We have all been there.
Disappointed. Discouraged. Facing uncertainties. Gripped by fear.
You experience a loss. A relationship is broken. Life’s monotony suffocates. Your career doesn’t turn out the way you want it to. Everyone else seems to have things figured out, but not you. Health problems refuse to go away. Timing is terrible. The challenges too big or too many. Anxiety grips. Depression settles in. You wonder when your self-confidence disappeared. Or how God could ever use your life for something good. Despair shows up differently for each one of us
Yet in the struggle, despite the pain…we feel something…. It is deep inside of us…small and pulsating. Rhythmically, its tempo is quiet, but still we can feel it. It’s persistent. It captures our attention.
Hope is faint. It might even leave. But it is tenacious, its rhythmic beat always comes back. Hope begins to speak to our hearts. It whispers ever-so-quietly God’s truths: we are loved; God has a plan for our lives; and He is in control, even when we feel like He is not.
We decide to stop focusing on what to do about our situation and just focus on the hope. Hope tells us that our joy is not rooted in our situation. Hope tell us we are not alone; Jesus will never leave us.
We test hope. We reflect on our lives to see if God really has always been there. In the past, has He worked things for His good? Even if He has not changed the situation, has He changed us? Given us a better perspective? Given us peace, even in the middle of the storm? Have we felt joy again, despite walking through pain? We see that God has always shown up. Consistently shown up.
Reflection helps us make sense of some of the challenges of the past and take a second look at our current state of defeat. Even though we are standing in the middle of a new challenge and might feel confused again, we choose to believe God’s words. We also choose to believe the uplifting words from the people who love us.
We start to heal. We heal just enough so that the fog in our brain from the pain begins to lift and we can think a little straighter, a little more logical. Our brain tells us to keep focusing on the healing. What to do next about our tough situation will come later…
Hope slowly grows. The pain might still be there, but God is healing it. This process can’t be rushed. It takes time.
Hope continues to expand. We feel Jesus walking with us. We let ourselves be encouraged by our family and friends. We let God’s truths feed our soul. We still might not know how things are going to work out in our life, but all of a sudden we are okay with it. We know God loves us, is in control, and will show us the next step when the timing is right.
Time passes, healing continues and then…
We can look into the eyes of despair with renewed confidence. We can say: no matter what, you can’t steal our inner joy. You can’t change that we are loved. Despite you, God still has a plan for our lives. He can still use us, because He created us exactly as He wanted us to be. You can’t hide God’s goodness. You can’t overshadow the beautiful people in our lives who so persistently love us. You might be hanging out around us, despair, but ultimately you won’t overtake us…
…because, we always have hope. And hope reminds us of its source - Jesus. Hope reminds us that the powerful and intentional God who created the whole world in all His glory, finds us important enough to walk right next to us.
We still might not have all the answers, but things feel different. Despite the challenge, our soul begins to feel peace. Real peace. Deep peace. The kind that doesn’t depend on a perfect situation rather on God, who created us, loves us and is holding us in the storm.
Despair begins to dissipate. Hope does that. God does that.
And then we know that no matter what - we are going to be okay.
I took this photo on a bright and sunny day, but darkened it with this free Nightmare Photoshop Action from Shutter Pulse. They will give you a sample of 20 free Photoshop Actions from their collection if you subscribe to their email. It is worth it. Their actions are super cool.