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Holy God, I know YOU are the God hope. Yet, in this moment I do not feel filled with the joy and peace YOU offer to me. In this moment hope is distant in my heart. Right now, Holy God, I cry out and acknowledge that I need YOU. I need YOUR hope in my heart and I need YOUR filling. Please help me to do my part to trust YOU. Help me to trust YOU to give me the hope and the joy and the peace that your Holy Spirit brings. Increase my faith so that I can trust YOU fully with all the question marks in my life. FIll me by the power of YOUR Holy Spirit now. I don’t want to just survive or just get by… I want to overflow! YOUR Holy Spirit is the only one who has the power to pour the peace and joy YOU offer into my weary soul. I trust YOU today with all the circumstances of my life. Thank you that I can come to YOU, my God of Hope! Thank you that YOU offer peace to my heart. It is YOUR gift to me and I desperately need it.

Life is filled with so many distractions and disappointments that often rob me of that peace. Your word says that YOU will keep my heart in peace as I trust in YOU for strength and discernment and wisdom in every area of my life. Active, conscious trusting keeps my thoughts focused on YOU. Thank you that YOUR peace will be the result! Holy God, please help me today to focus on YOU in all the details of my life, inviting YOU into each circumstance, conversation and activity. Grow my trust in YOU. Keep me today in YOUR perfect peace for I have very little of my own. In YOU I place my trust today! Amen.

That prayer was written by a dear friend of mine, Deb Webb. She wrote it several months ago and I have it hanging on my wall. I haven’t read it in awhile but today it caught my eye. As I read it, I realized that I was breathing every single word of that prayer. My shoulders dropped and my eyes filled up – I had allowed life to rob me of God’s joy and peace. How in the world had this happened?

If you haven’t been following my posts on Facebook, allow me to fill you in. 2013 was a pretty rotten year. 2012 wasn’t great either but 2013 was one for the record books. My husband lost his medical license for an undetermined amount of time. This led to him closing his practice. I took a job at a mental health facility that turned out to be less then ideal but another business wooed me away. Unfortunately, my salary as a counselor could not sustain us in our former lifestyle. We ended up losing our home, our two cars, other possessions and downsized to a historic rental home. Luckily the owners of the home are friends of ours so they made the transition much smoother then it could have been. My husband was not able to find a full-time job because no one would hire a doctor – over qualified was the common response. Things became tighter and tighter. In December, he became very sick. It started as the flu then into pneumonia. Finally he was admitted to the hospital where he almost died and ended up spending 17 days – 15 in the ICU! When you end up friending your nurses on Facebook, you know you have been there too long. (As a side note – the Lourdes Hospital ICU nurses and other staff are priceless). After finally getting well enough to come home (on oxygen), I find out that I’m losing my job…. in two days! That is definitely the cliff note version but you get the point. It was a rotten year. This year has not started much better. All of this leads me back to that prayer. I have lost the joy and peace that God has given me. I think it’s time that I find it.

Today, I began packing up my office. I realized that I really hate boxes. I used to love boxes because that meant that I was moving. Moving represented new opportunities. New surroundings. Excitement. But now all that is gone. Now, boxes represent another chapter that has closed. I don’t want to close anymore chapters in my life. Not right now. I want to continue in my story with a dull, boring storyline about nothing at all. But instead, I’m packing yet again. Only this time I have no idea where I’m moving to. Yes, I hate boxes. Now, if I were wearing the mask that I used to wear, I would be saying something about God opening an even better door and not looking back..blah blah blah. But I took that mask off two years ago and will not put it back on. I’m sad. Period.

So many people over the past month in particular have reached out to me regarding my posts on Facebook. I have had people I do not even know contact me to offer me words of prayer and love. They have prayed for my husband and his health. They have prayed for his career to be returned to him. They have prayed for strength for all of us. I’m quite certain that those prayers are what carry us both through each and every day. We have a son who is beyond amazing. As many changes as that child has experienced, he never complains or acts out. He just shows compassion and love. He’s kind of amazing, like I said. For him, I am determined to show little sadness. But in the stillness of the night, as I sit here listening to the rhythm of my husband’s breathing, I allow myself to feel all the emotions that are lurking inside. I feel every question mark in my life and the lack of answers can be suffocating. So now I turn to this prayer. I turn to the words that so accurately address all that I am feeling. I realize that if I’m feeling it, God is too. I tell my clients that tears are God’s salve. I really do believe that. So I allow them to fall and hopefully pour some peace into my weary soul. I know that God has not caused any of the heartache we have felt. He doesn’t hurt us or punish us. But He does allow us to experience pain so that we will fully acknowledge the He alone can heal that pain. Honestly, I have no idea what tomorrow is going to bring. I know it will be difficult as I say good-bye to folks I genuinely love and adore. But I will hold up my head as I close that chapter and wait anxiously for the next adventure in this crazy story called “My Life.”

…Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “ God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. (Isaiah 40:27-31 MSG).