God of all Hope

Hope at Litltleton Museum

How to begin blogging again after almost a year? And what a year it has been! Part of me wants to chronicle everything that happened, but another part of me longs to just be rid of 2011 and spend zero time reflecting on what was probably the hardest year of my life so far. If it wasn’t for the fact that I serve an incredible God Who turns ashes into beauty, I wouldn’t even try to blog! But this God that I serve, the God of all hope, deserves glory and honor for taking my trials and turning them into gold.

2011 was a year of loss and brokenness in many ways. I’m not sure I’m interested in writing all about that. I’d rather write about the restoring and rebuilding that took place after the loss. I will simply say that after miscarrying twins, realizing my marriage wasn’t as stable or healthy as I hoped, experiencing deep loneliness and seclusion, financial ruin, and realizing that I was an insecure-control-freak who was gifted at enabling unhealthy people…after all that and more, I turned to the Great Healer, Great Rescuer, the One who loves me desperately. I layed at His nail-scarred feet and didn’t get up. I’m still there. And its from there that I write today. Its from there that He began an incredible work of restoration. And its from there that I can truly say that He is the God of all hope.

In February we finally found the church that we had been praying to find. One that has sound doctrine, preaches the Good News, has an outward focus to reach the lost, and most importantly for us has a strong sense of community and discipleship which we desperately needed. Not surprisingly it is the church that our neighbors on either side of our house attend. I cannot even type for the tears in my eyes as I think about our neighbors and how they reached out to us in our times of crises and need…and just served, just loved, were just simply present. Someday maybe I will blog just about them and their impact on our lives. Honestly, we would not have made it without them.

As soon as we were getting established in this church, things became startlingly clear that our marriage needed attention. Again, maybe someday I will blog about that part of our life and how if hearts are humble and willing…anything is possible. God can (and will) bring His presence into any situation and turn it all around so that it is stronger, healthier, more lovely than anything imaginable.

Sometime in May I allowed the Lord to take me on a journey of repentance and healing. I had been turning to food for comfort for 8 years. And I decided enough was enough. I lost about 30 pounds in the next few months by counting calories, running and turning to Him for peace and comfort instead of my trusty bag of chips. This was a hard season, but very rewarding. One morning in July I ran 5 miles and then bought a size 8 dress. The very next morning I found out I was pregnant again – an absolute miracle and testimony to the healing and rebuilding that was happening in our marriage.

I lived in constant fear for the first 3 months of this pregnancy. While in Washington for a visit, I even experienced my first panic attack because I started bleeding and it seemed like I was having similar symptoms to the miscarriage I had suffered. I will never forget calling one of my best friends, BA, and her words to me were, “Melodi. You need hope. Not hope in this pregnancy to come to full term, but hope in Jesus.” I was so convicted, yet so encouraged at the same time. I need to write about this more fully in the future too. I had a whole host of mighty women praying for me not only in Tacoma, but also in Littleton. I realized that I was no longer alone. And when we saw my doctor immediately upon returning to Colorado, heard the heartbeat for the first time, and truly knew that all would be well with this pregnancy….I knew the God of all hope had sustained me and was giving me a season of great joy. Her name will be Elizabeth Hope. But I will call her Hope.

Twice a month I get together with 4 lovely, special ladies from our church. The last time we met we started a study on the life of Mary the mother of Jesus. In reference to the angel coming and interrupting Mary’s life, someone posed the question, “How do we handle interruptions?” I have been thinking about this ever since, and I have come to realize something lifechanging. The past 3 1/2 years of our lives have not just been trials and tribulations…they have actually been divine interruptions. And these interruptions have been for the purpose of bringing us closer to Christ, changing us more into His image, and to bring Him glory and honor.

My whole perspective has changed. What if our lives were drastically interrupted because that was the only way the Lord would get us to move to a new state, new church, new community…in which He could fulfill His plans in and through our lives in an incredible way?? We’re not here by coincidence or because it was something we planned. We didn’t go through firey trials and painful losses just beause “that’s life”. No way. Our lives have been divinely interrupted and we are choosing to remain positioned at His feet so that His purpose is fulfilled and His Kingdom can come into and through our lives. So….I’m ready for 2012!!

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom. 15:13

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4 thoughts on “God of all Hope

  1. There are no words for how proud I am of you! You have walked through these trials and allowed Jesus to soften your heart and draw you close to Him. You have not allowed yourself to be offended at God but have opened yourself up to His searching, His conviction, and His comfort. In running TO Hom with your pain rather than away, He is able to burn away that which hinders your life and take the ashes and turn them into beauty! I am so blessed to have been able to pray with you and watch this beautiful transformation take place in your life. What a powerful testimony of God's restoration and glory in our life's. I love you so much!

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  2. Hearing your story makes me reflect on my own. Rachel and I separated at 7 yrs and went through an incredible time of coming back to Jesus. it was 6 weeks after that separation that we got back together and have been rebuilding our marriage and working hard to keep God at the center. I didn't think our marriage would survive. Living in fear that I would get divorced actually pushed me closer to God. I realized that I had a lot of growing to do. We are going away this thursday the 12th to celebrate 10 years of marriage! It is so incredible to see God work. It has daily been hard with the pressures of life and two children, but wonderful in knowing Jesus deeper. Rachel and I are probably doing the best we ever have now 3 years later. -Christopher Smolko

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