The hope that changes everything

My friend, Shelley Hendrix invited me to guest post on her blog during her blog party week.  Here is the story I shared.  You can visit her blog here:

The Hope That Changes Everything:

Mile markers are interspersed along this journey of life. Some I walk through with ease, others require mega doses of endurance. Endurance was required the year my husband’s business began to find its end. The bills andneeds of our family of seven were always before us. Would we make it out alive? Everything in my being longed to see a glimpse of God’s presence there in our midst. Would He come, I wondered?

I hadn’t thought about that honey baked turkey in years, yet suddenly, out of nowhere there it was. The memory of a meal we had received at the birth of our 4th child was immediately so fresh in my mind. I could almost taste it causing the longing to permeate my being. Maybe if I looked hard I could find a way in our over stretched budget to make it work.

I’m a very practical, frugal person. Moments like that are out of character for me. I live well under the constraints of a budget. Yet on that day all practicality went out the door. The lure of desire caused the calculator in my brain to start up. Surely there was a loophole with twenty-five dollars hidden amidst the bills. No matter how much I moved things around, at the end of the day I couldn’t justify my longing. I spoke of it to no one, I just let it go.

A couple of days later a friend invited me to lunch. Five children ages 10 and under along with my husband’s failing business was taking it’s toll on me. How fast could I say yes? A date was set. She showed up with her teenagers and home made cookie dough. Hers would entertain mine while we dashed away for a quiet retreat. As we sat over lunch she allowed my heart to reveal it’s weariness. She understood. They had had their own season of endurance.

Time passes too quickly in those getaway moments. Before you knew it we were headed back to our realities. In a passing comment she mentioned that she had left dinner in the refrigerator. We hugged our goodbyes as she gathered up her teens.

Life settled back in as I went to the refrigerator to see what dinner would be. As I opened the door, there it sat. You know what it was don’t you….a honey baked turkey.

I had no words, only tears. There was only One who knew of my longing. I had never asked for it. I had only wished. Lavish love unlike any I had experienced before spoke volumes to the aching places of my soul. I savored every bite, knowing that the One who loves me more than life itself was present, attentive, knowing all.

We’re in another season these days. Five months of unemployment stare us in the face. Hope comes in the most amazing ways sometimes pouring into us, reviving our souls to continue on in the path that tries the soul. In the here and now I have the mile markers of my past which remind me. He truly is the hope that changes everything.

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14 thoughts on “The hope that changes everything

  1. As I read this story, in the frame of mind I’ve been in since late last night, it was like you were there Julie. Just ahead of me, close enough for me to see you, far enough away we couldn’t talk. You were walking, straight and steady, opposite of my obvious stumbling and limping slowly behind, unable to “get it together”. And you were holding something that caught my eye…….a Light. I strained to see it as the distance between us was great, but my heart, my soul, my very life depended on my following that Light, keeping my eye on that Light.

    Thank you. For walking ahead of me. For carrying the Light, that on dark soul days like this, I know…….somewhere, I just know…..that it will be okay. And Hope is alive.

    I love you more than I can express.

    • Dear sweet Bek….
      You didn’t know this but a woman, a very dear woman prayed over me a few years back. I have never been prayed for like that. As she prayed she saw a light… a bright vibrant light… and it was coming from me. So when I read your words today I was reminded of that sweet prayer. Thank you my friend… Love you more than I can express!

  2. Your thoughts today have mirrored my own. God takes us from season to season if only to let us know of His continuing faithfulness to be with us. God bless you in this season of life. Blessings to you!

  3. I thought of your story several times today and it comforted me and reminded me of a few of my own stories of personal gifts from God. I loved what you wrote in the comments about being prayed over and told there was a light coming from you. You never told me about that, but i see it now in your writing. There is a Scripture that says: Comfort ye, my people (not sure where it is) and your writing today was a comfort to those of us who need fresh hope for today. Thanks for writing. I love you!

  4. PS. One phrase of a passage in Matthew 6 keeps coming to mind these days when it all feels so heavy: Your Father knows….
    It has comforted me to remember that.

    • Sister, these words are perfect… yes, He knows…. I am so glad that my story reminded you of your own… I haven’t told many people about that prayer… but I remember it all the time. It was prayed October 22, 2008. In it she said that I was a carrier of His cargo. She said that when I spoke God’s word it was like a train’s light shining as it comes down the tracks. I have never, ever forgotten that prayer…… I love you, sister….

  5. Love it when God does that ❤ I've had my share, too – even though in a different form.
    Btw, the photographer in me loves your banner image – did you take it yourself? I mean does a road like that really exist somewhere?

  6. Eija, Thank you for your visit and your words. I wish I had taken the photo myself but I cannot take credit for it. I found it on the internet and yes there are roads like this here in the mountains of America… the colors are what I see every fall.. It’s one of my favorite times of year. Blessings to you this day!

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