Recovering Hope! Prodigal Praises 2016!

So, last night Olivia, Tucker’s girlfriend, and I got to go to church with Tucker! Poor Steve was working late. Y’all, I can’t tell y’all how proud I am of our boy! The smile on his face, the joy in his heart… Yall, I’m telling you, God is moving

 I have to confess something to y’all. Hoping is horrifying for me. I’ve gotten my hopes up so many times only to have those hopes crushed. I know I’m not the only person to have been in those shoes, but it’s worse when you’re the one wearing the shoes! 🙂 Anyway, hope is a scary word! Here’s what I’m going to choose to do though, I’m going to hope anyway!!! The difference is, that my hope is in the Lord, not in Tucker! And here’s the thing. Should Tucker let me down, and he will! All people will let you down! I’m going to thank God for the progress made, and the seeds planted, and then I’m going to keep on hoping! That being said, I fully expect Tucker to complete the program! But I’m just saying, my hope is in the fact that God is going to do, and is doing, a mighty work in Tucker, and His will will be done on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen?

Many people in this world walk around feeling horrible about themselves. Meanwhile they cover up those feelings with drugs, sex, relationships, money, a cocky facade, being mean to keep people at arm’s length; anything to cover up the fact that, deep down they really hate themselves. The sad thing is, they can’t figure out why they feel this way! Poor little imbeciles! 😉 They feel unwanted, unlovable, ugly, unusable, dirty, and ashamed. 

There are many things that can cause us to feel that way. It could be past abuse, addictions or both. It could be because we’ve been divorced or have been, or are still, a criminal, or a liar. There are tons of things in this world, whether it’s things that were out of our control, or because of the choices we’ve made, that can make us feel downright yucky, but God! Here’s the deal, until we know who we are in Christ, we all walk around feeling unworthy and impure, and undesirable. But here’s the deal…..we’re NOT any of those things! Not to God! God sees us as perfect! And when we accept Jesus as our Savior, and have the Holy Spirit living inside us, then and only then can we be the person that God created us to be! Then, and only then can we live up to our potential! Then, and only then can we truly love. 

The conversation below cracked me up! Lajuana and I started working out yesterday! I’m telling y’all, it’s a darn good thing that God sees us as perfect! 

   

Ok so, maybe it’s TMI that y’all know about my cycle, but that conversation was too funny not to share! Plus, it’ll preach! God doesn’t expect perfection from us! God, does however expect our best effort! I’m not sure that Lajuana and I have exactly put forth our best effort in the area or working out, but I digress. The point is, for years we’ve watched Tucker walk around feeling defeated, unworthy and pretty much worthless. Yes, we’ve told him plenty of times that none of those things are true! But until he finds who he is in Christ, not who we say he is, or who the world says he is,  it really doesn’t matter what anyone tells him! And the same goes for any living, breathing human being! Don’t read this wrong. This is not an excuse to not encourage people! Our words do matter! What I mean is, you have to have Jesus to believe that you’re really somebody!  

Here’s what I know. Tucker is somebody! God is revealing Himself to Tucker! And He’s doing it right inside the walls of a drug rehab! A rehab that’s nestled smack dab in the heart of the ghetto at that! You see, God doesn’t need us to clean ourselves up so that He can do what He does! He only needs us to be willing to allow Him access! God won’t force us to do anything! But you can bet your sweet streusel cake that His heart is breaking for us until we surrender!

Last night as we sat in church, listening to the praise band, I looked up and Tucker had tears rolling down his cheeks. He put one arm around Olivia and one around me, pulled us in close and kissed both of us on the head. Now, I would like to say that he did that because we’re both such great gals; and I’m just self centered enough to think that! But, as always, God gently reminded me that I’m good, but I’m not Him ;-). It was the Holy Spirit stirring Tucker’s emotions! It was Jesus inside him making him feel overwhelming love! And it’s things like that that keep my hope alive!!! Raise Tucker up Lord! Raise him up! 

There’s going to be some big changes going on for the Hawkins’! Y’all are going to witness a miracle! Y’all are going to see God transform a drug addict into a mighty man of God! And nothing, or nobody had better get in the way! If you don’t wanna ride this train to the desired destination, you’d better hop off!

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. 1 Peter 2:9-10

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