Waking Up to Hope

My clock radio woke me up this morning to an amazing presentation by Carol Kent. I became wide awake as I listened, once again, to her superb articulation of her son’s imprisonment for life for taking the life of another man. What I heard the loudest was her reaching out to God and receiving His hope and presence in the midst of her excruciating pain. After sharing all her despair, she articulated God’s unconditional love for her and her unconditional love for her son. Her message was emotional and moved me to crawl out of bed knowing that whatever the day holds, it pales in comparison to the suffering of this sister in the Lord.

How does a mother look at her incarcerated son, accept God’s plan for his life and not get bitter at the grueling circumstances? Her strong character speaks to me of reliance on God’s Word in these days when many parents punish any disciplinary action and pity the child who then becomes a victim. This very thing happened to my husband when he was a small boy. He told me of how he got kicked out of cub scouts when he was a kid because he was humiliated by another boy who made fun of his soap creation. My husband got so angry he not only destroyed the bully’s soap but every kid’s soap in class. I was appalled at my in-laws reaction to the whole thing, patting him on the back giving him an atta boy so no one will walk all over him in life. They did him no favors by crippling him emotionally and his anger is hard to keep in check today.

Carol’s hope is found in Jesus alone and I can’t stop thinking of the peace and strength that comes with that kind of surrender even though it is still hard to face each day. I’ve had a very thought provoking morning! I’ve heard it said that the song you wake up to is yours for the day. Today the message I heard of God’s unconditional love is mine as I live out this day.

I end this with a great big thank you, dear friends, for all your love, cards, emails and encouragement after my mom died. My brothers and my sister asked me to impart their gratefulness to you for carrying us in prayer. Before I flew home from Chicago, we discussed all the wonderful things we've learned these past weeks and I agree with my sister who stated that most importantly, we learned the amazing power of prayer.

This post connects to Spiritual Sundays.


  1. I love you precious one, prayers continue.

  2. I've been kind of away. I am so sorry to learn about your mom. Know that I will hold you and your family in prayer.
    Carol Kent spoke at our church a few weeks ago. Yes, her testimony is truly inspiring.

  3. I see those mothers who come to jail to visit their sons and I often wonder...what thoughts go through their head...But the pain on their faces is visible...And I often think, "God, You are the only answer. You are the only hope..." The way you touched my life...

    Thank you for reminding us of God's unconditional love...May you be comforted always and be strengthened because of His love. God bless and love to you sister.

  4. You have certainly been in my thoughts & prayers, Mary. How like you to glean the good in the midst of sorrow.

    God bless & comfort you,


  5. Hugs to you dear one during this time.

  6. Mary, I've been thinking of you as I know of the loss you've experienced. I'm so glad you had the opportunity to spend time with her before she died. Her name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life and so is yours. That can be so comforting, especially as you go through your mourning.

    I met Carol Kent when I was on the leadership team for my church's annual women's conference. She was our keynote speaker the year that her son was sentenced to life in prison. I watched her minister to women who also had sons and daughters who made poor choices in life. The Lord used her mightily that weekend even as she was going through her own very real pain. Her husband was there with her and was such a support.

    It's so important to be aware of what we listen to. I love that you had your radio set to a station that would be something inspiring to wake up to. Sometimes I can get so focused on my problems. And it's good to know we are not alone. Many others face obstacles and yet continue to choose to cling to the Lord. He is our strength, our help in times of trouble.

    May He comfort you Mary especially during this time.

    Love you,

  7. That's great food for thought, thank you :)

  8. a friend of mine spent some years in prison...it's where he found God. I think sometimes something that looks so horrible can have a positive side to it. Praying.

  9. Mary, Even though your heart is broken, you take the time to see the good in others and what an encouragement you are to all of us....

    I will continue to pray for you. I am so glad you got to spend some time with your Mom before she went to live with Jesus....One day you will see her again.....

  10. Very thought provoking post. Sorry to hear about your mom. It is always difficult to have our parents die, no matter their age...but we grieve with the joy of knowing we will see them again.
    God bless

  11. What a great post. So often we forget God's promise to be with us, no matter what. Blessings on you and your family. I am following you!

  12. Even in the most heart wrenching circumstances, God has a plan. We may not understand it, but we can trust that it is better than we could think up. Maybe Carol's son is going to come to repentance (if he hasn't already) and reach others for Christ in jail... Who knows? Well, God does. What an amazing testimony she has on relying on God and trusting His way NO MATTER WHAT! Blessings to you! Joan

  13. What an inspirational title, "Waking up to Hope" ... wow, Mary!!!
    Again, you've provided delicious food for thought ... thank you!
    Love you,

  14. My daughter heard this program and told me about it. I can't imagine how a mother's heart would break in such a painful situation. What my daughter mentioned is that so many times we go through a trying time but there is light at the end. This is a trial that will never end.

  15. Beautiful post, Mary!

    I didn't know this about Carol Kent - oh my, what a testimony she is to the faith and hope we have in the Lord!

    It was my pleasure to be a small part of your mom's last days. I hope that all of your family has been comforted in these last days by our prayers.

    God is so good.


  16. There are so many amazing & inspiring people around us. I am looking forward to going to see Joyce Meyers this weekend.
    You have been in my thoughts as well... xo


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