Jesus, My Living Hope

Hindsight is a crazy thing. It can also be infuriating when you realize you could have done something different.

I vividly remember the feeling I had on Sunday as I thought about Monday. I mentally prepare myself for each day. I think about what I have to do and plan for them accordingly. If I’m going to have meetings I run through them in my head. I’m a project manager by trade, but it’s something that comes natural to me. It’s so natural that I don’t even have to write things down. The thoughts and planning are quick and the process is instinctual. It’s a way for me to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare for stuff.

It’s a slippery slope from having a plan for the purpose of being prepared and becoming a control freak that gets anxiety when things don’t go the way you planned it. I used to really struggle with that. Now, some would say I’m the total opposite, but I’m not. I’ve learned to be a planner in a much healthier way. First, I usually have a plan A, B, C, D, E and second, I have enough experience to know that if none of those work out, then I’ll come up with something. No plan is worth anxiety, but I must admit that sometimes, it can be stressful. Especially the kind of plans you have your heart set on and the expectations are on the emotional side (to see someone happy, etc).

All of that to continue what I started to say about remembering the feeling I had on Sunday when I was planning for my Monday. As the planning occurred in my head, without anyone even know that’s what I was doing, I had that anxious/nervous feeling come over me. You know? The one where you feel a pit in your stomach and feel butterflies? Has that ever happened to you? I didn’t understand the feeling because in the moment I was thinking about work. Things at work have been busy and occasionally complicated, but nothing to bring about that feeling, so I just ignored it. I woke up the next morning, went on with my day. It was a busy day, but nothing major happened and I forgot about the “butterflies.”

Our lives can get pretty busy. I’m the type of person who know the day of the week it is, but never the day (number) of the month. I have to look at the calendar multiple times a day if the date is needed for something; and sometimes 5 minutes apart. I’m notorious for forgetting birthdays and important occasions (including my own) because of this. But, for some reason the other day I woke up very aware of the day of the month it was. When I’d see the date on my phone or my calendar, it was like it would pop out at me. Oddly, it’s not a date I even want to remember, so I thought it to be annoying.

That date was a glaring reminder of something that I needed to get done, so I decided to work on that very thing. There are some things in life that need to be taken care of, but dealing with it bring “feel bad” emotions. They still need to get done and delaying the inevitable just does more damage than good. Anywho, I began to take care of the task and unfortunately found out some information in the process that was not pleasing. True to my personality, however, I thought “what am I going to do about this? What’s the next step?” I took some hours off from work, got dressed, and went downtown to deal with my “stuff.”

My trip downtown was productive and I have some next steps that will help move stuff forward, but I also learned some information that put me up against a wall. If I’m honest, in that moment I got angry. Angry at how evil and manipulative some people are and angry at being put up against a wall. I left with a decision to make. Do I complain and cry putting myself in the position of a victim or do I stand in the words God spoke to me “stand in your victory” and walk confidently in the truth?

I’d love to say that standing up for the truth is easy. It can be, but not always. There are times standing up for the truth will require you to give all of you. It will require all convenience and comfort to be sacrificed, for a season. Circumstantial peace won’t be present and we must rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Giving up control is essential. We do what’s right and rest in God. Our eyes must remain on Jesus, even as meteors fall from the sky. It’s not an easy thing, but I can say, from experience, it’s totally worth it.

After getting back to work life went on. I took care of what I needed to and I put my trust in God. He gave me the wisdom to make a plan and it gave me the peace I needed. My mood completely shifted. I spent the early evening running errands with my daughters. I spent that entire time with them speaking in a funny accent, making them laugh, as well as shake their heads – mom is so corny. We came home, made dinner, and began to settle down for the evening while we waited for one to be done with her extracurricular. But then, the evening took a turn.

It became glaringly obvious that the enemy, the devil, evil, satan, darkness, hell -whatever you want to call it – was furious with us and was pulling stunts from wherever possible to hurt us. Leave it to evil to use those things we most love against us. It’s actually comical. We have been going through a season of learning to love like Jesus. Not only have we been learning it, but we have been intentional about transforming our lives to LIVE what we are learning. I don’t think I need to convince you that loving like Jesus is a hard thing, but nonetheless, our hearts desire to reflect Him that we are willing to let go of our ego, selfish desires, and self-protection to properly reflect the heart of God.

We are now presented with some hardcore hands-on learning; to practice what we learn and teach. Ideally, I would have liked to learn this stuff on a lovely journey through paradise, but I feel like as we were doing that, someone just decided to throw us off a cliff and see if we’d survive.

Well, we have just gotten started, but spoiler alert, WE SURVIVE. Not only will we survive, we will thrive. We will become more alive. We will receive more grace. We will overcome and help others overcome. We will be better for it. Why? How? Jesus! He is the answer. Through it all I will praise God. I don’t need the outcome to determine if God is worthy of praise…or my trust. I know He is. He has shown himself faithful over and over again. Darkness has overwhelmed at times, but light has always defeated darkness.

I will stand and rest on the promises of Psalm 91. Jesus is my Rock. My Fortress. My Stronghold. My soul trusts and rests in Him. He has already conquered darkness. I will stand in His victory.

JESUS IS MY LIVING HOPE!

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