Sunday, January 8, 2012

Don't give up

When I first started writing this blog a few years ago, I promised our readers an up close and personal look into the ministry of Hope Alive. This week’s blog is just that.

Last weekend, I took off Friday and Monday to make a long holiday weekend. When I returned to work on Tuesday morning I already had a list of priorities in mind that I needed to accomplish my first day back to work. For the past seven months I’ve been covering two jobs – mine as Executive Director and our vacant position of Development Director. So every day presents me with competing tasks and responsibilities that I must accomplish for the benefit of the ministry.

I started my Tuesday morning by scanning my emails and I found myself with even more assignments that needed to take priority in my day. Suddenly, I was totally overwhelmed and discouraged, feeling that I can never accomplish all that is required of me. I just wanted to give up.

Then I read an email from my prayer partner and mentor Pam Geisbert. Her message said she and her husband had started the New Year identifying three-word phrases as their spiritual focus for 2012. “God is here” and “I choose You” where just a couple of the three-word phrases God had already impressed on their hearts. She ended her email by challenging me to think about my three-word phrases for the New Year. That was easy. At that very moment, “I give up” were the three specific words that immediately and clearly came to mind.

The next morning, one of our resident moms came upstairs to the office to pick up the car keys to drive to work. She stopped when she saw me sitting in a vacant cubicle going through a pile of paperwork I had just taken out of my mailbox. She looked at me and said, “I don’t know what’s going on, but don’t give up!” My jaw dropped and I knew God was speaking to me. “That was yesterday” was all I could say as I stood to hug her and wipe tears from my eyes. Even though I hadn’t spoken those words out loud the previous morning, God knew how hopeless I felt and He spoke words of comfort to me through this faith-filled woman. She told me it was because of Hope Alive that she and her children were doing so well and she encouraged me to press on. I was completely overwhelmed by God’s great love for me and my discouragement was replaced with His indescribable peace and comfort.

I’m sharing this personal story in hopes of encouraging those who feel like they are facing overwhelming circumstances. So if you’re feeling like the challenges facing you are too hard to go through … don’t give up. If you’re feeling like you are all alone … God is near. If you’re feeling like no one cares … God loves you. Listen carefully for God’s voice as He speaks words of comfort and encouragement to you through people who love you just like this precious mom did for me. Until next week …

Sue Oehmig
Founder and Executive Director

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