choosing to hope

there was a season in my life not too long ago where it was so easy for me to dream and believe in possibilities. i thought i was going to change the world. i thought i knew what i was going to do and how i was going to do it and who i was going to do it all with.

a lot has changed since then.

i’ve hardened myself. mostly because i don’t like the feeling of disappointment. i deny myself things too quickly and easily. it is what it is, so be content. my imagination has essentially become my enemy. for so many years, it was how i coped…my mind was how i escaped from the reality i was living. i’m safe here inside my mind – no one can get in. i can obsess and linger and no one will ever know. but as i’ve gone through recovery, i realized that it couldn’t be my crutch anymore, and so when i’ve caught myself using it, i’ve quickly snuffed it out. so i’ve become afraid of it. and when i find myself struggling with it, i immediately fall back into that all-too-wrong line of thinking that i’m screwed up. who am i, anyway? stopping being ungrateful and focus on what is in front of you. there’s no need to look any farther…there are no guarantees.

i can trace all of those lie back to the past. and – as i’ve recently discovered – when you believe a lie, you’re in bondage. i’m glad i see that now, but now i’m accountable – once again – for what i do with it. so where do i begin?

well, it seems it has something to do with hope. hope is a choice. and it’s essential to faith.

“Now faith is the assurance of thingshoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.  By faith we understand that theworlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” hebrews 11:1-3, nasb

choosing to hope goes against everything i’ve ever done. it goes against every “logical” response i’ve had to things. it’s good. it’s requires trust. it’s draws me closer to Him.

”…in the presence of Him whom he [Abraham] believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’” romans 4:16-18, nasb

but i don’t deserve any of it. i don’t want to hurt again. i’m protected here.i should be happy enough with what i have, because it’s by far better than where i’ve been.

all lies, but at the same time, so much easier to hang on to.

i have a long way to go. His word and love are the realest things to me despite everything, and yet i struggle with the idea of hope. seems like i don’t make much sense, but then again, when have i ever?

sara

it was three years ago today…

…i woke up with no desire to live anymore.

wild, huh?

it hit me only just yesterday. i’ve been carrying around an odd, heavy feeling in my heart these past few days, and i had no idea why until last night. i had burst into tears, my core aching as i strained for the words to pray. my tears did most of the talking, as is typical. i prayed for someone who has claimed a place in my heart these past three years. he has no idea, and i myself can’t understand why, but i called out his name to my Abba nonetheless. it all ties together in some way, i’m sure…

and it was as i started to write in my journal that i glanced back at the date and realized…

that it was three years ago, today. today.

some coincidence, huh? (no, i don’t believe in those, really.)

i was laying flat on my back on that saturday morning, staring at the clock, wondering what the point of getting up was. no one would care. no one would miss me. i would never escape the abuse, the control, the lies.  i hated what i had become. i had reached despair. i was without hope. i was done. everything within me started to implode.

but out of nowhere in my mind, i heard a voice singing a song, and it led me to His promise. and for the first time, i believed it. i truly believed it:

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord. ‘I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.’” (jeremiah 29:11-14, nlt)

oh, how those words resonated within me. how they ignited spark that has never died away. Lord, thank You, thank You, for Your precious, precious word. how it has changed everything…

and thank You for him. thank You for the one You spoke through – and have continued to use – to draw me nearer to You. as long as You place him upon my heart, i will lift him up to You. even though i don’t understand why. i will obey.

(my, how things have changed.)

sara

dear reader, thank you for returning to this altar with me.

now go to your altar and praise Him for the promises He has given you, for all the beautiful things He has done.