The whole purpose of The Faith & Hope Project, is to help people. I see it like branches on a tree. Branches reach towards the sun to get life and bear fruit, as do I want to reach out to people to be a source of light and fruit in their lives. I believe that it is only in helping others that we help ourselves. This belief became very real to me on a mission trip I went on in summer 2011. Seven of us embarked on a month long journey to Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was beauty, it was heartbreaking and it was an unforgettable trip.

The only plan that we had going in was to spread and give love. That’s it! And yet, that idea as our plan and purpose almost seemed insignificant. Many people go on mission trips to make a difference, to change the world.  There were many times that I measured ‘spreading love’ against ‘changing the world’ and I immediately felt deflated. Why? Why was spreading love not enough? It is. Jesus did it, and we’re called to do it too.

Spreading love is a huge deal and in my opinion, I’m not doing nearly enough. I’ll stay closed up in my bubble of existence like the Bubble Boy on Seinfeld, eyes glued to my iPhone, shutting out all existence and all opportunities to be a light that shines for another person. It is so easy to shut off! I want this website to be the opposite notion to shutting off and shutting down. I want it to be about reaching out, giving of myself and sharing my heart while in turn using my gift of listening to take in what people are saying to me. Showing them that they mean enough to me to shut my phone off and give them my full attention. Will I succeed at this every day? Certainly not! There will be days when I’ll be Little-Miss-Cranky-Pants and nothing will get me out of my shell but at least I’m cognizant, open and aware.

By nature I can be a very private and reserved person; part of it being who I am and part of it because I’ve been hurt so much – but isn’t that be where the miracle is? If I can be hurt, have my heart shattered in a million pieces in a million ways and still desire to be a person of service, a person that loves, isn’t that a mission worth fighting for?? I believe it is, and it is my intention to do just that, giving back to the community, speaking in schools to kids and teens about peer pressure, bullying, drugs and insecurity (all things I know a lot about) to going to conferences all over the world representing my book and my sharing experience, strength and hope, I plan to give it all, to give it from my heart and to give it for you.

Each one of you has faced something that has brought you pain. Talk to me about it, what have you gone through? What would help YOU?

Love and hugs, Christine.