“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NIV)
It’s hard to believe we are on Day 25! God is leading me on an incredible journey that has taken unexpected, but fruitful turns. While He is still refining the message I will share with you tomorrow, I am honored to have a guest blogger joining us today. Leanne Penny shares her heart over at leannepenny.com as she allows God to minister through her life and words, “journeying with those hurting, healing, and choosing joy.”
I have known Leanne since 2007 when we met in a counseling class at Asbury Seminary in tiny Wilmore, KY. I was smitten with the fabulousness that is Leanne. We found many common interests including food, helping others, college football, and being silly and spending time with good friends.
While her stay in Wilmore ended before mine, a fellow Okie, her husband Kel, brought her back to my home state (OK), and Leanne now makes a lovely home in Ada, OK for her family, which includes two beautiful children.
Leanne is a constant source of inspiration for me and many others, and she is on my must-read blogs list. When I think of people that embody the above verse from 2 Corinthians, Leanne comes to mind. She has suffered great loss and tragedy in her young life, has walked in utter darkness, but she has clung to God’s saving grace, letting His light shine through her life. Where she has found comfort in Christ, she is now able to offer that same comfort to others who are hurting, broken, and bruised. God is truly creating her ashes into something beautiful.
I am blessed to call her my friend, and so grateful she is willing to share her words of hope with us today. You can read more about Leanne HERE. Check out her story HERE. I encourage you to visit her blog, follow her on twitter, or like her Facebook page, so you can journey with Leanne as restoration and joy is found.
Sucker for Hope- The Pirate Elephant Saga
by Leanne Penny
This is my one year old son’s little toy elephant. When you pull his tail he plays a lullaby and our little man can’t nod off without him. He was intended for a soft snuggly life of comfort and happiness. The only problem is that when I was painting my sons room “peaceful meadow” green a few months ago, I dropped a big drip of paint directly on his eye. My son wasn’t even all that attached to him before I maimed his eye with “peaceful meadow” but after I blinded him in one eye I started putting him in bed with our son every night, to try to make up for maiming him so badly. I feel very real guilt over what I did to this poor elephant, so much so that I’ve spent real time thinking about ways to make it up to him. I feel like in his current state he’s probably the creepy guy of the playroom, that when we all leave the house and the toys come alive that he’s probably singled out and alone. The thought of this breaks my heart, so I have decided to give him a cool orange eye patch and give him a sort of “dos equis most interesting” toy in the world persona.
I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about why I got so broken up about the one eyed elephant. I came to understand that it touched on something deep inside me, I have a real passion to see people realize their created potential. My heart breaks for those who experienced pain that has stunted their growth and screwed with their hope. I hate the thought of orphans across the world that go uncared for, unloved and unfed. And yes, I experience real guilt when I maim a stuffed elephant.
I am a bleeding heart when it comes to hope, restoration and redemption. I love to go out to the salvage yard and give an old chair a new chance to bring warmth and comfort to our home. When a marriage fails, a diagnosis is terminal, a small business doesn’t make it or a friendship cannot be reconciled something aches within me. All that hope down the drain instead of growing and bringing beauty to our world, it’s just not the way it should be. Our world and lives are full of moments where hope doesn’t pan out, where potential isn’t realized but rather squandered, every moment holds potential for beauty but as we grow up we stop seeing the world for all that it could be and we start to give up hope.
This passion for hope and restoration is something that God put inside all of us, in my world sometimes it comes out in silly ways but mostly it defines my calling. I feel called to help people restore their hope, to unload their brokenness and exchange it for the easier yoke of God through Jesus, whose entire life’s purpose was to bring restoration to everything. When you see something broken, full of unrealized hope and potential and something stirs within you, that’s God using you to bring about his redemptive work. His business is to restore, renew and reunite. Romans 8 says all creation groans to be set right again, from the fields all the way up to the cosmos. It’s funny what God will use to remind us of our calling.
All around us are is brokenness and God works through our hands and feet, I so want to be used this way today.
How are you being nudged and broken to redeem and restore?
Well I’m off to sew an eye patch for a musical elephant. Hope you get after something quirky and wonderful of your own.