Hope Through Hard Times Turns Two!
Though I am very much a forward thinker, I do see the benefits of looking back sometimes and reflecting upon God’s faithfulness. I love the beginning of the year for this. It brings opportunity to reflect on the past year, celebrate the freshness of the present moment, and anticipate with excitement all that this new year will bring.
Michael teases me because I share how optimistic I am about each new year. Then the first couple of trials hit and he questions if I’m still as excited. It’s like a little game we play. But honestly, I’m super excited for this year. Though we’re still in the pandemic, and yet another lock down of sorts, I see so much potential on the horizon. I trust that the Lord has great things planned and I’m excited to be a part of that.
As Hope Through Hard Times celebrates its second birthday, I’d like to take the time today to reflect on what the Lord has done so far.
I knew the beginning and the end goal when I started the blog in January of 2020. I knew I wanted to help people navigate through the hard times of life and teach them how to hold onto hope through it all. I also knew that the Lord wanted me to build a retreat centre one day for Christians to attend who desired a quiet space to reconnect with Jesus, go deep, and seek His counsel. It would be a place of community, discipleship, and encouragement. That was the beginning and end.
One set of verses that kept coming up for the blog was 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Having gone through a variety of trials in my life, I understood this passage well. The Lord had drawn near to me and comforted me, so that I could do the same for others.
As the summer approached and I was deep into writing blog posts, the passion for wanting to make a difference in people’s lives grew deeper. Two ideas formed from it.
As I meditated on 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, I thought about ways that I could help people offer comfort to others, especially through various lockdowns when socializing was out of the question. That is when the idea for Comfort Boxes was born. I took some of the elements from the survey you filled out that summer of things you’d get for a friend in need. Michael and I prayed and planned and the boxes were formed.
The other idea I will share another time. A little suspense/surprise is a good thing right?
The Comfort Boxes were launched! It brought me joy to make and deliver those precious little gifts to people in need. We had a great Christmas with producing our Christmas Comfort Boxes as well.
Spring of 2021
As the two ideas of bringing comfort and discipling other merged, I was back to the drawing board for new ways to help. I thought about things I could do/make to support people going through infertility. I thought about where Michael and I struggled most and the questions we wrestled with. I thought about the importance of recording prayers and seeing where the Lord has worked in your life. That’s where the journals came in. I wanted to get tools into your hands to help you grow in Jesus.
The Lord also provided an opportunity for me to speak at the Creative Christianity Summit. It was such a blessing to have some of you join with me as we learned about how the Lord works in our gifts, and how His promises never fail.
This season was also the start of our book, Sustaining Hope! It was such a fascinating project to work on. As I prepared to write each chapter, the Lord showed me how much He had carried us through and worked in our story. I honestly hadn’t realized just how frequently He showed up with His presence, promises, and protection.
The Lord sustained me through a very busy and tiring season. Thankfully, the book mostly got edited, and the ministry carried on in spite of my weaknesses.
Now I sit here writing with such a grateful heart. The Lord has done a lot these last couple of years, and He’s got so much planned for the future. The book is going to launch in March! I’ve got a couple of really cool products anticipated for the fall as well. The Lord is on the move and working everything out. I’m so thankful for the extra time I’ve got in the day to work on it all now.
I also want to thank all of the guest writers that have shared the past couple of years as well. You’ve all brought a message of hope, encouragement, challenges, and faithfulness to the Lord. You’re a gift to this community and are appreciated. I look forward to all of the guest writers we have planned for this year as well. There are some incredible people coming to share their hearts with you too. Hold on as we get started on another exciting adventure!
What have been some of your favourite moments or posts from Hope Through Hard Times the last couple of years?