Read His Words Before Ours!
2015 began with my heart as mired and sludgy as the mucky winter roads. I was desperate for change, desperate for a new breath of life, but all I could see around me was gray, immovable STUCK.
The process of selling our home 18 months earlier had been a test of my faith in God’s provision and timing; one I felt I had failed miserably.
I was certain the only thing surpassing my bitter disappointment in myself
was God’s disappointment in me.
I couldn’t hear, or see, or pray my way past the resounding echo of “FAILURE.”
And without my lifeline to the One who loves me best,
all else became disjointed and broken,
like a clock that’s slipped a cog and locked up,
frozen and useless.
My second baby was 8 months old, and I was barely treading water in survival mode as I struggled with the nonstop multitasking that is mothering multiple children. I became a stay-at-home mama shortly after the birth of that same babe, and while there was abundant sweetness in the gift of time,
it was accompanied by deep isolation.
And then there was my husband,
and relearning how to connect with each other . . .
how to remember that he was my person . . .
how to be partners in our new life.
Finally, health concerns that had become more pronounced during and following my pregnancy left me fearful for my future. As a nurse, I had seen where the path I was on led, and it wasn’t anything I wanted for my family.
I easily identified with the Israelites of the Old Testament: a small, often bumbling little people who time and again found themselves hemmed in by insurmountable foes, their only hope for rescue in the God whom they’d habitually disobeyed and surely disappointed one too many times.
Sweet friend, have you been there?
The circumstances may differ, but perhaps you, too, have felt steeped in failure Overwhelmed and achingly alone?
Out of place in your own body, facing down a frightening future?
Starving for change, but without the knowledge or power to make it happen?
Terrified, in fact, that this gnawing desperation is all you’re destined to know?
. . . Hopeless?
Then take heart, dear friend, because in those dark winter days,
God began to show me that He is my hope,
and hope changes everything!
You see, He didn’t give up on His children.
He had a plan for their redemption–a bloody, terrible, beautiful and grace-full way to fulfill the Father’s tender longing for His lost ones.
In much the same way, He hadn’t turned His back on me in disappointment.
He was with me in my stuck,
and while I couldn’t see my way clear,
He had a plan for my rescue and the power to make it happen.
In a mind-boggling display of His timing, He nudged me to the brink of change in multiple arenas of my life. Within days of each other, I found before me a plan to address my health concerns, the start of a simple yet transformative journey of building spiritual discipline, and life-giving community.
“My dear one,” He seemed to say,
“Here is the way out of stuck, the way forward, the way of growth.
Shall we walk it together?”
And He held out His scarred hand.
Gathering the tiny courage I had, I slipped my cold fingers into His and whispered, “Yes.”
In that instant, nothing changed.
And everything changed.
My body was the same.
It would take time to implement a healthy lifestyle and see results.
My spiritual habits were the same.
It would take time to practice seeking Him, hearing His voice, and learning to obey.
My days looked much the same.
It would take time to build the relationships that would become my tribes.
And yet, everything was different,
because hope was suddenly alive and growing furiously within me.
Transformation would come, because the same God who gifted me with the eternal hope of a way back to the Father also promised to complete the work He began in me. Step by step, He would lead me through the change I so desperately needed.
My sister, His promise is for you, too.
When we feel stuck,
Desperate . . .
When we see only darkness giving way to deeper darkness,
He promises His presence.
He promises abundant life.
He promises to transform us into His spotless bride.
In those moments of despair, let us choose fight over surrender.
Let us choose our callings, our specially-designed purposes,
our ability to share Him with the hurting around us over passively waiting for heaven.
Let us seek His heart, listen to His words, and experience hope in Him breathing new life into our hearts.
And then, let’s watch in amazement
as hope changes everything.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!