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Before we talk about nourishing hope and faith — which can be hard in the holiday season — I have a Public Service Announcement about our free “She Blossoms” calendar. 🙂
A new and improved version of the calendar is coming, so don’t print your copy yet!
An eagle-eyed reader pointed out a typo in the month of June, and I noticed a few things I’d like to improve. My publisher (Bethany House) has graciously agreed to making those changes; I’ll send an updated version as soon as I get it.
Also – I’m organizing a free book give-away next week! I received a few advance author’s copies of Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back (which will be officially released January 2019). I’ll send one to the lucky winner of a “She Blossoms” Book Draw before Christmas. Stay tuned!
Now, for the real reason we’re all here…
The Secret to Keeping Your Hope Alive
This thing you’re dealing with — perhaps you’re adjusting to an unexpected new season of life, going through the process of divorce, waiting for medical test results, getting through the holidays when you’re grieving, feeling worthless or unloved, healing from a breakup, trying to forgive yourself, praying for a loved one to return, letting go of a dream, or learning how to be happy alone — is one part of your life.
This season you’re in is not who you are. It does not have to determine your future.
The secret to keeping your hope alive starts with a T and ends with a Y. It has seven letters in the middle. It can last a long long time…or it can last an hour and feel like forever! The secret is something you’ve experienced many times in your life, perhaps even already today.
The secret is that what you’re going through is Temporary.
This thing you’re facing — the spiritual dryness, physical exhaustion, financial insecurity, personal isolation, feelings of unworthiness, fear, doubt, and even dread for your future — is temporary. You may be going through the most difficult season of your life, and you may not know how you’ll get through it. You may think you’ll be in this season forever, and wonder how you can possibly keep living this way!
Even the darkest, driest, most difficult seasons are temporary. Unless, of course, you choose to make them permanent.
When Temporary Becomes Permanent
Sometimes people who suffer a devastating loss don’t find their way home. They were created to heal and even flourish, but they got stuck. They were supposed to experience a temporary season of grieving and growing forward…but they chose to make it a permanent place to live.
I understand. Losing a beloved soulmate, family member, or best friend is crushing. Making a bad choice or causing harm or even death is horrible! It changes who we are and how we see the world.
Your losses and mistakes have changed you. They’ve probably marked you forever. But your permanent marks — your scars, if you will — aren’t where you live. They are what you carry forward into a new season of life. And your scars have the power to create depths of compassion, love, peace, joy and freedom that you could never experience otherwise.
Part 2 of the Secret to Keeping Your Hope Alive
You get to choose whether you’re in a temporary season of life, or if you’re going to camp there permanently. You get to decide if you’re in a season of grieving the past and moving forward, or if you’re going to stay in the land of the hopeless and lost. You have the power to look upward in faith and hope, or inward at your own tangled web of pain, grief, and darkness.
How do you do this? How do you keep your hope alive and remember that this is just a temporary season of life? You want to believe you’ll get through this, that you’ll feel happy and healthy and yourself again…but you just can’t see how.
The foundation of the secret to keeping your hope alive is this: You can’t do it alone. You can’t muster up the hope, rally the troops, call in the reinforcements, go forward in your own strength, rely on yourself for power and courage. You can’t do it alone, for you are a weak child. You are vulnerable, and you have no idea what you’re facing.
But wait, there’s good news! You are a child of God — and He does not need your power, strength, hope, courage or joy. This is really good news because there is no way you can do it alone. You need an external power source. God created you in His image, and He is walking beside you through this season.
Learn something new about Jesus today; the more you learn about His life, the more you’ll love Him. And the more you love Him, the more joy and peace you’ll experience. Invite the Holy Spirit to keep your hope alive, to remind you that this, too, will pass.
Whatever you’re facing — whether it’s the joy of a first baby or the sorrow of a lost husband’s birthday — remember that your feelings are a temporary season. Your feelings aren’t a place to dwell. You can choose to live in pain and grief, or you can kneel at the cross and remember who you were created to be. This, and this alone, is the foundation of all hope and life, joy and peace.
With His love,
New on She Blossoms
From my “She Blossoms Through the Bible” project — each article is inspired by a chapter in Genesis.
How to Stop Making Relationship Mistakes – Genesis 20 tells us that Abraham is a prophet — a man of God — yet he kept making the same mistake in his relationships with his wife, other people, and God. Learning why Abraham repeatedly caused problems in his relationships will help us solve problems in our own relationships. When we discover why we repeat the same mistakes, we’re better able to heal and improve our relationships.
3 Ways to Stop Looking Back and Keep Moving Forward – Remember Lot’s wife? She looked back on Sodom and Gomorrah, and was destroyed. Genesis 19 tells us she was urgently warned to run for her life and not look back. She didn’t listen. Perhaps she was distracted by what was happening behind her, or she was more comfortable dwelling in the past. The future is scary and unknown, after all! Lot’s wife paid with her life. Don’t let your past destroy who you are today, and who God is shaping you to be tomorrow.
5 Ways to Talk to God When You Can’t Pray – How do you talk to God when you can’t or don’t know how to pray? There are no rules for talking to Jesus. These five practical tips for talking to God are inspired by Abraham’s encounter with Jesus in Genesis 18. You don’t have to believe Jesus or the Holy Spirit to benefit from my tips – just keep an open mind and consider new possibilities!
Previous Blossom Tips
- What to Feed Your Heart and Your Free Gift – Blossom Tip 62
- Starting Over When Life Knocks You Down – Blossom Tip 61
- When You’re Left Behind – Blossom Tip 60