The Way of Hope

On New Year’s Eve, I sat at my new, shiny marble-topped painting table (a Christmas gift from Felix), staring into my laptop screen. I flitted from Pinterest to Instagram to Photos Library and back again, looking for inspiration, a photo I would paint that would lift off the sadness and weariness I was feeling. I wanted to paint but I felt that both my body and spirit were tired. Minutes ticked by and I couldn’t decide. I planned to do a series of serious painting jobs, elaborate orchids and fruits, at the beginning of 2017, but that night, I just wanted to experience the joy of watercolor. But the moment didn’t come. I felt tired, undecided, uninspired. Like the old year that just passed. I ended up dabbling a parent bear and its cub, tightly snuggled together.

mommy bear and cub

The mommy bear and cub I doodled on NYE. Maybe my soul was wanting to be cherished by my Father in heaven and let Him soothe away all my aches, sickness, and suffering.

That morning, I wrote on my prayer journal feverishly. I remembered the year that was, all the times that I was left behind when Felix and the kids went away: out-of-town excursions last summer, and recently, the Christmas party of our company, Actichem, which culminated in a buffet lunch at Vikings. There were many others in-between – them going out, me staying behind. Like the other years before. In those times, I had felt desolate. But they, too, passed.

While I was writing on my prayer journal, I felt sad, bitter, resentful, and angry all at the same time. There was a lump in my throat as I thought about my life. I covered about two whole pages and although I wrote so many things (mainly about my soul’s bitter complaints), what I can remember clearly now is writing “alone, alone, alone!” Can you feel the angst? (Please forgive me for writing thus, but it will get better. Promise).

HOPE. I was inspired to paint this photo I found on IG, the tiny purple flowers shooting out of the crack of the stone wall, like hope shining over our lives even when darkness threatens.

HOPE. I was inspired to paint this photo I found on IG, the tiny purple flowers shooting out of the crack of the stone wall, like hope shining over our lives even when darkness threatens.

So I sat at my painting table, feeling the weight of my achy, inflamed back and my sorrowing spirit. I saw myself sitting on a rock in the middle of a circle where roads went in all directions with the labels: “patient waiting”, “perseverance”, “persistence”, “do not grow faint in prayer”, “quiet strength”, “steadfastness”, and many other blurry signs, but none that I would like to take at that moment. I just wanted to sit and do nothing.

But I remember begging God to “help me and tell me what to do because I don’t know what to do and where to go from here”. I had tried everything. I had walked each road in that multiple crossroads. Still, I am too sick and weak to walk and travel. And there are still times in the day that I wrestle for good breathing.

 A few hours before New Year, I stared at a framed artwork on the wall with a Bible verse:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11)

Hope. I still don’t leap in joy, both physically and spiritually. But hope carries me through the days. It carried me through the last hours of the old year to welcome the new year… still faithful to the Lord. When 12:00AM struck and fireworks boomed out of everywhere and lit up the sky without letup – purples, reds, oranges, greens, blues, gold, and silver sparks and lights – I felt the powerful presence of God. I raised my hands toward heaven and praised and worshiped Him with hallelujahs. Nothing can equal His power no matter how much noise we create. It is still His world and I am just a tiny speck in it. A speck He calls by name.

So, I let hope carry me through my quotidian life, especially through the wearying days. The Bible says that hope doesn’t disappoint, although I feel terribly disappointed at times. Still, hope is there in the background of my life, as the mountains surround Jerusalem. It hovers over my head, a sturdy assurance as the heavens above. It is settled and deeply rooted in the soil of my heart forever.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Rom. 5:5)

It is hope that feeds peace and joy. Hope that exhales out fears, doubts, and uncertainties, and inhales in invigorating air to sustain and continue life.

I saw myself standing up from that rock where I sat not knowing what to do or think or pray for, and chose the way of hope. I have no huge plans for now. Still waiting for divine inspiration perhaps. Not even words to encourage you, or an overflow of joy to infect you, or a shining light to brighten up your day. But you and I – we have hope. For the coming days and weeks and months.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast… (Portion of Heb. 6:19).

This is what we’re going to do (see Rom 12: 12):

 Rejoice in hope (though sometimes we don’t feel like rejoicing).

Be patient in tribulation (though sometimes we think we have completely run out of stock; God will replenish our supply).

Continue steadfastly in prayer (though sometimes we can’t seem to find the words to move His hand).

 The Word of God has an answer to our every need. An encouragement. A hope.

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Comments

  1. Naomi says:

    Hope surely is the anchor. It shows up when we need it most. When we’re on our last leg.

  2. Lesli says:

    Praying for you today…I, also, deal with chronic mobility and pain issues so I understand the despair and isolation you feel. When I am suffering I often have feelings of unworthiness and even guilt over what role I can no longer fulfill to my liking; wife, mother, daughter and friend are all titles that now bring about feelings of tremendous inadequacy. Lack of health is certainly a confidence and hope stealer so when I feel I am being robbed, I rebuke Satan and look to the cross. What looked to be a bloody, disappointing, painful disaster was our one true victory and salvation. So today I will pray for us both…that the Lord would help us choose hope, be patient in our tribulations and to seek his presence continually. Blessings to you in the New Year and thank you for honestly sharing your life with us.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you so much for your love, prayers, and enthusiasm, Leslie, just when I am feeling tired in every sense of the word. I will also pray for you, yes, for us both, that the Lord will bring healing to our bodies so that He could use us mightily for His purposes and send us to fulfil His great commission. New Year blessings to you {hugs}.

  3. Perla says:

    Amen

  4. Megs says:

    Wow! Your art is beautiful! Please keep sharing it!
    Happy Tuesday, from the Tell Me a True Story Linkup!
    Megs

  5. I hear your heart and am encouraged by your steadfast determination to pursue hope. Your painting is beautiful. Many blessings of hope fulfilled for you this year.

  6. BettieG says:

    Dear Rina,
    The Lord had called me to a Blogging-Break last week, allowing me to read some posts, but unable to respond, as I was so very depleted myself. So, when He opened the way before me again, I was so happy to be able to respond to your words! These especially: “It is hope that feeds peace and joy. Hope that exhales out fears, doubts, and uncertainties, and inhales in invigorating air to sustain and continue life.” are so encouraging! I have felt those same ways in the past, but needed so much to be reminded again! Thank you and Blessings to you, dear Sister in Jesus!

    • RinaPeru says:

      I pray that the Lord’s compassion and generosity will overflow to us this year, Bettie, that He will heap upon us perfect health and strength. New Year blessings to you!

  7. Hazel Moon says:

    May this new year of 2017 bring you hope fulfilled, and inspiration from above where you are able to bask in His Love and Healing. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  8. Asya Bridger says:

    Rina, you have a marvelous gift of expressing your words through both painting and writings. Once again, I cannot express how thankful I am for reading your blog post. With that being said, I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Thank you for your transparency!

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