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If... (or hope)

Last weekend I was able to catch up with a dear friend. We sat in a dimly lit loft where he has been staying. As if often the case when we get together the conversation has a hard time staying light. But I think that friends like that are worth their weight in gold. We talked and both found ourselves being honest about where we were and our desire to be further along.

In the age we find ourselves it’s so easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to spend time on social media looking over what everyone else is doing, what everyone else has, or where everyone else has been and feel as though we got the short end of the stick. But more often than not what we see isn’t real life. Facebook is filled with the times that life couldn’t be better; nobody posts about the night they cry themselves to sleep. Pictures are perfectly posed for Instagram posts and no one wants to show when the room is dirty, the food is average, or the adventure has yet to come.

So often I feel the shame of that voice in my head. I have come to understand that everything around me lies to me, and if I dare be honest I do the same to myself. I so often feel like if things were different I would be ok. Things wouldn’t be as hard if I had (fill in the blank). If I had closer friends, or friends closer. If I lived somewhere else. If I wasn’t single. If I had another job. If…

I as we wrestled though our thoughts similar as the night got later, and as I have sat upon both his words and mine I know that there is something deeper than all these things. For when each dark though come up, each pain finds it way to the surface, each time forgiveness needs to be put forth again, and each time the taste of wormwood hangs on my lips. At each one of these places there is something below it all that becomes true. I don’t trust God. And I’ve wrestled with that in some way of fashion for almost two years now. Some weeks I find that it’s easy to trust God, but so often the thoughts pours back in as if a dam fear had broken upstream of my heart.

It’s in these places that I find it so hard to trust God, but I also know that it’s in these times that I need to the most. It’s in these seasons where all that can be done is to wait. To trust, with whatever we have left.

Over the past two years I have often been at the place where I have bellowed out that I was at the end of my rope, that I had nothing else left. And each time, I proved true that His mercies are new each morning (Lam. 3:22-23). So often I have found myself faithless, and each time I have found that I had a Father who remained faithful to me (2 Tim 2:13). I have more than once spent my time in prayer with a rotation of tears and screams and found that even in that I was welcomed for I came in my need (Heb. 4:16). I have found that in belonging to Christ He is faithful to keep my close (Jn. 6:39).

So I do not know what this year will bring. But I know that no matter what I look back on a year from now. Whether 2018 brings joy or sadness. No matter if I rejoice in prayers answered or simply that rest knowing they were given. If this year brings signs of hope, or the temptation of hopelessness. I will be able to look back and know that through it all the Father was sovereign each step of the way (Phil. 2:13, Acts 17:26, Eph. 2:10), the Holy Spirit will have worked it all to make me more like Christ (Phil. 1:6, 2 Cor. 3:18), and I shall know that all that happens bring me closer to home with my Brother (Ep. 1:3-14, Rom. 8:29-30, Rev. 21:3-8).

For at the end of the day I rest in this…That I have but one hope in both life and in death. That I am not my own but belong, both in body and soul, in life and in death, to God and to my Savior Jesus Christ. (New City Catechism Question One)

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