Over the years, I have traveled frequently to share the message of finding HOPE despite the hardships in life we all face.  For some, the road has been more difficult than for others, but we all experience hurt and loss in our lifetimes.

I am amazed at the remarkable people I have met along the way who have tackled the hard work of recovery and who find faith in lieu of despair–even after the most tragic circumstances in their childhood and adult lives.

Over 15 years ago, a woman who had read a newspaper article about my ministry contacted me. I was busy doing presentations for churches and their leadership about how to understand the lasting effects of childhood sexual abuse on adult survivors and how to recognize and prevent child abuse within the church.

As we began to get to know each other, Maureen became a constant encourager for me to finish my book. She also began sharing her beautiful poetry with me.   She too, wanted to help others find healing from difficult pasts and gave me permission to share her work.  My favorite has always been her poem, Something Beautiful…



Within these next few pages

Lay some pieces of my life

Like fragments of a puzzle

Are the brokenness and strife.

There are pieces of grief and loneliness

Pieces of heartache and pain

Traces of woe and bitter tears

Which did my pillow stain.

Year after year I carried them

Buried within I’d hide

All those painful memories

I’d tucked down deep inside.

I thought to myself, “this is my lot

To carry this burdensome load.”

Until I met someone else

Walking down my road.

His hair ever so flaxen

His robe even whiter

He said, “Here take my yoke

For it is so much lighter.”

Then like the Good Samaritan

He began to tend

To the wounds and the pain

I’d thought would never mend.

As He tended to my needs

I saw within his palm

‘Twas a healing, soothing touch

He said, “I am the Balm.”

As He applied it to my heart

Much to my surprise

Not tears of pain, but tears of joy

Flowed freely from my eyes.

He gently pulled me to Himself

Like a lamb to it’s Shepherds’ chest

And I realized at that moment

My mind knew peace and rest.

He bound my wounds so gently

With something I’d only dreamt of

Something I yearned and longed for

Something we call, His love.

My healing came slow, but in His time

I finally reached the day

When in His love and tenderness

The bandages He pulled away.

My pain was gone, I was whole!

But much to my wonder and awe

I could hardly believe my eyes

‘Cause this is what I saw.

Every wound indeed was healed

But why was I still marred?

“Lord,” I said, “You’ve healed me

Yet why am I still scarred?”

He gently opened His hands divine

His scars for me to see

He said, “Child they’ll remind you

Not of pain, but victory.”

Now each one I gladly wear

As victories in my race,

As testimonies of His love,

His mercy and His grace.

Today I have a new song

Not of bitterness and strife,

But how my Lord made something

Beautiful of my life.

                                                                                                                          By Maureen Shirk


Maureen and I lost touch over the years and she has not seen the finished book, When Hope Hurts.  I do have faith that through modern technology, there is a good chance I will find her again. I would love her to know that her encouragement really did make a difference in my life and the finished work.

In the meantime, I hope my friends will enjoy her awesome piece, Something Beautiful.  I also ask that if this poem is shared to please give credit to the author. It was through this magnificent work I was able to grasp just what God was telling me, that true healing is possible and scars are powerful.  He made something beautiful of my life and offers the same for everyone who will let him apply His “healing balm”.

To order a copy of

When Hope Hurts


or book a speaking engagement,

Please visit http://www.findinghopeministries.comImage

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