hopesightings

finding hope and sharing it

Motherhood is Eternal, as is Hope May 10, 2017

Springtime brings with it new life – flowers blooming, baby animals being born, the miracle of Easter. With our attention on creation, we as a society choose to mark a Sunday every May as “Mother’s Day”, pouring extra gratitude and love out onto the women who birthed us, raised us and supported us. We also reflect with reverence and fondness on the mothers in our lives who have passed away – some older, like our grandmothers, and some younger, dying of illness or accidents too soon.
There is a special group we are challenging you to consider in your prayers this year – women suffering with fistulas. Women who may or may not be mothers to living children, who may or may not have anyone celebrating them at all. According to a United Nations report from 2015, 70-80% of the babies born to mothers in obstructed labor (the mothers who are most likely to develop fistulas) will be stillborn.  Of those who do survive, there is a high risk of para- or quadriplegia, cerebral palsy and other defects related to low fetal oxygenation while the mother is pushing.
Motherhood is simply defined as “the state of being a mother.” This definition doesn’t exist solely in the present tense, it doesn’t have conditions. Famous artists, like Michelangelo with his Pieta, and famous authors, like Maya Angelou in Mom & Me & Mom, have tried to capture the spirit of motherhood and its endlessness in ways we all understand – but find so difficult to put into words.  Mothers who have departed from us do not stop being our mothers – so what of mothers who suffer on the opposite end of the spectrum? Are mothers who lose their baby or a child any less in that state of motherhood? Their child is with them always, a part of their existence and the course of their life. Whether their child lived thirty seconds or thirty years, the hopes, dreams and prayers for the life a mother supported likely differ little from those of every other mother around the globe. Surely the very act of hoping, dreaming and praying is an integral part of the transition from “woman” to “Mother”.
Women with fistula are desperate for new beginnings and life of their own – for repairs that will help them transition back to their communities and families, for cesarean sections that will bring their babies safely into the world with less risk of consequence from obstructed labor. They are desperate for HOPE. Is there a better place from which to honor our own mothers than from a mother’s constant place of generosity, support and love? As Mother’s Day approaches, we invite you to partner with us to honor our own mothers and these beautiful mothers in other parts of the world with your prayers.  Additionally, if you feel so moved, please consider making a gift for a mother in your life by supporting fistula care and prevention programs, whether by way of a Mother’s Day card or any other donation format available at hopeforoursisters.org.
Motherhood is eternal, as is hope. Thank you for your support of the sisters we care so deeply for at this special time of year.
Written by Cara Daniels, Hope for Our Sisters Team Member & Hope Generator
 

Want to Watch Strength and Potential Fly? November 21, 2016

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 1:47 pm
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Letting Go in Trust – Discovering Strength and Potential

 dove-from-hand

Hands clenched tight.

That’s what you do when you care about something, right?

You hold on tight.

That’s how you care.

That’s how you protect.

That’s what I was doing, unknowingly, with Hope for Our Sisters and the beautiful women we serve.

Holding on so tightly my hands hurt.

However, this is not what I should have been doing.

Do I love the sisters we serve? Yes!

Do I enjoy my role of leading this organization? Yes!

Do I feel called to this life-changing work? Yes!

Do I believe our donors, investors, team members and prayer warriors can enable us to generate hope, healing and ultimate freedom from fistula? Yes!

Then I must let go. I must release. This is not mine to clench tightly.

In trust I let go.

I opened my hands in trusting release.

An old adage says if you love something set it free.

I did this, once again, with Hope for Our Sisters and our future path.

I did this knowing we are at a strategic growth point with many prayers, assessments and decisions before us.

I did this because in holding tightly, it overwhelmed my soul.

Holding tightly kept me, rather than God, in charge.

Clenching with all my might limited what He, my Lord who called me to this work, could do through Hope for Our Sisters.

Once opened…once released, what flew out of my clenched fists?

A beautiful, strong, white dove…confident in her flight and full of potential, just like our sisters.

 

What does this mean?

Beautiful, hope-generating gifts and actions will flow through Hope for Our Sisters to the beautiful women we serve if I will let go and release our next steps, decisions and plans to Him.

This is His organization not mine.

This is the calling He placed on my heart.

Only through release in trust can Hope for Our Sisters accomplish its goals, generate hope for our sisters and, along with our donors, investors, team members and prayer warriors, help to bring fistula to its end.

Look at YOUR hands.

Do YOU have a dove desiring to be set free today?

 

Our Sisters are liked trapped doves waiting to fly.

Waiting to tap into their undeniable strength and potential?

Who will help them fly?

 

Open YOUR hands, release and watch them fly!

 

To learn more about our Hope for Our Sisters, visit hopeforoursisters.org

© 2016 by Brooke F Sulahian

 

Falling Into His Rhythm October 21, 2014

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 5:31 pm
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FALL INTO HIS RHYTHM

Woman in boat

Exhausted. Out of breath. My arms ache from the strain.

I keep rowing with all my might. Got to get through. Got to get to where I can see the way ahead again. Got to work harder, faster, and better. Exhausted still.

I have been working so hard to get through this veil of haze that I have not heard it. Have you heard it? The small voice in the wind? The small voice of God inviting us to “Trust Me and fall into My rhythm.” “Trust Me and fall into My rhythm.”

I missed it again. Still rowing…still working hard…still getting tired. Exhausted.

I have been here before. I know it, but that does seem to not help. I guess it helps me to know that I will get through it again with His provision, but why do I get stuck using my own might, relying on my own abilities?

There it is again. The invitation. “Trust Me and fall into My rhythm.” “Trust Me and fall into My rhythm.”

I asked for prayer today. Needed help. Prayer works. This morning I stopped. I listened. The haze is not dark, but beautiful. I had missed that fact. The water is actually smooth with a slight current. I was acting as if I was rowing upstream against a raging river. There is a small breeze. I was too distracted to feel it.

I know I must do the hardest thing. For me, this is so very hard. I must let go. I must let go of my oars. Let go of my striving. Let go and trust.

This morning, I did it. I stopped and pulled my oars into the boat. I forced myself to lie back and let God push and steer my boat with his gentle breeze. No longer fighting…at least not in this moment.

I must to do this all day. Each day. I must choose to let go. He has a plan for me. I cannot live it out if I take over, if I try to do it on my own.

My oars are in my boat. Where are yours?

© 2014 by Brooke F Sulahian