Mark told me he’d go first so we’re both sporting a bald head right now. You may have already seen my pics on Facebook but if you haven’t this will give you a peek at our newest picture together.
I’ve had so many of you who have asked about my courage to post a picture of my bald, or how I stay positive, or matter-of-factly share about everything that’s happening over on my Caring Bridge page.
I Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” So today I’d like to do that today by sharing seven reasons I have hope in the hardship.
1) I have God-given courage. Deuteronomy 31:6 says to, “Be strong and courageous.” I’m able to post a picture of me without hair because I am not defined by my appearance, which obviously can change from day to day. I am defined by my God, who never changes. I know who I am in God’s eyes. If you ever wonder how God feels about you, this list of truths I’ve posted before is a great place to start.
2) I grieve when I need to grieve. Often this happens at night when I’m laying in bed. On more than one occasion I’ve snuggled up to Mark and cried my eyes out. There is definitely sadness in a journey like this and when those feelings bubble up, I let them overflow, often pouring my heart out to God. Psalm 147:3 promises, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” I know Jesus grieved when He lived on this earth. My God understands loss, sadness, and grief, so when I talk with Him, I know He understands. (That’s what my book Real Moms…Real Jesus: Meet the Friend Who Understands is all about!)
3) I believe God’s truth found in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I know that God’s purposes are far bigger than anything I can imagine. I trust that he will redeem this for His purposes.
4) I believe Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” This truth works partners well with Romans 8:28. There are many things that we don’t understand. God’s ways are not our ways. I KNOW that His ways are best and that they come from a perspective I have no way of knowing or understanding.
5) I know this is a growth opportunity. Romans 5:3-5 tell us, “…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” If we allow God into our struggles, He will use them to strengthen and mature us. I know God is doing that through this journey.
6) I am never alone. Joshua 1:9 tells us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
7) I find my strength and courage in God. Philippians 4:13 promises, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” This is a verse I often meditate on when I am going through uncomfortable tests and treatments (you can read about my “love” for needles in my latest Caring Bridge journal entry). When I focus on Him, my strength increases and my fear decreases.
These are the truths I stand on each and every day. When fear creeps in or I feel weak in the journey, I refocus on these truths to find my footing again. That refocusing becomes the hope I have in the difficult journey.
What about you? Do you have a truth from God’s word that gives you hope in the hardship?