I’m back! Thank you for being patient with me last month! September was a little crazy around here!
I had a birthday (month)
Went away for a birthday biking weekend
We closed on our house
Excitedly watched our new home get underway
Spoke on a bus trip for Winning at Home
Directed a writers' conference
Those are just a few highlights, but that last one, WOW!
I would like to say I am rested and refreshed and I kind of am. The writers' conference was the culmination of a year's worth of work and it went well. Last year at this time I was like, “God, I don’t get it? Why this? Isn’t this taking me away from what you are calling me to do?”
I had to trust and I am glad I did. God revealed to me in the process of planning that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. That my writing journey did indeed include planning a conference. I watched so many doors open in the last year as the conference approached. I’ve learned a ton about myself and writing and people. I’ve learned to trust like never before and it is a good thing. I’ve also learned more compassion for others, patience and understanding.
One of the the reasons I didn’t want to be in charge of this conference was selfish: I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunities at this conference, to learn, to be instructed, and all the conversations that would take place.
I know better, God had it all planned out and while I didn’t get to attend every session, I did have many opportunities to talk and interact with staff, attendees, and the faculty of those that were there to teach.
One of the keynote speakers, Erin Taylor Young spoke some truth into me. She took the time to look up my blog and give me some truth to focus on:
She asked me, “Where were you at the bottom?” I replied, “Helpless.”
“What do you need to get out of helplessness?”
After some thought I said, “Hope.”
“If anyone would have told you all the reasons you needed to quit, would you have listened?”
So maybe my last post, Game Over, was a rant. It was. I want so desperately for others to be blessed with what I have been blessed with in sobriety, I just kind of told it like it was. Was that wrong? No. But did it really help anyone, besides me, to get it off my chest? Not sure.
I told you, “To just freaking do it,” and that is what Erin challenged me.
She asked me, Where I was in that rock bottom addiction moment? Would anyone telling me to “just freaking do it” have made a difference? The answer was no - I had been asked that many times by those that loved me and wanted more for me. It made no difference. I needed to be thrown some hope other than the Just Do It line.
I was in a state of helplessness (defined as the inability to defend oneself or to act effectively.) I had no defense nor was I able to act effectively but I had hope, hope that life could be better. Hope that I would be saved in this affliction, but most of all, hope that God could deliver me from this pit.
That's what I want to give you: hope. Hope that life can be better - that you can be free of your burden. I encourage you to list all the things you have hope for.
A relationship with God
To help others
In the moment though, I had one simple hope: to stop drinking and live.
So if you are sitting there face down, look up and see the hope that God is giving you.
I promise you will be forever changed - that life will go on. In the moment of craving, is it uncomfortable? Yes!
Hope doesn’t just happen. You have to want it, work for it, wait for it.
Is hope the real deal? I believe so, with all my heart.
I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13, NCV
What do you really hope for? Name it, declare it. It's not just going to happen on its own. I don't want this to be just another uplifting blog post. I want it to bring life to you. I encourage you to pray out loud words of hope into your life.
Declare it, “I have hope! My hope is in the Lord! I will be strong and wait on the Lord. I trust God with my life and the life of my family.”
Hope Is Real. It comes from God! Speak it and watch what God will do for you.
Hope Is Real, just try it. Are you in pain? I love this acronym for HOPE.
Have hope that your pain will end. Take it to the Almighty Healer of all pain. Stop hurting and start hoping.
I had a quick conversation with a guy at the conference who is a publisher. Last year, I had a great conversation with him and really liked his sense of humor. He looked me in the eye this year and said, "Is your book done yet?" I said no and started rambling off a list of excuses and he wasn’t joking this time. He said, "Get it done. There are people that need to hear this and there are already people that never will."
That sobered me. Meaning there are already people that have lost hope and maybe their battle with addiction. I could have said something in my book that made a difference that might have helped them not to pick up a drink again.
I’ll leave you with this verse because if you don’t believe my words I want to give you something unshakeable. Scripture.
"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 15:13, NIV
Imagine your life today if you are overflowing with Hope.
Peace and Blessings,