Six women in a room filled with words, works of art, pictures, art supplies and a wonderful leader, Penny Bragg, who took us on a visual journaling workshop experience for those who have experienced loss and grief. Who knew that for three and a half hours the Holy Spirit would show up and minister and encourage and begin a healing process? Some were just beginning the journey; some had been with Penny for a while. All will forever be grateful to this woman of God who gives out of her painful experience of grief, beauty for ashes.
One page in her examples of visual journaling resonated with me and reminded me of this previous post on my blog:
Just write on my tombstone, "She was a prisoner of Hope." Not a prisoner or her past or living another day would be much too hard. Not of a prisoner of her accomplishments as only the Lord Jesus can take credit for those, not a prisoner of her beautiful children, grandchildren, husband or family for they are what they are by God's grace and mercy. I am a prisoner of Hope in Jesus that He takes all things and works them to my good; He takes flawed things and makes them beautiful.
Joel Osteen says this:
"Return to your fortress, o prisoners of hope, even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you" (Zechariah 9:12, NIV) Zechariah 9:12 says that we should be prisoners of hope. It's easy to give up. It's easy to get discouraged. But God wants us to be so full of hope, so full of expectancy, that we just can't help believing for the best.
When you're a prisoner ...of something, it's like you're chained to it. You can't get away from it. I know people who are prisoners of fear, prisoners of worry, prisoners of doubt. You've heard them. "Nothing good ever happens to me." "It's never changing, Joel. It's just been too long."
They are chained to despair and discouragement. Break those chains. Become a prisoner of hope. No matter how long it takes, no matter how impossible it looks, your attitude should be: "I just can't help it. I know it will work out. I know I will overcome. It may be taking a long time, but I know this too shall pass. It may be difficult, but I know that means I'm close to my victory." Joel Osteen