Before I even share how this became my word for 2017...take some time to think about what the word HOPE means to you?
For me hope means so many things like...
- Never giving up.
- Everything will be OK.
- Trust in the process.
- This too shall pass.
- This life is not my finish line.
- I can do hard things.
- Looking upward and forward - not within or behind.
- Being assured of things not seen, yet that my soul cannot deny.
- Knowing I'm never alone.
- I don't have to be afraid of what the future holds for me.
Hold On Pain Ends
Now, if you have been following along here for the last five years, then you know I've been given one word by God to walk out in the new year. Some of my past words have been surrender, conversion and trust (here and here). 2016 was filled with so many opportunities to trust in God, that I was almost afraid to pray for what His will would be for me this year. And I have to say "hope" was not the word I had in mind. But He attached the word joy to it. He wants me to find joy in hope. I know and have relied on hope many times over the last 12 years. I've experienced joy. But finding joy in hope. Can't say that I have done that one yet.
And when I sat with this word ( HOPE ) I began to struggle immediately with what He is truly going to be asking of me throughout 2017. He knew my thoughts before I even spoke them back to Him in prayer and in that still small voice He said, "Jill, you will need to find joy in hoping for things you cannot see or feel. You will need to surrender your hopes, dreams, desires to Me and trust Me."
My heart is still so tender from losing my mom just a few short weeks ago and things around here have not been easy - so the tears fell and I didn't stop them. This time I didn't fight against the sorrow in my heart or the thoughts rolling through my mind. I let them come and I asked the Lord to fill my heart with JOY as I put into practice all that I learned the last three years about what trusting in Him looks like on a day to day basis. And just like that He filled me with His peace that surpasses all understanding and my hope was restored.
Because He is that good and His mercy, grace and love are unending!
I have no idea what lies ahead for me this year, but I do know one thing - He is seriously in the details and will go before me every step of the way. Which means I can trust in whatever He is asking me to walk through this year.
My hope is in You alone Lord and I will trust in You. Thank You for leading the way for me to walk on the path You have for me!
2017, here I come ready and willing to live out this year full of HOPE!
Doesn't that just make you say, "Ahhhhhhhh!" My soul will need to cling to each of these truths this year, thus me sharing them with you!