Monday, January 29, 2007

Hope is Alive!

Today is a brand new day, yet when our hearts are hurting nothing seems to feel right. The thrill of unwrapping the gifts of a new day isn’t there, and our hearts seem to fill with only loneliness and pain. We are left wondering when we will get our enthusiasm back for life. When will our joy return? When will we be filled with a song in our heart?

Grief is a hard word to say, and it is even more difficult to understand. When grief knocks on the door of our heart we know it is there because we can feel the raw pain that so suddenly overtook us. However, grief leaves us very slowly and we often don’t realize that our unwelcome guest is inching its way out of the door of our heart until is has been replaced by the wonderful blessing of hope.

Every time we look at a butterfly or the colors of a rainbow, we take one step closer to hope. Each time we feel the warmth of the sunshine upon our face, we grow closer to recognizing the miracle of a brand new day. For every flower that we see bloom, we push aside one sad thought and allow space for a bright, new thought of hope to visit our heart.

Grief is a difficult journey, but we have not been left alone. God has placed his signature of hope in the morning sky, in the twinkling of the evening stars, and in every soft whisper of the wind He has given us the assurance of His love by showing us all of His creation. He is our Shepherd, and we are His sheep. His tender care will carry us through every dark valley into the green pastures where we will find rest and replenishment.

Hope is alive, and every day we are receiving the gift of hope. One day we will wake up with a song on our heart and we will know for sure that hope has arrived! --Clara Hinton

“When I look to the heavens my heart remembers that God is a mighty God, and He loves me forever.” --Clara Hinton

“I have written your name on my hand.” --Isaiah 49:16

Monday, January 8, 2007

Every Sunrise is a Gift of Hope

Will today be the day that the clouds of despair begin to lift? Every time we are greeted by a new sunrise, we are given the gift of new hope. We never know exactly when that special smile or kind word will be sent our way, but we can be certain that it will arrive at just the right moment to help ease the pain of our broken heart.

When grief becomes part of our lives, we are suddenly living in a world that seems lonely and barren. There is nothing at all that looks, smells, feels, tastes, or sounds familiar. We find ourselves wandering in circles, not knowing where we are going. All we know is that we want to go back to that place in life where things felt safe, happy, and secure. Yet, we know that we can’t.

God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us a universal language that can be understood by all. It is the language of love, and can be spoken and understood by everyone. When we are grieving, though, we often don’t hear anything that is spoken because our hearts are too heavy to listen. That’s why God gave us very real symbols of His love.

Listen to the peaceful sound of the babbling brook and feel the gentle touch of God’s love. Smell the fresh air following a soft rain and understand that you will be renewed following the falling of your tears. Watch the clouds part to display the rainbow following a storm and be reminded of the promises of God. Watch the lips of a stranger passing by form a smile and you will feel the warmth of someone who cares.

Every time your heart is touched by God’s love, a bit more hope grows within your heart until one day you will find you are no longer a stranger in a foreign land. Instead, you are a beautiful flower blooming among a field of many wonderful friends. Hope has made you alive again! –Clara Hinton

“When your heart is touched by God’s love, hope grows.” –C. Hinton

“Thou art my hope.” --Psalm 71:5a

Monday, January 1, 2007

Every New Sunrise is a Gift of Hope!

A brand new year has arrived! For many, this is an exciting time of setting new goals and looking forward to the coming year with enthusiasm and the anticipation of having the best year ever!

Reality often settles in very shortly after the New Year, though, serving as a reminder that last year’s bills are still unpaid, the health diagnosis has not changed, and the broken relationship has not been restored. Unresolved grief issues loom heavily on the heart, and the joy of the New Year quickly disappears instead ushering in waves of loneliness, discouragement, and fear.

Rather than thinking in big terms such as an entire year, it helps to chunk life down into measurable moments that are not so overwhelming. We can be joyful for one hour. We can be filled with hopeful anticipation for one day. We can be thankful for our blessings this moment.

Thinking in smaller segments of time helps the grieving heart to cope with today’s pain and gives enough energy to wake up feeling ready to tackle one more day. A grieving heart needs time to find the rainbow. A heart that feels lost needs time to catch the shimmering star shining through the dark night. A heart that is lonely needs time to change focus in order to see the miracle found in the daily sunrise.

Be patient with yourself, and approach this New Year one day at a time. Look for signs of springtime following the harsh, cold winter. Watch for the rainbow that spreads its array of colors across the sky. Listen to the sounds of nature and know that God is near.

Remind yourself daily that you have not entered the unknown territory of this New Year alone. Your heavenly Father is right by your side taking care of your every need! –Clara Hinton

“Every new sunrise is a gift of hope just for you.” --C. Hinton

“My hope is in Thee.” --Psalm 39:7b