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The Best Decision My Parents Made During My Worst Time

August 12, 2016

Hey everyone! I’m Lysa’s oldest daughter, Hope, and I’m honored to share a bit of my heart with you today.

The teen years can be difficult. I had a season in my late teens that was heartbreaking for those who loved me most.

Though I grew up in a solid Christian environment, some things went haywire for a period of time when my heart grew cold toward God and I was pulled in by friends making unwise decisions. It’s not like I wanted to rebel against my parents. I thought I could stray a little and still be fine.
I was wrong.

When my parents learned about some choices I’d made, they did something I’ll never forget and I’ll forever be grateful for: They pulled me in close.

They didn’t shame me. They didn’t push me away. They didn’t label me.

Yes, they were hurt. Yes, they cried. Yes, they drew hard boundaries in my life to protect me. But they didn’t make me feel like I was the sum total of my mistakes. They quickly admitted how desperately they needed grace; therefore, they would walk with me in grace. They prayed and asked God to give me relief from my unbelief. And they waited and watched for my heart to soften.

Instead of focusing on how bad I’d been, they pointed to all the good they knew I could do. They showed me how the world was big, full of needs and that I had a role to play. I had an assignment in the great plans and purposes of God. They cast a vision for me that was much better and eventually so much more appealing than the poor choices I’d been making.

It started with me working with a precious group of women who grew up on the other side of the world. They moved to the U.S. after their homeland became too dangerous. Several of them had scars from being shot and each one had stories that shocked me.

Working side by side at my dad’s restaurant, I fell in love with them. And watching their love for God and joy in Jesus changed me. A deep and unshakable mercy stirred a passion in me to go to countries where people are hurting.

I’m in my 20s now, happily married, and working full time at Proverbs 31 Ministries. But that passion to help others has never left. Recently, I traveled to India to serve a group of people so rejected in their society that if they drink or eat from a clay dish in public, it has to be broken so others won’t get “tainted by them.” It broke my heart, and made me determined to learn more so I could help!

I watched as others shamed them and pushed them away. I watched as others labeled them the “Untouchables.” And an unrelenting desire rose up in me to pull them close. Just like my parents did when I was at my most desperate time.

I will not push past this need. I will not be okay with them being labeled. I will find a way to help.

That’s what you do when you’ve personally been touched by deep grace and unshakable mercy. That’s what you do when you realize drawing near to those who are brokenhearted is what the Lord did for us, as our key verse says: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

And you find ways to pass it on.

Whether it’s your home, a restaurant down the street or in a slum halfway around the world, someone needs to experience the grace of God and a person who loves and believes in them. It changed my life.

This can be hard and we don’t always know what to do. It was hard for my parents, and it’s hard for me when I see people in need. I may not do things perfectly, but with God’s wisdom and strength, I will try.

Lord, give me relief from my unbelief. I don’t know how to change things, but I’m committed to living out Your truth today and being obedient to what You put in front of me today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

If you’d like to learn more about our time in India, watch the video below we filmed while we were there!

My mom is giving away every penny of her earnings from her new book, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Left Out, Less Than, and Lonely to various Christian ministries around the world. And one of those ministries is using the Bible to teach the women labeled as “Untouchables” to read. So, by purchasing this life changing book for you, you will be changing the life of another. Thank you for your support! Click here to get your copy of Uninvited today. Or purchase wherever books are sold.  

One more thing I wanted to tell you – my mom, my two sisters and I will be doing a Facebook Live together to talk about how to help your kids process rejection through the lens of God’s love. Tune in TONIGHT at 8pm EST on my mom’s Facebook page here.

(Take a quick peek into my life by visiting my website here.)

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  1. Toni Ryan

    Well done Hope! May God bless you as you follow the path the Lord has set before you.

  2. Pankti

    I live in India! I am 21, and recently accepted Jesus as my saviour. Oh Hope, if I knew about P31’s India Mission, I would have loved to to join/volunteer in anyway possible. In India, where most of the population is peace-loving, tolerant, there are few who have narrow mindsets which are governed by old superstitions. It makes me so sad when everyone around me is so far away from Jesus!My OBS Small Group ladies know about itt so well and are my support when everyone physically around me are non believers.

  3. Frankie Gonzalez

    This is beautiful. What a great way to start my day. God bless you always in everything you do.

  4. Beth

    Hope, I love your story! I love how God wooed you with your parents’ grace and love and the stories of others who are hurting and need God. He is using you in a mighty way to impact His Kingdom! I’m looking forward to tuning in this evening! I love a good Mother/Daughter story! ? Love and Prayers, Beth

  5. Amy

    I had no idea your mom is donating 100%of the proceeds to different charities. I’m so thankful I purchased a set. What a blessing. Your mom is an amazing woman and her words always speak life to me. I’m so thankful for you and your testimony today as well as your heart for serving others. Your family…. such a treasure!!!

  6. Kari

    Thank you Hope for sharing a part of your story with us! It’s so makes me sing praises to the Lord to see your trip to India to share the love of Jesus with these so called untouchables. It breaks my heart to know that that word is even used and to know that they are treated like they are not even human. We all need loved and it is my pleasure to buy this book for myself, for those I know…knowing it will help others somehow, someway that can make all the difference in those precious souls. We all can have a part of bringing hope and love to the world. I’m so glad that Grace has touched your heart❤️❤️❤️ Gives me hope for the young generation I see around me and believe me I will be on my knees even more! God bless you beautiful soul!

  7. Roxanne

    Dear Hope and Lysa! Thank you for your ministry and for allowing us to participate in it with our prayers and the purchase of this book… May Father God bless all your efforts on His behalf! In Jesus name, I pray!

  8. Jessica Smith

    Hope, your story has touched me in many ways. I am in a struggle with “powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil” regarding my 17 year old daughter, Olivia. Your story shines light on the circumstances I find myself in. She recently told me she wants nothing to do with me. She does not live with me. So, I am unable to “pull her close to me”. When I tried, I built taller walls between us. Even though she told me not to pray for her; I fight this battle on my knees. I realized at an early age she had a heart for missions. She would look for opportunities to witness to her friends by pointing out the stars in the sky then telling them the story of Abraham. She eventually witnessed to her friend’s mother. She was planting seeds at the age of 8 years old. Your post today gives me new insight that even though she wants nothing to do with me; God can show me ways to “pull her close”.
    I came across your mother’s blog this week and it has been such an encouragement to me.

  9. teresa coelho

    wow. powerful testimony served with an I love you live chat. well-done

  10. Tess Gillaspy

    You might want to link arms with a ministry that reaches out to the “untouchables” in India, Touching India.org

  11. Robin

    What a beautiful people. These who are last in our land will be first in God’s! Bless you, Hope, for your testimony and what you are doing.

  12. Andrea

    Thank you so much for sharing the amazing work God has done & is doing in your life!
    Will there be a replay of your session from tonight?
    I missed it!

  13. Aniela

    I’m sitting here, only four chapters into this book sobbing. I feel like Lysa has walked along side of me my entire life. And detailing every thought of rejection I’ve had and the painful process of healing such a poor mindset. Even to the point of Hope describing the “untouchables”; because as a child that’s how my peers treated me. They wouldn’t sit where I sat for fear of an invisible contamination. Even the bizarre similarity of living with an aunt that had acres of land as my parents divorced in middle school. I had started to write what I thought would be a book, discussing my life just as Lysa has done, but this is so beautiful I would never want to compare. Thank you for this encouragement that I am not alone/weird/undesirable in the things I struggle with.

  14. Sherrie-Brooke Breiner

    UnGlued is AMAZING so far! Very early on, but I absolutely love and am having my small group go through this with me ASAP! I got the DVD along with participation guide in order to do so. Since there are 12 chapters in the book and 6 study sessions, do you recommend I read 2 chapters each week leading up to the study?? Can’t wait for the girls to dive in to this!!!

  15. Sandy

    Hi Hope!
    I just wanted to tell you what an encouragement your testimony has been to me. I have a 19 year old daughter who has struggled in various ways much like you… getting too close to the fire and thinking she won’t get burned. It is so hard to watch, but the blog your mom posted a couple of years ago titled “3 Ways to Press Through Unanswered Prayer” (that I think were about your struggles) encouraged me so much I’ve carried a print out of it in my bible for the past couple of years and committed to pray more and worry less. My daughter has come through the worst of that struggle, but as soon as she was mostly on the other side of that, she started struggling with doubt about her faith… which, as a mother, is heartbreaking. I’m trying to pray her through that, as well, and your testimony today really encouraged me to pull her closer at a time when her actions sometimes feel like she’s rejecting me and so it would be less painful to keep her at a distance..
    THANK YOU for sharing your journey with us. For each person who writes to say you encouraged them, I’m sure there are many, many more who you have touched.
    Much love to you and your mom.
    ~ Sandy


  16. Precious Nkeih

    Thank you for sharing your amazing story, Hope.
    It is a blessing to see a Jesus-loving lady like Lysa raise a Jesus-loving daughter like you.
    I’m equally touched by the fact that all the money from the book, Uninvited will be given to ministries around the world. God bless your hearts. Thank you for being a great example!

  17. Sydney

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, it is something I really needed to hear. My 17 year old sister has been making poor choices and pushing God far away from her, much like I did when I was her age. I have always been honest with her about my past and shared the hurts that came along with it, with hope she would not make the mistakes I made. The past year has been rough for us, as she has made the same choices I made despite my honesty with her. Out of frustration with her choices and my own hurt I have pushed her away more than drawing near to her. There have been times when I have drawn near and made progress with her and there are times when I have pushed her away. Thank you for the reminder that loving her where she is, is the best thing I can do for her and for me.

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