Keep On Fighting

If your fight for hope isn’t looking like you thought it would, if you feel discouraged about your journey, if you just want to sit down and give up, this song is for you today.

Keep on fighting – Out of the dark into the light – It’s not over

Hope is rising – Never give in – Never give up – It’s not over

 

The Beauty of Redemption

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I love words and meanings. Lately I’ve had my sights set on the word Redemption and these hope-filled phrases: to ransom completely, to rescue from loss, to release, preserve, deliver by any means, rescue.

The Old and New Testaments paint a beautiful picture of redemption through verses like these:

“But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol…” Psalm 49:15

“Into Your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.” Psalm 31:5

“The Lord redeems the life of His servants, none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.” Psalm 34:22

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14

From these verses we see that God is a God who fully rescues, who delivers by any means, who buys back.

I think this is beautiful because there is a lot in my life that needs to be redeemed. This truth is comforting: If God fully rescues and preserves and delivers by any means then my fight for hope is not in vain.

Fighting for hope means clinging to redemption. It means believing that God can redeem- buy back, rescue from loss, ransom in full – situations and relationships in our lives. Because of the beauty of redemption we can stand firm and yell what Dan Allender calls “the quintessential cry of hope” in The Healing Path

God turned into good what you meant for evil. (Genesis 50:20, NLT)

I call it the war cry of hope fighters.

Fighting for hope means believing change can happen. It means leaning forward into each day, fighting for traction, for momentum that can move us forward – even an inch.

It means going to counseling to find out why an addiction has a hold in our lives. It means believing that a day will come when that hold is broken.

It means eating well and taking care of ourselves. It means doing what is best, not easiest. It might mean moving closer to someone who is hurting, or it might mean pulling away from someone who is self-destructing.

Sometimes it means waiting.

But fighting for hope always means believing God will bring good where darkness meant it for evil.

I clearly remember the day God asked me to stop running and become a fighter for hope.

Before that day I knew that trials were part of life in this broken world and that God could help me through, but I had no clue that God would ever ask me to walk through a trial purposefully without knowing the outcome.

We were seven years into our marriage and the masks we’d been wearing were coming unglued and sins hidden too long in the dark began pouring out.

I wish I could say that I accepted my fighter of hope status with great zeal. Instead I sat weeping on the edge of my bed “I can’t do this. It’s too hard and it hurts too much. I want out.” And God answered me as clearly as if He’d said it aloud. “I want you to walk through this. I will be with you.”

That was 16 years ago this month. And the journey has been filled with chasms where I got lost, and mountain tops where I thought the trials were over. In the dark chasms I lost hope, I lost my footing, and forgot that God ever promised to be with me.

But he was with me through every step. He is still with me. And when I begin listening to lies whispered in those dark chasms He sends in truth so I can find my way out of the darkness.

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Things do not have to stay where they are right now because God is a God who fully rescues, at all cost, buys back, and restores.

The beauty of redemption.

Do you have a Redemption Chapter in the story of your life? Or are you in the middle of a journey now? Can you see the beauty of redemption in your story?

 

 

 

 

 

One Word for the New Year

I love beginnings. I love endings. But middles….not so much. I usually begin every year with a list of resolutions that are, admittedly, unrealistic.

This year I’m trying something different.

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I’ve joined the community at oneword365.com in choosing one word to pursue for the entire year.

One word to focus on. Just one word.

The word I’ve chosen is Strong. I want to pursue strength in 2016. I want to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually stronger at the end of the year than I am today.

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog you know that my favorite topic is fighting for hope in this broken world. So you might be wondering how fighting for hope is going to connect with becoming strong.

It connects perfectly.

Fighting for hope is a constant, costly battle that wears on us-mind, body and soul. We need to be strong to fight, or we will constantly find ourselves reacting in knee-jerk fashion to people, to circumstances, to our own emotions.

I see 2016 as a year when the fight for hope becomes more than defense against the brokenness that surrounds us. What if we fought strategically? What if we took care of ourselves in a way that gave us energy to fight? What if we were even strong enough to reach our hand out to others and say Hope is worth fighting for! Come fight with me!

These life-changing what ifs make my soul sing! If Dan B. Allender is right when he says “hope is by far one of the most dangerous commitments we make in life,” then we need to be strong to fight for hope.

I’ll hope you’ll come back and become #strongin2016 with me.

Happy New Year!

Thank you!

As we move into a new year and I think about my blogging adventures, the word that comes to mind is thankful. I stepped into the blogging world in July and since then people from 30 countries around the world have clicked on my site. Around the world! It boggles my mind. I know that behind those numbers are real people who took time out of their busy lives to read my words. Real people who, hopefully, were encouraged or challenged by what they read.

Here’s a recap of the past few months on erinulerich.com:

I’ve had the opportunity to share parts of my life, my story, with my readers in hopes that they would find connection or encouragement through my words. I believe tracing God’s Hand through our story, through the dark times and the joyful times, is powerful.

I’ve written about one of my favorite topics : the importance of fighting for hope in our lives.

In October I joined an amazing community at www.write31days.com and wrote for an entire month about Truths That Make Life Beautiful. I divided the month into three truths: You are loved. You are not alone. You have purpose.

This was my first experience being in a blogging community, and I loved it. It was so much fun that I’m going to try it again.  In the next few days I’m joining another community for a new series. I’ll share those details with you soon!

Thank you so much for reading my words, for your comments, and your “likes.” I want you to know that I pray for you as I write each post, because my desire is that my words would speak life to you and always, always, point your heart toward God.

I’m looking forward to walking into 2016 with you!

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