I have devoted much time lately to just hearing people. Listening and hearing what someone is actually saying. I have to admit that in the past I used conversation as a filler in life. I would “network” with others over coffee talking about each other’s business and then promising to send referrals to each other never to speak again. It was a way I was filling my days until God passed me my ministry.
Grateful Gratitude, my ministry, was started in March 2018. I knew that day God impacted me in a way I had never felt before. I felt the burning in me to share His words and more gratitude daily because of my blessings. I can say I became truly enriched at that moment. I knew life would be much different.
As I began my ministry, it was all about me practicing more gratitude, appreciating life, and others more. I removed as much negativity as I could and reflected before speaking. My words I knew could be impactful to others if I allowed God to touch my words as they passed my lips.
In June 2020, I learned to listen more closely (still not as much as now) when I heard the words that my dad had terminal pancreatic cancer. I had to listen more closely to many telemedicine appointments with blood and CT scan results. I learned how to hear the news that wasn’t what we hoped for. God kept me at peace hearing what was necessary to hear. He spoke loudly that he was blessing me with more time with my dad and I was grateful. If this cancer hadn’t been diagnosed my dad would have become very ill quickly and only had a few months. God opened my ears to hear that I needed to appreciate this difficult time. It wasn’t an easy walk but a walk He needed me to walk through.
During this last year, I have learned that not many people truly listen and hear. I am not saying I am better than anyone else, this is just an observation. I know that I must Listen first and then HEAR what was said. It’s a full two-step process. You must complete both steps. I also now can tell if a person is negative or positive within a minute of hearing them speak.
I have visited with hundreds of people since starting this ministry and most times I am only given 1-2 minutes to share hearts and prayers with someone. I have to listen to hear what they need prayers for and effectively pray over them. This can be very difficult as I have worked with women who have been trafficked, victims of violent crime, lonely older adults, food-insecure people, and so many more. I have to be intent on hearing truly what they are struggling with. Then it hit me (thank you, God, I am a blonde….) everyone needs HOPE. Prayers of HOPE.
Hope is the conduit that connects people to God. HOPE is also the faith in knowing God is with you. Hope brings you out of depression, it offers you a future, it sustains you, and most importantly it brings you to God. Hope is the anticipation for something good that leads to trust and then faith.
As I talk to many people this holiday season I recognize we all need HOPE. I have a good friend who is single, struggling financially and is lonely but he has HOPE he will meet someone to be a loving companion. I have a friend that has been battling stage 4 ovarian cancer and she HOPES for healing in her treatments. I have a friend whose father is facing a medical battle and she HOPES for peace and comfort through the walk.
My dad passed away on October 20th and I miss him greatly but I know my dad’s heart. He would want to share HOPE somehow through our walk. I was inspired (Divinely of course) to build comfort boxes to share with grieving families. The box includes a book about God’s promises, a candle, a handkerchief, a pocket cross, comfort cloth, HUGS candy, and a personal note from me. The note shares HOPE with the receiver as I tell them that I too have had a loss and understand their grief.
I began to talk about the comfort boxes and soon realized that the boxes would help many others in HOPE. I am preparing boxes for victims of violent crimes that be gifted at the scene or before starting their trial against the perpetrator. The boxes can be gifted to lonely adults to anchor back to God and HOPE.
This is what’s included in the box. The cards are personalized to the type of HOPE that is needed by someone grieving, someone that has walked through being a victim of a violent crime, or uniquely to each need.
The Bible tells us Hebrew 6:18-19 NLV that HOPE anchors the soul:
God gave these two things that cannot be changed and God cannot lie. We who have turned to Him can have great comfort knowing that He will do what He has promised. This hope is a safe anchor for our souls. It will never move. This hope goes into the Holiest Place of All behind the curtain of heaven.
I pray that you too have and share HOPE. To learn more about Project Comfort click here. https://www.gratefulgratitude11.com/project-comfort.html
God’s blessings and love for you-LoLo
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