Tag Archives: Hope

Waiting on the Lord with Hope

Recently, I received some disappointing news about a medicine I was prescribed – I’ve heard great stories of it helping others’ physical and mental health – but it wasn’t covered under my insurance. I was so excited and hopeful when my doctor and I initially discussed it – that it would not only help me physically, but also emotionally as well.

Waiting. We often are waiting for many things. But how will we wait? That is what will determine our ability to enjoy the journey and grow through the waiting process.

I realized I placed my hope in an outcome or circumstance, not in the goodness of God no matter what would happen. I am discovering how often I put my hope in circumstances without first placing my anchor of hope in God Himself. I want God to heal me now and answer my prayers now. Honestly, it has been hard to wait on the Lord for the full manifestation of healing in my life.

So where is your hope? How do you wait on the Lord with hope for healing and answers to your prayers?

A verse in the The Passion Translation explains how to wait on the Lord so clearly: Psalms 27:14 states, “Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient, be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting-for he will never disappoint you!”

Let’s break this down into 6 steps on how to wait on the Lord:

  1.  “Don’t give up” -If we don’t give up, we eventually will experience breakthrough. Satan wants us to feel defeated and discouraged, but we are called to rise up!
  2.  “Don’t be impatient” -God’s promises are always true, but sometimes the process takes longer than we think it should. However, impatience only causes frustration and steals our peace.
  3.  “Be entwined as one with the Lord” – We are to stay in close communion with the Lord, seeking intimacy with Him above all else. He’s more concerned with us knowing Him then giving us an immediate breakthrough. Again, the process is what is beautiful in drawing us closer to Him through it all
  4.  “Be brave and courageous” – This is a call to trust in the Lord and not to fear. Set your sights on Him, not on the things around you that may be going wrong.
  5.  “Never lose hope” – We are to hold onto the hope that is found in Jesus, no matter what our circumstances look like.
  6.  “Keep on waiting-for he will never disappoint you” – God reinforces our need to keep on waiting, to be persistent, for He truly does not disappoint.

Isaiah 60:22 says: “When the time is right, I, the Lord will make it happen.” Oh how this verse cuts to the deep sovereignty of God in our lives! In HIS timing, He will make it happen. In his timing AND His way, He will help me get healthier and heal. But how badly I want it NOW. How I’ve wept in bitter frustration over the length of the process, especially in healing for mental illness. I could tell you why it’s not fair, how hard I’ve tried, how much I’ve sought the Lord and His healing, yet here I am, still walking out this journey. In the middle of this frustration and anger, I believe I’ve missed some of the joyful moments and breakthroughs along the road. I’ve missed the joy of my salvation in knowing God through this process, of hearing His gentle, kind words through the pain. I’ve turned away when I should have ran to Him. Yet through it all, He loves us and gently woos us back to relationship with Him.

Let’s take a step of faith today and wait on the Lord with hope.

Copyright 2020 Marie Lorah

Who is Your Hope?

When it comes down to it, where do you truly place your hope in? Recently, the Lord has been dealing with me in this area. He led me to this scripture:

Give us aid against the Enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. Psalm 60:11-12

Did you read that? Human help is worthless. Yet, how many of us are running to others to help us or fix our problems? I know this tendency has been true for me. Somehow, it got deeply ingrained in me that I always need other people when I am struggling. This is a lie! We do need people in our life, but we are greatly missing out if we turn solely to them. God is the source of our hope and our help. He is the One who has the power to deliver, guide, and heal. So why do we run to others when we need help? I think it is often a tendency we develop at some level or another over time. This can turn into idolatry, making others our god above our True God.

Yet, scripture makes it clear. In the Passion Translation, Psalm 60:11b, it states: “For to trust in any man is an empty hope.” The words empty hope stuck out to me like a lightening bolt. When we trust in man, man can disappoint, leaving us empty. But our God is not like that. His hope never disappoints (Romans 5:5), and He always has His grace and love to lavish on us.

So, next time you are struggling, I encourage you to go to throne, not to the phone! God spoke this to me a while ago, and I am still learning. May you give yourself grace in the learning and ask God to help you to remember to go to Him to meets your needs.

Copyright 2020 Marie Lorah

Expectation and Hope

As we approach Resurrection Sunday and Easter, we may be experiencing some difficultly preparing for this day. It feels so different, right? All cooped up in the house, unable to go to church services and other family events. It all feels so far from normal. But, what if this day could be more meaningful because of this still pause we have in this pandemic?

What if we could be filled with expectation and hope for the good that God is going to bring from this time? What if we could be filled with expectation and hope for what God is specifically doing in our lives from this trial? What if we could believe that God’s resurrection power is here today, to work in our very own lives?

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:21-26

This scripture states that we are not consumed because of the Lord’s great love. In fact, we have a hope because of His great compassion and faithfulness that is new every day. We wait for Him because our hope is in Him. We trust Him because we wait for Him with an expectation of something good. What have you been expecting lately from the Lord? May this Easter be one where you are filled with hope and expectation as you wait on the Lord to fulfill His promises for you. He is alive, and He is inside of you!

Copyright 2020 Marie Lorah

Focus On What Really Matters

God is calling us to a deeper intimacy and focus on Him than we’ve ever known before. Here is an excerpt from my journal where the Lord spoke to my heart in this area:

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

“Focus on the things that matter, my child, like staying close to Me. Do not worry what may come your way, for I am bigger than anything that may oppose you. But remember, those attacks are really just building blocks for your future. Anything that isn’t set right on this side of eternity will be set right on the other side. So there’s no need to worry. This is a season to rise up and walk in your authority – to praise, dance, sing, declare, and decree. Remember, focus on what really matters. Yoke yourself to Me. Seek Me first. Lay down your idols, and you will find true intimacy and freedom, which is the true desire of your heart, though sometimes buried and unaware. So let Me feed and nourish your soul today, let the rest go. It can wait.”

May we take time today to lay aside the distractions and focus on Jesus Himself. He is the answer to all our problems, all our fears, all our unknowns. Focus on Him who is certain and secure. Rise up in your identity and authority in Christ and press into Him – only He will satisfy.

Copyright 2020 Marie Lorah

Being Real About Your Feelings for the New Year

At this time of year, we often are focusing on our goals and New Year’s resolutions. Many have new hope, excitement, and motivation for the coming year. That is all well and good, but what if you are facing deep fears about the coming year? What if all you can see is darkness and have no hope?

Maybe you are facing a looming diagnosis or a strained relationship. Perhaps there are just some circumstances that you don’t know will ever get better (at least that’s how it feels). You’re feeling doubt and worry, and then, on top of that, guilt for feeling doubt and worry.

Well, friend, take heart. You are not the only one going through this. I think through all the glimmer and glammer of the holidays, we place this expectation on ourselves that we should be happy, excited, and hopeful for our New Year. But, what if it’s been a really hard year and there’s not one single piece of hope in your heart? What if depression is heavy upon you, and you are just out of steam?

I want to encourage you, whatever you may be facing, that God is still good, and God is still with you. He’s not mad at you that you aren’t feeling all the good things that others around you may feel. He’s not looking at you as a failure for having some doubts and fears about the coming New Year. If nothing else, you can hold on to who God is no matter what you are feeling or experiencing. Don’t give up on the One who does truly hold it all together, even when it doesn’t make sense. Perhaps find a song that brings you some hope or solace. Practice gratitude – I know gratitude is a hard one when you’re overwhelmed by circumstances, but even just the act of trying to think of some good things is helpful for your mental health.

No New Year’s resolutions? That’s okay. But maybe one might be to trust God with the unknown and the hurting places of your heart this year. Remember to keep Him in the center of it all, no matter how difficult the circumstance. Don’t give up on Your God – He will not give up on you. May God lift any burdens on your heart and give you eyes to see from His perspective.

Copyright 2019 Marie Lorah

Thankfulness in the Midst of Pain

8X11IMG_6208

Artwork Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

It’s that time of year. The holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. We are bombarded with messages of happiness and that it is “the most wonderful time of the year.” But what if you are experiencing heartbreak, discouragement, or illness? What if you can’t even look in your partner’s eyes with love this season? What if life just doesn’t make sense right now?

First, I want to validate the pain you may be feeling at this time of the year with whatever you may be facing. Trials are difficult themselves, let alone dealing with them during the holiday season. So be gentle with yourself. When I need to encourage myself of certain truths or reminders, I break out my index cards and write those truths and reminders on them. One truth I have as a painting is: “Be gentle with your heart.” Isn’t is so easy to be down on ourselves and literally beat ourselves up emotionally over the troubles we are already facing? So take heart, lift up your head. There are things to be thankful for. Remember that. Just take a moment to think of even the simplest things you are grateful for. It might not feel like a lot, but I pray this simple exercise will bring at least some relief. You see, when we are in pain, it is hard to get our focus off of ourselves. We can spiral into negativity, which breeds more negatively. Thanksgiving is a way to help you get back on track. And remember, you don’t have to be thankful for everything, but in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). In other words, God is saying He wants us to always choose thankfulness, even if it doesn’t all make sense or seem good. So we can thank Him in our distress, as opposed to for our distress. He isn’t the one who sends distress (that is from Satan), but He will use it for our good (Romans 8:28).

Can you trust God with your pain today? Take a step toward Him, be gentle with your heart, and find a little something to be thankful for. Praise God that we have Him as our hope, an anchor for our soul.

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

How To Grow and Heal From Sufferring

pexels-photo-207962.jpeg

When we have negative experiences, they are opportunities to grow and heal, if we will allow ourselves to step back and find new perspective. Personally, my mental illness and accompanying difficult experiences have really helped me grow – but it was choice. Was I going to accept where I’m at and learn from it? Or would I let myself get bitter and shut down? I had (and still do have) moments where I’m all in to grow from the pain of it all, and other days where I’d rather do nothing but hide and escape from my problems. I’ve learned to let myself have both days, while slowly moving toward growing and learning instead of avoiding and hiding.

Walking through my own mental illness has made me strong in the midst of chaotic and painful emotions. Also, my struggles have given me compassion for people who go through similar difficult things. I have learned the art of being aware of my emotions, paying attention to what they might be telling me, and responding appropriately. This awareness has allowed me to notice the individuals who hurt the most, sit with them in their pain, and encourage them that, they too, will grow from their pain. We can allow mental illness (or other struggles) to define us in a negative, victimizing way (like “I will always be this way” or “nothing will ever change”), or we can allow it to grow us and change us to become stronger, more compassionate people.

I also have found my faith in Jesus through my battle with mental illness. So, in reality, mental illness is a gift that has kept giving – giving me opportunities to wrestle with God and my beliefs, to find answers (or to accept I won’t have answers!), to feel deeply, and to accept myself more fully. I have discovered my gifts and who I am – my struggles do not define me as weak, but they have allowed me to find God and my purpose in the midst of it. I would not be the kind, caring, compassionate person I am without all that I have gone through.

I share these beautiful things, but they have come from the depths of my pain, anger, shame, disillusionment, severe instability, and fears. They have come from the breaking of me – of life falling to pieces and God and I somehow slowly putting those pieces back together. I have found meaning and purpose through my breakdowns, which has created a deep well of hope and wisdom that I pray shines to others.

Mental illness has been a shaping factor in my life that has brought chaos, disaster, and healing. This cycle of pain and healing will, in some ways, always continue on this side of heaven. Jesus promises us both hope and pain on Earth. We must carry our crosses, learning to fellowship with Him in the power of His resurrection AND in His suffering (Philippians 3:10).

He cares. He understands. He’s been there. Let your pain move in you in a way that heals you instead of holds you back. Take courage that this struggle you are going through is not wasted.

Restore My Passion, Lord

Isn’t it easy to let our passion for God and life dwindle? It sure is for me. Recently, I came across this scripture and it spoke volumes about the inner cry of my heart in this season:

Let my passion for life be restored, tasting joy in every breakthrough you bring to me. Psalms 51:12

Yes, I deeply want to have passion and zest for life, being hungry for God and stirred up to do the things He has called me to do. But it has been a hard journey, riddled with setbacks, discouragement, and attacks of the Enemy. It has been a day to day struggle at times to find the hope and passion for life. I’ve needed to remind myself of God’s purpose for me and why He has me here in this season.

It’s important to recognize the season you are in with the Lord, as that helps bring clarity, vision, and guidance to walk through your season. When I recognize He has me in a transition, I am able to remember that these feelings and difficulties won’t last. It is merely a season. And, there is excitement to the new season coming.

In the meantime, I position my heart for transition by staying in His presence, crying out for that passion to be rekindled. Thank goodness He gives us glimmers of hope around the corner to help us hang on.

What areas of your life need restored passion? Is it your marriage? Your job? Your relationship with the Lord? I can say that if you rediscover your purpose and passion in the Lord that the rest of the things will fall into this place.

I encourage you to use this scripture as your prayer and hearts cry to the Lord in the areas of your life where passion needs to be restored.

God, restore my passion for life that I may taste joy in every breakthrough You give me. Let me see what You see and do a work in me that only you can do. I give you all my difficult circumstances and ask You to breathe life over each one. In Jesus name. Amen. 

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

Open Space

I see an open space

Where I seek Your face

I see an open space

Where I know my place

I see freedom, hope, and vision

Where You bring me wisdom

I see You calling me to You

To trust in what You do

To let there be open space

So I take time to seek Your face

To sit with the tension

And let go of self-protection

To let myself be led by You

To be cared for, nurtured, and held

To be okay with being

Knowing You are never leaving

You are taking me to an open space

To seek Your face

And discover grace

To hold things loosely

And not be so choosey

To let life happen

To let life unfold

To rest in Your abode

And allow life to grow

In Your process and Your way

Lord, help me stay in Your Presence and let You lead – not my timing, but Yours. Amen.

 

Deep Healing – The Bitter into Sweet

God has really been working on my heart recently about healing – that healing is possible, at the deepest level, and in every way. My earthly mind tells me a different story, but I choose to trust Him and to believe in the possibilities again. One day at a time. Slowing down, trusting in, and leaning into Him. When my heart hurts, feels lonely, and can’t understand what the heck is going on in my life, I will turn to Him and LET HIM in. This is how deep healing happens. And I WANT the deep healing. Yes, it will hurt. But it totally is worth the process and the intimacy that will inevitably grow with my Heavenly Father who will turn the bitter into sweet. So thankful He turns the bitter into sweet!
To the one struggling deeply to get over a hurt or struggling with mental illness, I understand. Healing may not feel possible. Honestly, that is how I feel right now with my mental illness. I have experienced some healing, but I sense God challenging me that He has more healing for me. I don’t know what exactly that will look like, but my heart is open. And, I hope this post may challenge you a bit to open your heart, even if it’s just a tiny bit, to the possibilities of healing. Healing for your heart. Healing for your body. Healing from the pain.
Lord, grant us the ability to lean into You and LET YOU IN in the hardest moments. It’s in that place, we will encounter your sweet, deep, healing love. We want to be about You and Your Kingdom. Bring us healing, for Your will and Your glory. Amen.