I am so honored to introduce you to my sweet friend Racquel today. I first met Racquel when she joined Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies and the blessing was certainly mine when this Jesus loving cheerleader of life was placed in the Facebook small group I was leading! We have now served together as volunteers for 2 years and I love her to pieces!
As a brand-new mom, I am so appreciative of her powerful message today and to welcome her as a guest in my maternity leave series!
Hope: The Anchor of my Soul
by Racquel Peterson
“Mom, I need to go to the hospital…”
At first, I thought my 14 year old daughter was joking. As it turned out, she really did need to go. This was the spark that lit the fire that has seared my family in various ways over the past year. These words triggered a chain of events that left me questioning and pleading with God — for protection, for healing, for direction and wisdom, and most of all for His power.
On that sunny day, at the end of February, my family was brought to the brink of death, but God was shining brighter and His plan involved restoration, thankfully not death. After the hospital visit, our eyes were opened to the realities of depression and anxiety, and the debilitating effects it can have on a person and family. Here was my beautiful and kind girl suffering inwardly in unimaginable ways and we, her parents, were clueless.
As parents, we want every good thing for our kids. We want to protect them from the world’s grip and help them in any way possible. The reality is there is only so much WE can do as parents…the things we cannot, well, they are best left in the hand of the ONE who loved us to death and back, Jesus. This was one of the times we could not control. When the secret pain my daughter hid so well was finally brought to light, we questioned everything we thought we knew about her and it blew apart everything we thought we knew about parenting. Watching her sink into the dark depths of depression was terrifying. We had no idea of how to help her.
Here is where the love and faithfulness of Christ shines brightly.
The words of Paul leapt off the page and came alive right in the midst of our family crisis.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV
As many of you know, depression and anxiety are not problems solved over night or as a result of taking a magic pill. This past year we’ve spent a lot of time on our knees and in therapy. The one thing I would not let go of this past year is HOPE…. Hope in God’s power. Hope in God’s sovereign intervention and His plan for restoration. Hope in knowing God’s plan is so much better than ours. Hope because God fills us with joy and peace when we trust Him. Hope because the Holy Spirit is God and His power is alive in me.
My daughter’s story is far from over and her struggle with depression may be life long, BUT we can have JOY. We can have PEACE. Why? Because our trust is in Christ! He is the ONE with the answers. He is the ONE we can trust to turn the ashes of this situation into a beautiful story of restoration and redemption. A year later, we are NOT crushed, abandoned, or destroyed.
“Therefore we do not become discouraged [spiritless, disappointed, or afraid]. For our momentary, light distress [this passing trouble] is producing for us an eternal weight of glory [a fullness] beyond all measure [surpassing all comparisons, a transcendent splendor and an endless blessedness]! So we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are visible are temporal [just brief and fleeting], but the things which are invisible are everlasting and imperishable.” 2 Corinthians 4:16a, 17-18 AMP
Maybe you’ve faced a dark year or years. Perhaps you are smack in the middle of it right at this moment.
Friend, God is waiting to help. He is faithful to love you and carry you through the challenges you face.
Hold on to the HOPE we have in Christ!
His peace and joy WILL overflow.
I am a Jesus-loving gal who hopes to inspire others to a live a life without limitations by sharing the promises of Christ whenever possible. I’m also a stay-at-home mom to three beautiful blessings, plus a few of their friends, ranging in ages 8-15, and I’ve been married to Chris for the past 17 years. I enjoy spending time relaxing with a cup of coffee and a good book. Family time is a HUGE priority and on a typical day our house is bursting with activity…so you can bet I cherish the time I spend reading and drinking coffee!