Category: Hope

Why Feeling Hopeless is NOT Where You Want to Stay – INFOGRAPHIC

Feeling hopeless

3 Powerful Actions if You’re Tempted to Abandon Hope

When life fails to be all that we had anticipated, we find it easier to abandon hope. Sometimes, we tend to think, “What’s the use? It hasn’t happened yet… and it probably never will.” If this is a description of your current life and mindset, I have 3 tips I’d like to share to help you strengthen and retain hope.

Tip 1

Make a Gratitude List. Pause to give thanks on a daily basis. When you focus more on what you’re thankful for, it begins to shift your attitude. Ultimately, you begin to move beyond discouragement. Acknowledging blessings that you’re currently experiencing will give you a better outlook about your circumstances.

Areas for counting your blessings don’t have to all be “big” or “important” in someone else’s eyes. Here are a few to consider:

  • Jesus’ finished work on the cross
  • The Father’s love
  • Good/improved health
  • Steady income
  • Fun relationships
  • Provision of a home
  • Clean running water
  • Transportation
  • Power over the enemy
  • Opportunities to serve others

What would you add to this list?

Tip 2

Ask for wisdom. God is always willing, even eager, to give you wisdom. What He gives, He does not take away. His wisdom about your circumstances will help you to not abandon hope.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
~ James 1:5 NLT

Wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good (Webster’s Dictionary). It points you in the right direction and helps you make good decisions. Wisdom also helps you to be content until circumstances change because you know that God’s hand of favor continually rests on you.

Tip 3

Do one thing. Choose to take one simple step that serves to increase your trust in God. Focus on a promise that He has made that relates to your situation and then take one easy action step based on that promise. You can rely on God keeping His promise.

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? ~ Numbers 23:19 NLT

Commit to doing that one thing by writing it down and placing it someplace where you’ll be reminded of it and then.. do it!


Hope is one of the three things that 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us will always remain as a resource that allows us to tap into God’s grace. We are to always have hope—the joyful and confident expectation of God coming through for us!

Please share… What you do to maintain/strengthen your hope in seasons of discouragement?

 

The Struggle of Infertility is REAL but So Is His Grace–Don’t Give Up!

The struggle of infertility may seem insurmountable but God’s grace is bigger AND more powerful. Here’s help so you don’t give up.

Many times during infertility, you feel like you’re about to fall apart (usually monthly). There is probably no one else in your life who truly understands what you’re going through, so talking to others about it can be difficult, unproductive, and very frustrating. That frustration can make you choose to just suffer silently. THAT is not a good choice! When you’re trying to hold all that emotion inside of you, it’s only a matter of time before you start to feel like you’ll explode. That explosion is sometimes expressed in anger, self-pity, sadness, bitterness, self-condemnation, depression, and many other destructive ways.

BUT, there is One who can help!

The struggle of infertility is NOT too big for Jesus.

In the midst of the all the pain and asking, “Why me?”, Jesus is the One who is capable of understanding this situation and helping you to get through it without falling apart. Colossians 1:17 [NIV] says, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. ” His love and grace are available everyday to comfort and guide you through the struggle so the negative emotions don’t overtake you and make you feel like everything is falling apart.

Look to Him today and on a daily basis. Trust His hands to hold you and to keep things in your life held together.

Let Him hold your whole world in His hands.

You can find more encouragement, comfort, and peace in my book, A Seed of Hope: God’s Promise of Fertility.

In the struggle of infertility He holds your world in His hands
Photo courtesy of Microsoft / Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
borrowed hope

She Got Through It By Living On Borrowed Hope — You Can Too

Have you ever borrowed anything from a friend because you had completely run out of that item? It’s nice to know that when you’re in a pinch, someone is kind enough to share what they have to make up for what you don’t.

Amazingly, if you feel like you have completely run out of hope, you can borrow some of it too! That’s what a friend did as she struggled with infertility. You can read a portion of her story of victory here.

What I’d like to share about her story that you won’t read in her blog is something she recently said to me while we attended an event. She told me that before she met me, she had been reading my Bible reading plan about fertility on YouVersion. It had been a source of hope for her during a dark time in her life. She considered it a source of “borrowed hope” because she had simply run out it. She didn’t want desperation and bitterness to overtake her. As a believer in Christ, she knew she had to keep hope alive within her… somehow. Borrowing hope from the Biblical accounts of those 8 women in my reading plan helped her maintain hope until she eventually experienced victory and gave birth to a son.

Seeing how others experience victory should prompt us to feel hopeful, not envious or pitiful. When we make a decision to celebrate the victory of others…when we remain determined to have a positive mindset…when we choose to believe that what God has done for others He will do for us… we can live life hope-filled.

Borrowed hope from the victorious experiences of others may be what you need in order to get through the struggle. Or maybe their experiences can serve to boost the hope you’ve forced yourself to maintain.

Either way, today, make the choice to rest in knowing that God loves you and ALWAYS keep His promises.

It’ll make the struggle easier.

waiting

I Don’t Like Waiting–I Want it NOW!

Waiting…

It’s not fun.

In our  American “get it NOW” microwave mentality, we tend to want what we want when we want it– immediately. We don’t like waiting!

But the old saying, “good things come to those who wait,” still rings true. Sometimes an incubation period is needed in order for us to see the desired end result.

For instance, farmers and gardeners have to wait before they get to see the fruit of their labor. The seeds they sow don’t produce immediately after they are planted.  It takes time before the seed produces roots to establish an unseen system of drawing nutrients from the soil. The roots also provide stability for the plant as the first sprout forces its way through the soil to bask in the sunlight and continue to grow. Eventually, the sprout will become a seedling and grow into a mature plant ready for harvest.

Our desires can sometimes overwhelm us and even depress us in the season of waiting. Most times it’s because we’ve taken our eyes off the One with the solution and made our desire an idol–the think we think about most.

But here’s the thing…even God waits. He waits for His desires to manifest.How long did He have to wait on you to decide to see Him as your Father and to ask Him to save you through His Son? 🙂 He planted many “Word seeds” in the Earth through His prophets who predicted a Savior/Messiah would come. But He waited through many generations. He desired for Jesus to come to the earth and save mankind but it took thousands of years before Jesus was born. Sending Jesus was indeed the BEST thing that God has done for mankind but God patiently waited for the right time!

Patience in the Waiting

Like the farmer, you too must plant seed–the Word of God (see Luke 8:11). You may be waiting on a desired result that seems impossible to come through, only because it’s taking so long to manifest. But hang in there! The seed–God’s promise–is working in the unseen realm. It’s doing its thing underground and is about to sprout. There is HOPE! You’ll find it in Hebrews 10:35, 36:

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”

I pray that you’ll choose to endure this season of waiting with hope, peace, and joy!

Get more encouragement in the waiting from my devotional,

A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility.

Infertility Devotional for waiting

Feeling Like You’re Stuck Between A Rock and A Hard Place

Stuck between a rock and a hard place

The pressures of infertility can make you feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s as if it completely surrounds you, pressuring you to give up, to not see any advantage in continuing to hope. In the midst of infertility, life can feel like you’re always stuck between a rock and a hard place. It seems like not much of anything is working out in your favor. Every day seems as if infertility colors how you view life. It looms over every aspect of your life, clouding your vision so it’s hard to see anything good that’s on the horizon.

But I’m glad to share with you that in that place of feeling stuck, hope can shake things up, freeing you to enjoy life!

5 Secrets

Here are 5 secrets that I’ve found are powerful in nurturing and maintaining hope as you look to come out of this struggle with infertility.

  1. Believe God loves you. His love is a “no matter what” kind of love. No matter what you’ve done/thought/said, He loves you with an unfailing and unending love.
  2. Decide to not give up. Don’t underestimate the power of a decision!
  3. Remember the previous times, big or small, when God has come through for you. Encourage yourself. Think about those successes and the joy you experienced.
  4. On a daily basis, affirm the promises of God that relate to your situation by speaking them out loud. Instead of focusing on medical facts, allow God’s healing Word to be your point of focus and become your truth.
  5. Greet each morning with gratitude for the gift of a new day. This helps set a positive tone for the day ahead of you. Thankfulness has a way of shifting our attitude, choices, and behavior.

There’s Always Hope

Hope is one of the three things that 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us will always remain as a resource that allows us to tap into God’s grace. We are to always have hope—the joyful and confident expectation of God coming through for us!

Hope established upon Jesus’ love never disappoints.

When you’re feeling like you stuck between a rock and a hard place, hope is there to bring freedom! Hope is what provides an inner image of good things to come. Hope removes the shackles of despair, no matter what situation you’re facing. Allow hope to shake things up in your life so that you experience the freedom to confidently expect good things from a very good Father.

 

hope in depression

Hope Begins in the Midst of Darkness and Depression

 

Sometimes, we are overwhelmed by the darkness and depression that consistently and continually seep into our lives. It is a downright insidious attack. But God said that hope never fails (1 Corinthians 13:13).  His Word and His love give us reason to never give up until the radiant light of His Word has broken through the darkness!

Hope begins in the midst of darkness and depression… 

Hope is defined as a joyful and confident expectation of good. [Source: Thayer’s Lexicon]

I like to think of hope as H.O.P.E.:

Having

Only

Positive

Expectations

In this acrostic, “positive” not only means the opposite of negative, it also means confident, fully assured. Therefore, each day you can choose to have a confident expectation of something good coming your way to bring you out of this season of infertility.

The prophet Jeremiah is a case study for how to maintain hope. Consistently recalling what his enemy had done to him caused Jeremiah to get deeply depressed. His mind and emotions were not at peace and he even became oblivious to anything good (Lamentations 3). But, when he chose to recall the good things God had done, he was filled with hope, confidence, and expectancy.

Practice H.O.P.E. daily!

Make the choice to recall the good that God has already done in your life. Remember that He loves you, is always with you, and enjoys making Himself available to do you good.

The account of Abraham & Sarah overcoming infertility is referenced in Romans 4 and tells of how he had a steadfast, firm hope in God’s promises. Verse 18 says that he “hoped against hope.” The phrase “hope against hope” means to continue to have hope even though the present circumstances and future outlook don’t warrant it. Abraham kept looking for the manifestation of God’s promise of a child. That’s how you have only positive expectations!

Remember, hope begins in the midst of darkness and never gives up until the light has broken through!

Give yourself permission to be like Abraham– keep your hope alive. Even though depression may be looming large, even though your natural circumstances may not warrant having hope, keep the light of hope burning bright in the midst of the darkness. When you get tired of waiting, God is still right there to help you continue on. Let Him know you’d like His help in maintaining your H.O.P.E.. As you trust in Him and His goodness, it becomes easier to maintain and overflow in hope.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
~ Romans 15:13 (NLT)

Will you choose to refuse despair and move toward victory each day?

[This post includes an excerpt from my book, Infertility Sucks!]

Real Love

5 Secrets to Help You Shake Things Up and Enjoy Life

I know what the pressure of infertility feels like. It’s as if it completely surrounds you, pressuring you to give up, to not enjoy life or to see any advantage in continuing to hope. In the midst of infertility, life can feel like you’re always stuck between a rock and a hard place. It seems like not much is working out in your favor. Every day seems as if infertility colors how you view life in general. It looms over every aspect of your life, clouding your vision so it’s hard to see anything good that’s on the horizon.

But I’m glad to share with you that in that place of feeling stuck, HOPE can shake things up, freeing you to enjoy life!

Here are 5 secrets that I’ve found that are powerful in helping you enjoy life as you maintain hope for victory in this struggle with infertility:

  1. Believe God loves you. His love is a “no matter what” kind of love. No matter what you’ve done/thought/said, He loves you with an unfailing and unending love.
  2. Decide to not give up. Don’t underestimate the power of a decision!
  3. Remember the previous times, big or small, when God has come through for you. Encourage yourself. Think about those successes and the joy you experienced.
  4. On a daily basis, affirm the promise of God that relates to your situation by speaking the Word out loud. Instead of focusing on medical facts, let God’s Word be your point of focus and become your truth.
  5. Greet each morning with gratitude for the gift of a new day. This helps set a positive tone for the day ahead of you. Thankfulness has a way of shifting our attitude, choices, and behavior.

Hope is one of the three things that 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us will always remain as a resource that allows us to tap into God’s grace. We are to always have hope—the joyful and confident expectation of God coming through for us!

Hope established upon Jesus’ love never disappoints.

Allow hope to shake things up in your life so that you experience the freedom to confidently expect good things from your very good Heavenly Father.


An Affirmation for You:

God loves me and desires for me to experience only His goodness so that I enjoy life. I rest in His love for me. I choose to allow His desires for my life to shape my desires. I maintain my hope in God.


What things are you currently doing to help you enjoy life during the struggle? Please share below.

Darkness vs. Light in Your Life

Darkness vs Light

A friend of mine has lost a friend to suicide. How dark life must have appeared to that person. She couldn’t see past the darkness even though the light was always shining.

Have you ever felt that hopeless about situations in your life? Ever felt overwhelmed by the darkness?

I pray that at this very moment, you’ll have eyes to see the light that Jesus is  lovingly making available to you. I pray that through His Word, you’ll be able to experience the hope it brings to your situation.

Jesus’ light shines on, even in the midst of darkness; it cannot be extinguished. Darkness cannot overpower the light His Word brings nor can it take authority over it.  Even in the natural realm, darkness cannot absorb light. Actually, light sends darkness fleeing! Just think about what happens when you flip a light switch or turn on a flashlight. Darkness immediately leaves. You’re able to see!

Light always wins.

Today, allow God’s Word to shine brightly and penetrate your darkest thoughts and your toughest situations.  Here’s how: read it, ponder it, speak it out loud to yourself. Repeat. Repeat again. Repeat until that Word gets rooted inside you and you begin to feel the darkness flee. Renew your partnership with God’s promises that address your situation. It’s your means to see His light.

Flip the switch.

 

 

An Adoption Story of Hope

I subscribe to a number of emailed newsletters that help me become a better author, a better business woman, and especially, a better person. I recently received one from life coach, Valorie Burton. In it, she shared exciting and encouraging news—along with her struggles of conceiving over the age of 40 and a miscarriage. This is her personal story of how her dream to become a mommy has come true. I share it, with her permission, because I think it will encourage you to not give up hope, even if adoption is is not the path to parenthood that you choose.



 Valorie’s Story:

My lifelong dream has come true. Our lives have changed dramatically and beautifully in the last month. Since marrying my husband in 2013, I’ve been a “bonus” mom to two sweet, energetic, loving little girls. And now, God has seen fit to expand our family with a beautiful baby boy we’ve been privileged to adopt!  That’s right. I’ve become a mommy.

If you’ve read my books or followed me for a while, you know this has been a dream deferred, but I have never given up on the vision I’ve sensed deep in my spirit for marriage and family.  At times, I have felt frustrated, helpless, and discouraged, but I refused to give up hope. I could not.  To give up hope would be to give up on God. As I stand in the midst of this vision of love that has unfolded, I feel led to share my lessons learned so I can encourage you to persevere towards your own vision – whatever that vision might be:   

  1. Keep hoping.
    Without hope, there is no vision. When you stop hoping, you start settling. Be relentless and focused. At times, it may even appear you are delusional to keep hoping. So what! Keep believing in your vision and make your decisions, whether about relationships, finances, career, that honor your ultimate goal.
      
  2. Don’t let disappointments become your destination.
    Separation and divorce. Navigating the tumultuous dating landscape of Atlanta. Trying to conceive over 40. Miscarrying twins. All have been my reality in the last seven years. Each could have become a bitter destination, except for this: I refused to see my disappointments as a permanent destination.  Some were devastating detours. I had to stop journeying for a while and recover. But I made a decision to be better and not bitter after each one. I made a decision not to get stuck staring at the obstacles before me, but to look up and remember the vision in my heart. That vision compelled me to keep hoping and keep moving forward.
      
  3. Be open to a path that looks different than you expected.
    It is easy to be rigid about how your dream must come together. Don’t. Be open to divine orchestration. Let go of your need to control the “how” of your vision so you can stay focused on the “why” – which leads me to this last point …
      
  4. Stay focused on the PURPOSE of your vision more than the excitement of it.
    At points, I began to doubt whether I would ever become a mother, and before that, whether I would ever find the kind of love I believe in.  A transformational message emerged from my doubt, though. I asked myself, “What if you never marry?” “What if you never have a child?” And I answered my “What if” questions. Here’s what I realized:  The world would not come to an end, so I better learn to be happy regardless of the outcome! If I didn’t get married or have children, I would live my life single without children and I would choose to have an incredible life. There are many women I greatly admire who are single without children – and happy, purposeful, loved and loving. So then, what would be the purpose of marriage and family in my life?  That is the question I needed to answer for myself.  I don’t believe that having a child is about me becoming a mom. I believe it is about having the blessed opportunity to nurture and grow a child God has seen fit to place in my care.  What an honor. It is about him, not me.  And perhaps that is the shift in thinking that shifted my life and brought us this amazing, perfect little boy for us. 


A Call to Action for you:  Don’t give up on God (Genesis 18:14). Stay connected to Him through His promises found in His Word. Hear His quiet voice within you giving you wisdom about how to proceed along your path. You can find more encouragement in A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility.

A Seed of Hope
A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility by Evangeline Colbert