So many people have generously shared their stories with us during this 40 Days of Hope project, and I’m just so thankful for each one. Today, Kerry Hill opens her heart and teaches us more about hope…
… oh, and one other thing: check back here around noon for a fun surprise!
Hope. Such a short little word, such huge meaning and yet so difficult to describe. I prefer to think that I have seen my darkest days in life, and that the future ahead of me is bright with hope. When I was at my worst, Christ saw me at my best. As the Footprints saying goes: ďWhen you saw only one set of footprints, that is when I carried you.Ē I prefer to think of this time in my life as the time when He dragged me down the beach.
Rewinding back and looking at my life so far, I would not say I had any regrets. I would, however say I have a very large running list of things that I have learned from. I am of the belief that God isnít finished with me yet, and that all of these lifeís trials are present just to make me more like Jesus. At least I hope thatís the case.
At a very young age, I was in a car accident. Unfortunately it is one of my earliest memories. In the early 80s cars were made better and kiddos didnít have to sit in the back seat. Seatbelts were optional. For some strange reason my mother strapped me in that day — and then proceeded to hit a tree head on. It is miraculous we all survived the crash seemingly unscathed.
A little further on in life I was a new car owner taking her first car to college. It was a Spring day, the birds were chirping, the music was flowing out of the speakers and energy was flowing through my body. The freedom of college. The freedom to do whatever a young spirit willed, without confirmation or permission of a single solitary person — not even God. I made a left turn and ignored the right away and crashed that car into an oncoming car. Thankfully no one was hurt, except maybe my ego.
I went on to make several decisions for my own life in my early adulthood — and not exactly consulting with the Master Planner. After college I became a speech therapist, working with kids with special needs — something I truly feel was in Godís plan for me. About four years after I had been practicing as a therapist, I thought the love of my life had come into my life and like most head strong adults I followed him — and again shared no consult about Godís plan for me. Initially I was happy in this relationship. I gave up my career, my credit score, my lifeís savings all for one person, one man… who unfortunately was no good at all for me. This man was abusive not only to himself, but to me. He was a thief, a drinker, a drug addict and a liar — and I was deceived into all those things as well.
And along comes hope. I was blessed to find out I was pregnant with a baby girl. My mommy instinct took over and I straightened up and flew right. God gave me a precious gift, the gift of renewed appreciation of life by giving life to me. My daughter was born safely and securely and we built a life into the arms of awaiting family members. She was baptized, and all of a sudden the world made sense — because I started following the plans that God had for me, instead of living my own life. Now I had more than just my own salvation to think about. Now I had to think of how to steer a precious girl on the roads of life.
I am ever so thankful that through Christ we are renewed — He alone is our Hope. We can completely fail at our lives and yet He never really lets go, even if He has to drag us through the storms of life. For without Him and His plan, we are nothing but the tiny grains of sand on the beach.
Through faith, I asked God for my husband, the one he meant for me. And nearly three years ago, we were joined in wedded bliss. He accepts my daughter and raises her as his own. That is what Hope really means to me. I am ever hopeful to see the other ways that God will bless me with his divine plans in future days — and I have a feeling I havenít seen anything yet.
Kerry Hill is a mother of four gorgeous children, proud military spouse and speech therapist working for over a decade with children with special needs. She and her husband are currently stationed in Texas. She is the proprieter of Knot Far From the Tree, a socially committed company dedicated to honoring the special seasons in life by offering hand stamped jewelry and gifts at an affordable cost. Portions of the proceeds raised are given to such organizations as The Wounded Warrior Project, Relay for Life, Little Elves for Little Angels, and many others. Her works can be found at www.knotsofar.etsy.com.
Due to a technical issue that I’m not even going to try to fix, this glimpse of Kerry’s journal page is not quite the right color. However, it gives you the idea of how pretty it is! To download and print your own copy, click here.