“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
A quarter of the year has passed and I have decided to link with the Oneword365 quarterly review over at the Messy Middle. It’s thanks to oneword365 that I’ve been writing, that I’ve held on to Hope ( my word for the year).
Seven questions have been suggested for consideration
1. Do I still like my word?
Yes. I do. It has becoming everything to me. It has taken on ultimate, eternal, life changing significance. It has the form of a person – Christ. I love my word.
2. Where do I see evidences of my OneWord365?
I see the evidence in every post I’ve written here. I see it in the fact that I am still married. I see it in the fact that I have not acted on any of the impulses I have had to end the unbearable sadness. I see it everywhere.
3. In what ways has my word surprised me?
At the start of the year I found hope a slightly frightening word. It’s upbeat hopeful nature was daunting. I thought that by choosing it I might have to pretend to feel things I didn’t really feel, as I ‘hoped’ that things would turn out better than I anticipated. It has been the opposite experience. I have come to realise that hope is about knowing God. It’s about knowing that I am held and loved. It’s moved me to a place where I can accept that aspects of my present reality are not that great, nor will they ever be, but that God is enough. I haven’t done any pretending. As a friend said to me at the outset – you don’t have to do anything to hope. It’s all already been done for you.
4. How has my OneWord365 served, prepared, or protected me so far this year?
It has kept my eyes upwards. Every time I have been tempted to doubt or despair, or when I have plummeted down to the shadowy places of sadness, hope has existed objectively. Undiminished, unaltered by my changing perspective. It doesn’t look any different, no matter where I view it from. I was sent a necklace as a gift from another member of the Hope tribe. I held hope in my hand when anxiety made me fidget. Hope has kept me moving forward – journeying with God and not away from him. Bringing the healing and restoration that I needed in my life.
The next two questions were about the disappointment of my word. They are, at this point, irrelevant. Hope has not disappointed. The Hope that I have is not in happy ever afters in this life, or freedom from pain, or sorrow, or temptation or brokeness. It is hope in a God who came to stand with us, and who keeps me safe under the shadow of his wings, who carries me close to his heart when I am weary, and who leads me on the right paths. Until heaven.
The final question asks if there are ways I need to open myself up more to my OneWord ? I know that I am still in the early days of my journey with this word. As anyone who has been walking it with me either in real life or through this blog will know, God has been changing my heart and enabling me to move through some of the pain and despair which I was experiencing. I do believe that he makes beautiful things out of us ( this song by Gungor has held me through the past year) and I can even believe that he is doing that with my very messy circumstances.
I need to continue to hold on to Hope, and not allow myself to retreat back into a place of hurt and sorrow, where I think that hope is not for me. It’s for all of us and it may just be what gets me through.
“The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’ ”