Well, after my pity-party, tears, prayers, a night of sob-story sharing – and a lot of hugs from my Main Man, I’m feeling that slow glimpses of hope are breaking through ashes. I know I have to move forward and with that thought in the back of my mind, my heart feels like it is gradually being re-fueled with courage making it easier to allow myself to cling to hope.
All that flowery sounding language to say, I am ready to get going again. I am excited for some new things to come. It may be nearly September, but a new year can start any day.
I am planning to take some bolder steps than I have before, and with those bolder moves, comes a stretching of my faith in the One who has me.
I am still a bit scared and nervous, and I really have little idea as to what my day-to-day is going to look like, or even what I am supposed to do or where to go, but accepting that and not letting the unknown paralyze me is a realization I am having to take hold of each morning. I think it will be a little easier as I go, but as I take baby steps for the moment, I feel those bigger and bolder steps coming up and I hope when the Spirit leads me to do so, I’ll be confident in Him who gives me strength.
It’s funny, lately, I’ve been reading a lot about anxiety, worry, doubt, and fear. And you know what word has come through clearer than words opposite to those feelings? Joy. And that gives me an overwhelming sense of peace when I just say the word and let it sink into my ears. and as I thought about that word, the first verse that came to mind was this:
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
I love that. I love it so much. I think often we get hung up on the idea of needing “peace” in times of worry and anxiety. But, what about what comes before it? What does that three-letter word mean in the context of that verse?
Don’t worry I am not doing an exegetical study, but I encourage for those who believe and who are seeking to believe to look it up, study it. Share with me even what you know and find out! I am still chewing on it and loving it all the more.
For now, I remember a sermon I heard from John Piper and he asked, “What is the source of your joy?” and at the time, I wasn’t sure how to answer, aside from “Well, I know it should be God.” But I knew in my heart it wasn’t at the time. And there was a lot more to that sermon which resonated with me, and for this moment, I feel as though my answer is very much the same, “I know it should be God.” But is it where my heart has been?
Not like it should be. I am not saying I am at the same place as I was a few years ago when I first was posed this question, but I find myself in a situation that has tested me. I am always learning, and while God doesn’t flunk me in his goodness, I know I am making a lot of D’s and a few F’s lately. I am glad God is the God of Joy and second chances – no matter the circumstance – He is patient with me and continually teaches me.
God’s character has been revealed to me in a variety of ways in the past several years that have been surprising and enlightening and it’s wonderful – especially in retrospect. I feel him revealing more of his character that I have not known before and I know in a few years I will say the same thing that it was surprising, enlightening, and wonderful. For now, I am in the midst of learning, so it’s hard to see clearly, but the glimpses of hope that are sprouting from the ashes are His way of giving me grace to see more clearly, for once I was blind, but now I am beginning to see.