Almost four years ago, I was leaving the parking lot after an hour-long grocery shopping session with my three- and one-year old children when I got the call.
My dad was on the other end frantically saying “She’s gone Jennifer! She’s gone!” I will never forget the emotions that moment brought as my dad explained to me that my mother was dead. Not only was she gone, but she had died by suicide.
How do you hold on to hope when you’ve been sucker punched by life? How do you hold on to hope when nothing seems to be working in your favor? How do you hold on when every prayer you pray seems to fall upon deaf ears?
I’ll tell you how…you hold on to Jesus.
The bible reminds us in Hebrews 6:19 that “We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself.”
God made a promise to send a savior and he did in Jesus Christ. In Jesus we find a hope that is unshakeable for through accepting His gift of salvation we are assured that we will live with God eternally in heaven. This is the certain hope. Knowing that God is faithful to every single one of His promises and since He is not man, he cannot lie.
In God we find strength, comfort and the power to hold on to the unbreakable promise of hope.
Although my life changed forever that day, I am able to walk comforted and confident because my hope is in Jesus.
“So how did you hold on to hope Jenn?” I’m glad you asked.
I stayed ready, I rehearsed and I referred.
First, I was ready by having this foundation of hope built before the storm came. Much like the wise man described in Matthew 7: 24 - 27 I knew that life would be hard, so I was already bolstered by the word of God. Interestingly enough, both men are in a storm and experiencing torrential rain and unrelenting wind. This tells me that we will all go through storms but there must be something that can help one person sustain over another. In this parable, Jesus compares the two men calling one wise and the other foolish. One man was intentional about his foundation by making it firm and solid. The other man built in haste on a ground that would not stand the test of a storm. You cannot wait until the storm arrives to decide to build a stronger foundation. It will be too late by then.
Secondly, I had to encourage myself with scripture. I rehearsed the truth of Psalm 147:3 that God would heal the wound of my heart. I reminded myself that although I might be walking through my darkest moment that he would be with me (Psalm 23:4). I knew that he would not ever leave me or loosen his grip on my life. (Hebrews 13:5b)
I want to encourage you today to start afresh from the ground up. Stir up your foundation by daily bible reading and meditating on scripture. Start small and don’t try to meet God like anyone else. Your relationship with God should be different than others.
Finally, I referred to wise counsel. I don’t just mean my fellow believers, who definitely were a tremendous support, but I mean professional counsel.
I finally went to therapy 2 years ago and will seek maintenance sessions when necessary. Therapy is important but even more than that is seeking a counselor with a faith base that will guide you with medically and biblically sound principles.
Seeking counsel doesn’t make you weak, it takes great strength to do that. It also doesn’t mean that you lack faith. The same way we seek medical advice for physical pains we should accept the importance of wise spiritual and mental counsel.
I want to encourage you to know that God is not a bystander or unwilling participant in your life. When he is invited into our lives, He stays and walks us through the best and worst times. He doesn’t walk away when things get tough, in fact, that is when I’ve found He makes himself even more real to you.
Jennifer’s latest single “Hold On” is now available to download on ITunes, Spotify and Amazon
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