Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: A State of Hope

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A State of Hope

Since coming back to Butler last weekend, I've been a whirlwind of emotions. But in the aftermath of the excitement and loneliness, I've finally settled on a state of being that transcends simply "feeling." I am hopeful. Some moments, I am worried and I choose hope. Other times, my smile radiates and I bubble over with hope that fills my soul. But whether or not it is easy to pinpoint: I live in a constant state of hope. Maybe that's because I can now see how far Christ has brought me. Perhaps it's because the reality of the cross doesn't hit home until your heart desperately grapples with the sacrifice that brought us grace. Perhaps it is because I am redeemed in a more tangible way that I could see in the past, I am repurposed and replanted in the environment God has willed for me. 

I have come to know that the Lord of the universe does not leave it forsake His children. No matter what. He does not watch from a distance and He does not scrap His plans for us when we go our own way, ending up in a heap of tears and pain. And no matter how you and I have deviated from His plan, we cannot escape the love of the Father that pursues us.  His mercy that never fails to rescue us when we cry out. 

This is my room in my new apartment.
So as the doctors and athletic trainers have greeted me with smiles this week, I've soaked in the sweet goodness of the Lord- the goodness that has brought me back to life- because I wouldn't be here without it.

 And they have asked: What did you learn? How have you grown?  So I've mentioned the coping skills and the accountability. I tell them I've been surrendering control and coming out from isolation.

But then, I segue to my faith.   I confess that my progress thus far has been one prayer after another, as God has held me and stretched me during these seven months in treatment.  At the end of the day, what I've truly learned through this trial is that the Lord's loving kindness provides His children with hope.

Hold on though.

I don't want you to think, for even a second, that this is a blanketed statement of naivety. Because it's not. "Hope" is not just a fancy word for "wish" as we so often think. It is based on a firm understanding of what is true, founded on the character of the one we put our hope in.  I've walked through the fire and I've seen how the Lord delivers, there's no "wishing" involved.  I don't aimlessly throw up a prayer as a wish on a shooting star.  No. I've seen how He pursues us even when we turn our backs on Him in favor of our own will, so I confidently hope in His presence in my life. 

And by this point I feel like I'm rambling. I feel like I'm saying something that's already been said a dozen times- on this blog alone.  But isn't is such, that the more we learn, the more we see there is to learn.  This time last year, I thought I understood God's mercy and sovereignty, but I truly didn't until my life was in shambles and the hope of the Lord was all I had to turn to.

Maybe that's you today.  You're exhausted; you're lonely; you feel like it will never get better.  Well I've been relying a lot on Isaiah 41:10 this week, which says:

"So do not fear, for I am with you.  Do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

He will hold you.  And having the support of the Sovereign God is more than enough reason to hope.  And you'll keep stumbling along and learning and finding out there's more to learn, but that's part of the journey.  Keep your hope in the Lord, choose it even when your emotions say: "No!" The Lord is faithful and He will never forsake you.  Never.


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