrounded by it, then that’s where I want to be.

He leads me beside quiet waters.

Again, really feeling this whole sheep with Shepherd thing.

He refreshes my soul.

Sounds like heaven: A soul refreshed. It’s like being in bliss. Like someone diving into cold streams after walking days in the desert. That’s what this reminds me of. And instead of dryness, dust and sand, there’s peace and quiet music, nature welcoming, coolness and a refreshing of the soul. ‘So good it gets all the way to your soul’ kind of experience.

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

He does the guiding. I never have to worry that I missed a turn – if I’m the sheep in this story. There are so many possible wrong turns and paths leading to nowhere or much worse than nowhere. But that’s not my problem. I get to go on the right paths. For his name’s sake? Does this mean if He can’t get me on the right path, then “he” has failed? But does the Shepherd ever fail? This is all theory; if I was guiding and I couldn’t guide you right, then it’s on me. But He’s God, and He never fails. I can fail if I’m doing the leading. I don’t want that responsibility – not when God’s offering to guide me!

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

Valleys are usually dark. So dark, I can’t see. Fear feeds on my fears. What wolf-like creature could be lurking in the dark? No. I don’t fear because my Shepherd is with me. He must be Super Shepherd. Is there an “SS” embroidered on his cape?

Your rod and staff, they comfort me.

Every now and then when I’m walking through the valley, I feel your touch. Your staff gently redirecting me. No, not there. Left. Go left.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Now the Psalmist is talking about himself as a human. No longer his sheep form.😊 David, a man after God’s heart, anointed to be king! People after his life and his rightful throne. How audacious that he would be dining and drinking to his fill in the presence of those who seek his end! Because God Himself decides.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.

Surely! All the days of my life?! I’m going to try to let that sink in.

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Forever and ever. And ever. The hope after now. After this broken world. We get to be with Him. Lord, friend, lover of our souls. Everything.

This psalm is cool. I could be the sheep. Sign me up. What are the qualifications for the role? Dumb? Helpless? Dependent? Trusting? Seems pretty simple to me. Except those are not words I’d use to describe myself. Maybe God wants me to be that with Him.

If I acknowledge that I really don’t know what’s best and He does; that I can’t do anything without Him; that I completely trust His judgement, then maybe I’ll fit the role of sheep.

When Christ judges at the end of the world, He says He’ll separate mankind into two groups: The sheep and the goats.

Sheep may not sound so desirable but how about goat?! Sheep sounds pretty good to me. How about you? Sheep or goat?😃 Which do you want to be?

Peace!

P.S. The Psalm is Psalm 23:1-6 (the whole chapter), NIV version.

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

The God of All Comfort

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” -(2 Corinthians 1:3,4)
These verses of scripture are the reason I blog at Hope’s Diaries. I was reading the book of Second Corinthians in the New Testament and saw this verse in a new light. I realized that it captured my intentions – my hope for this blog.
The thing is, I often read other blogs from many amazing people. I must confess that I feel insecure sometimes about my blog because I find that they are so direct about their experiences in ways I wonder if I have failed to be.
I don’t have the “say it as it is” flair that I have seen in a few others, but my heart is all for the seeking reader out there. My heart is for you.
I’m constantly learning, and I hope, also improving. And I want to be able to give my very best to those who need it, so that somehow, my love would intersect with your need and create a kind of magic.
I myself have received and do receive comfort from God. I’ve seen darkness and known love. I’ve known hopelessness and heard the Voice of hope calling out to me with an indescribable love and devotion.
I can say that I love God, but I can say more certainly that He loves me. That He loves you.
Whatever doubts or questions or troubles, God is the answer. But my hope and prayer is that you’ll know Him. The real God and not the stuff of men’s imaginations. That you’ll know love and peace. May the God of ALL comfort give you comfort.
So please let’s go this journey together. We don’t have to be alone. If you need more honesty or more anything or less anything, let me know. Shoot me an email! Leave a comment! I’ll value it. I’ll appreciate it. And I hope I’ll also act on it for your benefit and mine.😊
And finally, thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for following Hope’s Diaries. You are loved!cropped-image12.jpgIMG_3545

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

The Waiting And Following Faith

IMG_3811Our lives are constantly revolving around things-the elements. Sometimes we find ourselves clawing and scratching, desperate to get whatever it is we think we want the most. We never really get it as one day leads into the next. We get things however, and we aren’t satisfied.
For us it is an outrageous proposition that we choose peace. We want peace but we do not choose it. We want everything.
Is my dream life a possibility? Could I really dare to choose less? Less when everyone says more? For me it is no longer an option as I have only one master, Jesus the Christ.
Wanting many things and everything is natural, but there’s a deep desire at the very core of my being, and that desire is the Person of God. I want to know Him and I want to be with Him and then truly be like Him.
He calls us every day to the extraordinary in the ordinary. He dares us to see with the eyes of our spirit and to really want what’s beneath the surface. This requires trust and faith; a daily surrender of ourselves to our known God in the face of the unknown.
I want many things but I have a Great Father and Shepherd of my soul who knows what I need. I must pause when He says pause and move when He says move. I must because He knows – He really knows. He is the author and finisher of our faith.
It takes a whole lot of faith to slow down in our fast paced world. It takes a lot  of energy to swim against the current. But without faith it is impossible to please God. So faith it is!
God opens doors we do not always anticipate and we have this urge in our spirits to walk through. Then we should even when we don’t know what’s on the other side. Some other times God keeps doors shut and we feel like we are waiting forever. We aren’t.
In these times, there is a way to wait. There are ways we can be faithful to God when we feel like not much is happening. Whatever it is we find to do, we should do with all our hearts no matter how small. This is the time to notice our neighbor and to know our neighbor so that we can love our neighbor.  This is when we can pray. This is when we can show kindness and ultimately have the opportunity to share the good news of our salvation. This is when we should cling to God’s word and know it. When we know it, we’ll know God and we’ll know ourselves in Him.
So don’t waste the wait. Don’t rush the time. Don’t panic or fret. Don’t look around but look up! Let us choose each day to follow. Let us choose because that’s what it means to be followers – our choice and the daily giving of ourselves to God.
Surrender. Wait. Trust. Wait. Trust. Surrender. And amen!

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

A Little Hope

I wrote the following sometime in 2014. I found it when I was looking through some of my notes and thought to share. 😊


25 SeptemberI am grateful for the start of a new day. The day is so full of promises and I feel the richness of the events that would unfold from now on. God is with me. He cares for me. He will never leave me.

I smell the quiet air and feel the coolness of the weather. I feel as the clouds feel when they are full. Rain is coming. 

Pick up your pen, wear those running shoes, knock on that door. Its only a matter of time before your actions bear fruit. We have a clean slate, a clear ground, an open hour. We can do this. 

I’ve come a long way to this very day. I’ve stumbled, and fallen on my face; God has picked me up and dusted me again and again. I hope my trickling words stirs something up in you. I hope you’ll choose to hear the quiet even in the noise. I hope you’ll look at the end of the path, lift up your head and smile, knowing that that’s where you’ll be…someday. 

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” -Jeremiah 29:11

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Like Fresh Air

I’ve recently reached a milestone in my life. Its probably the reason I’ve been moved to break my blogging silence. 😊

I am truly happy and encouraged that God was with me through my struggles and brought me out of them. I’ve learned so many lessons in the process, but one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt is that I have to trust in God no matter what, and I have to depend on His strength. 

Even when things seem uncertain, God is able to deliver us from every kind of trouble. That’s about the most important lesson I’ve learned. 

I’ve learned other lessons as well. I’ve learned that God loves human relationships-He created them. And because He designed them, He also designed the rules of engagement. For every kind of human relationship to work, there must be boundaries. We must know those boundaries and function within them for our own good and the good of others. And if we ever find ourselves breaching the boundaries and giving birth to Ishmael, we must learn to say goodye to Ishmael, pray for our Ishmael, but wash our hands off concern for the child. This is because as God said to Abraham, Ishmael cannot share in the inheritance of Isaac. It may have seemed cruel that Abraham had to send away his own son, but it was expedient to do so. 

I’m learning not be afraid to say no, and not to ask for permission to do so. I’m learning to trust in God’s principles and in His design even when they seem contrary to my feelings. Above every person, living or dead, God is our greatest lover and biggest supporter. So let’s trust in His love and darn every human device in the name of love (which God is by the way. God is love). 

I’m so blessed and encouraged to be out in the luscious green plains. Freedom smells like fresh air! Thank you God!

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Beloved, and Loving the Wind of Change!

I’ve been navigating some difficult things this period of my life; the silence, the confusion…did I say the silence?

It seemed like on the things that mattered to me, God was silent. It seemed like God was unfair for allowing me to experience the pain I did. I struggled some and triumphed some, but I still wondered if God was with me. I knew it but I could not feel it.

Today, God opened my eyes to the thorn in my side. I said to my Father, now, in my mind, I am free, but I do not feel free. I asked Him to MAKE me free. He showed me something WAY bigger than I could ever have anticipated. He freed me from the bondage of ignorance. He blew on me a wind of change.

God made me realize that He is love, and as large as He is, He wants to pour every drop of Himself into me! So I saw through His eyes, how precious I was (am) to Him, and I began to thirst for every drop. I have become convinced – FULLY convinced – that God wants to give it ALL to me!! To Him, I am worth every drop of His amazing love. I am precious in His sight. All His love is for me to desire and receive and experience. I am the Beloved of God!

Today, I cried out to my Father, “You are just! And Your judgements are fair O God!” God is indeed just and merciful for allowing me to go through the darkness and pain. I could not see it when I was in it, but when I came out of it, I saw that it was by the mercies and love of God that He took me through the valley of darkness. I praise You God, for You are merciful; all Your ways are true!

Now, I can begin again, in full assurance of God’s love because He patiently took me through this place from which I have come. I am eternally grateful. I would have given much to know what I know today. Dear fellow sojourners, if you see me, you will see a thirsty soul, thirsty for the love of God. You will see an insatiable soul, because I will never say enough! Oh God! Your love is better than life and I want EVERY drop!

    

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Fiction · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Purpose

Thank You Heavenly Father for showing me what was in my heart and teaching me the right way to go.

I have often thought purpose as a list of specific tasks that I have to check off.

If, I thought to myself, ‘”This” is what I’m supposed to to do,” then I would just go ahead and do it with the satisfaction that I have accomplished a task. But Love does not work that way.

Love does not have a set schedule or a job description. Love does not have a one-size-fits-all answer for every problem. Love does not premeditate its responses the same way a doctor prescribes medication for a specific illness.

Love gets right into the mess, and patiently holds the hands of its neighbor, knowing that each person is unique and each mess is without a measure.

Love does what needs to be done. Love listens. Love does not need a uniform because its role is diverse. Love is humble. Love hopes. Love is patient; love waits.

Father, I’m sorry for trying to live the easy way. I wouldn’t believe that You loved me if You didn’t come right into my mess – our mess. Lord Jesus, every time I think of what You did, I KNOW that You did it for ME. I wasn’t merely a face in the crowd. I know that because You came right into my mess, with all its difficult and unique parts.

“Where can I escape from Your love? Even if I lay my bed in hell, You are there!” (Psalm 139: 7,8)

Thank You LORD!

Love is Purpose.