Do you ever get halfway (or more through the year) and wonder how you’re doing with those aspirations and areas of focus you decided on in January?
If you’ve read this blog for very long, you know I am a One Word girl. I don’t make resolutions, because I’m far too prone to break them in a weak moment.
Instead, I ask God to give me a word to focus on for the year. Some years, I resonate with the word right away. And I see how God weaves it into the fabric of who I am.
Other years, I receive the word. I study it.
And I wait.
And wait for God to make some grand change within me. Or at least give me new understanding about it.
That’s my word for this year. And I’ve pondered it. Meditated on it. Tried to see what God wants me to learn.
Please don’t think that I believe I have it all figured out.
Over the past couple of months, as the threads of my life have unwoven in places, I’ve tried to understand what God wants me to learn about Hope. What I am supposed to apply?
We’ve walked through some heart-breaking things with the boys.
Can I just confess that, instead of looking to God—my Hope—I’ve tried to figure out what needed to be done and moved forward with my plan?
Instead of pressing into the Lord, and waiting for Him to show me hope in these situations, I’ve been in “deal-with-it” mode.
Yes, I’ve prayed about what’s happened. But I haven’t waited on the Lord. I haven’t put my complete hope in Him to work in the hard situations.
I haven’t trusted Him with my burdens . . . at least not enough to completely leave them in His hands.
I’ve been in “what’s-the-next-step” mode, looking for what appears to be the best option.
Instead of relying on the Lord, I’ve relied on myself.
As I consider Hope, I’m discovering that a huge amount of waiting on and trusting Jesus is involved.
I know this in my head, but living it on a heart-level?
Yeah . . . I haven’t been so good with that.
There’s a difference between pressing into the next thing and pausing to remember that God is with me in it all.
My mind is so quick to try to process the details without letting my heart process.
When life happens, I tend to get going on the next thing. Consider the contingencies. Make a plan. Too often without consulting the Lord, or pausing to simply feel.
To process on a heart level what the changes in life mean for my heart. Or for our family on a heart level.
God has impressed in me the need to slow down in the pressing forward and begin bringing everything to my Father of Hope. He doesn’t expect me to be an automaton just moving forward into the next thing.
Part of hope is engaging with Him when the hard seasons hit.
Leaning into Him.
Allowing myself to feel the losses, the disappointments.
And then to remember to turn to Him because He is my hope. The One who has the answers. And often those answers look different than my conclusions. My plans.
Living in hope includes slowing down enough to really connect with my Father—the God of Hope.
Sometimes exercising hope is choosing to roll my burdens onto the Lord’s shoulders. To let Him carry the weight of my heart.
It’s remembering that, really? It’s not all up to me.
I am a vessel God can use in the lives of those I love. But when I try to be God to them? That’s when I become burned out and discouraged. And those I’m trying to “help” become frustrated. Usually with me.
And sometimes with God . . . if I misrepresent Him.
I’m not sure at what point this year I turned from hoping in God to hoping in Jeanne, but the Lord’s shown me it’s time to make a choice. I can continue living as if all the fixing—all the making-the-family-run-smoothly—is up to me.
Or I can wait on the Lord and hope in Him.
It’s time to open my hands and hold them palms up to my Father. And put my hope in Him rather than in myself.
What about you? What does hope look like in your life? What is one thing you’ve learned this year?