Did my clickbait title get ya?
Before anyone gets too worried, I’m not done with hope in the way that I’m not hopeful. I’m just done with hope as my word of the year.
If you’ve been around for very long (at least a year), you’ve been through my word-of-the-year recap blog. For 2019 and 2020, my word stayed the same: hope. You can read about my 2019 adventure with hope here.
Rather than resolutions, I pick a word or theme for my upcoming year. It typically changes, but for many reasons, last year it stayed the same. A carryover from the year before. Because my hope was different. In 2019 I was hoping for a certain thing. I was expecting a big event to turn my life around. And when I was faced with the thing I hoped for, I realized my hope was misplaced.
While I was tricking myself into thinking my 2019 hope was rooted in the Lord, long story short, it wasn’t. It was rooted in material gain.
And at the end of 2019 I knew I still needed hope, but specifically renewed and restored hope.
I needed honest hope.
I needed hope that wasn’t afraid to admit hopelessness.
I needed hope that could tell others when it was drowning in despair.
I didn’t need hope that just put on a happy face a looked forward to the next great thing.
And that’s what 2020 was about.
Restored and renewed hope.
**Insert quip about a global pandemic here**
For me, 2020 has been difficult, but in a lot of ways it hasn’t. Sure, aspects of my job changed. I didn’t get to spend as much time with my family as I wanted. I wasn’t able to see Hamilton OR Mean Girls live (still grieving those losses).
But on the upside: Friendships grew in holy ways. I set a personal health goal and crushed it. I got a new tattoo as a reminder of how kind the Lord is to me through His people. I welcomed 2 new miniBFFs into the crew and am anxiously awaiting the third. I met with Jesus in more honest and vulnerable places than I ever have before. I let Holy Spirit teach me lessons about my mind, heart, and body that I didn’t know I needed to learn. And I’ve settled into knowing deep in my bones that God is good, He is kind, He is for His people, and I’ll never fully understand Him. And that is okay.
In a lot of ways, this year of hope has felt like a really kind and patient farmer preparing His land for planting. Not harvesting, but planting. He dug up old roots, aerated the soil, mixed in some fertilizer, and is letting the ground lie still for a bit before putting the seed in.
And the main ingredient that will help that seed flourish is hope. Eager expectation that the Good Farmer plants exactly what needs to be planted and cares for the seed until it is done flourishing.
Romans 5:5 says, “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Spending 2 years with hope has not put me to shame.
Spending 2 years with hope has consistently reminded me that God’s love is constantly pouring out into His people in the most unexpected places.
Even in the midst of a global pandemic.
I’m ready to see what soil filled with hope will give me in 2021.
Also, I started this blog 7 years ago today. Happy birthday, my friend. I hope 2nd grade is treating you well.
[…] saw me leave behind hope in an effort to move forward with abundance. 2021 was going to be the year that I watched God grow […]