Hoping Against Hope

Hoping Against Hope by guest blogger, Nyasha M.

My life feels like a “waiting room”. Much hangs in the balance.  Everything seems to be at a standstill and from my viewpoint, there are no prospects. Not even “a cloud the size of a hand” (1 Kings 18). Most days it doesn’t get to me, maybe because I try not to let it. I can joyfully go about my life, trust God and stop and smell the figurative roses. Today wasn’t one of those days.

A certain career door shut in my face. I had not anticipated that at all. I was so sure this opportunity would come through. I had prepared, prayed and trusted and I was confident I had what it took to land it. You can imagine how I felt when it didn’t work out as I had planned.  I was crushed and dejected. I felt inadequate and anxious.

In the midst of the turmoil and uncertainty the Holy Spirit kept reminding me what God has brought me through in the past. Like the people of Israel (Joshua 4:6-7), I too have my own “twelve stones”; memoirs of battles God fought for me in the past and “impossible” situations He changed in my favour.

I am reminded of how hopeless I was in those seasons. I remember receiving words of encouragement from the Bible and other people and how ridiculous they seemed, as my situation was like a heap of dry bones. There was no prospect of life or change.

I am also reminded of how God miraculously came through for me, one way or the other. I recall how faithful He was to His word. I’d need a whole book to go into the details, but if I were to summarize, I would say that not in any season of my life did I see this particular season being this good, in spite of its challenges and disappointments and when I think about it, the same applies to every other season.

Of course, there are many things I want so much but do not have but I can think of more things I have but could never have wanted. I did not even have the capacity to want them. Never in my wildest dreams would I have envisioned some of the blessings I have in this season (and sometimes take for granted), and yet He gave them to me. That’s what keeps me going, and that’s what keeps me hoping.

On days like today when reasons to hope are hard to come by, I choose to “hope against hope”.

It often takes battling my own thoughts and fighting with my all; and it’s really hard at times, but I choose to make a conscious decision to believe that God will live up to his past reputation and that He loves me.

Though I cannot see it, he is working on my behalf. I choose to believe that his ways and thoughts are higher than mine and that the future he has prepared for me abundantly exceeds what I can ask for, think or imagine. I may not have all the details, but I will trust that he will perfect that which concerns me (Psalm 138:8).

You may be like me, with nothing left to hope with. All doors have shut and you’re beginning to doubt God’s promises concerning your life. I hope you will join me in “hoping against hope”. Don’t throw in the towel just yet. God loves you. He is faithful and I can guarantee that He will come through for you.

  • Written by Guest Blogger, Nyasha M.

I Need Him to Change | Guest Post

This guest blog post I Need Him to Change was first published on https://beagirlfriendpraylikeawife.wordpress.com/
Thank you so much sis for sharing.

Hi ladies,

So this is the phrase that has been a constant in my prayers whenever my boyfriend makes me mad or gets mad at me. I always look up to the Lord and ask him, ‘why does he act like that?’ ‘ Can’t he just change and be this…and that and the other’. I need him to change Lord!

Well, I have been reading ‘The Power of a Praying wife’ and oh wow, I was taken aback.

To come to God to change someone, you have to come with a pure heart, otherwise your prayers will take longer to be answered, because they are not coming from the purity of your heart. If I look back, there are times when my boyfriend and I used to have an argument, and I would kneel before the Lord and cry, and ask him to forgive me and clear my heart of the anger and pray for a change in my boyfriend; funny enough that change would truly occur. On the contrary, whenever, I went to God arguing and blaming my boyfriend, it was like my pleas fell on deaf ears and I was losing.

One thing for sure, is that I cannot come around to telling my boyfriend that something is wrong with him or pointing out his flaws without him being defensive and yet he found it so easy to point out mine. I did not want to be annoying and complain all the time because growing up I knew how annoying a nagging woman can be, and yet my boyfriend said that I sometimes come off annoying…(well its people on the outside who truly know You) ; and I have also promised to stop being on the defensive myself. So back to Stormie, she specifically referred to praying to God to change You first before, he begins to work on the Boyfriend. WHOAH..

So before I wrote this post I asked myself, what is honestly wrong with me. I feel like I have not done anything wrong, he is always in the wrong I said. So, it finally came to me that maybe I can start praying about the things that he vocally complains about me. (Thank God my guy is vocal about such)

  1. Time Keeping; I did not think it was that big of a deal, until I recalled the expression that he has on his face when I’m late for a date, or spending hours doing my makeup, or not prepared for anything when he comes over. The expression is one that says that he wants to wrap me in a ball and throw me off the balcony. (My guy wants a girlfriend who keeps time or at least shows an effort to keep time)
  2. Organized; I must confess I am not organized AT ALL!!! Like sometimes I like my mess because I can easily find my stuff through it. But I know how to hide so I do not think he has seen my mess full on (I’m one of those people who usually organize when someone is coming over)
    1. (a) The other thing that is in the organized categories is the finances. My finances are somewhat a mess. There are times when I have money and other times I am super broke…and I always tell myself that I’m only 23…lol…that is foolish, I know. So he keeps saying he does not mind but I am sure he does, it is not right I need to get myself together
  3. My phone is unavailable (most of the time) when he needs to talk to me and also when it is on, I do not pick (not intentionally of course). Do You know anyone like this? They really do not mind being offline. I honestly do not mind and I feel like I get a peace of mind. But it drives him mad…Super mad.
  4. I interrupt him a lot when he is talking. I just cannot seem to shut up! I am so opinionated and I need to understand that some I do not have to really talk and allow my man to feel like a man. Otherwise, we end up in a debate that is makes one of us angry.

So these are the areas that I am asking God to change in me. I am on my knees praying to God to deliver me from those weak points, I am physically going to work at it physically and keep a journal for progress. What are Your weak points that Your boyfriend keeps complaining about?

P.S: And lastly, if you’re still thinking ‘He also has weaknesses’, my response is, let’s be humble, come off our high horse and deal with OURS, then we shall deal with his later.


  1. Let go of your anger towards him and forgive him; MARK 11:24-25; Ephesians 4:32 Galatians 6:9
  2. Get on your knees with your pure heart and start praying for Yourself.

This is a sample prayer template which I also borrowed and tweaked from Stormie, you can also modify to suit You.

Oh LORD, I come to You today thanking You for everything that You have given me, the blessings and the love that I receive each and every day. I thank You for the fact that I actually know You or Lord. Thank You for the fact that I am in a relationship with (boyfriend’s name). Thank You for having made us meet for I know that it was no coincidence, for You know all things before they even happen. Lord I kneel down before You today to ask You to help me a good girlfriend for I do not know how to be one without Your help. Take my selfishness, impatience and irritability and turn them into kindness, long suffering and the willing ness to bear all things. Take my old emotional habits, mind sets automatic reactions, rude assumptions and self-protective stance and make me patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled. TAKE AWAY THE HARDNESS OF MY HEART AND BREAK DOWN THE WALLS I HAVE BUILT. Give me a new heart and work in me Your JOY, PEACE and LOVE.

Show me where there is sin in my heart with regard to (boyfriend’s name) and help me change and transform from being (mention Your weaknesses). Only YOU can change me Lord and make me new. I confess that there are times when I have been critical unloving, judgmental, unsupportive, resentful, rude and mean. I also have built up anger and disappointment towards him but lift all those feelings from my heart. Let me forgive him totally and FORGET. Let the way we COMMUNICATE rise to another level and let us be able to understand each other

Make me (boyfriend’s name) helpmate, companion, friend and number one fan. Let him feel peaceful restful and safe when he is with me. Let me learn how to care for myself and stay attractive to him with utter confidence in spirit, mind and soul. Make him proud of me as his girlfriend.

I lay all my expectations of (boyfriend’s name) at the Cross and release him of the burden of fulfilling me in the areas where I should be looking unto You. Let me accept him the way he is and not try to change him. I realize that in some ways he might not change but at the same time, I ask You to release him to change in ways that I never thought he could I leave any changing that needs to be done in Your hands, fully accepting that neither of us is perfect and only You are.

Teach me how to pray for my boyfriend and make my prayers a true language of love. Where love has died create new love between us. Show me what unconditional love really is and how to communicate it in a way that he can truly perceive. Bring unity between us so that we are in agreement about everything. Make us a team not pursuing separate, competitive or independent lives but working together, overlooking each other’s faults and weaknesses for the greater good of the relationship.

I pray that our commitment to You and to one another may grow stronger and more passionate every day. Enable him to head our relationship as You made him to be and show me how to support and respect him as he rises to that place of leadership. Help me to understand his dreams and see things from his perspective. Reveal to me what he wants and needs and show me potential problems before they arise Breathe Your life into this relationship

Make me a new person Lord and Give me a fresh perspective, a positive, outlook and a renewed relationship with the man You have given me. Help me see him with new eyes, new appreciation, new love, new compassion and acceptance. Give my boyfriend a new girlfriend and let that girlfriend be me.

In Jesus’ name I Pray


Feel free to comment down below


Love is Like Green Bananas?

Love is Like Green Bananas?

…written by guest blogger Brenda Seefeldt Amodea

I had a date with a guy once. His name was Mitchell. He was in a band that I hired for a youth event and he was pretty insistent on asking me out. Even the teens knew he was. I said yes.

On our first date he took me to a nice dinner in downtown Minneapolis. It was a nice dinner and we had a nice conversation. After that dinner we were walking on that nice summer evening in downtown Minneapolis.

Then suddenly he was down on his knees before me and proposed marriage. In front of a crowd…  Who stopped to watch… I said no to his proposal without even explaining why. Very loudly to the crowd Mitchell declared, “Love is like green bananas. It takes time to ripen.” The date ended shortly after that.

When you practice brave dating (Dating to discover who you are. The result of this learning process will then lead you to a good match to give you that love for a lifetime you desire.) Sometimes you date clunkers. This is a risk you take.

But isn’t dating always a risk? Vulnerability is required. Believe it or not though, brave dating is one of those safer risks because you aren’t placing so much pressure on this one date hoping he/she may be “the one.” You are just dating and learning.

A side benefit is sometimes you get to do some really fun things on that date. Especially if you can help shape the date idea to be something fun.

Another side benefit is you may have a great story to tell your friends that will cause laughter for many years to come. You don’t get that story without taking this step of bravery.

And a proposal mixed with love is like green bananas is a story worth telling again and again.

Mitchell and I had a second date, sort of. His band was playing at the county fair and I was there. He took me on a ride on the ferris wheel. At the top of the ferris wheel, he proposed again. I said no again. And he confidently said, “Love is like bubbles. It takes time to rise to the surface.”

I never saw Mitchell again. But I heard he got married to someone else not too long after. Is anyone surprised?

Brenda Seefeldt Amodea is a 35-year youth pastor.  What that means is she has “coached” many teens through high school, through singleness and into marriage.  What Brenda has learned over these 35 years as well as from her own personal experience of dating for 18 years before her marriage has been combined into Brave Dating Coach which is a blog, a small group, and a speaking ministry.  Brave Dating Coach can be found at http://www.Bravester.com where you will also find other blogs written by some of those grown teens in Brenda’s life who are finding their way to that love for a lifetime.

Love in Waiting welcomes guest bloggers to come, write, and share! If you would like to write for LIW or invite Candra to speak at your event, submit your information on our contact page.

Stay In Your Lane by Makeda Russell

Stay In Your Lane

by Guest Writer: Makeda Russell

I believe it is an important life lesson for us to ‘Stay in our lane’, as we run our race in life. The words that I am about to share is nothing new. It’s something you might have heard before, so, it’s just a reminder to encourage us in whatever season we are experiencing at the moment.

As we journey through this life, at some point in time we might focus our attention or take a glance at what God is doing in someone else’s life. It’s a natural tendency of man. Nothing is wrong with this, depending on the nature of our heart.

But today I would just like to encourage you my sisters and my brothers. Whether you are in your season of singleness or in your season of marriage, never get caught up with what God is doing for someone else or how God is blessing someone else; that we become discouraged in our own circumstance. Or, that we miss our own blessing or do not take the time out to prepare ourselves for our own blessings to come.

It’s not about what God is doing in someone else’s life….It’s about YOU.

It’s about how He (God) is dealing with you my sister; how He is dealing with you my brother. What is God doing for YOU? (not everyone else), what is God speaking to YOU? (not everyone else). Everybody’s story is different…different plot, different setting, different characters etc., and this is something that we must see for ourselves and walk in it without looking for familiarity or validation.

Let’s get comfortable with our own portion. You see, when our mind or our spirit is on everyone else and what God is doing for them, then we are not ready to run our race.  We can never run our race, when we are not in our own lane.

So yes, we might be 30, 40, 50 years old and is still waiting for marriage or some other blessing in our lives, but I encourage you, to stay in your lane…whatever it is you’re waiting on God to do, it’s your lane my friend- stay in it.

One of the things personally for me is that, whenever I am waiting for God to bless me, I always look for familiarity… so, is there another sister out there who has a similar story to mine and God came through for her? Or is there a sister out there who has a similar story and she too is waiting for God to bless her?

I tend to cling to familiarity and there’s nothing wrong with that, matter a fact it was in searching on YouTube for a familiar story in singleness, that I was blessed to have met Candra… (Thank you Lord). So you see, there is nothing wrong in searching for familiarity because it does bless us and encourage us.

But in keeping in our lane, sometimes, just sometimes my friend, there just won’t be familiarity; there just won’t be another story like ours or maybe not in the sense that we are looking for it, so through prayer we have to learn to glory in our own garden and trust God that He will make something beautiful out of it, despite how it might look now.

Jeremiah 29:11(Good News Translation) says, ‘I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring you about the future you hope for.’

2nd Timothy 4:7 (KJV), ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.’

Let’s fight that fight, finish our course and keep the faith my friend, as we run this particular leg of our race.

God Bless.

Makeda Russell is a 32 year Christian Single. She has never been married and is waiting on God for her God-ordained husband. 🙂

Makeda is not a professional writer but a school teacher by profession. She teaches grade six at her school in Jamaica. 

If you enjoyed this post, Stay In Your Lane, please share and leave your thoughts below in the comments!

Abundantly You Inc welcomes guest bloggers to come, write, and share! If you would like to write for Abundantly You or would like to invite Candra to speak at your event, submit your information on our contact page.

No Ordinary Stories

No Ordinary Stories by guest blogger, Farah J.

No Ordinary Stories by Farah
Written by guest blogger, Farah, from Rising with the Son

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! (Ephesians 3:20 MSG)

I love reading. I’m especially keen for books whose authors find new and appealing ways to tell their stories, stories that capture my attention and have me reading for hours. But the moment I pick up a book that has an ordinary and expected story line, I’m just as eager to put it back on the shelf.

What kind of story is your life telling? Is it an exciting and exceptional story, or a boring and ordinary one? We all have a story to tell and good readers can tell who the author of our story is.

People who have the same story line as everyone else around them, are often the ones who are writing their own stories. These are the stories that, sad to say, I’m done reading. They’re just ordinary and boring. I know how they all end. But people whose stories are being written by God, now these are stories that get me excited and curious. I want to know how they end.

God is a great writer. Just read the Bible and you’ll see for yourself. Its ancient stories have been reread and retold for many generations simply because their author is God.

Who isn’t curious to find out what happens to Abraham as he lays Isaac on the altar, or Daniel as he is thrown in the lion’s den? Not to mention the encouragement and inspiration we get from reading these stories. And mind you, they’re not a bunch of fairy tales, they’re real stories, written by a real God.

God would love to write your life story, so that it can do the same for others. Please give Him the pen back and let Him write a great story that everyone would want to read.

No Ordinary Stories by Farah J.I’m an empty page/I’m an open book/Write Your story on my heart/Come on and make Your mark/Author of my hope/Maker of the stars/Let me be Your work of art/Won’t You write Your story on my heart –Francesca Battistelli, “Write Your Story”

Love in Waiting welcomes guest bloggers to come, write, and share! If you would like to write for my blog or invite me to speak at your event, email GospelNewMedia@gmail.com.

Good Dating Practice: Commit Yourself to a Local Church

Good Dating Practice: Commit Yourself to a Local Church
Written by guest blogger, Brenda Seefeldt Amodea


This dating practice does not sound as difficult as other dating practices such as working on yourself and/or working out so you can better yourself.  Those are all good, by the way.  This dating practice is also practical—practical in a way that makes joining a Zumba class look more appealing.  I probably got some internal groans just from you reading the title.  Thank you for clicking through to read the entire post, by the way.

You may think that loving Jesus is enough. It’s not. Somehow this weird “Jesus and me” mentality has infected Christianity. For too many church has become listening to podcasts, watching popular preachers, hiking, skiing, or otherwise spend time in nature and calling it church. I personally do all of those things and that is not church. Yes, I do grow in my knowledge. I do have moments when I feel God’s presence. But this is not church. This is my growing faith.

The Bible calls us to be part of a local church. A physical church with real people.

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-15.

The New Testament church kept lists of its people. It cared for its people. It observed sacraments, shared things in common, and provided encouragement and correction.

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper, and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity–all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47.

I know. The local church is not like this. The local church is so flawed. It is. It is full of flawed people. Most people who are truly giving it their best. Yet it doesn’t turn out clean. Churches are full of messy flawed people. You can be offended by these people who are trying but then you should be offended by you who is also not perfect. When you are hiking in your beautiful solo worshipful moments, you are still with a flawed person. It’s just that this person (you) doesn’t seem so flawed when you are not worshipping with others.

Churches make us vulnerable. People are going to hurt us. People are going to be stupid. We are going to feel pain, rejection, disappointment. We are also going to feel joy, community, belonging.

Brave it up. Your identity in Christ should be strong enough to endure the uncomfortableness of vulnerability. Your identity seeps out when your decisions of bravery define you. When you choose vulnerability over numbing. The blessing is you get to also feel joy. Church does bring great moments of joy. It really does.

Commit yourself to a local church. And this doesn’t mean sitting in the back of a megachurch to take in the show. Find a church that knows your name. That will greet you by name at the door. If not at the door, that someone in the lobby will yell across, “Good morning, Brenda!”

Being a part of a local church becomes a brave dating practice because this is where you will most likely find your team. These are people you can be accountable to because they want the best for you.

The local church is where you can find a place in ministry to serve. Every single needs to be serving somewhere. You are capable. You are gifted. You are needed. And you have the time. I know you probably hate that you have the time but this is a great season in your life. Not a waiting season til that “one day” but one when you get to live your life to the fullest now.

When the adventure of following God is a part of your life now (as well as “one day”). The local church has plenty of opportunities you can dip your toes in or jump in with both feet because you know you have a passion for children or you know you are a developer of leaders or you know you can lead a mission trip. The local church provides the place to develop you.

Note:  If your church family idolizes marriage which means you are not a full member of this church because you are single (whether stated or perceived), find a better church.  Curse the dumb church who doesn’t realize the treasure that a single person is to the work of the church.  I mean that.  You are a full person full of passion that can be used in ministry in a thousand different ways.  You need to be recognized and released to be this full person by your church family.

When your church family honors you like this and gives you opportunity, you become quite attractive. (The church family also gains a lot too because they have you serving.) You are given the opportunity to be all that God has made you to be. And that is attractive.  Join a local church and become attractive.

The local church is also one of the few places in this crazy America where people from all walks of life gather together. Think about the circles of your life. Inside those circles are a lot of the same people. In a church you get everybody.

People you wouldn’t have a conversation with. People you wouldn’t know so you would never grow compassion for. This is one of the biggest blessings of being a part of a church family. It is also the reason why it is easier to worship alone. Jump in. You are a bit weird too.

Just a warning: Don’t find a local church in the hopes that this is where you are going to find your love for a lifetime. You may. Most likely you may not. But these are the people who are going to help you know when you have found that right match which will lead to a love for a lifetime. These are the ones who will pray for you through it all. These are the people who are going to rejoice (most likely with loud noises) when you find your love for a lifetime. And these are the people who are going to sit with you and let you cry when your heart is broken.

You want these people in your life. You need these people in your life. This is why you go to church. You may also love to worship and may also love to be stretched by some good, but in the end it is the people. It is your church family. You need them.

Brenda Seefeldt Amodea is a 35-year youth pastor.  What that means is she has “coached” many teens through high school, through singleness and into marriage.  What Brenda has learned over these 35 years as well as from her own personal experience of dating for 18 years before her marriage has been combined into Brave Dating Coach which is a blog, a small group, and a speaking ministry.  Brave Dating Coach can be found at www.Bravester.com where you will also find other blogs written by some of those grown teens in Brenda’s life who are finding their way to that love for a lifetime.

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Love in Waiting welcomes guest bloggers to come, write, and share! If you would like to write for AU or invite Candra to speak at your event, submit your information on our contact page; or email GospelNewMedia@gmail.com.