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From Hope Valley Devotionals (Week 31): The Hope of Change

Happy Wednesday friends! As I shared several  months, I am excited to re-share some of the most popular devotional posts that I wrote in 2017-2018 (if you would like to see the complete list you can find it HERE!) and am excited to share this one this week! I hope that this continues to be a beautiful blessing even several years later!

*this was originally posted in 2017 during the week of September 11th*
Life is strange isn't it- many times we often fear and fight against change in our lives and yet there are other times, especially when we are stuck in a situation that feels that there is no end or way out we long for change to come in. In Season 3, Episode 1 of When Calls the Heart (the New Years Wish Movie Premier), there is a conversation that takes place between Elizabeth and one of her students, Laura highlighting this concept. 

Laura and her dad had suffered immeasurable loss as they had suffered the devastating loss of her precious mama. Laura in this scene was expressing not only her sadness, but the fact that her dad believed that nothing would ever be different. Nothing would ever change in their sadness and grief. Elizabeth's simple and yet profound response, "it can if you want it to", is a catalyst for the beautiful wisdom that there is always a hope for change. 

So many times in life it seems that our circumstances through difficult times and season will never change. We look at the road before us and instead of seeing a path with light at the end of the tunnel, we only see the continued road of the same thing occurring day after day. For those of you walking through a season like this- feeling that there is no hope that anything will change, my heart breaks for you and goes out to you. 


I have struggled with this at different painful seasons in my life, but one of the times I struggled the most was in the Fall of 2013. At that time I had been home dealing with my health situations for about a year and to be frank wasn't doing much better than when I had arrived home. I was able to walk a bit more and there was no feeding tube, but my health was in such a precarious state that I spent days upon days in bed and struggled to walk down our hallway to go the living room. When I had decided to take some time off from teaching and move home to be with my parents for help and support I never imagined that I would be bed bound for a couple of years. I longed to live a normal life. I longed to have a job. I missed teaching more than I could have expressed. I missed my friends. I missed being healthy. I missed everything and as the days and weeks turned into months and years I started to lose hope that anything could ever change. 

It was one of the most painful and loneliest seasons of life. As I look back on it now I still have tears for that season. It was messy. It was painful. It was difficult...and I felt no hope that anything could ever change. I watched the episode and felt my heart break for all who are struggling like Laura's father. I have been there and I know how hard it is to put one foot in front of the other.. to feel that you can't imagine things changing... and sometimes where words can't even express what you are feeling because the emotions are so deep.

In these times and days that stretch before you with no change my heart hopes that you can hear the gentle encouragement of Elizabeth from this episode. Change can happen and there is always the hope of change. Years ago I found this song and it was on repeat... played hundreds of times during that very desperate season...and is still played every single morning. I hope that it will be encouraging to you:
You are not forgotten dear friend. 
Hold on to the knowledge that change can come. 
Change will come. 

One of my favorite people (and author) who has an incredible influence on my life is Robin Jones Gunn. Many #hearies know her from the sweet movie, Engaging Father Christmas that premiered last year on the Hallmark Channel. Robin wrote a beautiful book called, Victim of Grace, which is highlighted, underlined, and tear stained. I have read it numerous times and can't recommend it enough if you are walking through a difficult season. One day she shared on social media the following quote that is now written in my journal and up on my wall where I see it everyday... I pray it will encourage you today...

"Have you ever counted how many of your dreams were dropped and shattered into pieces? It's not a good exercise for your spirit on most days. On some days, like today, you might wake up and discover that the broken pieces of your dreams have become something complex and beautiful. Their irregular edges had to be reshaped through the breaking in order for them to fit perfectly with other pieces in your life. You are a stained glass window in the making. And so am I. (The) mysterious handiwork of God is so beautiful and complex that when His light shines through the fragments of my many shattered wishes, I see Him. I see His glory. I am a stained glass window. And so are you. May you see the beauty today that God is crafting from your shattered dreams."

Today dear friends, let's live fully in the beautiful hope of change, believing that out of the shattered dreams change is coming. God is at work. And perhaps if you aren't going through a rough time... or if you have previously walked through a season of discouragement can I encourage you today to look around... say a kind word.. love big on those who are struggling... give a call... send a text... send a card... and just be there and "hold space" (as my dear friend Blythe shares about)

"And I will restore to you the years that were stolen..."
-Joel 2:25-


*original post written in September 2017 prior to Lori Loughlin's departure from the show*

Looking for past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing of all of the devotionals! 

I have received several emails asking me about the books by Janette Oke that the series is based on. You may remember that I mentioned in my very first From Hope Valley Devotional post that I had read Janette Oke's series back when I was a teenager. The original book series, "The Canadian West Series" was based on Elizabeth's aunt and her adventures (she also married a Mountie). Here are the listing of the books from that series (there are six) in order:


In the last several years Janette Oke released a new series entitled, "Return to the Canadian West" which you can find listed below in order:


I receive several emails a week asking where you can watch older episodes of "When Calls the Heart". If you have a Netflix account you can find seasons 1-3 there or you can purchase them on Amazon. You can purchase and watch all of the seasons and episodes by clicking on the links below:

*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*