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Words of Hope or Words of Despair: Choose Wisely

Are you surrounded with words of hope or words of discouragement? The words we surround ourselves with will make a difference in who we see in the mirror. If you are around faith, hope, and love, you will see possibilities. If you are around condemnation and despair, you will see a waste.


The chance is new.
The slate is clean.
The possibilities are endless.


The chance is new.
The slate is clean.
The possibilities are endless.

The last week I have been overwhelmingly surrounded by words that labeled me a thief and a liar – to put it mildly. I listened to my character and my abilities being berated. By the end of four days, I gave in to the power of words that had bombarded me. I gave up. I had to give up. Who was I to be an encouragement to others if I was nothing but a liar and a thief?

I formulated the words in my mind about how I would say goodbye to my website friends, to my podcast listeners, and to my online family. I gave in to the condemnation and despair. It weighed me down and I didn’t want to drag everyone else into that despair with me.

And then my son sent my husband a text message. “God’s got this.” 

I fumed for a few minutes. “If God’s got this then how could eight people believe that I’m a liar and a thief?” And that still, small voice reminded me, “Because they are wrong.”

Little by little, I began to remember the promises that my husband and I have been standing on and continue to stand on. Those promises are not determined by eight people. Those promises are not dictated by eight people. Those promises are not limited by eight people.

And then I had an opportunity to speak with my friend, Alecia. “You and Keith are living God’s design and y’all are walking it out. And I know that He is making a way.” 

Her words provided me with peace. She didn’t make excuses for what had happened. She reminded me of the promises of what was to come.

But, if I’m being honest with you. I was still angry. I was angry at the people who convinced those eight people that I was a liar and a thief. I was angry at the system that allowed those people to speak about me in that manner. I was angry that companies and corporations can run over people and not even have to stop to see if there is life left (although in some cases it feels like they back up and run over you again just to make sure there is not still life left).

I went to work formulating a plan to stick it to “the man.” 

And then I had a chance to talk with my friend, Inge. He reminded me to keep everything I was doing in God and for God. “Don’t let them push you out of that place.”

I heard him, but the words had not settled into my knower. I still wanted to fix everything. I needed to fix everything since the brokenness of it all had almost broken me – and I thought I was prepared for the path we had to walk. I could only imagine how devastating it would be for those who weren’t at all prepared.

I continued making a plan to go to war. “We are marching on.” Nothing was going to distract me from that focus.

And then I had an opportunity to talk with my friend, Tom. He reminded me that vengeance is God’s to handle. 

I didn’t want to hear him either. The excuse I used was that what I was doing wasn’t vengeance.

But I heard his words. I heard Inge’s words. I let them settle into my knower, and I admitted that I was vengeful. Despite all that I knew about the promises, I was bitter about the circumstances.

And I had a right to be, right? I did what I was supposed to do. I did it in a way I was supposed to. And now I was left alone and empty.

And then I had an opportunity to talk with my friend, Steve. He didn’t offer words to fix the moment. He didn’t have the solution to fix the circumstances. “I want you to know that I have been praying for you every day. I’ll continue to pray for you.”

He wasn’t the only one. We had an army of prayer warriors on their knees on our behalf. We were far from alone. We still have an army of prayer warriors covering us. 

This morning, I woke up and looked at the saying on my wall:


The chance is new.

The slate is clean.

The possibilities are endless.

words of hope hanging by my bed

I read it several times. The words of hope needed to sink into the depths of my hurt and start the healing. The circumstances weren’t different from when I went to sleep, but the words reminded me that it didn’t matter. Words have power and the more we feed on the words the more that power grows.

My morning routine remained the same. Prayer started it all, although my prayers were a bit more adamant than they had been in a long time. I spoke to the mountain with the full expectation it was lifting its skirt and heading to the sea. I believed. I declared. I leaned in more than I had ever leaned in before.

I took the next step in my morning routine and began reading through the scripture. I couldn’t focus. I read the same paragraph a half dozen times. Still, the bitterness circled around me. I began to replay the last few days and compounded the struggle by what if-ing the last few years. “God, I need your help keeping my focus. I need to let the what ifs go.” 

I finished my reading and then walked around repeating, “I will not be bitter. I will be better.”

And then I received a text from my friend, Gene. “I pray, in Jesus’s name, that we would not take the bitter path, but the better path.”

His words of hope and comfort provided me with confirmation on the path I needed to take.

Because God’s got this. 

Because God has made a way. 

Because God’s place is a place of peace.

Because God fights for us (and pro tip, He’s won).

Because we are not in this alone.

Because the day brings a new chance, a clean slate, and unlimited possibilities.

Because God’s way is always better.

Each voice reminding me of who I am in God and for God fueled my ability to see the image in the mirror more clearly. Without those words of hope, I would have quit. Without that encouragement, I would have given in to discouragement. 

Surround yourself with words of hope, joy, peace, faith, goodness, kindness, and patience because those make the way to your best life and the life you are designed to live.

And thank you to Sidewalk Prophets for being one more reason to smile today!

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If you are in a place of despair or hopelessness, please reach out to me. Let our hearts comfort each other and remind one another that God really does “got this.”

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