“We cling to hope because love always hopes. Sometimes we walk through difficult seasons and serve among difficult people. But loving those whom God has called us to serve means holding on for the hope of God’s glory revealed in them. Will every dream come to pass? No. But when your heart is for his glory, God finds a way to achieve his purposes in you. Sometimes God calls us to stay. Sometimes he releases us to go. But go or stay, God is at work in us for our good and his glory, and that hope never let us down.” (Renewed, Leigh Powers, pg 167)
Honestly, my hope wavers.
Until we know with surety the direction we are to take (go or stay), I feel my hope is confined in a bowl of jello-like negativity. It keeps me from stretching too far out and keeps my motions small. It is a bit of a struggle to feel successful when most of my days are limited by emotion and health and needs and we wait and search and wonder. We simply must combat the fear with trusting God with it all. There is no other way.
Our small prayer group is 100% unified in supporting us. They are almost all united in wanting to start a church together with us. One couple alone has doubts but they are also still excited about the possibility of starting something new. From a pastoral point of view, it is a wonderful thing to be surrounded with people who love God and love you and love the others and want to do community life together.
We met with a couple who are like family to us and who also attend our last church. They came over this week and we caught up a bit on all that’s happened since February. It was good but also disappointing. Challenging may be a better word. I’m still thinking through some of the conversation but have been able to let much of it go just because they are disconnected from much of what happened and so their perspective is also skewed. I felt the anger, and am between grieving and moving on from it.
I think that hope comes in strength once anger and grieving have done their work.
I will swing more towards hope again. In another day or week or month… my season of hope will take its place and beautiful things will grow.
In the meantime, I’m caught in a few more of those spring snowstorms that are so common where I live. And they have their place too – providing much of the moisture needed for the crops and filling the lakes and rivers… those storms have their purpose for the preparation of the land for the harvest that is to come. 🙂
Thank you to those who have journeyed with me through Leigh Power’s book, Renewed: A 40 Day Devotional for Healing from Church Hurt and for Loving Well in Ministry (2017). It has been quite the process, as we faced the difficult end from yet another church and have had lots of topics to identify with as we began the healing.