Over the past month, I’ve been working to finalize the never ending details of publishing a book. I’m ironing out speaking obligations and am on the edge of doing everything I’ve been praying to do. And somehow I’m not excited. I’m a mess.
Over and over again, I’ve been asking myself, “why?” Why am I not jumping for joy and finding complete satisfaction within this place I’m standing and breathing? Why is it so difficult to open my laptop and work? Why?
My book, Nothing to Hold but Hope, is my story. And sometimes stories are hard to tell. They aren’t made up of sugar and spice. They aren’t the fairy tales and fantasies we were taught to buy into while lying under pink blankets and listening to a soothing voice narrating the beauty of perfection and unmarred happiness.
When I think about the mess of my story, I worry about how messy the stories of my children might end up to be.
I know how difficult it’s been for me to face grief and struggle, and I don’t want my kids to hurt. I want them to experience a life full of fairy tales just like in the books we read together. And, yet, I know deep down that storybooks, regardless of whether they are filled with sparkles for my daughter or super hero’s for my sons, probably won’t be the reality of their lives.
Don’t get me wrong. I pray for protection, guidance, strength, and God’s will for my children. I’m full of faith and know the power of my God, but I want His plan. And I know sometimes the map which leads to His treasure is faded and hard to read. The terrain takes us off road and, dear Jesus, it’s a wilderness out there.
However, it’s not long after the flash of fear hits that my faith kicks into high gear. Hope begins to rejoice again. The mother’s eyes I’ve become accustomed to seeing through become unclouded. I remember who He is and what He’s done. And then I thank Him.
I thank God for His hope.
I remember the hope that filled in faded sections on the map of my life. I remember how He held me upright when I couldn’t find the way to go. When I think hard enough about those moments, I can almost feel the gentle hands that picked me up as I cried out from exhaustion. But most of all, right now in this place, I can open my eyes to the beauty of today and see the treasure all around.
Here, in this moment, I can tell you that every step I took in the dark was worth it because of the light I stand in today.
And if God held me up, then He will surely hold up my children.
When you first look at my story, it might appear to be one of pain and brokenness. However, my scars are lines in a story that shout the beauty of my savior. My story is one of hope because when it seems as if there is nothing else to hold onto… you can always hold hope.
We don’t have to fear for our children. His promises are the same for them as they’ve been for us. And we don’t need to worry about sharing our stories. They are gifts of hope to be transferred from one life to another. Mess and all, they will serve as gifts of courage for our children. We should narrate those stories proudly to them as they lie under pink and blue blankets with expectant eyes full of promise.
We serve a God of promises. He is unchanging, and one very big promise He gave is that He will be God to us. (Genesis 17) He will be God to our children, to our children’s children and forevermore through the generations until He either returns to us, or we go home to Him. All we have to do is accept Him, believe, and hold onto His hope. He is our Hope!
Can I get an amen?
Now I’m excited!
Have a beautiful weekend, friends.
Keep your eyes open for updates on my book, Nothing to Hold but Hope.
If you need a weekend of refreshing and pampering, consider The Mercy Retreat!