Hope for the hurt places

The other morning I was driving into work and praying. I was thinking about what the Lord is doing in my life. It’s been really rough in my soul for a while. But this past week things have shifted. Finally. I remember saying, “Lord, it’s like you just woke me up to life again.” I’m sensing hope for the first time in a long time. I realized that I have been doing all the things that I knew to do. I was praying, reading the Bible, confessing, repenting, and journaling for months and month. I was chronicling my life, but something was missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. I often ponder out loud, just to hear my own thoughts when I feel this way, and I said aloud, “It’s like I’ve been in the dark walking around without a light.” Has it felt that way for you? These past 2 years have been unpleasant like a constant sand blasting. See when Jesus shows up and wakes us up, He makes the days, situations, circumstances, and events make sense. He makes all the seemingly disconnected shards of broken life connect again. It’s kind of like being on a treasure hunt, on a adventure of sorts. He begins to make all the junk, the bland, and boring places alive with those connections. Little snips of songs, sections of a book read, something someone else said, or parts of a Bible verse suddenly are infused with meaning because they are connecting to all the other parts of my life. Isn’t that what hope does? Hope makes all the seemingly insignificant parts matter. Hope is the promise that our life has purpose, even when we can’t see it. Somehow Jesus, who is our hope, knows how to make all the pieces and parts of our lives shine like a beautiful mosaic that he is creating and back-lit by His love.

Romans 13:11-12 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

When Pastor Chad was preaching last Sunday I heard him say this question, “Do you wait loud or quietly?” (I’m not sure that is exactly what he said, but that is what I heard) The question came as he was unpacking the Bible verse Lamentations 3:25-26 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. I want to say that I wait quietly for the Lord. But most of the time that is just not the case. I am often quite loud with my facial expressions and attitude. I’ve been waiting on the Lord, and seeking Him, but..not exactly… quietly…

We walk through so many hard things in this life. Most the time it feels like we just have to suck it up and keep moving but is that what Jesus wants for us? Does Jesus want us to pack our hard places and deep hurts away? Just to make do and make it through until some better times come. Maybe we think, “what else are we suppose to do with them?” We’re going in them, through, and out of them but the residue and the impact of them still lives on far after it’s over and often come out sideways in some kind of way. All those hurt places, scream aloud for attention if we ignore them, acting out in all kinds of different reactions. We think we’re responding to what is happening in the room, when actually we are reacting to something far deeper. Pain lost in translation. Hurt from days long gone, that still haunt us. It’s here where we desperately need the hope of Christ to come this Advent.

Answer these questions:

Where in your life do you feel tired and weary? What has caused your weariness?

For me, I feel tired when I need everything to be perfect order and in places that make sense. Life isn’t like Christmas boxes neatly packed under the tree. All the weariness in my soul comes from silencing the screams of the moments I didn’t want to feel.

In what ways have you seen Christ give you exactly what you need?

For me, He has given me people I feel safe with to talk to , share with, cry with, and enjoy with! He shows up through them for me in so many ways. They listen to me, hug me, encourage me, ask me another question, let me be honest, and to pray for me. He turns the Hope light back on. It’s gonna be ok.

What steps do you need to take to let go of your fears and hold onto the hope you have in Christ?

For me, I need to be honest with where I actually am. I pack boxes fast and quick. I don’t like emotional disaster hanging out in my living space. So, being honest with someone I trust is key. Writing it out has always served me well and having a really hard and deeply vulnerable cry is good too. Even if I hate it.

In Christ, yes, we keep walking, seeking Him, looking for His fingerprints on our lives because we believe that He is working. We believe Jesus is our Hope! We have hope for the hurt places…Keep going… Christmas is coming!

for we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7

See ya next week as we move into our next Advent theme: PEACE

All is grace,

Starla

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

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