Thursday, December 3, 2015

Living Hope

As I pondered Bonnie Gray's  One Word Advent writing prompt for this week ~ hope ~  I found myself thinking about a statement I heard yesterday about hope. Bill Johnson of Bethel Church said, "If we embrace fear it will turn our hope into hopelessness."

There have been times during this season of my life that I have let fear take up residence and hopelessness has come to visit.

We were excited!  Our trip to Arizona last winter brought with it a desire to move there and begin a new ministry.  We felt called by God.  Retired.....we wanted to refire for our Lord.  We planned, purged, organized, and began to pack as we put our home on the market in the middle of August.  Just two weeks later during a routine physical and mammogram, it was discovered that I had breast cancer. We were stunned.  We took our home off the market immediately, and began to try to digest what my future, our future would hold.

Surgery followed and even with a good prognosis I am in the midst of 6 weeks of radiation, 5 days a week.  The side effects to my skin are starting to take their toll, and even though the end is in sight I began to think about all the what ifs that are ahead.  I began to wonder why, when God healed me of 27 years of Lyme Disease through prayer, I needed to have surgery and radiation for the cancer.  The more I pondered and questioned, the more fear set in and the more fear set in the more hopelessness seeped into my pores.  Yesterday I had a meltdown and what came out of my heart through my mouth was not pretty.  Our dreams looked so far away and near impossible.  This cancer diagnosis was not a surprise to God. We had prayed and prayed about moving.  So God, what was this about? Hopeless.  I felt hopeless.

But during this Advent season of remembering and waiting and preparing, we look to the One who has it all planned out.  We have living Hope that breathes life into us and helps us remember why Jesus came to earth.  He came for us.  Isaiah 53 tells us he suffered and died for our sins and for our sicknesses. The two are tied together and we cannot accept one without out considering the other.

Living Hope came into the world as a baby.  Every day we open our eyes to a new sunrise and we have hope.  Like Annie says, "The sun will come out tomorrow...."  And every day we open our eyes to God's Son, too.  Our living Hope.  Fear has no place when we remember that He has us, He is with us, He knows our future and He is our Hope.

"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. 
 Plans for good and not for evil.  
To give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11



Lisa Lewis said...

Thank you so much for sharing through your vulnerable and transparent words. So much change! And loss. And yet, truly you have been living out hope. Hope does not disappoint but fear does. May you continue to grow and heal and trust God more and more each day!

Anita Johnson said...

This is a beautiful post, Renee. Fitting all the time for reflection, and just perfect for me today. Thank you for sharing your walk with me today.

Debbie Petras said...

I am so glad you stopped by my blog Heart Choices and left your comment. Life is hard but God is faithful. I've learned that through personal experience. I live in Arizona so I understand your desire to move here. It is a beautiful state. But God's timing is perfect. I will pray for your complete healing and that you would feel His comfort and presence so fully in your life as you navigate this challenge.