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A New Hope

Carrie walks out the door with her purse in hand. She climbs into the car and starts the engine. Tears are streaming down her face as she turns to look back at the doorway. There stands her four children all smiles and waving goodbye at their momma. Only momma is ready to break. She is flustered to the point nothing makes sense and a fear has covered her where there was once peace.

Just where is she going? Maybe a drive will help? Maybe a new outfit? Just a chat with a friend? No. She wants to be alone. She is never alone. There is noise that surrounds her every moment. Life seems crazy and her husband? He is trying. He is giving everything he can to bring her happiness, but it just isn't enough. Not even an outfit will help today. She hates to look into the mirror anymore after having four children. Does anyone see her as pretty? Carrie sure doesn't. She knows her heart. The pain and anger that is there.

Oh, how she wants to be  happy. She has everything a woman could want. A husband that is faithful, children who are precious and a home that is far above anything she ever dreamed of. Others would look at her and think she had it all. But, she is missing something. Can she even see it? She complains constantly. Little hand prints on everything she has cleaned. Boot marks on the floor at the door. Forever laundry to last a life time. She hasn't slept through the night in years. She can't even remember the last day she spent out with a friend. She finds herself in everything to keep her busy. That way she just doesn't have to think. Why think? Too much is there that is haunting.

She remembers her dreams and they were nothing of her present life. She dreamed of being a nurse. Maybe even someone who traveled the world. Now she is home taking care of children and never even has time for herself. She feels like those dreams were just that dreams never to be.  She asks herself,"What is wrong with me?Why do I feel so alone? So down? Just simply so nothing?"

Carrie pulls out the drive with the windows down. The air feels almost freeing on her face as the tears fall fast. Should she wipe the tears and just forget everything or should she really think? Life just seems so confusing. She has lost herself in everyone else and she is wondering if she can ever be found again. She turns her cell phone off and the radio up. As the tunes play a song comes on that makes her drift away thinking of a perfect day, a day where she is smiling and all is well. Could it really happen?

She has searched her life trying to find peace, something of happiness that really fills her. She thought after leaving her childhood home she would chase her dreams and find all that life could give. Never to walk into a church, Carrie passes one. A small church where she sees a pastor outside waving. Something tugs at her heart. Something like never before. Should she stop? That is just a crazy idea. As she continues to drive she cannot get this pastor out of her mind. She turns around and pulls into the parking lot of this country church. Should she really go in? She isn't dressed for church, but something is calling her, pulling her.

As she walks in she takes a look around and even though the church is so small it feels so much bigger than her. In the bigness of it all she sees someone at the altar. Isn't that what it's called? She sees a woman, kneeling, crying out to God. She dares to walk to closer. The woman turns and smiles. Carrie thinks, "How can she be smiling through all those tears?" The woman says, "I was waiting for you." Now it's Carries turn to begin letting the tears flow. What is going on? The woman turns and takes Carrie's hand. She joins her at the altar.

This woman, who has lived many years, begins to share her story. She tells of a time long ago when she was a mother and wife. When all seemed perfect until one day when life all seemed to end. Her husband and four children were killed in an accident. She lost everything. In one second life changed forever. She couldn't pay her bills and lost her home. This woman lost everything she ever dreamed of. As she shares her heart, Carrie, is sitting so still her breath is silent.

The woman, Karen, tells her what could have happened. She could have fallen into despair. She could have let go of life, but she decided to call upon the Lord she had walked with since she was thirteen. The Lord filled her in ways she never knew possible. He used the lives of her family as a platform to bring glory and honor to Him. Their lives tell a story of faith, love and hope. Life had not ended for Karen, but a new journey began. It wasn't until she lost everything she had that she knew just how blessed she was. In her loss she found great gain in Christ. It was His love that set her free. After finishing her story, she turns to Carrie and says, "Go home. Love your family. Be thankful for each moment. Enjoy each day given and never take one moment for granite." Carrie stands and as she looks back the woman is gone.

Carrie kneels as a new woman. A woman who now sees life different.She prays for the first time in her life. Is it okay, if she just talks? She isn't even sure how to pray, but the words just seem to flow.  She leaves the church to go home and walk through the door as her children are running down the hall. She smiles and hugs each one. She takes her husband by the hand, seeing him as though for the very first time. That very next Sunday she woke and dressed her children. Picked out a new tie for her husband and pulled her hair up. She found herself sitting next to her family in a church pew where the preacher with the smile was speaking on contentment and thanksgiving. She found freedom in a place she never looked. She drove by this little church everyday and never thought about stopping, but the Lord knew exactly the right time to call her. He knew she would answer. He knew she would reach out to Him. She was ready to let go and let God.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-4

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28


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