When Hope is Nowhere to Be Found
Goodness. It’s been a minute since I’ve written in this space. I’ve been staying over on the podcast, weekly Monday Minute emails, and social media. But man, I have missed this space.
Where it’s just me and you.
Can I be honest with you?
The last 6-9 months have been crazy hard for me. Actually back that up. The last year has been hard. I know I’m not alone in that. The year from hell that changed everything. In one year’s time, I lost my job, lost the amount of income I was used to, lost a home I loved, lost my church home. My kids lost their GG and the end of their school year and their home, too. We lost all sense of routine and normalcy. I also *almost* lost my dream to be a published author because the publishing house said no in November.
And I was hoping they would say yes. More than I've allowed myself to admit.
Loss on top of loss, and I had no energy to process what was happening. I’m not even sure I do now.
And I began spiraling deeper into myself, escaping into the world of fiction so reality wouldn’t sting so much. I began numbing and isolating. I lost myself somewhere along the way.
But I didn’t realize that I’d also lost hope.
Though I lost so much last year, I also gained. A new job that was an answer to years of prayer. A job that is so life-giving and coworkers who are true friends. Gained a new church home— and though that process has been hard (because grieving sucks and who likes having to be a beginner again?), I am so thankful for a place to plug in. I gained a new place to live that is going to be a great fit for our family (even though it’s still in the construction phase). I gained some amazing new life long friends this last year. I gained new perspective and new awareness. I gained clarity and boldness and vision.
But hope? Hope was nowhere to be found.
Because instead of seeing all that I gained, the losses were too much. The new was too much. I couldn’t keep up. The waves were pulling me under.
I couldn’t seem to find the light. The darkness was too dark.
And I think it would be easier to lose myself to the darkness. To just say, “to hell with it all. I can’t do it anymore.”
“I can’t be a working writer anymore. I can’t follow this dream. It’s never going to go anywhere. I’ll never catch up. My numbers will never be good enough for a publisher to say yes.”
“Making new friends is too hard. I’ll just keep to myself.”
“It’s too hard being married to a coach. It feels like I’m a single mom. I don’t know if I can fight for it anymore. ”
“Life is not what I hoped it would be. The disappointment is too great.”
But my dear friends, we have a God of hope. The very author of hope. The one who died and rose again so that we’d never lose hope again.
You see, hope isn’t lost just because my life doesn’t look how I dreamed it would. Hope isn’t dependent on my circumstances, on my losses or gains. It is anchored in the very person of Christ. And Christ alone.
He is the only reason I can have hope that this world is not my home. Hope of something greater, more eternal. Hope of an unbreaking, unconditional love. Hope of new things. Of new mercies. Of beauty instead of ashes, of strength instead of despair. Of joy instead of mourning. He is the one.
And it’s time to remember to fix our eyes on Him, the author and perfecter of our faith. To take our eyes off of the mess that is our lives. The pain. The loss. The grief. The fear. The heartache. The disappointment. The hurt. We see it. We acknowledge it. But we don’t let our eyes stay there. We turn our eyes toward Jesus.
The One standing on top of the waves, holding out his hand, asking us to come to Him. We fix our eyes on Him.
Because when we do, the darkness doesn’t seem so dark anymore. The losses and the pain don’t drown us. Because he is there. Never leaving. Never forsaking. Holding us up with him.
May the God of hope fill you.
May his eyes steady you.
May his hands hold you.
“Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” Hebrews 6:18b-19, NLT
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace. - Helen Howarth Lemmel, 1922