Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hope

I woke up this morning feeling hopeless. I don't know what's up with my "dark & twisties" lately. Normally they follow a pretty predictable pattern—well, not the timing necessarily, but the progression. I'll have a couple days where I start feeling a little down, then a day or two at rock bottom, and then a few days of gradual improvement… and then we can all go on with our lives for a few weeks or… however long it takes for the next round to start.

But the past two weeks have been nutty. I have been up and down and all around, with no rhyme or reason. It changes from hour to hour. But the one thing that has been consistent is that the mornings suck. And this morning was, I think, the worst one yet. I felt angry and lonely and overwhelmed and… just plain hopeless.

So I got up and decided to catch up on some reading. First I read this. Tricia is an amazing woman (And after I read this post just now, I tried my best to come up with a different way to say it and just couldn't…) whose husband died suddenly of influenza less than a month ago. She is suddenly raising two boys on her own while mourning the loss of her best friend and her biggest fan and her co-parent and so many other things. She is… well, she is someone who puts one foot in front of the other every day in a whole new reality she never thought she'd face. I might be facing a different reality than I thought I would too, but I definitely wouldn't compare my wounds with hers. While I have never met her personally, she is a friend of a friend, and I think about her and pray for her constantly.

And then I read this. Actually, I had read it before, but I read it again this morning. Dear, sweet Olga. Olga and Kareen and now Peter… and so many more like them. And so many more who have preceded them to the institutions. Alone. Afraid. Hopeless.

Apparently, I just needed a little perspective. I'm not saying that my entire day was fabulous after that, nor am I saying I was thankful for someone else's problems to be worse than mine. I'm just saying… perspective.

And tonight I came home from a meeting where I heard about people who are living in poverty, whose husbands are dying of AIDS while trying to provide for their families, who are seeking God but getting confused by the devil's schemes. You can read more about them here—and you should, because I'm going to be talking more about it in the months to come. (It's the bottom half of the page—the section about Mozambique.)

I came home with one word on my mind: hope. Yes, I may have times when I am down, when I am overwhelmed, when I feel empty. But I am never hopeless. How do I know? Because the second I got home (and got all three kids in bed), I looked up the word "hope" in the Bible.

So whether you are having a bad day or in the midst of a tragedy or somewhere in between, here is what I found that spoke to my heart tonight…

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth. –Psalm 121:1-2
(OK, this one doesn't specifically mention the word "hope", but "help" is close enough. This is the passage that was running through my head before I even started the search…)

May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
   even as we put our hope in you. –Psalm 33:22

But now, Lord, what do I look for?
   My hope is in you. –Psalm 39:7

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God. –Psalm 42:5

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
   my hope comes from him. –Psalm 62:5

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
   I wait for God my Savior;
   my God will hear me. –Micah 7:7

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. –Hebrews 6:19a

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. –Hebrews 10:23

God bless & good night.

3 comments:

Patti said...

I love you, Katy. Can you just stinking move closer to me so we can hang out every day?!?!

Katy said...

Hmmmm... I was going to say the same thing to you! You used to know someone in the area--I'm sure he could help you find a great place to live. Or maybe just a summer home--you know, EVERYONE wants to have a second home in Ohio... ;-)

Jennifer Godale said...

The best part of putting hope in God? I look at the definitions of hope: to desire with expectation of obtainment and to expect with confidence: trust

God tells us to hope. That implies trust and best of all OBTAINMENT.

I've been struggling a bit right now and I have been drawn to these 3 verses. Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. and Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. and Isaiah 55:8-13--For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”

Hang in there. As Dark and Twisty as things seem right now, God is certainly a bright light at the end of the tunnel.