The Hope I Have

I first heard the news this morning at school.  I was in an all day training workshop for new middle and high school teachers in our district, and we sat together in shock.

I cried when I got home.

I cried for those families whose children went to school this morning and will never return.  There are no words.  I cried for those kids who escaped.  How will they be able to go back someday to the place where their classmates were killed?  I cried because all those lives will never be the same.  I cried because I hate that there is such evil in this world.

These words keep echoing in my head…

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12

This world is a broken place.  A battleground.  A man walks into a school and kills children.

There are dark days.  Days like today.  Evil seems so strong, but God will win the battle…

And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.  Revelation 20:10

The brokenness will end…

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea…and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.  Revelation 21:1,4

So on days like these, when I cry over the evil and sorrow in this world, I cling to His promises.  I find hope in the certainty that what He says is true.

I pray for the families impacted by today’s tragedy.  I pray for this lost and hurting world.  I pray that others will come to know the hope that I have.  And I pray for strength until the day of His return.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”  Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  Revelation 22:20

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Day 6

It’s election day so this seemed fitting… I’m thankful for our country.  I’m thankful for the right to vote and for the many freedoms we have here.  I know that it’s not perfect, but I’m thankful for the opportunities, freedoms and rights that we have.

I’m proud to be American, but above all else I am a citizen of Heaven.  And I know that whatever happens tonight, God is in control.  A friend posted this one and it’s perfect for tonight…

“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” Daniel 2:21

October 15th

Faith would have been 4 months old today.  What a blessing it was to honor her by lighting a candle.

We miss her so much, but having this “Wave of Light” to look forward to helped me through the day.  Thank you to all who lit a candle for her, it touched my heart to see them.  I’ll share some photos soon!

Our thoughts are with all the other families who lit candles for their children tonight.  For those we know, we are praying for you.  For those we don’t know, I hope you feel God’s peace tonight.

We lit our candle together and it glowed in the center of our table all through dinner.

We blew it out together as well.  It reminded me of how short her life was here… a tiny flame.  But now she is in Heaven, where there is no need for candles or light of any kind, because God is there.

And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.  Revelation 21:23

Looking forward to an incredible reunion with Faith someday!  We love you always little girl!

A Bookmark

I found this bookmark in my Bible recently.  I’ve had it for a long time, but I never paid too much attention I guess.  Until Faith came along.  Now it stands out to me in a brand new way with a much sweeter meaning.

I’m thankful for the promise that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Deut 31:6).  I can put my faith in Him, because He is unchanging, no matter what else changes in our lives.

In Him we find healing and restoration.  In Him we find strength for the journey, “whatever’s before us”.  Even when the path in front of me is dark, He will be there.  In His light I can keep pressing on.  We can rest in Him, knowing that He is sovereign.

In Him we find comfort.

PS A friendly reminder for those that wanted to participate in the October 15th Wave of Light, it happens tonight at 7pm!  The details can be found here.

 

 

A Special Request

You may not know this, but October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.  I certainly didn’t know before Faith, and probably still wouldn’t if she had come home with us.

Ronald Reagan began this observance in October of 1988 and it continues today.  In years following, October 15th was specifically set aside as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  As it turns out, this October 15th also marks 4 months since Faith was born and passed away.

One of the neat things that is done on October 15th is called the “Wave of Light”.  The idea is that anyone who wants to participate lights a candle at 7pm and leaves it burning for one hour.  As people light their candles in each time zone, it will be like a wave of light spreading across the world.

I’m sharing this with you a week in advance because I wanted to make a special request.  Would you consider lighting a candle on October 15th?

When we first came home from the hospital, everyone wanted to do something to help.  To be completely honest, I didn’t really know what to ask for!  I felt so comforted simply by the fact that people asked.  I appreciated all the meals and cards and flowers and help we received, but most of all I was just thankful to know how much people cared.

That is still true today.  To know people love us and pray for us is much more important than anything else.  So please don’t see this request as somehow undermining the care that so many have already shown us!

I simply wanted to put this offer out there because I think it is a sweet way to honor all the babies that are no longer with us, and to remember the families that miss their children.

If you do want to light a candle, again it is October 15th (next Monday) at 7pm (in whatever time zone you live in).  Also, if you choose to light one I would love it if you could send me a picture of your candle!  You can send photos to: sojourningsojas@gmail.com

I Think I Need To…

… start practicing my French Horn again!  After watching this video I find myself really missing those moments of joy that come through performing.  It made me smile to watch the joy that music brought here:

 

My Mom sent me this video.  After watching it I was curious so I did a little searching and found this as the background story from the original YouTube posting:

“On the 130th anniversary of the founding of Banco Sabadell we wanted to pay homage to our city by means of the campaign “Som Sabadell” (We are Sabadell). This is the flashmob that we arranged as a final culmination with the participation of 100 people from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l’Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs.”

How fun it would be to participate in something like that!  And how moving it would be to experience it in person.  A reminder of beauty and joy that can come in the most spontaneous moments and unexpected places.

Gladly, like the heavenly bodies which He sent on their courses through the splendor of the firmament; thus, brothers, you should run your race, like a hero going to victory! … Do you fall in worship, you millions? World, do you know your Creator? Seek Him in the heavens; above the stars must He dwell.

(English translation of a portion of the words to Beethoven’s 9th)

 

 

“I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure”

The trailer for The Hobbit (Part I – An Unexpected Journey) is out and looks great!  One part of me is super excited to see it, another part of me thinks its sorta evil to release the trailer now when the movie doesn’t come out until NEXT December!  Patience is a virtue, haha!

The Lord of the Rings trilogy are some of my favorite movies, and books for that matter, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the prequel is brought to life on the big screen.  Fellow LOTR fans, take a look and tell me what you think!