I have been meditating on the word HOPE today. What a precious gift The Lord has sowed inside each of us. He is my Sweetest Joy and the reason I live and breathe. Despite whatever difficult season I am walking through, as I wrap myself up in the blanket of faith, the chill of fear begins to fade as the warmth of His Presence comforts my soul.
As survivors of sexual trauma, shame and fear are definite enemies of the heart that try to sneak in to suffocate us. I think suffocate is a good word to use here because, if we are honest, sometimes it seems so hard even to breathe unless we are intentional to do so, (for those of us who have experienced PTSD Panic attacks, this is especially true).
Therein is one of the many reasons I love the word HOPE, for it has become the very OXYGEN I rely on to sustain me throughout the day; Oxygen supplied by God’s own breath…
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 NKJV)
“The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4 NKJV)
“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31a NKJV)
I love these scriptures, for it reminds us that, from the get-go, God was not afraid to get His hands dirty as He scooped up dirt to form a Human Being. From the get-go, God was not afraid to get up close and personal as He breathed life into the nostrils of humankind. From the get-go, God was the source of our life, existence, and breath. And, From the get-go, God saw that which He created and breathed life into WAS VERY GOOD!*
OH, Creator God, You are the reason I live and breathe. I feel the warmth of Your sweet presence as I reflect on how you have tenderly restored comfort, peace, friendship, dignity, honor, and love. Thank You for being willing to get Your hands dirty as you enter the mud and mire of a complicated world to breathe fresh life and hope into our souls.
*Shame wants to keep us from believing God sees us as VERY GOOD. Shame that is not ours to carry but is often put on us by others or by wrong belief systems. For those currently wrestling with shame, I have attached links to books, scriptures, blogs, and songs that have helped me along my journey toward the truth of Who I Am.
- Unashamed: Drop the Baggage, Pick up Your Freedom, Fulfill Your Destiny by Christine Caine https://a.co/6kMJ697
- I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough” by Brené Brown https://a.co/d/8LdeU
- “Hope shows your heart is still alive.” — Restoration Year: A 365-Day Devotional by John Eldredge https://a.co/22tyBkz
- Blogpost by Samantha Ruzol Overcoming Shame
- Song: CLEAN by Natalie Grant https://youtu.be/2BfZ3KKKg9c
- Song: FIND ME by Jonathan and Melissa Helser https://youtu.be/YVpBKjHmJ8U
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (Psalms 34:4-5 NIV)
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5 NIV)
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (Psalms40:2NIV)