"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for He who promised is faithful."
Have you ever had the trajectory of your life turn on a dime? It's as if the world was spinning on its axis, as it's done forever in one direction, and then suddenly it reversed and started spinning in the other direction.
Perhaps you feel that way with this recent pandemic? Wasn't it just weeks ago that we shook hands, gave bear hugs, gathered in groups, and simply went about our lives? Now we are all distancing guests at an awkward masquerade ball. We try to dance to the music that is playing but we don't know the steps.
Life can change drastically over weeks, days, moments, and even a split second can cause a seismic shift to take place.
Ten years ago, my feelings about life mimicked what many are feeling now...hopelessness. I had traversed a year of turbulence brought about by separation in my marriage. This was the second season of separation, and I knew that this time it would not end with reconciliation.
With my grown children living their own lives, I immersed myself in my work with the precious preschoolers that brought joy to my life each day. God gave them to me as a lifeline. That was, until the last day of school in June, when the Director called me into her office and told me rather matter-of-factly that she had decided to let me go. My personal life was obviously affecting my work and she felt it was the prudent thing to do.
I cried the whole way home in the car. I had been told, yet again, and in no uncertain terms that I wasn't making the grade; I wasn't needed; and I certainly wasn't wanted. I felt like a tender shoot of grass, fragile in my stance and desperately leaning toward the light, that was suddenly squashed by the heavy boot called life. I was back in the muck and mire and the whole world looked hopeless from where I lay.
My fingers scrambled over the buttons on the phone: Mom? No answer. Girlfriends? No. Relatives? No. Maybe they'd be on Facebook? No, No, No. My world, as I knew it was falling apart and there was no one I was close to with whom I could release my pain.
The only person on Facebook that afternoon was a friend I knew in high school. The boy I knew, then, was quiet, studious, and shy, but he was kind and a straight arrow. But, I hadn't really had a meaningful conversation with him in over thirty years ("Likes" for posts don't really count). I couldn't just strike up a conversation, "Hey, how ya been these past 30 years?" Oh how pathetic, I thought to myself.
But something inside me said, "It's okay. There's a reason he's the only person available at this moment in time."
"Why is he home in the middle of the afternoon?" I wondered. "Maybe he works from home...or maybe he is a hermit who lives in his mother's basement?" A quick look in the mirror at my swollen red eyes reminded me that I was in no position to judge.
An inexplicable force made my fingers click across the keyboard. "Hey," I typed... silence. "What an idiot you are," I chided myself. "Hey," now that's really brilliant for a Communications major. "Hey" was all I could muster...
I came to learn later that he hadn't had conversations on Facebook and really wasn't sure if I was talking to him. We look back, now, and laugh about what we lovingly refer to as "Hey" Day. In that second, on that day, ten years ago, the trajectory of our lives totally changed for the better.
Married for over six blessed years, we are trying to think of a pandemic-friendly way to celebrate this day that the world started spinning in the opposite (right) direction.
Since this is not heaven and life here on this planet is often hard, painful, and ugly, hope must start with God in order for us to endure what life throws at us.
God, you have said, "those who hope in me will not be disappointed," (Isaiah 49:23). I know for a fact that you are faithful to your promises.
"You are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." (Psalm 25:5)
In that split second in time, my heart was touched by God's tender lovingkindness and my mind was opened to the wonder of who God is. My whole world changed direction on "Hey" Day (June 2, 2010). I can say with confidence that I know the hope to which God has called me and I praise Him with all of my heart.
Just as our world shifted its direction when the pandemic began, it can change direction, again, on a dime. We will, however, need to put our hope solely in God (not on an outcome or result). We will have to trust Him with it ALL! We have to believe that our God is faithful and give him our honor and obedience.
I'll end this post by encouraging you to pray this scripture with me:
Because of the Lord's faithful love we do not perish,
for his mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness!
I say, "The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in him.
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the person who seeks him.
It is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord."
(Lamentations 3: 22-26)
What about you? Does your world feel like it's spinning in the wrong direction? How do you cope with uncertainty? What do you think God's up to? Where does your hope lie and your strength come from in the waiting? Will you share?
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