How do we live into hope? How do we unpack such a thing in our hearts?
It is something we are reaching for that hasn’t come yet. It is looking, watching, and waiting.
It is not knowing when, or how. Keeping our hearts expectant, alive, and fresh with wonder. Even when some days it hurts to lift our head.
It is living with more ambiguity than answers. Accepting uncomfortable, because that’s the reality of where we are. Planting our faith in this moment, to see God here.
It is courage to know this story hasn’t been fully written. There is more to come. I have yet to see, but it is coming.
How do we hold onto this longing in our hearts — this thing that keeps us walking forward — when our storm hasn’t passed and our spirit wears thin? Because for anyone willing to admit it, life can be really, really hard. And if you’re walking that, it’s painful.
I’ve lived enough trauma, walked enough healing, to have some idea of how to go through. There are no simple formulas, but I’m grateful for this journey: while it has been seasoned with pain, it has also grown wisdom.
I want to offer one glimmer of inspiration that God has given me over many seasons and years of pain. Gather hope.
You actually have to gather it. Just like the Israelites had to leave their tent each morning to pick up the manna God provided for that day. Gather hope. Surround yourself with encouragement and truth.
I gather quotes, scriptures, songs, and reread them over and over until they sink down deep into my soul. I gather clippings from emails, books I’m reading, facebook and twitter. I make playlists with songs that encourage me for that season. I light candles, turn on lamps, and constantly bring myself back to hope.
Things will resolve and unfold over time. But as we wrestled with how hard it is to wait in recent posts, we have to cultivate hope:
God’s wait is so purposeful. He is accomplishing transformation in our hearts that we can’t yet fully see. He is orchestrating details for what will unfold next. But we’ve got to give him time.
It’s a one step at a time kind of progress. Perhaps slow at times, but I’m realizing slow isn’t a bad thing. It is the time you give to something of quality. Something that matters. Something deep. And how you get there is just one moment, or one day, at a time… and then the next.
What is hope if you already have the answer and the clarity? Where is the wrestling and growth in that? We hurt, we stretch, we get uncomfortable….but our lives are transformed there.
We will come through different than when we began. Stronger. Healthier. Deeper. More whole. If we invest well.
So as we wait, as our hearts long for something yet unseen, let’s hold onto the gifts God gives us along the way. Gather them up. It will sustain us to walk another day.
(If you want to follow me on twitter or facebook, I attempt to post words that bring life, faith, and hope. I’d be honored for you to join me in that journey.)