In 2002 I co-founded an organization in Honduras serving impoverished women through educational opportunities. We now graduate over 100 women from our classes yearly.Mi Esperanza - My HopeOne of our top selling pieces last year was our Hope Bar Necklace. I seldom take mine off. Every time I touch it, a smile comes from my heart, rooted in gratitude.Sharing Hope. This has become my life mission statement. Yet, I have learned that without being filled with hope myself, it is nearly impossible to share it. We can't effectively give what we ourselves do not possess. I can't give someone your sweater or your food or your shoes or your millions of dollars or your joy or you smile or - you get the idea - because it is not mine to give. After several years of the world doing its best to rob me of anything I had ever placed hope in, I looked around. Attempting to make any sense of any crumb of it, my heart brought me back to God - the one constant in my life. Digging deep into His word and closing out the world, a spark reignited way down in the place in me where the seed of hope germinates. Hope, defined in its general sense, is the anticipation of a future outcome.
This God - his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30 ESV
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 ESV
At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep, For you, God, have put my life back together. Psalm 4:8 The Message
These are just a few of the scriptures I treasure. Reading them soothe and nourish that seed of hope in me, allowing it to grow and thrive. With these assurances, my hope stabilizes and grows stronger in God's promises and presence in my life. The world still rocks this boat, but the hope I know by staying so close to God keeps me from sinking and calms the storms around me. The truth of God's word, His faithful promises and how He has put my life back together prove to me over and over how much He loves me. If you have never taken time to dig around inside you and find that place where hope grows, I would love to encourage you not to be afraid. If I could go back 10 years and look into that fifty-year-old Janet's eyes, I would promise her that God would never leave her in the darkness of what the next decade in her life was going to hold. And I promise you the same. It is a hope I can boldly and confidently share with you. Because God has filled me up with that hope - His hope - and nothing this world has can take it away from me. So it is possible in our work with our women in Honduras and in my daily walk to share the hope that outlasts everything the world puts its trust for providing hope in. May the remaining days of my life be filled with that purpose.
Notice the picture to the right - the word hope has a period after it. When we place our hope in God - there is nothing else. The hope that outlasts us all and anything this world has to offer comes from God. Put a period at the end of hope and leave it with God.
"Lord, the hope you knew we were going to need flows abundantly as we open up that place deep in us that needs fed and nurtured as only you can feed and nurture. Protect us from anything the world throws at us that would create doubt. Empower us with the Light that robs the darkness of its power. Fill us with your hope, with your love, and with your peace - and the desire to stay so close to you that our shadows have no chance of blocking our view of You. Enable us to feel the seeds of hope growing as we lean into you for our sustenance. Feed us and grow us to be a powerful reflection of Your hope and love in this world. Amen"