How to Find Hope in the Hard Places

hard places book
image provided for Sarah Beckman

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am not being paid to write this or being told what to say.

There’s nothing like reading a book that you wish you had earlier but then realizing the Lord directed you to survive in the very way the author has suggested. That’s what I found in Sarah Beckman’s book, Hope for the Hard Places. That is exactly what happened to me.

Our family has had our share of hard places: chronic pain, job loss, bankruptcy, grief, You name it. Sarah offers some definite steps in how to handle a crisis. And everyone, one time or another, will need this guide.

If you are in a hard place, this book is for you. It’s a beautiful guide to making it through the worst of times whether it is from grief or sickness or any other trial. If you need encouragement, go ahead and read the last chapter.
Then start from the beginning and read IT through. This book is filled with practical advice along with the spiritual. Trust me you will be glad you picked this one up.

Everyone will need this guidebook sooner or later. Buy it today, get bonuses. #hopeforthehardplaces #pastors #grief #cancer #chronicillness Click To Tweet

Sarah will tell you how to place the right people around you and what you need to have at your access. She will offer you great ways to get what you most desperately need in your own time of crisis. This book will help you deal with words that hurt and friends that disappear. Sarah will also help you look inward to change impossible expectations and how to give yourself grace when you fail to rise to your own expectations for yourself.

hard times without missteps

Most importantly, she talks about your own soul-care for this, to me, is the most important thing you can do in a crisis because as the scriptures say,  “For what profits a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul” (Matthew 16:26) I’ll let you get the whole explanation by reading the book yourself but here are the steps in a nutshell.

5 Steps of Soul-care during a Crisis

  • Listen to God – Ask “Why me?” but also “What now?”
  • Be Honest with Trusted Friends – tell them what you need
  • Trust God without any Expectations – He sees you & knows what you need
  • Choose Joy – A positive outlook makes all the difference
  • Spend Regular time in God’s Word – Cindy Barnes recently wrote this about regular time with God here on the blog.

Get bonus products by ordering today ~ LAUNCH DAY, March 5th

Hope for the Hard Places

There is so, so much more in this wonderful guide for the hard places. Please go get your own copy to read and keep on your shelf. Trust me. You or someone near you will need it soon.

The Perfect Guide for When you are in Hard Places. #grief #cancer #chronic illness Click To Tweet

And Hold on to Jesus, He’s got this.

Mandy Farmer

P.S. Free Resource – How Can I Help

I wrote about how How you can Help Others when they are in crisis. There is a free resource there.


You may also like Sarah’s book, Alongside which guides you to come alongside a friend who is in crisis.


Never Despise Small Beginnings

Have you Chosen your One Word for 2019?

So, everyone is talking resolutions or #ONEWORD365 so I may as well join in the “fun”. Honestly, it’s getting a bit frustrating to meet any kind of goal these days. I’m coming up on 8 years of chronic pain. As you may have noticed just by looking at my one words I started out with a good attitude but to tell the truth, I’m getting frustrated about it all.

Before Chronic Pain, I tried to set goals that never seemed to accomplish much. Then I learned about ONEWORD365. This challenge is where you choose a word that you apply to your life throughout the year. Whenever you have a decision to make or an issue to deal with, you apply the word and let it make you a better person. I liked the idea so decided to try it out. Continue reading

Fully Alive Book Review

Book Review: Fully Alive

NOTE: I received this book at no charge in exchange for writing this review. These words are my own opinion and I have not been compensated to say them. 

Dare to Hope again

Have you been losing your hope lately? What is it that is pulling you down into

despondency?

Dare to Hope Fully Alive

Susie’s Larson’s new book

Sickness?

Fear?

Guilt?

Worry?

Grief?

Discouragement?

Insecurity?

Selfishness?

Look up because there is AlWAYS Hope in Jesus.

Continue reading

Behold My One Word for 2018

 He said to me, “Son of man, watch and listen. Pay close attention to everything I show you. You have been brought here so I can show you many things. Then you will return… and tell them everything you have seen.” Ezekial 40:4 (NLT)

 

Behold! My “One” Word

As a child, I was notoriously unobservant. I believe that my siblings took bets to see how long it would take me to notice major changes on the farm. I remember once, a large fan at the end of the stanchion barn broke. There is no way that a person would not notice it blowing but it took weeks for me to come to the realization that a new fan had been put in. My brothers had a hay day with that one. I was never paying attention because I was often in my own little daydream.

As an adult, I don’t daydream that much but I do tend to get into my own little world studying, writing, reading. Hours can pass by without my ever noticing a thing. Continue reading

The Glass Is Either Half Empty or Half Full

How full is your glass today?

Half full or half empty?

Over four inches of rain fell from yesterday morning through last night here in southwest Minnesota.  It’s the time of year when farmers want warm sunshine and breezes to help dry the corn and beans for harvest, not four inches of rain.  Just twenty miles to the West in South Dakota and they have had a very dry summer. This rain system that went through was very important to them!  Isn’t that like life though?  The glass is either half empty or half full.

Continue reading

Different EASTER

A Different Kind of Easter

Diffferent Kind of Easter

Easter, for me, has always been a great day of celebration. A day of basking in the joy of the resurrection. But this year, it was different.

You see, life has changed a lot for our family recently. Easter 2015, my husband was pastoring a church as he had been for nearly 40 years. Our children and I were deeply involved in his ministry, especially when it came to planning a celebration service such as Easter. The four of us spent much time studying the significance of Easter. We spent many hours reviewing videos and music finding just the right words to make Easter fresh, new and alive. Something that would draw the people into the celebration, helping them realize what God had done for them. By the time Easter Sunday arrived, we were already filled beyond excitement. So ready to share the story and bring people to a closer relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

But this time, it was different.

Continue reading

Life’s Interruptions Are Just a Change in Direction

Life interruptions don’t have to end your purpose in life. Here’s my life interruption story of chronic pain from fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Life’s Interruption … New Year’s Eve 1989.

wedding picture

Wedding Day December 31, 1989

This was the day we were married. God had done an amazing thing to bring us together. (Read this story here in this Christmas post). Just suffice it to say that I went from being a single girl, on her own, programming computers to a pastor’s wife and a mom of two boys, 9 and 14! What a change!

But that is not the interruption I want to share about today.

Continue reading

hymn of week

Safe in His Arms Living by Faith

The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.
 
 

 Life has sure been throwing me some curves lately.

There’s been illness, job loss, and interruption of ministry and just life in general.

But God has been right there with us. 

Continue reading

When Your Dreams Are Thrown into the Pits

We all have dreams.

And we all have had our dreams dashed, usually by those closest to us.

Joseph had BIG dreams.

And his family didn’t like his dreams. They thought they were ridiculous and that Joseph was trying to lord it over them. So they threw him and his dreams into a pit.

I wonder how long Joseph lay in that pit before his brothers drew him out and sold him.

Long enough to realize that he had been bruised physically and emotionally, for sure. Here he was …. deep down in a well. It was cold and dark. He was sore, maybe a broken bone. Certainly, his heart was broken. His own flesh and blood had literally thrown him away. I imagine that he figured this was the end of his dreams AND of him.

Have you ever found yourself thrown into the pits of life with seemingly no hope for rescue?

I have.

I have been thrown into the dark, wondering “what went wrong?”

“What did I do that caused this terrible turn of events?”

“And, what should I do now?”, as I lick my wounds.

“How would I get out of this dark place?”

For Joseph, if we jump to the end of the story, we find a happy ending …. reconciliation. Tears of Joy.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.  Genesis 50

How did Joseph manage to remain kind and forgiving after such treatment?

David once wrote,

12 If an enemy were insulting me,
    I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
    I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
    my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
    at the house of God,
as we walked about
    among the worshipers.  Psalm 55:12

David’s faith in God is what kept his heart tender and forgiving.

Later in the chapter, David says

Psalm 55:12

Photo Credit : Iquiraisi @ Pixabay : Modified GGmandy

Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22

He had his moment of despair, but then he turned to God before hate and vengeance could take control.

It had to be the same for Joseph. God had an amazing plan to work out for Joseph.

You see, Joseph was not ready, at seventeen, to become second in command in Egypt. There was training to be done. God needed to stretch and shape Joseph’s character. He did this through those trials. … being thrown into a pit, being sold as a slave, given leadership roles in a household, then thrown into prison and given leadership roles there. This was all training for the “BIG” job.

James told us this in his epistle,

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

 Joseph allowed God to mold and shape him THROUGH the trials and in the end, he was ready to take leadership being 2nd in command in all of Egypt. As a result, he was able to save his family AND all of Egypt.

Joseph let go of the pain and took hold of God.

We must let go of one thing to grab hold of the other. We can’t have both.

As with clay, if it is hard and dry, it cannot be shaped. It must be pliable to allow the master to shape and mold. Sometimes even, a beautiful pot is taking shape, but The Master sees a flaw and he crushes the clay back down and starts again.

Can you see it?

Back in that cold, dark pit, Joseph did not know how God was going to turn things around. He only knew that it hurt. But God already had a plan for dealing with the hurt and turning things around.  Joseph’s part in all of this was to keep trusting God.

Prayer

Lord,

Help me, like Joseph, to remain pliable in Your hands that you may mold me and make me after Your will.

Amen.

Have you been hurt by the church? Have you felt abandoned by God in the lonely fires of ministry? The Perils of A Pastor’s Wife will speak to your deepest wounds and help you find God’s Presence through it all. Sweet Sister—somewhere, somehow, somebody knows. You are not alone. A Faceook group has been created for support in these days. Come join us.

This Group is expressly for men and women trying to find Joy in the Wilderness after 

losing their pastorate. Please share this with others you know who are struggling with the transition.

This is a place for support and encouragement. No judgment, just a shoulder to lean on.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO JOIN.

Joy in the WIlderness

Facebook Group for Hurting Shepherds

 

 

Holding on to Hope!

Mandy Farmer

Listen and worship Him with this old hymn, Have Thine Own Way