We’re surrounded by immediate though temporal excuses to give up hope, joy, and peace. Anxiety rides on a fierce chariot, sorrow looms, the news is full of hopelessness. With the darkest days of winter upon us seasonal depression is real. The coldness assaults my limbs and my body wants to fold into itself. And there are full seasons just for sadness. There is a time for mourning and tears of pain.
But there is also a time to get up, and to dance. It takes everything to fight for an eternal perspective, and most days I just don’t have it naturally within me. But God the King called me His daughter — a warrior princess. And He not only provides the hope, but the strength to hold onto it too. When I intentionally focus on His grace, His love, His holiness, and who He says I am, I can keep moving to relentlessly reach for hope.
Traditionally, especially in the last few years, February has been the easiest time for me personally to let go of hope and cling instead to unsatisfying earthly vices. This year I’m going to be intentional about seeking hope, peace, and joy instead. In addition to a few physical changes, I’m going to be going through a devotional with a small group of women. The devotional I chose is one to which I had the honor and privilege to contribute in 2018 — “Tenacious Hope: Discovering Joy and Peace in God’s Perfect Plan” by Bidging the Gap authors. We’ll begin the first Monday of February so we’ll go a bit into March since there are 31 essays/devotionals.
Here is an excerpt from my entry:
This isn’t what it’s supposed to look like, I thought as I exited my kids’ bedroom for the thousandth time. They were supposed to go to sleep, and I was supposed to have a partner to help with bedtime. It’s not fair; it’s someone else’s turn, rang over and over in my head. Finally, fully dismayed, I crumpled into a pile on my own bedroom floor. It had been years since the death of my husband and co-parent, yet tonight the single-mom life had dropped me deep in the dirt of loneliness, frustration, and exhaustion. Being mom to my kids is one of the greatest privileges I have on this earth, and most of the time I am incredibly thankful. But at bedtime? Bedtime is the worst.
“No, you can’t have another drink, or read another book, or play with the toy. It’s time for sleep. Why are you up? Go back to bed. Just go to bed. Go. Bed. Now.” I would count how many times I say these things in a single night, but I would end up putting myself to sleep.
Eventually, though, they always do fall asleep. I win that battle almost every night. But then comes the true battle: the one in my head. In the dark, at the end of the day, the hum of busyness grows quiet and the reality of my aloneness feels deafening.
This isn’t what it’s supposed to look like . . . it isn’t fair.
Years ago, after the kids fell asleep, my husband and I would have time to ourselves to watch or read something, talk, or just do nothing next to one another. But now it’s just me—alone, tired, sad, and a little angry at the injustice of it all.
It’s in moments like that, however, that I’ve found the Holy Spirit speaks the loudest. A little nudge at first, and then almost as if he were whispering in my ear, I hear him say, “Child, I’m with you.”
—Tenacious Hope: Discovering Joy and Peace in God’s Perfect Plan – Bridging The Gap (Day 8: Tenacious Hope is Anchored in God’s Promise to Never Leave Me – Lizzie Lindberg).
This world is dark and rife with struggle. No doubt about that. In fact, it’s a promise. But God also promised, “I will never leave you,” and there is great, powerful, long-lasting hope in the presence of that truth. He’s never gonna leave, never gonna give up, never gonna let me down.
I would be honored if you’d like to join the group of women going through this book! The devotional is on Amazon (I do not personally receive any compensation from this link or the purchase of the book). I am also hosting a closed facebook group, so message me and I’ll get you connected.
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. – Romans 15:13