hopesightings

finding hope and sharing it

Unfinished Stories December 8, 2017

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 4:18 pm
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One of my favorite books is Pillars of the Earth. It’s a 1,000+ page novel that tells a sweeping narrative of the building of a cathedral in twelfth-century England. I’ve read this book at least three times from cover to cover.  I know the plot. I know each scene by memory. And yet, each time a character enters a dangerous situation, I try to think of a new way out. I hope and believe with all my heart that maybe this time it will be different.
            But this novel is complete. It was written a long time ago, and there can be no different ending to any of the scenes within it. Nothing I hope for or imagine for my beloved characters will happen. The story has already been written, and it’s finished.
            However, our stories are not. Our stories, along with our sisters’, are still being written. So even as we experience or witness danger, violence, poverty, and pain, we know the story does not have to end there. We can help each other write new endings. We can imagine new beginnings. We can do this because we have hope.
             This hope is what motivates us to stick with a painful, uncomfortable, or challenging story. It’s what drives us to give generously of our time and resources. It’s what binds us together as sisters.
            And hope is what interrupts painful, merciless stories and redeems them into something beautiful. This year, we’ve heard shocking stories of abuse and rape. Unthinkable stories of neglect and gender-based violence. Uncomfortable stories that seem to have no light.
            But thanks to your generosity, prayer, and hope, these stories have not ended at the darkest moments. Our sisters-fueled by hope for a different, better, brighter story-stood strong. They fought for their futures, for their healing, for their babies. They lived, they thrived, and now they tell their new stories – hope stories.
            For Deborah, Solange, Esinam, and Elsabe, a painful story became one of redemption. But it doesn’t end with these four. Because women around them everywhere are watching. Women terrorized by gender-based violence, women living with fistula, women abandoned by their families and spouses, women recovering from painful deliveries and stillborn babies. These women continue to hope, because they see that good can prevail. They believe that a dark and painful story can become a hope story. And thanks to the help of sisters around the world, their stories are just beginning.
Written by Dianna Sawyer, Hope for Our Sisters Partner in Hope.
You can learn more about our precious sisters and help them write more hope stories at hopeforoursisters.org.
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I Crossed the Line…Segment 5 February 1, 2017

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 3:10 pm
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 line-in-the-sand

Thankfully I chose to be real…I chose to deal…I chose to live in Him and His truth

This is a daily choice as I let Him work in and through me

I have times of peace and pain, clarity and confusion, and everything in between

This is the true path for me but I am not the leader…I am following His lead in full release

 

Hard discoveries are part of this path

I discovered the lies I thought were a part of my past are still there

These lies that I know so well are still vying for real estate within my heart and a hold on my mind

My life-long lies of desiring control, fear of failure, and need for earthly acclaim are alive and well

How could this be?

 

It hit me…

Once again I allowed myself to believe the lie that my value is based on my performance

The lie that my value is based on how Hope for Our Sisters does from year to year

The lie that my value is based on what others think of me

The lie that everything is on my shoulders

The lie that I have to be in control

All lies…

 

On this new path I tell myself…

– I am not my performance

– I am not Hope for Our Sisters’ performance

– I am not what others think of me

– I am – and you are – so much more than that!

What about my value solely because I am His daughter?

I had to acknowledge that these lies are still after me and at times, gaining access and taking hold

Again… EXPOSED and VULNERABLE…

but also PEACEFUL and CALM

A beautiful mix of REAL

 

I crossed the line

I have chosen the path less traveled which can be painful yet also incredibly rich….rich with Him!

Along this new path I seek to “marinate” daily in His Word…His truth…the only place where true freedom resides

I could not have anticipated this AMAZING JOURNEY and I cannot wait to see how He uses it

in His time and way

 

I CROSSED THE LINE

I took a chance on Him because He daily takes a chance on me

It has been so worth it!

Are you ready to step over your line, open your door, accept your invitation, make your phone call?

He is there…waiting…inviting you to the other side

© 2017 Brooke F. Sulahian

 

I Crossed the Line…Segment 4 January 27, 2017

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 6:49 pm
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line-in-the-sand

Feeling EXPOSED and VULNERABLE?!?!

This is not what I expected

Had I even signed up for this?

This was not part of the journey I wanted to continue

Where did this come from?

I thought crossing the line was the tough part

I felt my heart resist taking more steps

Could I simply stop?

I really wanted to stop

Could I just sit down and stay right where I was?

I told myself I could…so I did

I felt that I lacked the energy for anything else…this was too hard

Thankfully, He did not let me stay there long

As much as I fought my feelings and fears, He patiently softened my heart

He cut through my feelings and fears to my heart…to my soul…

He showed me what was really inside of me waiting to be released

Beauty

Potential

Creativity

Value

I remember the morning I finally saw His full knowledge of me as a gift

I could honestly say to myself, if He knows me so well and loves me anyway, then He truly loves all of me

It took courage to act on this but I decided

– I CAN TRUST Him

– I CAN WALK with Him

– I CAN GO where He leads me

I stood up…I was ready to move on

However, I could not take a step

We still had heart work to do…

Really?

Moving ahead placed me at a fork in the road…a decision was before me

I had to choose: Be real with God and deal with my “stuff” or not

Being real with God would require me to come clean with myself

Being real might be painful at times

Being real would be the harder of the two roads…the road less traveled

What did I choose?

What would you choose?

(Thank you for walking with me. More to come…)

© 2017 Brooke F. Sulahian