The Vision of Hope Igniters began with a Dream
 
The dream began back in 2003 when God met me in my living room.  It was the first and only time this type of experience has ever happened to me.  I came home from teaching a Bible study at a drug and alcohol rehab center.   I felt this overwhelming sleepiness come over me.  It was all I could do to lay down and close my eyes.  A short while later I woke up to a the voice of God speaking to me and this is what I heard.  “a seed must fall into the ground and die, that it would bear much fruit”.  I knew right at that moment God was telling me something that was very important and the message went deep to the core of who I was.  I sat there pondering what God was trying to show me? 

All of a sudden I got very tired again and immediately had to lay down.  Then I heard His voice come again, “you shall call her Hannah Elizabeth”.  I was so startled I thought someone was in my house.  No one was there....BUT God was speaking.  That day I thought God was promising me a little girl.  Little did I know, that God wasn’t giving me a little girl but he was giving me a “new name” in the spirit and planting the seed that would “die” and several years later birth the vision and heart of Hope Igniters and my blog HannahsHeartbeat.


How God is Using My Journey to Fulfill His Promise

In 14 years of ministry and the workplace, I myself have gone through times on the mountain and times in the valley including a period where I had "lost hope" and was completely shattered. God held my hand the whole way through to a place of restoration and LIFE. As I have been pursuing my God given dreams, He has shown me that the story I have to share can help those that are hopeless and crushed in spirit. Jeremiah 29:11 has always been one of my favorite verses and I have kept it close to my heart all these years as I myself have pursued the dreams that were being placed in my heart. "For I know the plans that I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (NLT)  
 
My heart is to Ignite Hope in those that:
  • Have lost direction or hope in life
  • Who are stuck in unforgiveness or bitterness
  • Men and Women struggling to recover from the wounds of abuse (emotional, financial, physical or sexual)
  • Anyone struggling to create healthy boundaries in their life
  • Those with low self-esteem or self-worth
  • Anyone who struggles with self-hate
  • Those who have given up dreaming of a better future 


My Story 

I am a Woman who has been Set Free!
Luke 13:11-13; 16-17 
(11) And behond, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.  (12) But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Himself and said to her, "Woman, you are loosed (released, set free) from your infirmity (weakness, disease, sickness)," (13) And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 
(16) Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound(to bind, fastened with chains) - think of it for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?" (17) And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.


I can relate to the woman in this scripture in SO many ways! Growing up in a fatherless home and being sexually abused at six years of age created a beginning for me that was shaky from the start.  My whole life I felt bound by my past.  As a teenager old memories of the abuse began resurfacing that I had to deal with and I struggled to know who I was.  I had very low self-esteem.  I was afraid to trust people or truly open up for fear if they knew what I had been through I would be labeled as broken.  Huge waves of shame and fear washed over me on a regular basis.  I felt trapped.   

I tried to reach out for help in every way I knew how for example to family members, friends, counselors and nothing seemed to satisfy the deep hole in my soul.  My friends tried their best to support me but I did not get the support and validation from my family that I needed so I started seeking out things to "dull the pain".  I struggled to set healthy boundaries for myself, overindulged in alcohol, sought comfort with food and my emotions were like a roller coaster ride.  I was falling deeper into depression and had a growing bitterness and resentment about my life and why I had to endure all these things.  But God had a plan!  He never let go of me.  

In 1998, I started going back to church and I gave my heart to the Lord.  Instantly, God began doing a deep healing work in my mind, heart and soul.  I didn't want to be a victim any longer and I started learning how to let go of the hurts and wounds of the past as well as letting go of the unforgiveness I had been carrying.  It was not an easy process, but step by step as I listened to the direction the Lord gave me.  As I did, He took my feet out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a solid rock.  He took the brokenness, heaviness, depression, fear, anxiety, loss, shame, inadequacy and gave me so many better gifts in their place.  He "broke the chains" and "loosed me from my infirmity".  2 Corinthians 5:17 was my lifeline for a long time.  It says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new."  I started seeing myself through new eyes and learned how to let him make beauty from the ashes of abuse and abandonment.  Each day as I stood upon the truth of God's Word, I learned to trust the Lord to carry me through the pain into His purpose for my life.

I began to serve the Lord anyway I could.  As He poured His love into my heart I just kept falling deeper in love with His heart and I was so grateful for all He was doing, that I couldn't help but tell others about what He had done.  As I taught bible studies, preached, spoke, led and prayed with others I felt the call to ministry continue to grow.  I knew God was calling me to share my testimony of how I came "From the Pit to the Palace...My Journey to Freedom", of how God was redeeming my past and how He desired to set others free as well.  I prayed for years and continued to seek His healing and redemption.  Fast forward a few years, after I went through several additional loses in my life and being broken all over again, God began to bring the pieces all together in my life.  Last year in 2012, I launched Hope Igniters!

I hope that through me sharing some of my story, that you will see and feel that you are NOT alone.  I hope that my story will encourage you to pursue a path of healing and life.  God bless you and may you know that His arms are always open to you.