hopesightings

finding hope and sharing it

RELEASING OUR SON March 29, 2017

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 2:30 pm
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I feel dry

Weighed down

Overwhelmed, actually

I felt God lead me to write this morning

Writing often open up my way when it feels blocked

I planned to write about something else but

these words

simply

poured

out

of

my

heart

Our precious son is not well

He’s not dying…it’s a chronic condition with treatment

Painful treatment potentially, yes…but treatment

I am sincerely thankful to You for answering our specific prayer for answers

No more “we don’t know what’s wrong with your son”

These answers are a wonderful gift…thank You

Yet, I find myself wondering if there is more to discover

I keep dreaming about surprise findings, unexpected discoveries, lack of control

more to process

more to grieve

more to accept

We learned new information this week

processing

praying

talking it out

What else is happening in his body that I cannot see?

Is this my deep fear?

What else is happening in his body for which I cannot prepare?

Is this what is weighing me down?

My desire (i.e. idol) of having control is being challenged like never before

This is our son

Is this the reason parts of my heart are closed off to everyone, even You?

Is this why parts of my heart are locked?

I did not even realize I held the keys…did I lock my heart?

Why all this weight and dryness?

I feel I am being overly dramatic

I have become adept at rationalizing our situation

Others near and far suffer so much more

Many children right now are fighting for their lives

Too many others have already been lost by their parents and families

So many children are lost inside themselves due to other challenges

We have our son…why not rejoice?

Others lack access to medical care

Others lack benefits to pay for medical care

Others lack in far worse ways

Why can’t I be fully, sincerely and consistently thankful?

Is this even possible?

Is this even real?

God, I have often thanked You for not making us like robots

We must choose to love and follow You

We must choose this daily

Our commitment to You is not automatic

We can turn away

We can question

We can get angry…even yell at You

You can take it

We can feel betrayed

That is a very strong word

Is that what I am feeling?

Do I feel You betrayed me…our son…our family?

I know You could take your pinky finger, touch our son’s body and heal it

Yet, you have not done that

Part of my heart trusts You…part of me is where I need to be

Accepting this…at peace…ready to move forward

But I am not all there

I am not yet united

Parts of me are cut off…locked away

The Bible, Your Word, says we will suffer…

why should all of this surprise me?

In addition, You also remind us that

You have overcome the world

You have…I know this in my head

I just want to feel it in my heart again

My mind trusts in the idea of Your larger plan that I cannot see

However, I am not enjoying this current valley

Not at all

You’ve seen me through my deepest depression and desire to end it all

I know how You walked with me

I know the years in my pit were used by

You to prepare me for all I am and all I am doing today

Your plans are best

Your wisdom perfect

Your love eternal

Why is my heart holding out?

You gave me a gift two weeks ago

(Hard to believe I am currently further along my path…

more work ahead of me but some healing through You has occurred)

You met me in my heartache and called me back

You showed me that this is a small story within the larger narrative of our lives

A narrative of You as Provider, Restorer, Lover

This story may even be more like a small chapter

My heart is no longer totally shattered…progress…thank You!

Our son is not his diagnosis

He is far beyond what is happening within his body

He is a treasure of Yours which You lovingly loaned to us

He is taking all of this new and potentially scary stuff so well

He inspires us each day

He is strong because You give him strength

Why won’t I accept Your offer of strength?

It is right before me along with Your offer of

peace

release

fullness

joy

hope

in You

Why won’t I pick them up?

Why won’t I own what You have prepared for me?

Today I am being very real…very open

You, Lord, don’t want me to be a perfect follower, a perfect believer
You want me to be real

Even when I feel weak

Even when I feel my heart will burst if I truly

“sit” within our situation

I wonder if my heart will be crushed…not by You…by the situation

if I truly release it all to You

You created beautiful and restorative treasures that await me

I only need accept them

You have patience to walk with me along this path at my pace

You knew I would be here feeling dry, weighed down, lacking

You won’t leave me or grow weary of me

My realness is never too much for You

My realness is actually a treasure in Your eyes

You love me as I am and will lovingly guide me to where I need to be

Praying my transparency will bring others comfort, community, hope

There is a way out of this dryness…this lack…this weight

The way out is to leave it all with You

The only One who can handle it all

My head knows this…parts of my heart do too

But my heart won’t let go of our son

Even though I know he is best with You

Not yet…parts of my heart are locked tight right now

Locked with keys that I own

May my transparency help me eventually fully release our son to You

He is Yours anyway

You love him most

© 2017 Brooke F. Sulahian

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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

 

Balance March 19, 2016

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 2:12 pm
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balance scale

Balance is so counter-cultural. We live in a day when many of us, including me, feel the need or pressure to wear a badge of busyness that will give us value and purpose. This is a lie that we must renounce daily.

I stand before you a recovering perfectionist, who would burn the candle at both ends, do as much as I could by getting as little sleep as possible, and say yes to all good opportunities. Sadly, buying into this lie led me to serve for my own glory, out of duty, ability and need. However, God wants us to serve for His glory, out of calling, passion, and joy. Through God’s provision, I thankfully and officially removed my badge of busyness last year.

Today I hope to provide you with a few nuggets of wisdom. This topic is near and dear to me as God has been working on my balance, schedule and heart for the last several years. For the readers, I am currently reading a powerful book called The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. I actually wish I had come up with that phrase because I use it every day. I also regularly utilize Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Wiederkher for my mini impromptu Sabbaths.

In praying about what to share today, the idea of focus rose to the top. When I choose to focus on God as my Audience of One, I make best yes choices, I serve for Him, and I serve and live at Jesus’ unrushed pace, or as close as I can get. I take time for weekly Sabbath with my family and break for mini Sabbaths during the week. When I reach the end of each workday leading Hope for Our Sisters, I can believe I have done enough by trusting in God’s provision. Could I spend more time on my work? Yes, but God knows it is also very important to me to have energy and time for my husband, Tim, and children, Peter and Lucy, friends, church and service. When I focus on God as my Audience of One, I trust in Him and find that I spend my soul better and I serve and live in an unrushed manner.

However, this does not come easily. It requires constant intention. We all have many voices speaking into our lives. Friends, family, bosses, school service, Facebook, culture, you name it. Voices vying for our focus, our trust, our value, even our worship. Voices trying to get us to buy into the lie and wear a badge that will never satisfy.

In my daily effort to hold God as my Audience of One, I choose to trust Him no matter what and seek His courage to protect the balance He wants for me. I mentioned my schedule. Last fall God led me to write out my schedule, including work, personal, family and church activities, so that I could make sure it honored Him. Is it hard to follow at times? Yes. I love my work and the women we serve. Fistula is an issue I personally want to eradicate today, but I cannot do it without God nor can I do it when I am totally spent due to a lack of balance.

Following His schedule of balance gives me the opportunity to trust God daily. I firmly believe that when I stop, He doesn’t. When having quiet time with God, reading with Peter, coloring with Lucy, sharing dinner with Tim, serving at church or out with friends, God is preparing hearts to hear about the amazing women we met who suffer from fistula and opening the many doors I will eventually walk through. When I trust Him, I can serve at the pace He has set for me.

Additionally, this focus has helped me serve out of joy and passion at church again. I joke with myself that I have a ministry of no. I don’t say no to everything, but I give myself permission to say no if it’s not a best yes for me and recommend others who could serve instead. When those I recommend get tapped to serve in the right way, it’s so beautiful. Where I would have served out of duty and ability they serve out of joy and passion. My respect and love for the Body of Christ has grown as I have allowed God to help me choose and serve wisely.

I stand before you today, with a clearer picture of how to best spend my soul at home, through our non-profit, at church, in my kids’ school and within our neighborhood and town. I truly believe we are to be His hands and feet and for me, this requires a balanced life lived at an unrushed pace with a focus on Him and Him alone.

In closing, may we worship You Lord by delighting in You, Your word and Your gifts. Your word is Your love letter to us. May we worship You by placing Your grand story in our hearts and making it central in our lives. We are part of Your bigger story. Grant us courage to say NO to things not along Your path for us and YES to those that are, especially when Your answers are different than we expect. TRUSTING in You this day, our Audience of One.

© 2016 by Brooke F Sulahian