About Us, Hope Redefined

Casting Hope

When I set out on this adventure of supporting women facing sexual betrayal and brokenness in their marriage, I did so with fear and trembling. Even though I felt the Lord calling me into these deeper waters and knew He was the one to open this door for me, that did not mean I walked through it fearlessly. In fact, I picked up a big bag of fear and carried it with me.

My journal pages and prayer times were covered in words of self doubt, fear, uncertainty and disqualifications. I told the Lord at least 50 times why this was a big mistake. I reminded Him that I was a hot mess and not qualified to sit with these women in their pain. As I would whisper those pleas under my breath over and over, I would always hear in return, “I just need you to give them a safe place. I will do the rest.” The more often I heard these words, the more confident I grew in knowing this was all He was asking of me.

As I began offering these women a safe place and showed up for them week after week in our groups, they began having hope in their own stories. I think me “showing up” helped them still have hope in mankind. Our conversations would turn to having hope in God and His plan, and eventually, it would shift to having hope in recovery work and the realization that God was in the middle of it all. As time went on, my hope was strengthened, too. I had a front row seat to witness miracle after miracle in women’s lives, and have had the honor to celebrate their small steps forward and rejoice in their big victories. I have listened as they shared a story and then said, “I don’t know Lyschel, I think I just experienced a miracle from God,” and I would reply, “Let’s call it that!”

photo courtesy of unsplash.com

Hope isn’t something we have to work up, although sometimes, like my coffee cup, I set it down. I believe hope comes from the Lord and is a pass through, similar to the fruits of the spirit. The fruits of the spirit are passed through to us, available through the Spirit that lives in us.

We receive joy and are able to share joy with others. I believe it’s the same for hope. We receive hope from the Lord, therefore we are able to share it freely with others.

Hope is believing in the things not yet seen. Hope is trusting God to do amazing things in another person’s story because you have watched Him do amazing things in yours.

Casting hope means you get to sit in confident assurance that the Lord will show up.

I know I can’t offer a woman any guarantees in her story. I have no idea what the end destination will be for her marriage, her husband or even her own healing. There are so many variables in each of those places. However, I place my confidence in the promises of God. He promises never to leave or forsake us. He promises to guide us when we seek Him wholeheartedly. He promises to use our weaknesses for His gain. When I spend time with the Lord and grow in this knowledge, I begin to settle into these Truths found in His word. I can show up with these promises in hand, and with a greater sense of hope for another person’s story.

So my official job title is Lead Hope Caster with Hope Redefined because I do just that. I cast hope for others because it’s a pass through gift. I pray you will consider yourself a hope caster, too.

recovery, the everyday

The Harvest isn’t the point

I confess, I’m not a gardener. I WANT to be a gardener, but alas I have failed for 4 years in a row. My dream has been to feed my family of 7 and then have a basket at the end of my driveway for all of my neighbors to reap from our harvest too. Wouldn’t that be dreamy to come home from a long days work and be able to grab a few fresh tomatoes on the way to your suburban abode?

So with this “bounty” goal in mind I have been working my backyard for several years. This past year I even lasagna layered my soil as I put it to bed for the winter in hopes of having this amazingly rich soil and HARVEST. Because it’s all about the harvest….right.

So this spring/summer growing season has come and I have managed to grow 4 peppers, 9 green beans and possibly 12 tomatoes. Yes, you read that correctly…9 green beans. 🙁

This year our struggle was pests. We had squash beetles, bunnies and squirrels. Squirrels who deserve a rant all on their own but I will save that soap box for another time.

As I walked through the rows of my garden a few weeks ago and griped about the condition, I said out loud.

“Alright Lord, this is it. I’m done. No more gardening for me. I am chalking this hobby up to epic fails and will buy all my goods from the store. I’m done!”

I heard His voice whisper in my heart. “But Lyschel, you love watching things grow. You have so much joy in seedlings.”

He is so right. I do love watching things grow. I love coming out to find a new seed popping through and the height of my tomato plants increasing as we begin to cage them. I’m ridiculously giddy during this phase.

But obviously when you hear God’s whispers you sit with them for a bit and ask for more. So as I began to process what he meant by “you love watching things grow” I began to realize that the delight I take in the process is just as special to me as the dream of a basket full of colorful goodness.

So what’s your point Lyschel?

Well, I started laying this realization out over several areas of my life. I wanted to see how this delight was transferring to other places or how the frustration of no harvest was weighing on me.

Our journey of sobriety and healing was one of the first thoughts that came to mind…second to parenting.

I could see how much I DIDN’T enjoy the growth process in these other places. I wanted to have the fastest growing season ever and fast forward to the harvest. Right…who wouldn’t want that. Am I alone?

I know I’m not alone because I sit with you all each week and we wrestle in this growing season together. We cry over the seeds that don’t seem to be taking root. We shake our fist in fits or rage at the squirrel who has yet again stole something that was NOT intended for him. We walk the row in prayers of anticipation and greatness. Then walk the same ones in defeat and are ready to throw in the towel…or trowel. (See what I did there,lol).

But the growth and advancement of our healing or my garden hobby don’t happen in one season. My soil will continue to get more rich with each season of planting. My skills will get stronger with each season of fighting off the pests and my harvest will increase ever so slightly with each season that passes. It’s no different for my recovery. With each struggle I will press further into the word of God. With each slip or relapse I will bring out the tools and skills I am learning from others as I continue to work on myself. We will take better steps forward as each season passes.

See, my harvest is not guaranteed, I think that has been proven. Not in my garden or in my marriage. But its something we go in full of hope and lots of unknowns. I had no idea that the little bunny family in my neighbors yard would have sooo many babies this year. I also had no idea this sin would snatch so much of our hearts and joy.

I don’t want to make light of our stories but I do want to offer HOPE. He sees us, he hears our grumbling in the rows of despair and he knows what brings us joy when we quickly forget and focus on the results verses the progress.

I’m praying you exhale today and determine what brings your heart joy in the gardening of your marriage. I pray he whisper to you too.

*full disclosure, the photo is not my garden, lol

Battling with you,

Lyschel Burket
Hope Redefined