Archive for May, 2019

Think about the storms you’ve seen on the news lately—Over 700 tornadoes reported in just a portion of the U.S. and widespread flooding. Tons of this in my area. It’s overwhelming and frightening.

Now, think about those storms—you can see them with your eyes. What about the storms that occur just the same, except on a spiritual, emotional, or personal physical level, with the same level of devastation.

I feel that’s what is happening right now in my family and my extended family. It’s not that we don’t have beautiful days and treasured moments, but there are so many storms! It seems that we’ve been going from storm to storm and they are overlapping. We’ve barely begun recovering, if at all, when we’re whammed with another wave. Death, loss, health issues, brokenness in many forms … It’s too much!

It’s difficult to stay floating in circumstances like that, much less keep your head above water.

I’m tough and independent. I don’t like to be perceived as weak. (I’m opening myself up, here. Bear with me. That’s a whole different story, but we’ll get back there at some point.)

Anyway, I feel like when I’m in those storms where a continual battering is taking place, I barely have time to catch a breath, I need something more than my strength. I feel my own strength failing and I wonder where I can go—someone who I can lean in on.

Can we make it through emotional, physical, or spiritual tornados or hurricanes or floods on our own?  It’s probably not impossible all the time. But it feels like it is. So, no, I don’t think so. I don’t think we can go through devastating situation after situation and come through it on the other side still intact. Something will be damaged if there’s not healing that takes place on some level.

I have to have something, someone else to hold onto. I call it “Hope”—a bigger thing—something that is bigger than us or someone who is bigger than us.

Here is where the rubber meets the road, as my dad would have said.

Maybe your someone is a person. Maybe they are just strong beyond belief. Maybe they are sage and just have the most perfect answer at the perfect time, all the time. All these things were my dad—all rolled into one … and then some. He was my superhero. He was a strong, wise man. And his “Hope” was definitely in God. That’s what he taught me, too.

But my dad’s gone, now.

What do you do when your someone is gone?

You have to have something or someone else.

There are many things you could turn to. But it’s been my experience that those run out of gas, eventually, too. Things like jobs, and homes, and cars, and status, and careers, and good health, and maybe even a loving marriage. All those things can come to an end. I’m not saying that they will. But they can.

That’s been my experience. They all run out at some point. Something breaks. Something changes and the storms batter it and all of a sudden, it’s gone. Or it’s just so different it’s unrecognizable and you’re back at square one.

I’ve found myself there many times.

Square one. Empty. I know it well.

That’s where “Hope” comes in.

I prefer my “Hope” in a tangible form, thank you. I want to see it, reach out and touch it, hold it, tie it up, maybe put it in a cage so that it can’t ever escape again and it will always be there when I need to take it out and use it.

Wait. That hasn’t worked out very well.

So here I am, struggling. And time after time, people have let me down. Or I’ve let them down. Nevertheless, there’s some sort of breakdown.

I need more than “Hope”. I need it to come alive.

This is where God comes in. He is “Hope”. He is love. He is faithful. He’s always the same. He never changes. He’s omniscient—he knows everything. He’s omnipresent—he’s always everywhere, all at the same time.

I don’t know if you believe that. But I do. I’ve never stopped believing in him. But I’ve given up on people and churches more times than I can count. And I’ve given up on myself more times than that.

I’ll tell you where I am with all these storms. I need a reset.

I’m going back to the beginning. I’m going to clear some foundations—do some clean-up. Back to when I just simply believed. It’s the way I was raised. I’ve never stopped. I just counted on myself more at times than I should have. And I’m tired.

And I’ll tell you this–I’m not strong enough. Life is so life-ish. I need more.

So, that’s where I’m going. I’ll probably fall flat a few more times. But I’m headed in that direction—forward. With a “Hope” that is bigger than me.


Sometimes I leave little altars of hope here and there that I’ve made with found objects.

Hang on. It’s a wild ride sometimes. We’ll talk more. Sometimes it’s raw. But sometimes you need a declaration and a line drawn in the dirt. Here’s mine.


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