hope reestablished

Do you ever catch themes occurring in different seasons of your life?

This past year has been repeated theme after theme after theme and the most interesting thing is that multiple areas of my life would communicate the saaaaame topics. Wasn’t confusing, it was actually exciting but didn’t make sense in the moment. The themes didn’t seem connected. So, I was (and honestly still am) frustrated at why all of this is happening the way it is.And, these thematic months haven’t seemed to result in much either aside from me meeting the end of September sitting against the wall I slid down in surrender feeling completely defeated, with my legs pulled close to my chest, bawling out to the Lord while Dylan patted my head and brought me toys.

I’m literally looking towards God wondering what is going on, then staring at the cross like “okay…. he did that, I can do this..” to all of these completely impossible circumstances like “how am I going to do this…” to the scriptures, to sermons filled with phrases that literally repeat prayers, & Bible study notes that are all saying the same thing: “this ends well…..” but I can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Can’t go around it.
I have to go through it.

Honestly, y’all… I’m tired of going through it.
Years of back to back to back to back drudging, climbing, sweltering, thirsting through it.
And, we’ve been enduring.
But, now…
just about every area of my life has been leveled.
And, just like before, this theme is repeated in more than one area
rebuilding

It’s also not lost on me that we’re in the last quarter of the year and
rebuilding now to walk into something new in a few months is…. poetically beautiful.
If something strong and of substance is actually built.

Everything in life that has been knocked down and leveled, but still necessary. Isn’t that…. jacked? To need the very things that have been dissembled? It’s even more difficult when you’ve watched it crumble…..as you scrambled and worked and prayed and rallied and done all the things to keep it together. It fell a part. And no matter how hard I tried to piece it together, pull it together, fasten it together……… it would not hold.So, I closed my eyes, fell back against the wall, slid down to the floor.Spent the last weekend of the 9th month of this year laboring with my Heavenly Father.
Reading, worshipping, praying, focusing….
rebuilding and reestablishing my trust in Him.

…because I’m tired.
Spiritually depleted from trusting and believing
God for things that aren’t not only not happening,
but falling completely a part.

While also happier than I’ve been in a long while.
Over the past four years, I’ve learned to think & see & operate in abundance, speak life, and literally change the belief in who I was,  see my worth & value that resulted in a shift in my mindset and freedom from so much fear, self doubt, scarcity….. even in chaos, lack, disappointment, & hurt.

I saw more.
I saw more opportunity.
More hope.
More possibility
…..even though…..
I was beyond worn out. Beyond drained. Beyond depleted.
Emotionally. Mentally. Financially.

But, frustratingly grateful that in seasons past
I learned how to be grateful & content and how to endure and hope.

Thankful that depleted in 2019 isn’t the same depleted of 2015.
Drained and exhausted look and feel different now than it did then
because I’m physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthier.
I’ve strengthened my body and my faith.

But, needing massive relief nonetheless.

Yesterday I listened to Steven Furtick preach about transitions. Talk about perfect timing. One of the illustrations he gave was about the distance between where you and what you see/hope for using an Alcatraz inmate’s experience. Alcatraz Island, where the prison was located, is 1.25 miles away from San Francisco. Inmates could literally see life happening from a place they could not escape from.

It’s right there. A mile and a half isn’t far… at all. It’s right. there.Just as those prisoners could see the beauty and twinkle of a city they could only fully experience through the senses of their imagination, there are goals and dreams I just haven’t been able to touch with my hands. Desires I can’t yet see in the physical with my eyes, hear the reality of that life with own ears, and smell the scents of “finally” through my own nose but can be felt just the same. How torturous. I wonder if the thought “this is going to be torture” crossed any minds as the purpose of the island was planned and developed. Wonder if that city within walking distance inspired the imprisoned, gave them hope, or something to dream of and look forward to. Or if it drove them insane from desperately wanting & needing to grab hold of something that was within reach, yet impossible to grasp.
Imprisioned.
I get wanting out. I get feeling like you’re losing your mind trapped in a
situation you can’t find relief from. I get not being able to escape your own mind,
your own imagination, your hope, and ability
while not being able to go where you want to go until you were set free.

Stuck.
Working and enduring where the Lord has us.
Knowing that this positioned space would be torture, the space between
here and there, as he laid out the plans for our lives.
Stuck
but experiencing his grace as he is our sword and shield.
As he defends and protects.
Stuck
where he has permitted as he provides and protects
while giving glimpses of what’s possible.

I have found peace and beauty in that space.
I know what it feels like to near choke on air thick with hurt, devastation, and uncertainty
yet feel contentment and joy.
I know what hopeful feels like in the middle of a circumstance that is showing no signs of change.
What it feels like to want to stop hoping, to completely give up but literally can’t.
Almost doesn’t feel fair.
Like God is intentionally keeping you from.
Keeping you through.
Keeping you focused.
Showing you glimpse after glimpse of what can be.
Is stuck such a bad place?
You can’t stop believing, even though everything is leveled.
You see what is possible, even while staring at devastation.
I’ve been gorging myself on the book of Isaiah. Processing. Thinking.
Clinging to the truth of who God is, the truth of what he is capable of, the many many promises of how he will restore and trade the disastrous for the beautiful. For a while, I flipped and skimmed and ignored half the book until I realized how full of reasons to hope and trust and wait each chapter was full of.
Then, I craved it.
(“A little taste before we see?” – my hopeful imagination)
And, was reminded that the God I put my trust in is the very potter that is
working all things together for my good.
The very things he decided to use to mold and shape me
into the one who he has planned to bring him glory are
the very things that will be a joyous blessing and cause festive praise.
Those things that will allow me and my children to see and experience the other
side of this rebuilding process and his goodness here on Earth.
Those very things will testify to how he truly cares for his children
and has great plans for us.
How He redeems and restores.
Brings dead things to life.
How He prepares tables.
Fills empty jars to overflowing.
Heals brokenness.
Binds wounds.
Settles the lonely in homes.
Provides.
How He is our shield.
Our comforter.
The Lifter of our Heads.
The Rock on which we stand…….
when everything else has fallen a part
And, I rest on him. Depend on him. Look to him.
Hope in him. Believe in him.
Wait on him.
Patiently.
While putting my mind and hands to the work he has set before me.

 

In Nehemiah 4, the walls are being rebuilt as they have been completely destroyed.
After threats of attack, Nehemiah calls his workers to prepare to protect themselves
by working with one hand and holding a sword in the other.

Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us how to dress in war against the enemy….
among the various pieces of armor, in our hands is to be the sword which is the Word of God.

Is it possible that we can do nothing of value without a
commitment to do hard things, while facing & enduring unavoidable trouble, &
holding fast to a vision of what is to come,
while keeping the Word in our hands and heart?
…. at our disposal?
… ready to encourage, remind, strengthen?
… as we simultaneously work?
Holy God, keep us.
answer our prayers.
strengthen us.
build us.
grow us.
remind us.
hold us together.
provide.
develop.
sustain.
abide within us.
renew our hope.
adjust + restore our vision.
(what we see with our eyes & heart)
bless us as abundantly like only you can.
establish us as mighty oaks planted for your glory.
in the name of Jesus.
amen.
Good and Loved by Travis Greene & Steffany Gretizinger.
If you’re a long time reader, you may remember how I would link a song that were inspiring me in the moment to each post. Decided to bring that back today. Over the weekend and while I wrote this post, Good & Loved replayed. I hope you love it as much as I do! Let me know what you think!
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Comments

  1. Stuck describes exactly how I’m feeling. I find comfort in knowing that this area between places is where God wants me. He wrote this tough season in His plan for my life. Just like the Alcatraz analogy I feel like I’m constantly seeing life pass me by, others getting what I want-their “release” while I’m still waiting. Thank you for allowing God to use your experience and vulnerability 🙂

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