This past year has been another tough one in our house and yet it has been so filled with hope. So many can't understand how I can even say that. So many look at my life and tell me that they don't know how I do it and that they admire me for the way I just keep going.
REALLY??? Exactly what choice do you have when things are hard in your life. Exactly what would they do different if they were in my shoes? I am sure some who are part of my 'real' life have some great answers here but they aren't walking in my shoes. Sure it's hard to be the breadwinner on the salary I make, sure it's hard to manage when there is only one income coming in.... which has been the case for 1/3 of this year I would guess. Even harder is managing the moments where the enemy gets in and either pushes things beyond the breaking point and chaos ensues voices erupt and horrible words are said or the enemy fills one of us with such doubts that it seems easier to shut down, shut out the world...simply be selfish.
But you know what keeps me going...what for it... wait for it... yup, it's HOPE!
One of my favourite scriptures is this one...
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.Why is it a favourite? Because it speaks of this hope....let's be truly honest and blunt...the hope that this crap that is your life will be gone...soon. Because it shows that God is allowing this test as a way to bring us closer to him. The only way to get through the trials is to lean on the Lord, to have Hope that they will be over soon, to trust God to walk through them with you.
So often we think we can do it alone. So often we get frustrated or impatient. This was the case with me about 2 weeks ago. I had had enough, I felt spent, done, exhausted, so very frustrated and, I guess, hopeless. And I let rip with some things that weren't very honouring. But as quick as I did it, I apologized, I retreated and then did 2 things that I don't normally do... I took a break, a deep breath and prayed and I listened. For once I could really hear what was being said to me, for once I really felt listened to.
And after that I felt so full of...well hope. I felt so certain that we could and would make it through. I felt so focused and so in control of the things that were causing excessive chaos in our life. I persevered as did my faith. I prayed for the things we needed, for things to fall into place and I felt such a sense of hope, so very certain that we would make it through this trial just fine because God always looks after his children.
And then a few days ago God answered prayers that we'd been saying for weeks...well months actually and guess what...I wasn't surprised at all. I felt blessed but I wasn't surprised.
You see God knows, he sees everything that we are doing. He has his hand in all parts of our life and tries his best to guide us to follow his ways.
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.