Happy 2nd Birthday, Hope Redefined

assorted-color fireworks illustration

I can’t believe I get to celebrate a 2nd Birthday with you all. I know I say the phrase “I can’t believe” often when I talk about this ministry, but it’s the only phrase I know to use that expresses the awe I have for what the Lord has done for us. All of us!

I had no idea that the tiny “Yeses” I gave Him years ago would result in something that would impact hundreds of families, thousands of lives and bring about so many stories of healing and hope.

If I’ve never gotten the chance to tell you the story of the wrestle the Lord and I have had when He asked me to be a part of this work, I will be honest with you. I did not want to do this. I have a habit of saying “NO” first and then coming back around to reassess. But here is what I love. I love that He lets me think I am in charge for a second with my “No” and then he waits for me to circle back around to my “Yes” and surrender to Him and His plans.

I have said this about more than one chapter in my life – “I’m so glad he knew better than me”. I’m so glad He said, “Lyschel, I know where we are going, just trust me to get there.”

The picture I get is of me and God on a roller coaster.  He asks me to ride and I assess from the ground and say, “No I don’t think so.”  “Why don’t we wait in line?” He says as He reassures me and promises we can cross over and step out of line further up ahead if I need to. He talks to me and comforts me the whole time we are in line, connecting with me. Then the moment comes where we are in the final stalls. I smell the oil from the roller coaster and feel the heat from the bodies of people coming back. My adrenaline is pumping. I start to inhale and forget to exhale.

He catches my eyes and says,

Hey, I’m riding with you. I got you.

I begin sitting with this and try to decide if that’s enough. It’s our turn and He jumps into our cart. A little too enthusiastic for my taste.

But His joy tells me He is not afraid. I’m terrified. I’m terrified of the unknown, the risk, the what ifs. I’m terrified of the eminent death.  He says, “Come on, I’m in this cart with you. I’m not going anywhere.

I look at Him with a leery eye and lift my stresses and sweaty body into the seat. The bars click down and immediately I realize we are IN IT.  The Lord naturally puts His arm across the back of the seat and I can feel how close He really is. I can feel his joy overshadowing my fear. I can draw from His anticipation and excitement and begin to let go of some of my fear.  I can see the peace and confidence on His face as we pull out of that station and begin the initial part of the ride.

We start to climb the hill and I can’t even open my eyes. I know He is still there. I can smell Him, hear His laughter. I can feel His energy while at the same time trying to feel for myself. Suddenly, I feel the tug of the coaster and I know we are at the top. Without even thinking I press my entire upper body into His chest and bury myself there as the g-forces of that first hill push the air out of my body. He is screaming with delight and I am anticipating death. We hit a tunnel – total darkness – and my eye are wide open as I search for light. I’m grasping for anything that tells me I’m still ok.

I can still feel His body safely next to mine. I can feel Him laughing and offering His hand to reassure me. His laughter is not at me; it’s in total joy for the moment. He knows more about this than I do. He knows what’s on the outside of the tunnel, he knows what hill is next and how high or low it goes.

At some point, though, I sit up straight in my seat and I can see the sights from the coaster and I can catch a vision for whats going on.

I know I am still on this coaster today. Two years into this and we are still on that coaster. I am learning that I still have permission to shove my face back into his chest and ride the day out. I also have permission to feed off his delight and scream at the top of my lungs in total delight.

Today as we celebrate our 2nd birthday as a not for profit ministry, I am squealing. Things feel crazy, fast, scary and secure all at the same time.

I pray that I continue to feel all of these things as we stay on this roller coaster of ministry. This work is just as much for me as it is for the women it serves. We are all on a crazy ride and that station is full of our adrenaline, laughter, screams, courage and fear.

DID YOU KNOW that in the last 2 years Hope Redefined has…

  • Supported over 150 women in support groups online
  • Hosted 4 weekend intensive retreats for 32 women
  • Launched a private online community for women facing betrayal
  • Coached over 370 hours with women
  • Launched a new group on Boundaries to support women in their growth
  • Offered over $5,000 in scholarship money to women needing financial support.  
  • Said YES to the Lord over a billion times (ok, maybe a million)
  • Brought on two team members to help with supporting the work of this ministry
  • Had the backing of 4 board members who LOVE what we do
  • Trained over 25 team members to serve at our retreats
  • Mentored 5 other women to launch their own support groups and coaching practices
  • Connected with 5 churches as a preferred referral resource
  • Been a speaker on the Braveful Summit
  • Been on several podcasts
  • Have 5 monthly donors 

Thanks for being on the ride with me.

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