Choose Hope

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Four years ago, doctors surgically removed the unwanted guest from inside my head. Today I reflect on the impact of something so dangerous yet invisible to the passersby. No one who knew me could see that I had a tumor, not even myself. No mirror reflected the mass that was hiding, secretly growing and damaging the tissues of my body. Nonetheless, the reality of its presence remained.

I can say with confidence today that the brain tumor is gone, but I must confess I still have unwanted guests inside my head.

Negative thoughts, fears, doubts, and insecurities plague my mind almost daily. Unfortunately, no doctor can surgically remove this plague I allow to grow inside my head. Just as no passersby can hear the battle which rages.

This plague in my mind eats away at my confidence, steals my joy, and ultimately affects my interactions with others, especially those closest to me.

It starts with just one small, almost invisible thought. But one thought, if left unnoticed, grows into 2, then 3, then 4 until they have redefined who I believe I am. Just like the tumor, a passerby may not even notice, but if left untreated the thoughts can change the entire fiber of my being.

On this blog on Nov. 4, 2012, merely 5 days before my tumor’s eviction, I wrote …

“I wanted the tumor gone, but more than that I didn’t want it to define this year. I wanted a new perspective.  I wanted to never forget the details, the emotions, the amazing ways I have experienced God’s presence through this process. I wanted to feel the full hand of God on my heart and to never lose the awareness of His presence in every detail in my life – not just with the hard times, but in the every moment. That night as I prayed, God answered.”

I have a confession. I’ve forgotten. Or at least I don’t always live in a way that reflects my memory. During the darkest time in my life, I chose hope. I clung to the only One who could save, and He answered. However, today faced with the daily trials of life, I’ve lost my perspective. I allow thoughts of self-doubt and fear to rule in my mind and define who I am. God’s presence hasn’t changed, but my memory has waned. In my darkest days, God placed His full hand on my heart and made his presence known. He showed me hope.

Most days I’m fighting a battle, only I can hear. Nonetheless, the battle is still real.  Instead of believing the lies in my head, I can hold tightly to the truth of who God says I am. The hope I found in 2012 is still the hope I have today, if I chose to remember.

I am not a victim of my thoughts or my circumstances, and neither are you.

I don’t know the battles that you are facing, but I know the One who can win.

He’s fought for me before. He’ll fight for me again. And the empty grave is proof He’s victorious!

Share with me times that you’ve chosen hope. Let’s encourage each other.

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