Mike smith

In your life, where have you seen hope emerge from difficulty?

This question reminds me a lot of just how God has been faithful to me and my family over time. Some very vague (my apologies) examples would be me needing to pass an exam in order to keep my first job so that we could buy our first home. I was super stressed and unprepared, but I believe that Lord guided my thinking this day and help me to be successful. I also think about the years my wife and I spent trying to conceive our second son. Jessica kept holding on to hope that it would happen, we believed that the Lord would allow it, and now we have Easton. Not only that, the Lord himself named in with an arrow perfectly planted in the center of a road as Jessica and I were driving by. To us, this clearly demonstrated that it was all in His hand and according to His timing. I think about some health issues I was having for 3 years and really couldn't figure out what was going on. Like crazy symptoms that made no sense and seemed unrelated. I kept holding onto hope that God would hear my pleas, and he did. Finally figured out that it was a bacteria in my stomach causing most of my issues, and over the past year or so I've been healing from that. I still have some issues I'm dealing with, but overall I can see light at the end of the tunnel on this thing. My wife had written 1 Peter 5:10 ("And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.") on our bathroom mirror and I read that pretty much every time I walked in and out of the room. To be honest, I look back at the 3 years and think about how awful and hopeless I felt about a lot of it, but I see now how it was used to both humble me and draw me to a spot of being more dependent on God. There are lots of other things too, but these are a few that came to mind mid-work day. Overall, I've seen how God has brought us through things, and I remain hopeful in his word that he will continue to do so.

How has God used specific people to bring you to this point in your faith journey? 

Have any of these people been unexpected?

This has been mostly done through my wife and mother. I tend to fly off the handle pretty quick and start to think negatively. They've always been very good at reminding me both of God's word and how things have worked out in the past. I also think back on how my Great Grandparents exposed me to Jesus at a young age as well. They taught me biblical principles early that stuck with me even through the years I was walking away. Inside, I knew my life wasn't right, and I think this acknowledgement goes back to the things I was taught by them at a young age. Even when messing up a ton and causing myself a lot of pain, I had these things (truths) implanted in me, and they helped to guide me back.

What has “All My Hope” revealed to you about the nature of church family? How has this challenged some of the “typical” ways we view church community?

I'm not sure that this has really challenged me to see anything different. However, I do thinks that it's a great visible picture - a demonstration - a reminder - of what God has intended for us. We know we should love our neighbor, treat others as Christ would... regardless of race, income, gender, etc.... We know this. This short film just helps to bring that to life for me, and it gives an example of what this looks like in today's climate.

What has “All My Hope” revealed to you about the nature of church family? How has this challenged some of the “typical” ways we view church community?

I see this in our outreach program to the community, and I see this in how our church responds to it's own members who have a need or hard time. People loving on people has always been something I've seen and noticed in our church.