It's another December post. Three years, with three different Decembers. There was 2014 spent working hard, waiting on the Lord and praying for a baby to be given to us. Then 2015 in the thick of loss of our life we were establishing in Illinois, also full of gain in the precious gift of a baby girl. All of this intensified as I began to fog and fight through postpartum depression/anxiety. And then there's now, 2016 a year of suffering-earned hope.
There's a verse in the Bible that quite honestly has felt frustrating for some time now. It was preached to me in the midst of another season of moving, trials, temptations and loneliness while I had transferred to a state university my sophomore year. The verse? Romans 5:3-5, which says, "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope. I questioned why does the hope have to be after it all. Why not suffering, then next hope? That seemed easier to me, the quick way to feeling good again.
In 2014, I was waiting on the Lord. One thing I was waiting for was another opportunity to worship, with my local worship teams at a multi-campus mega like church. Waiting for the joy of being all mic-ed up and in a group, singing for the Lord and leading the congregation into worship.
But the Lord cared more how I would worship Him with nothing, and nearly no one, and sometimes while in the deepest of pits.
In 2015 and early 2016, I was begging the Lord to take away my pain, grief, and hopelessness. To take away the weight of depression and the tempting thoughts of death. Oh the weight of it. I pleaded with the Lord to take it away, only to be met with an outstretched arm and hand of mercy.
So I could wrestle over hope being the 3rd thing listed or I could be reached for by Him.
In high school we took a spiritual gifts test and it taught me that I knew the least of mercy (and money). You want to know what God's being growing me in this year, many years later? Yes, those two challenging for me things. Because:
God wants to produce. In our lives. For His glory.
If that comes through:
calls to wicked places
being an outsider
personal dark battles
attacks of all kinds
So be it.
His ending of hope.
--Happy holidays with love and faith y'all,