Saturday, August 13, 2011

Going on a bear hunt, I'm not afraid.

Do you remember that little kindergarten hand rhyme, "Goin' on a Bear Hunt?"  I was reminded of it the other day when I read a devotional that pointed the following out.  Sometimes, when faced with an obstacle, trial, or situation, just like in the rhyme, you can't go under it, can't go over it, cant go around it... gotta go through it. 

 Three days ago, I was in a place I really didn't want to be.  I was a crying, slobbering, hopeless mess.  And that's the problem.  It felt hopeless.  I tried reaching out to God for answers but found in front of me, a seemingly impenetrable brick wall.  I desperately wanted to go over, under or around that moment, but I believe God wanted me to look that hopeless moment squarely in the eye, and walk straight through the heart of it to the other side.  And that's what I did. 

The funny thing, is that I happened to be traveling on this particular day, and the area I found myself driving through, had a political candidate with the last name of "HOPE," splashed in giant capital letters, all over billboards and signs.  I got madder and madder, each time I passed one, and saw the huge word "Hope" blaring at me from along the roadside because I felt so lacking in that department, and each sign felt like a reminder that I needed it.  I kept looking at the situation in front of me, seeing no possible way through it, and no hope for anything different.  And the thing was, everything in me felt like if the situation continued, and I really did have to walk through it the way it might play out, it would gradually become one of my most dreaded fears.  At that idea, my heart went into full stop mode and my blood froze.  I tried listing all the things I was thankful for, but to be honest, on this particular day, it was not helping much.

And then, in the middle of a late night crying fest, I cried out to God that I really couldn't take one more minute without hope.  I needed it somehow, some way.  And quietly, a bible verse memorized long ago, flickered through my mind.  "...we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:3-5 (emphasis mine)  We rejoice in our sufferings to produce hope.  Hmmm.... chewing, chewing... We don't rejoice over, under, or around our sufferings, but actually in them.  You know, like walking through them.  And then I thought about the definition of faith and how it connected with hope.  Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." 

The truth was, I hoped for something in that moment to change- and I didn't mean my mind set.  Because I wanted something to change that I could see, touch, feel, and know.  But... as I wrestled with that thought over the course of the next day, I remembered Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (emphasis mine again.)

Hope and future go together a little bit there.  So in other words, a future filled with hope is what I'm promised.  This idea was confirmed when I hit Proverbs 23:18 and it read, "There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."

Oh my word.  This was the moment that I said the following and meant it with every tear that seeped out of my eyes, "Okay Lord, if you want me to go through this situation, and everything I'm fearing comes to pass... but you still promise me a future filled with hope, then the only way to get that hope that will carry me through, is the focus that my very future both here on earth and in heaven is in You. I will go through it.  I will accept it.  I will live it.  And I will not be hopeless."

And then, a mini van scooted past me with a bumper sticker reading, "Got Hope?"  I'm not kidding.  It did.

And for the first time in two days, I really laughed.








19 comments:

  1. Whoo, I'm saving this post Little lemonade mama, cuz it is a GOOD one!! Full of truth about the One and Only!! Thank you!

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  2. Every single one of those verses were what got me through the trying and seemingly hopeless years of infertility and adoption woes. The word is ALIVE. ; )

    THE HAT: oh.my.word.

    I am a hat freak and have about 15-20 that I wear weekly. Yours is darling!! ; ) If you peek at my FB profile pics you'll MANY of them with hats on my noggin! Have a great weekend! ; )

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  3. Beautiful!! I am passing this on to my daughter today..she needs to hear this. Thank you!

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  4. Thank you for sharing with such honesty. This post rang so true for me since I went through the very same fear and hopelessness when our then 14-year old son was diagnosed with severe Crohn's disease. We forged ahead with hope and prayer that he would eventually be well and healthy again. It was hard to hold onto hope through the darkest days, and they were dark, but after extensive treatment and one complicated surgery, he made a remarkable recovery and is living a great life with the disease under control today. Hope can be difficult to find when times are so difficult, but have faith and prayers are answered. Hoping you get past this difficulty in your life and all turns out well for you. :)

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  5. hope is such an awesome word...without it we kind of wither and give up. big chick has a shirt that says grow hope and when we were in complete agony over our decision about moving to richmond i remember her pointing to it once and it just made me laugh. this little girl with all her hope and faith. made me feel like such a loser. sometimes you just gotta laugh. love you girlie...i'm hear whenever you need a listening ear. i never get tired of being there. you know that.

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  6. I`ve been following your blog for quite awhile now and always love reading what you have to share. You are so honest, which I appreciate.

    I also appreciate that you just write exactly what`s on your heart, you can tell that you don`t filter things through and just write what you think should be written-if that makes any sense. I appreciate every word you`ve written today, we are losing a close family member of ours right now and our hearts are absolutely broken...I believe God hasn`t just allowed these trials to come along your path for you-but for others too. Praying for peace for you.

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  7. God has a sense of humor. He does. The bumper sticker is proof. ;)

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  8. :)! Don't you just LOVE how GOd does things like that?!

    HOPE!!!
    Awesome!

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  9. Standing on the Solid Rock is the only place I want to be in these stormy tumultuous times. You've got me humming ...

    'My hope is built on nothing less
    than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    but wholly lean on Jesus' name. '

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  10. My sweet Sasha...your transparency is breathtaking. Each verse is something I need now, something to chew on. God WILL carry you.

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  11. There are NO coincidences. . .reading this and thinking about last week and how bleak the future felt...then this week, hoping we will learn how to manage my son's autoimmune disease and reminding myself how much worse it could be...then reading this and knowing you wrote it for you but it feels so meant for me. He knows what we are going through and will get us through it always. I believe.

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  12. Hope is always there, we just have to acknowledge it...Glad you're feeling better.

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  13. This post is just awesome. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul. I love that bumper sticker, Got Hope?, maybe that will show up in your etsy store. Life is hard, sometimes very hard, but He does give us hope. Blessings!

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  14. Atta, girl, Sash. Go get 'em, dawg.

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  15. This is so good... and was very, very timely for me to read. I am the Queen of trying to "go around or under things" so that I will not have to go through them.

    My 4 year old illustrated my biggest weakness in his behavior today... and it really got my attention. We were watching a kids show about going to the doctor, and I noticed that my Noah had his hands over his ears. I laughed at first, but them he explained that he was covering his ears and shutting his eyes because in the show there was a doctor with a needle and he wasn't sure what was going to be on the show and he thought there was a chance it would be scary and he was, in effect, trying to shut it out. Seriously, in that silly little moment with my kido - I recognized that I DO THAT!! - Alot in fact. :) God is teaching me SO MUCH right now about the need to face things... and go through them. Straight through them.

    So, now that I have left you a thesis for a comment, I will go. ;)

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  16. Well done friend. You wrote with passion and realness, that is such a part of the healing process. Now that you have the HOPE you were searching for, you need to hold on to it. I will be praying for you.

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  17. Sash, thanks for sharing. Sending a virtual ((hug)). Thinking of you today, and saying a prayer for HOPE and laughter :-). My blog-warming starts today, so say a little prayer for me too!

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  18. LOVE THIS! I've been crying all week and losing sleep over a situation that feels hopeless.... thank you for the reminder.

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