hopesightings

finding hope and sharing it

Can You Find Value in a Field of Rubble? December 16, 2016

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 8:31 pm
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We tend, as an accomplished, well-educated society, to base our future prospects on merits of excellence and opportunity. Cultural and economic freedom have provided ample life outcomes, and we recognize that our future is directly tied to stewardship. In my view, the groundwork required for our culturally inspired potential was forged elsewhere. I believe the Lord, at one spectacular time in our history, anointed us with a gift, and at many times since has provided the grace necessary to sustain it.

In Angola, Nepal, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Creator continues His redemptive work. He who speaks in a whisper holds a tiny seed of purpose intended for the broken community of women thought most unlikely to receive it. The God Who Sees is visiting the woman in Angola whose name we do not know, and His words to her are compassion and hope.

In the midst of pain and suffering, she has learned to recognize His voice by the steady consistency of a hand stayed on His purposes. His is the path that doesn’t sink, and as she learns to walk by faith, she gains confidence and strength. Through her journey, she has been given a sure foundation and an unshakeable, unstoppable vision for her future. She is to us a reminder of the undeniable strength and potential that God provides for those who love him.

She serves a God who speaks life from dust, who places treasure in jars of clay, and who carries His “Yes” in those who are despised and rejected. Confronted by hopelessness and impossibility, He has repeatedly revealed His power to make a way. The result that was prescribed for her is silenced by His faithfulness to personally see her through. The promises of God that find their “Yes” in Him continue in spite of her hardship, and He has appointed for her next steps.

As a Hope for Our Sisters Partner in Hope, I seek to find genuine inherent value among a field of rubble claiming to be. I weight this against prospective growth, and choose holders of time and resources based on the perception that I have on these characteristics. As a follower of Christ, I believe that these are spiritually discerned. I understand that only His mission will withstand fire; only His hand creates that which cannot be tainted by decay. I seek the investment that contains His whisper, for I have found that only in this will there be a return.

With Hope For Our Sisters, we venture into the rubble of cultural and economic oppression to find the beauty beneath the surface. We lift her up, and set her free, and turn her eyes to the future; her joy becomes our own. I use my own gift of freedom to plant God’s seed of redemption, for I know that it will grow. The Lord, at one spectacular time in her history, has determined to anoint her with this gift, and will continue to provide the grace necessary to sustain it.

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.” Psalm 46:4-5

Written by a Hope for Our Sisters Partner in Hope

 

I Crossed the Line (Continued…Stage 2) December 13, 2016

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 6:56 pm
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line-in-the-sand

Looking back, the line I crossed is hard to see

– The beginning of this journey

Where have I been, you ask?

On an AMAZING JOURNEY with my Savior

A journey filled with discoveries, discomforts, acceptance, surprises and hope

I am getting to know Him as if for the first time…all over again

I am learning His core truths…again

I simply want to sit with Him…inhale Him…be filled by Him

I want to find Him around every turn in the road…like a child seeking his or her shadow

I am hungering for Him like never before

Wait a minute…

In my excitement, I am getting ahead of myself…Let’s pause here to see how this all came about…

How does God speak to you?

For me He often uses books…this journey? No exception

Chasing Francis (by Ian Morgan Cron)

I came across the title while reading another book

I actually forgot requesting it from the library

I read it anyway…why not? I like to read

This book rocked my heart and spirit as I saw the hard truth about myself

– I had intellectualized my relationship with God

– I was better at DOING my faith than BEING with my Savior

– I missed the active sense of the Holy Spirit indwelling and guiding me

I had gotten off track…again

Incredibly moved and struck by this book, I asked Tim, my husband, to listen to the book on cd

I wanted…needed…someone close with whom to process it

I lacked the words to express my thoughts but knew it was important

I knew God was up to something…something bigger than me

I was struck anew a few weeks later as I approached a Franciscan Guest House for a weekend retreat

A Franciscan Guest House after reading a life-changing book about Saint Francis?

This was no coincidence…

God was up to something new…

But what?

Thank you for walking with me. See more of my journey in my next update

© 2016 Brooke F. Sulahian

 

I Crossed the Line December 5, 2016

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 4:06 pm
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line-in-the-sand

He slowly drew a line in the sand

He looked at me

I looked back…my expression making it clear I needed an explanation

He asked me to step over the line

What?

Step over?

Leave what I know?

Leave the “places” and “ways” I have met with Him, my Savior, for years?

With thanks for my visual relationship with Him, I “looked” at where we have met these last years

– the still pool of water where I have found stones of wisdom,

– the open green grass where I have seen my family, the sisters I serve, and myself dance and play

– all that I knew of my relationship with Him

How could I step over?

How could I give up what I KNOW for what I DON’T?

“Do you TRUST Me?” He asked.

“YES!” I replied

However, I still could not move

Could not or Would not?

I hesitated

Hoping for a distraction…something to give me time to think over my options

He just waited

Thinking back to how He has guided me and telling my heart what my head knew (He knows best and has a plan for me)…I gave in

With COURAGE from Him and FAITH and TRUST in Him I stepped over the line

This was not a confidant leap

This was a small, timid step

I remember forcing myself not to look back but to look in His eyes

Although physically small, this was a huge step of faith

I was filled with excitement and anxiety

I told my husband and a few friends…

“I stepped over the line! But…I have no idea where I am going!”

Joy and fear resided in my voice and heart

I was TRUSTING in Him big time

This occurred weeks ago…

(See more of my journey in my next update)

© 2016 Brooke F. Sulahian

 

Stepping Up Courageously…Pursuing Hope December 1, 2016

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I am Edalina. I am a wife. I am a mom. I have dreams, hopes, strength and potential. Tragically, I leaked urine all the time. Fistula tried to destroy my dreams, my hopes, my strength and my potential. Fistula almost succeeded.

 

I want healthy children. I want to contribute to my community with my husband. I want to make sure my daughters don’t suffer like me. Hearing about a visit with women from America and nurses from a local hospital brought me out of hiding. With ten courageous sisters I put aside my fear of further isolation and shame. I came to the local clinic. I stood strong. I said, “Here I am, I am worth your time”.

 

At this meeting, I discovered the name for my suffering…fistula. I discovered healing and help were available. I never knew anyone could help.

 

I never knew anyone wanted to help. I never knew anyone cared.

 

At the end of the meeting, we were advised to see the local doctor. Hope filled my heart. I was closer to healing, to a life worth living, the life I wanted! At the clinic I saw our American sisters and local nurses. They smiled, held our hands, and loved us. In them I saw hope in who I could be, who I was meant to be.

 

My flight to the main hospital was hope-filled and fearful. I came with my sisters who suffered just like me. People, those who believed I was worth it, YOU, funded my surgery. YOU saw my strength. YOU saw my potential.

 

After surgery I was told, “You are DRY!” DRY? Me? After three years of leaking on myself day after day, minute after minute. Three years of soaking my only clothes. Three years of isolation. Three years of despair. DRY!

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I have hopes, dreams, strength and potential. Now that I am DRY I get to discover all that I am…all that I can be.

 

My sisters, our daughters, our mothers, also have dreams, hopes, strength and potential. They live for the day to hear, “You are DRY!” They pray for the day fistula no longer exists. Can YOU see their strength and potential? I can!

© 2016 by Brooke F Sulahian