The funny thing I’ve realized in the past few weeks is that once I start writing about a subject, I take it upon myself to be the champion of that whole topic, a glowing example of the power of (insert theme here).
I really do take it upon myself, too. No one asked me to wave a big flag for some cause or trait or virtue, no one said I had to shoulder a huge burden upon myself and hold myself to ridiculous and unattainable standards. But still I do it. And I do it to myself.
Hope is no different – I shared with you beautiful women the transformative power of hope in my own messed up life, and then it felt as if all of the hope-wind had been snatched from my proverbial sails. Everything was a struggle.
Most things still are a struggle. I fight with my sisters, and my husband, and I bite down hard on angry words at those around me and I wait for hope to wash over me so I can be that woman–you know–the one who is full of hope?
Don’t misunderstand me; I treasure the privilege to share my life with you, to read in your own words how my humble words have affected you, how our stories are similar or different or a million shades of both.
Being able to write for this lovely community, to live with this openness and honesty and the realness of pain and hurt and healing, has been incredible—and I’ve only been here for a few weeks. But I want you to like me, and I want to offer wise and timely words, and I want to be good.
Yeah, that’s not me. At least, not naturally me. I’m naturally all sorts of bad things: anxious and easily overwhelmed, paranoid and insecure, angry and bitter.
Anything good in me is from God, and as trite as it sounds to say that, its all I have to hold on to some days – the promise that He is making me new every single day, using each part of my life to make me the woman He designed me to be. Some days that involves rough sandpaper scratching away at pieces that shouldn’t be there; others it’s a steady, soothing rain that wears down my jagged edges so gracefully that I don’t even know it’s happening.
I think today is one of those latter days, when I turn to my husband and sigh, “I just don’t have many words today.” And he, my steady rain, squeezes my shoulder and says, “That’s okay. Just use the good words.”
And this isn’t at all what my incredible husband meant when he said it, but the good words aren’t from me, dear one. They’re from Him, and this sounds trite to me, too, but it’s the truth and it is so, so good.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13
Without God, we have no hope. I mean, none. It’s kind of terrifying to think about, but at the same time it makes sense. I might think I have hope in a hundred other places, but I don’t, really. I just have some illusion of it.
So hope comes from God, and hope leads to joy and peace because hope means we trust in God. And joy and peace cause us, the trusting women of God, to overflow with…well, hope.
It’s a cycle—a messy, complicated, divine cycle. Some parts of it feel easier than others for me, and maybe they do for you, too. But maybe you and I can rest (even just a little) in God’s promise to see us through this cycle again and again, to honor our efforts with renewed hope and all of the glorious things that come with it.
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P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts; be sure to share in the comments section below. This month we will draw TEN winners from our commenters and the winners will receive one of these two books, Hope for a Hurting Heart or To Let You Know I Care by our featured author this month, Cheryl Karpen.
Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.
Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)