The Source of Hope: 7 Bible Verses Giving Hope

This week is week 5 in the Hope for Hurting Hearts series; click here for one-stop shopping for all the posts in this series. While the series was originally announced as 5 weeks, next Monday I have an awesome surprise for you! You won’t want to miss it, so stay tuned! But this week my heart’s desire is to point you to the Source of Hope- God and His Word.

The very best way I’ve found to renew hope when hope seems gone is to focus on what God’s Word says.

When I place my hope in things, I get distracted.
When I place my hope in people, I feel disappointed.
When I place my hope in my own knowledge or strength, I am devastated.

But when I place my hope in Christ, I experience deliverance.

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As the old hymn says:

“On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”

May you find hope in God’s Word today!

7 Bible Verses Giving Hope

Rom. 15:4: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Lam. 3:24: “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Psalm 119:114: “You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.”

Rom. 5:5: “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Titus 2:13: “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”

Heb. 6:19: “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,”

Psalm 31:24: “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.”

I would love it if you have a verse that brings you hope that you could leave in the comments below!

And one more favor? Stop by Candace Cameron’s RooMag today, will you?  I have a few words posted there about: True Beauty.

Have a great day!


How Men And Women Grieve Differently- A Guest Post

how men and women grieve

My friend, Erica McNeal, is our special guest today; she is the author of Good Grief!: How to Create an Oasis When Life is A Desert. What an incredible journey the Lord has given Erica in this world! If there is anyone who understands Hope for Hurting Hearts, she is one.  Today she brings us a post to help us understand how men and women grieve differently.

In our first seven years of marriage, my husband Todd and I have experienced more tragedy than most marriages will ever endure. My cancer which had gone into remission before we were married relapsed twice, the first time just five months after our wedding. During this seven years, we also experienced the heartache of grieving the death or loss of five children.

We never would have anticipated when we said, ‘I do!” that we would one day bury our baby girl, endure two miscarriages, and give back a child to his mom after she decided to revoke his adoption plan.

Someone once asked me how it is possible that Todd and I have endured so much, yet, our marriage is not only intact, but thriving? While the only reason I can truly give is by the grace of God, we have also accepted that men and women grieve very differently, and we have chosen not to hold those differences against the other person. No grief process will ever be the same, even if the loss happens to the same couple.

The reality is God made us uniquely different to handle the process of grief, as individuals and as a couple. This gives us the ability to compliment and support each other through tragedy. Todd and I recognized that we had a choice to make. We could either fight this God-given design (and each other), or we could communicate and use these differences to our advantage.

Men:

Have a fix it nature – “How can I fix this?” or “What can I do?”

Wanting to be the strong, dependable, keep-it-together husband.

Feelings of “I have to do better – I am the husband.”

Will tend to compartmentalize grief.

May throw himself into work to fill the need of wanting to control something.

Work may become his safe haven because home feels (is) so out of control.

Appear emotion-less, even though they are likely filled with emotions.

Will not likely want to talk about what they are feeling.

Men tend to want to think through their grief and rationalize the process.

Women:

After the initial shock, women tend to put their head down and deal with their grief right away and slowly work on getting better.

Emotions spill over and she may not know why she is crying.

Accepting the new her: the most difficult question for a bereaved mama to answer is, “How many children do you have?”

May get to a point where she stops caring. It doesn’t matter if the laundry, dinner, life, dishes, house-work get done, or bills get paid. Little is important anymore because women may not know how to function in her new identity.

Women want to feel through their grief.

She wants to talk about her feelings and emotions.

Will likely be the first to say something really stupid because she uses talking out loud to help sort her emotions.

Afraid to laugh or be happy again.

Both:

Afraid to hurt each others feelings.

Concerned about how each other is grieving.

Grief tends to compound if not dealt with.

We will all deal with grief at some point in our lives and no marriage will be able to escape it.

However, instead of fighting the way your spouse is processing their grief, learn from, and about him or her. As Todd and I worked together to support how we each needed to grieve individually, and as a couple, we grew closer and stronger.

If your marriage is going through a grieving process, ask questions and create conversations with each other. Approach the way your spouse is grieving and their current needs, not as right or wrong, but perhaps very different from your own journey and what you might need right now.

Author of The Staycation Jar and Good Grief!, by the time Erica was 32 years old, she was already a 3-time cancer survivor, and had experienced the loss of 5 children. Erica uses her cancer and child-loss to equip men and women to learn how to effectively love people who are hurting, and is passionate about helping families grow stronger through tragedy. She blogs at www.ericamcneal.com and you can find her on twitter @toddanderica

Do you have any questions or comments for Erica? We would love to read them below!

The God Who Sees Me- A Guest Post

Today my awesome IRL friend, Stacy Williams, has a guest post as part of our “Hope for Hurting Hearts” series.  I know it’s not Monday, but isn’t this a great surprise? I knew you’d love her.

Stacy lives in Central Ohio. She loves Jesus, traveling, the ocean, ice cream, seeing God answer prayer and encouraging others! She has a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and a Master’s degree in journalism and communications. She briefly worked in public relations before a chronic health condition since childhood forced her to change her plans and yield to God’s plan. She is the Creator of Finding Purpose in the Pain. Check her out on Twitter and Facebook!

As the old saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover. And that would certainly be true in my life. If you saw me at the post office today you would never know I almost didn’t make it there because my body was so overwhelmed with fatigue it took me 2 hours to get off the couch.

If you saw me this past summer at the pool with the 4 girls I nanny for you would never know I spent every weekend from January to April laying on the couch crying in overwhelming pain.

If you saw me out and about hanging out with friends you would think I’m a normal, healthy, happy 29 year old. You would never know that I’ve spent last the 18 years dealing with a chronic debilitating health condition-fibromyalgia.

I, like millions of people, have an invisible illness. One you can’t see just by looking at me. And while God in His mercy is starting to bring healing into my life, there are still many rough days. And the hard part of any health condition, invisible or not, is the sense of isolation it breeds. That nagging feeling that no one really knows what you go through.

I remember clearly this past winter during a particularly brutal season of pain feeling these exact emotions-invisible and isolated. That is until I read this passage of scripture in Genesis 16. It recounts the story of Hagar who was pregnant with Abram’s son. She fled after being mistreated by Abram’s wife Sarai. While in her lowest point out in the middle of the desert, the angel of the Lord visits her. And after this she says:

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

These words have stayed with me for months-He is the God who sees me.

When I feel all alone and overwhelmed by life-He sees me.

When I’m sad and mad and confused over these years of suffering-He sees me.

When everything in me wants for purpose to come from this pain-He sees me.

Maybe you are in the midst of a struggle right now. Perhaps it’s physical like mine? Or maybe emotional or a really challenging set of circumstances? Can I remind you today friend that He sees you right where you are? You are not invisible to Him. He hasn’t left you alone in your pain. He is the God who makes beauty rise from ashes and if today you find yourself in a dark valley call out to Him! Some of the most beautiful blessings in my life have come from the deepest pain. And while it’s not a road I would have willingly taken, it’s a road I’m thankful for. And today I encourage you to seek out those blessings in your life. To choose praise in the midst of your storm and remember there is a plan and purpose for your life and this is not the end of your story.

But most of all remember you are not alone, He sees you!

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?   My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121: 1-2

Thank you, Stacy, for your wonderful gift of words!

One more awesome treat for you today, I have a special introductory post at The Better Mom for the book, Everything- What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus, by Mary DeMuth.  You will not want to miss this book; there is one up for grabs on the giveaway!

Take a sneak peek HERE. (Post goes live 10/11)