hopesightings

finding hope and sharing it

15 Minutes of Quiet February 17, 2017

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 2:32 pm
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I have recently been setting a timer for 15 minutes

15 minutes of quiet

As a natural doer, achiever, and activator

it can be so hard for me to just sit

Sit in quiet

Sit in quiet and listen

Sit in quiet and be open to what my Savior has to say

So hard to release my moments, my schedule, even when I know…

It is so worth it

It is a gift

It it best

One morning I received the below…

Trust is sitting with Me

Slowing down honors Me

Being still allows My Spirit to alight on you and fill you

I have a plan for you

But you need to seek it with a heart for Me and My glory –

Not your own

Before you head out today, I want you to know I have carefully and lovingly

placed treasures along the way, especially for you and your journey

But you will only recognize them for all thay are if you go at

My pace with your eyes fixed on Me

Don’t trust in your own readiness…rely on My ability to provide

It’s My power and provision that matter

Those hands – your hands – clenched so tightly

They are trapping gifts and blessings, even miracles, that need to

soar like doves into the hearts of others

Release

Release fully in Me today

Where is Your trust being placed?

If it’s in yourself

Push ahead

Clench your hands tightly

Even grit your teeth if you need to

Trudge up the hills and down into the valleys carrying your burdens

However,

If your trust is in Me,

Open your hands

Take My hand in yours

Walk lightly up the hills and into the valleys knowing I am with you

I want to carry your “stuff”

I am able to carry anything and everything that weighs you down

You simply need to release your burdens,

your day,

your moments

to Me

You can place your trust in Me

Thank you for gifting Me your heart and time this morning

Let’s meet again tomorrow

© 2017 Brooke F. Sulahian

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I Crossed the Line…Segment 4 January 27, 2017

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 6:49 pm
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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

 

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

 

STRENGTH THROUGH BROKENNESS August 17, 2016

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 12:48 am
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Angola was AMAZING! God OUTDID Himself again! So, why was I unable to write about it? So much to share! Meeting 38 women (34 awaiting fistula surgery, 4 already dry), participating in 4 fistula awareness/prevention sessions, seeing future prevention effort doors open, viewing an emergency C-section (prevention), and more, I thought I would be writing every day. The words simply pouring out of my heart. THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED.

I realized I needed to first write about ME. I did not want to focus on MYSELF. I want YOU to meet our SISTERS. However, I believe if I write about MY JOURNEY, the STORIES from the trip will flow. In TRUST I share.

Part of me did NOT WANT TO GO on this trip. Most of me did. It was time. Our schedule fell beautifully into place. I wanted to connect with PARTNERS and meet more SISTERS I knew I would LOVE the moment we met. Why not go? FEAR. I was AFRAID for my heart. As many of you know, the first trip left my heart SHREDDED and BROKEN IN PIECES. I know God gently and patiently put it back together. I know He uses that experience to fuel my efforts with Hope for Our Sisters. Even so, the FEAR remained.

A mentor once told me that at times our HEAD needs to share TRUTH with our HEART. This was such a time. I knew God was sending me to Angola and He would watch over me. I knew if my HEART BROKE again it would be for my SISTERS’ benefit, according to His plan. My HEAD knew all this. My HEART did not. As the TRIP APPROACHED and the FEARS GREW, my husband, family and friends lovingly shared how this trip would be easier on my heart. I had been before. I would not be as shocked. I would be MOVED, HURT and ANGERED on behalf my SISTERS, but not SHREDDED.

Strengthened by others, I moved from FEAR to TRUST to SURRENDER. I WENT and I am SO GLAD! He had so much in store for our SISTERS and US as YOU can see above and as YOU will learn through my future updates.

My HEART? I shed TEARS, I asked WHY, and I got ANGRY, but I also saw PROGRESS, witnessed COURAGE, and experienced SOLIDARITY with our PARTNERS and SISTERS. When God healed my heart, it was as if He made SPACE for each and every SISTER I have met and will meet. The HEARTACHE and BROKENNESS have been experienced and now each SISTER has her PERMANENT PLACE in my HEART. I had to be BROKEN to become the most effective VESSEL to serve God and my SISTERS. I, a broken vessel, am thankful for every crack.

May my words inspire YOU to move beyond your FEARS and experience all He has for YOU. May the stories from the trip begin to flow…

Changing the lives of women, one woman at a time.

http://www.hopeforoursisters.org

© 2016 by Brooke F Sulahian

 

Pick a Word January 2, 2016

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 12:08 pm
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There are 1,025,109.8 words in the English language. What if you chose one to serve as your focus for 2016? Which word would you pick?

TRUST is my watchword for 2016. In fact, I bought a “TRUST” bracelet. I often need visual reminders of my commitments. A friend saw my bracelet and told me to be careful as I TRUST. My reply? It all depends on the One in whom you place your TRUST. For 2016, I want to TRUST God with all I am, all I have, and all I do. I am doing my best not to TRUST in myself…I want to place my TRUST where it belongs…where it will bear the most fruit…where it will lead to a life lived on behalf of others, a fearless life of impact…where I can generate hope and encourage my family to do the same. I am placing my TRUST in Him and praying daily that I will leave it with Him.

If I go about my days without this focus or intention, other words try to pick me. Words like BUSY, TIRED, OVERWHELMED, UNFOCUSED, SCATTERED and SCARED will strive to become my watchword, my beacon, my focus. Without intentionality, these words will try to invade my heart and life. In 2016 I am choosing to TRUST.

A verse I have read many times over struck me anew. Isaiah 40:31 says, “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” As I read this verse, the word WAIT jumped off the page. To WAIT implies to TRUST…my watchword for 2016.

Beginning a new year is always exciting. However, this year, my excitement is flavored with a bit of apprehension as I lead Hope for Our Sisters. I am feeling called to stretch our boundaries, walk through new doors, follow unpaved roads and ENTRUST our mission and steps to Him as never before. Simultaneously, I am also feeling called to WAIT for Him to show us how and where to stretch, open and close doors, and identify the unpaved roads to follow. To fulfill our vision for 2016, I am choosing to WAIT upon and TRUST in the One who calls us.

As you begin this year, rather than letting a word choose you, I invite you to intentionally pick a word as your focus, your beacon. In TRUST…

© 2016 by Brooke F Sulahian

 

Have Your Way December 6, 2013

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 11:35 am
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Walking through a dark cave, more like a tunnel, for weeks…where is He leading me?

No answers along the way, but a strange sense of peace made residence in my heart

Thought I had left my family outside (trying to protect them?) yet I found them at the end

Knew God was behind this…I have been on similar journeys before

However, this one was different…

Before going in, a few months back, God told me that I would need to trust Him like never before

I would need to walk with Him in a new way…giving all of myself and all I have to Him

Had I not given Him everything before?

What was I holding back?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you know that once you stand up to leave the place where you have been sitting, everything is going to be different?

That once you move from that very spot you can never go back to where you “were” before?

That is how I felt a few months ago…it took awhile for me to physically move, stand up and walk away from where I had sat with God that morning

What would trusting God in a new way mean for my family and me?

One answer to that was this recent journey…a slow, intentional journey

Not filled with fear, but lack of immediate answers to the questions running through my mind

Reading books that shook my core and challenged my faith

Never did I question God’s presence

However, I was forced to question my trust in Him

The questions He kept in front of me were:

Is my faith real?

Am I willing to get my hands dirty?

Am I willing to trust all I have and am to God?

The end of this journey came as suddenly as it began

Surprised to find that my family had been there with me all along

Had I really thought I could keep them out?

Had I actually wanted to protect them from God’s plan?

Doesn’t make any sense, but I had tried it

At one point along this journey I actually caught myself saying that I wanted to secure our children’s future

That there were some “roads” and “places” I was unwilling to go

Was I trying to be my own god and create my own plan?

As I approached the end of the tunnel, God told me that I needed to close the door

Just as He won’t wrench things from my hand that I refuse to give to Him, He was not going to shut the door

That was my doing

Again, hesitation…

Once closed I could not go back…

I love God and have been walking with Him for a long time

Why did I feel that if I really gave it all to Him the floor would fall out from beneath my feet?

I chose to leave with my family and God showed me something that was beautiful yet heart-breaking

My husband, 7 year-old son, 5 year-old daughter and I held hands

Jesus then took my husband’s hand and we left together

We were walking along a path God designed for us…. beautiful

What surprised me is howmy heart stung when I saw Jesus simultaneously take my daughter’s hand and lead her along a path of her own and do the same with my son and husband

I want them to walk with Him

But it stung because, for that to happen, I need to let go of what I treasure most…my family

God was reminding me that He has a plan for each of us…as a family and individuals

He was showing me that my plans pale in comparison to His

That I can have desires for my family, but I need to let God guide each of them for they are His

I prayed for my husband and kiddos very differently this morning

I sat where each of them sleep and asked God to walk with them, watch over them, and give them His courage, wisdom, and strength to live this day for Him

I prayedthat I would let God have His way in my life since nothing in my life is of my own doing…

Everything is from Him…My Lord, My Protector, My Healer, and My Guide

The three questions are still before me…answers will come in His time

God, Have Your Way this day…

© 2013 by Brooke F Sulahian