As I watched in disbelief, she packed her bags and walked out of our front door. The rebellion of my high school daughter ended with her decision to move in with her boyfriend’s family.
As a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, I did the only thing I could; I cried out to God. My faith journey with the Lord had yielded many answers to prayer. Yet, that morning, as I pleaded with God to stop her, He was strangely silent. I thought I had enough faith for God to hear and answer this plea. But that day turned into the next. Days turned into weeks, then months, and she still did not return.
I began to question my faith. If faith “as small as a mustard seed” could move mountains, I concluded that my faith must be pitifully small. Ok, God, if I don’t have enough faith, then I am going to cling to hope. I hope that you bring my daughter back to us.
One day in my journal, as I struggled with my faith, I felt the Lord speak to my spirit giving me this acronym for hope:
Thus began my journey of hope. It started with my daughter’s betrayal, continued with my mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and was challenged again with my sister’s tragic death in a car accident. The twists and turns of health issues, marital tensions, and financial pressures complicated this journey even more. Would my troubles never end? I was beginning to understand how Job felt; not an understanding I ever wanted to identify with.
As God would plan, this journey lasted longer than I wanted, yet ended in soul-satisfying discoveries and a deeper intimacy with Him. As I look back on my experiences that year I realize that God was answering my prayers as He took my year from hell and gave me a year of hope.
As God began to stir my heart to write my story of hope, I was unprepared for the strong emotions that would surface. Romans 12:12 sustained me then and is the reason I write now. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”