My Story with Hope
I’ve always desired to be a part of others experiencing a flourishing life. But at times the brokenness of our world and our lives feels overwhelming and hopeless. And while I wanted to help make life better for people, I struggled with the pain and despair inside of myself. I saw that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t fix myself or my life, and for every positive change in people’s lives around me, there was still so much brokenness and pain. Where is the hope in this?
And then I heard about Jesus – God who did not stay distant from our suffering but entered our broken world as a human, suffering like us. God saw our desperate situation and out of love, He offers us life and hope. We cannot fix the brokenness inside of us, but through Jesus we can be freed from that darkness and be reconciled to God. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection we are offered a new heart and a new life with God – connection with the true source of all life and goodness.
I now live with hope because I know that my biggest problem – a broken relationship with God – is answered through Jesus. I belong to Him and I have a future with Him. One day this broken world will be made new and there will be no more tears or pain or suffering. I live with hope for that time. And I live with hope now, knowing that God is always with me and that even now He is bringing healing and restoration to people and to the world, and inviting us to be a part of that. This hope isn't a blind optimism that denies the current sorrow and pain we experience, but it also doesn't leave us in despair. It is a way to honestly deal with the realities and longings of our lives.
I now have a foundation and a hope through which to work towards a flourishing life for others. And I see pregnancy and birth as a particularly transformative time, an experience that connects us with our deep longings and the true realities of life. For some, this is a time of joy and hope with the creation of a new life. But it is also a time of difficulty, frustration, and pain. In this tension, we all want – and need – hope, and yet we may question if and where there is hope, or struggle to hold to the hope we believe.
This experience reflects the bigger story of which we are all a part. We all long for true life and to be a part of bringing life and goodness into the world. And yet we experience brokenness in and around us. Is there hope? I believe that Jesus is the one who offers us true hope, but this is something for each one of us to discover. The time around birth is a great time to question, understand, and learn from these deeper life realities. Birth can be a time not just for new life to be physically born, but for you to experience transformation, new life, and hope as well.
As I hold this hope, I want to be a part of holding hope with and for others. Whether you aren’t sure (and maybe don’t care) what you believe about spiritual things or are a follower of Jesus, whether this time in your life is marked mainly by joy and excitement or mainly by loss and suffering – or a mix of the two, I desire to journey with you. I will hold hope with and for you – helping you to discover hope, to have hope both for the new life being formed in you and the new person you are becoming, and to be able to live with hope for the rest of your life. I hope to care for you holistically so that you are supported in this season and so that you may experience growth and transformation now that will lead to a life of flourishing and hope as you move forward.
In his (God's) great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? ...Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture...
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)
Romans 22-39 (The Message)
Questions or Thoughts?
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