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Vessel of Hope ~ Your Life Still Counts

“By taking a risk and learning to be real, we allow others the opportunity to love on us and pray for us, instead of denying them to do so. We invite people into our lives to walk us through hard times, hard memories, and hard emotions instead of keeping everyone at arm’s length……being real opens the door for us to be a vessel of hope to someone else in desperate need of a comforting touch from someone who truly understands.”

Tracie Miles, Your Life Still Counts

Have you ever hit the send button and then hit the panic button? I have.  I did. And I’m sure I will again when it comes time to ylsc_coverhit the send button on this one!

You see, I really don’t like being vulnerable. I don’t like “my stuff” out there for friends or strangers to read in print. I claim to be real – but sometimes, I’m not.  Let me rephrase that, most of the time I’m not real or I’m selective with those that I am real with.   Being real scares the bejeebies out of me.  One might say I have trust issues along with a few others that we will save for another post.

So when I received Tracie’s ask to share my story, I activated my “phone a friend” card after I punched the panic button, knowing that I would walk away from that mentoring moment with a “you need to do this, you can do this, Donna and I will be praying for you.” So how does one say “no” to that kind of encouragement from a friend who often believes in me more than I believe in myself? You can’t. I couldn’t.  So I didn’t.  You can find a portion of my story below and in Chapter 11 of Tracie’s newest book, Your Life Still Counts believing that it will become a vessel of hope to someone else in desperate need of a comforting touch or a word of encouragement.

 “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust, I will not be afraid.  What can mortal man do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4)          

FEAR. We’ve all experienced, felt, and seen it. Some even live with it every day.

How do we define fear?

What is fear to the five-year-old whose daddy flings a plate of hot spaghetti through the air, followed by a chair aimed at the TV? Will her mom be the next thing he hits; or will it be the girl?

What is fear to the little one in the police cruiser with her younger sister, not sure what she’s done wrong, only to find out her daddy broke the law by not following the custody ruling.

Or to the eight-year-old who hears the heavy footsteps of the neighbor getting closer to the bedroom door. She lies silently, hoping the evil man will pass the door. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t.

Or to the forty-year-old, alone in the doctor’s office. The doctor gently says, “I believe it is cancer. We’ll take it one day, and one test, at a time; we’ll pray you through this.” Surgery removes the lump near her vocal cords; it’s not cancerous. But the roller coaster dips two days later: it is cancer—the fastest growing kind. Another surgery is needed ASAP. Three days after this, the diagnosis changes again. After a second surgery six weeks later, she’s told they got it all. Does she believe them this time?

Those were, and some still are, my fears.

For years my fears ruled my life and my emotions. I allowed fear to become anger; the kind of anger that I would bottle up and unleash on the most unlikely candidate at the most inopportune times. At times I would let my fear hold me captive to living in the shadows, hiding and sulking from my family and friends. Sometimes I would even profess hate at either the circumstances or at the people involved and yes, even at God. And other times I questioned why God would allow all of this to happen.

I don’t have all the answers. But I realized one day that I had a choice. I can let my fears rule over my heart, mind and soul, or I can allow God to heal me with His grace and truth, and give me hope to share with others. Some days I make the right choices and some days I don’t.

Over time I’ve discovered I don’t have to let my fears define me. 2 Timothy 1:7 states, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. God keeps the promises His Word is filled with. He’s given us a spirit of power and a sound mind. Although some will probably debate if I have a sound mind {and I would probably lose!}.

Despite my fears, God has shown me He has plans to prosper and not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He’s revealed Himself to be my Healer (Exodus 15:26); my Prince of Peace (Judges 6:24); my Protector, Defender and Abba Father who loves me no matter what (Psalm 68:5-6). God is my Daddy whose lap I can crawl into any time I become fearful.

Let’s begin to let go of our fears and take hold of these promises in His Word. We’re His daughters, protected and defended by His peace. Fears may have shaped our past, but they don’t have to define our future.

Dear Lord, I praise You that You are my Future and Hope, and that You love me no matter what. Thank You that I can run to You and crawl in Your lap when fear overtakes me. Thank you for being a Promise Keeper, and the Author and Perfecter of my faith. Help me seek You with my entire being and remember Your faithfulness. I love and thank You for the life You’ve given me in You. Cause me to honor and glorify You with my life, actions, speech and heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I will be giving away two copies of  Your Life Still Counts as my heart has truly been touched and transformed through Tracie’s story and the stories of nineteen amazingly real and vulnerable friends who pour their hearts out to become vessels of God’s hope.   Please share how God has used you and your story as a vessel of hope for others.

Your Life Still Counts can be purchased through Proverbs 31 Ministries, Amazon and other book stores.

 

 

 

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