Photo by Nicole Tarpoff
Hope is frightening. It is often met by pain and disappointment and it is one of the biggest risks we are asked to consistently take. Hoping for love when you feel unlovable. Hoping for financial provision that seems all too impossible. Hoping for the salvation of a family member who wants nothing to do with God. Hoping for your dreams to one day finally become reality.
After graduating from college, I found myself lost with no idea what direction I was going. I stopped believing for the best. I numbed myself to dreaming, to hoping. There was pain that came from having expectations, only to see them shattered or unmet. So I retreated back to my own personal limits, my own well-kept yard of not risking. And my heart began to wither. I could feel it slowly losing heartbeats. I let go of dreams, desires, expectations—and the vibrant life in my heart began to dull. I couldn’t feel God and I couldn’t hear Him clearly. I felt abandoned and dry, like I would die of hunger for Him.
Hope seemed all too risky. And keeping my heart safe within its walls was surely the way to keep it unharmed, right? Why love? Why hope for the impossible best? Why hold on to dreams that are so far out of reach? My heart continued to fight back to Him. But God, always concerned for the health of my heart, never stopped pursing it. I felt everything I wanted to feel as He drew my heart to hope again. As he found me at my breaking point—weary, anxious, desperate. He breathed life into my heart and it began to beat like never before.
Faith sees, and hope feels. Faith sees where there is nothing yet to see (Hebrews 11:1). It sees the invisible and looks past impossibility. Whereas hope—hope feels it coming. It’s that lurch in your soul. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t know when, but I feel it coming. Something amazing is coming. I feel the provision. I feel the longing in my soul and I will not numb it with doubt. I will let the longing deepen. When I choose not to hope that there is the best in store for me, my heart becomes sick. And hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12). That must mean choosing to hope gives my heart life. That day it hit me. That day I will never forget. I felt God faithfully wrap His arms around me. And I gasped for air. Alive. I felt so alive. My heart began pumping again. He had overwhelmed my heart with HOPE and has continued to every day since.
Undone by my sudden lightness, I became aware of the necessity of hope. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of how many times I had been disappointed, regardless of the impossibilities that stood before me or the lack of visible breakthrough, I had decided to choose hope. Even when it hurt. That’s the thing about hope; it’s painful more times than it’s not. And many times we are tempted to block out the thing that hurts, insisting that our life would be better without the pain. The reality is that yes, hope is painful, but it keeps us alive. We can’t numb the hunger pains and the desires for the best to come our way. So I will keep hoping. I will no longer numb the hunger pain. I will continue to let hope grow, creating a light that shines of God and His promises. I will forever choose hope that is founded on the truth and goodness of the Most Holy One. Not only has He overflowed my heart with hope, but I have felt a duty as a daughter of the King to bring everyone to hope. Our Father gives hope to the hopeless, and that is exactly what He has done for me.
Not all our stories will always turn out exactly how we dreamed them to be, and there are no promises that our lives will always be happy and without pain in this world. But one thing we can be sure of is that our God will eternally be faithful. He gives me the unwavering hope that some of the best days of my life have yet to be lived.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.