Hazelnut Coffee and Beautiful Promises❤️ You stoop down to make me great. Psalm 18:35b #perfectwaytobegintheday #unabashedhope #90DayswiththeBelovedDiscipleJohn #bethmoore #paneracoffee #toranisignaturesyrup #hazelnut #fiestajumbomug #ps1835
I Am Here
I have not abandoned you to suffer in misery and angst.
I Am here to comfort you.
I have not abandoned you to hunger and want.
I Am here to provide all that you need.
I have not abandoned you in the midst of your pain and grief.
I Am here to dry your tears.
I have not abandoned you stewing in your biting anger and cynicism.
I Am here to plead for you with all that I Am.
I have not abandoned you to languish in powerlessness and fear.
I Am here to protect and defend you.
I Am here.
I am no longer languishing in poverty, hunger, and neglect.
I am filled to overflowing and wholly satisfied.
I am no longer isolated, cut off, and afraid.
I am enveloped by the very warmth of Your presence.
I am no longer enslaved in a prison of shame and guilt.
I am liberated to come and go as my heart chooses.
I am no longer fodder and prey to the enemy.
I am sheltered, defended, and protected by Your hand.
I am no longer dismayed of the power of death.
I am alive eternally in You.
I am no longer lost, aimless, and alone.
I am held firmly where I belong in Your loving embrace.
I am no longer adrift in a sea of nothingness.
I am anchored securely by Your great love for me.
#UnabashedHope #ArtfulDoodlesbyLMA #John84859
“The bromides, platitudes, and exhortations to trust God from nominal believers who have never visited the valley of desolation are not only useless; they are textbook illustrations of unmitigated gall. Only someone who has been there, who has drunk the dregs of our cup of pain, who has experienced the existential loneliness and alienation of the human condition, dares whisper the name of the Holy to our unspeakable distress. Only that witness is credible; only that love is believable.”
Brennan Manning – Ruthless Trust
#Unabashedhope #truth #wisdomfromthecoffeehouse #BrennanManning #RuthlessTrust #grief #hope
Disappointment is the crucible that can make even the most faith-filled person question God’s existence and his authority. It can also be the place that we truly find God and separate our need for answers from his all encompassing love for us. God is not an absent parent who, between shifts at his job and a run for cigarettes, forgets that we need milk for school in the morning. God is not a strict teacher who wants to sting our knuckles with a ruler every time we make a mistake.
God loves us. Not just because bumper stickers or badly designed t-shirts say so. God loves us. Not just because we try to be good or do good things for him. God loves us. Not because we clock in on time at church on Sunday or ladle chili into bowls at a soup kitchen. He loves us because he said so, because it is only in his character to do so. He is the God whose love is found in prosperity and poverty, in answers and in questions, in disappointment and in miracles. He is the God who keeps track of our tears, helps us to find joy and wants to walk with us everyday, whether we have the answers or not.
A Deeper Story – excerpt only
The Ministry of Disappointment
Amena Brown Owen
Feeling My Way Through
There was a time,
Not so very long ago,
That I could not feel
Any emotion, save anger.
Tears, rarely, if ever, came.
Anger felt safer,
And made me bigger,
Louder – powerful.
Then came the moment
You asked me to cry
But to my astonishment
The tears would not come.
Try, though I may,
They refused to flow.
I was frozen and numb.
My heart was solid stone.
I would have given up
But for Your Promise,
“I will give her
A heart of flesh.”
Thus began the breaking
Open of the prison doors
Deep within my being
One lock at a time.
Oceans of uncried tears
Threatened to overwhelm,
But You were there
As Comforter and Helper.
So many stops and starts,
So many wars fought,
While breaking through.
So much confusion and fear.
Holding tightly to the keys
Behind countless bolted doors.
Too timid and scared
To respond to Your gentle knock.
So much anger toward You.
Holding fast to all my weaponry.
Yet desperately desiring
Your tender embrace.
Will I let go?
Will I surrender?
Can I trust the One
Who claims to love me?
I bravely whisper a yielded, yes.
Weaponry lays scattered at my feet,
As You rush to my side,
Engulfing me in all that You are.
No longer isolated,
Walking through every doorway
Feeling every hurt and abuse.
Choosing to forgive.
Choosing to release.
Healing and freedom.
Feeling my way through
The sorrow and grief
One small step at a time
With Your hand holding mine.
~ Laurie Pontious-Andrews
Notes & Quotes
The Gate of the Year
The Mortal Storm
I said to a man who stood at a gate “give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”, and he replied, “go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way.”
“Till our grief is fled and gone He doth sit by us and moan.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 – Prayer/Promise
To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die… A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…
Matthew 5:4 – Prayer/Promise
Blessed and enviably happy [with happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who are willing to do the hard work of grieving and mourning, for they shall be comforted!
2 Corinthians 1:3-4a – Prayer/Promise
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction)…
NACR Online Daily Meditation
Jesus pronounced a blessing on people who are courageous enough to grieve. Nothing could be more surprising than this. When we grieve, we often feel like spiritual failures. But God sees things differently. From God’s perspective, mourning is valued. It is an occasion for blessing. It comes with the opportunity for comfort.
To be comforted is to be held in the safety of arms you trust. To be comforted is to weep and rage in the company of someone who loves us. The hard edges of the pain are soothed. Strength and hope return in some measure. Healing begins.
Grieving is a commitment to the hard work of facing reality and allowing ourselves to feel the full range of emotions God has given us. It is painful work. But it is work that is blessed by God.
The Topography of Tears
The Topography of Tears is a study of 100 tears photographed through a standard light microscope. The project began in a period of personal change, loss, and copious tears. One day I wondered if my tears of grief would look any different from my tears of happiness – and I set out to explore them up close, using tools of science to make art and to ponder personal and aesthetic questions.
Years later, this series comprises a wide range of my own and others’ tears, from elation to onions, as well as sorrow, frustration, rejection, resolution, laughing, yawning, birth and rebirth, and many more, each a tiny history.
The random compositions I find in magnified tears often evoke a sense of place, like aerial views of emotional terrain. Although the empirical nature of tears is a chemistry of water, proteins, minerals, hormones, antibodies and enzymes, the topography of tears is a momentary landscape, transient as the fingerprint of someone in a dream. This series is like an ephemeral atlas.
Roaming microscopic vistas, I marvel at the visual similarities between micro and macro realms, how the patterning of nature seems so consistent, regardless of scale. Patterns of erosion etched into earth over millions of years may look quite similar to the branched crystalline patterns of an evaporated tear that took less than a minute to occur.
Tears are the medium of our most primal language in moments as unrelenting as death, as basic as hunger, and as complex as a rite of passage. They are the evidence of our inner life overflowing its boundaries, spilling over into consciousness. Wordless and spontaneous, they release us to the possibility of realignment, reunion, catharsis: shedding tears, shedding old skin. It’s as though each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experience, like one drop of an ocean.
On Another’s Sorrow
Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?
Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow’s share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow fill’d?
Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!
And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird’s grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear,
And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast;
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant’s tear;
And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
O, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!
He doth give His joy to all;
He becomes an infant small;
He becomes a man of woe;
He doth feel the sorrow too.
Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by;
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.
O! He gives to us His joy
That our grief He may destroy;
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.