Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Radical Hope and Unmet Expectations

I'll be honest. I really don't want to write this blog post AT ALL. But after continuing to read through Annie Down's book and reading her very own chapter on being single, I hear a resounding "me too."

I always feel guilty for writing about being single and God not yet fulfilling the prayers that I have continually asked for. As Annie reminded me, it's not simply about being at home alone, or in bed alone but rather is about a God who can do something about those unanswered prayers but doesn't. That is perhaps one of the hardest things for me especially when I watch as prayers are answered around me. My heart knows that God will answer those prayers in God's ways when the timing is right, but my head is irrational and wants those prayers answered RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE!

I must admit that I sometimes think that I overshare on this topic and that is not my intent at all. I don't want to scare any of you away. But last night as I read Annie's chapter on being single, I thought if Annie can be vulnerable and write what is on her heart, I too can muster up the courage to do the same; to put down my fears and share what is on my heart.

I am a thirty seven year old woman who deeply yearns to be a Mom and a wife. Ever since I was a little girl, I would play house with my sister and dream of meeting my Mr. Right and having a family. Yet I am still..........waiting!! And in the midst of that waiting, I know that God has a beautiful plan in store for me but some days; ok must days, it is easier said than done to trust in that plan for my life. It is like taking a giant leap of faith not knowing where the floor is underneath me. But in the book of Jeremiah I am reminded, "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you; plans to give you a future with hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

A future with hope...YES! That is exactly what I cling to and hope in. These words from Annie's book were a giant exclamation point for me. She writes, "We walk through seasons that are filled with unmet expectations and potential for radical hope (Lets All Be Brave; Annie F Downs; P. 163)." I read those words over and over again. Then in the margins of the book, I wrote YES in huge letters next to that quote.

That is the truth, my friend, like the seasons change around us, the seasons change in our lives too. And sometimes those seasons can be confused in their own time and space. I am chuckling as I write this as it is snowing big fluffy snowflakes at the moment, yet the calendar says it is Spring. We indeed all walk through unmet expectations and potential for radical hope; a radical hope that is grounded in the promise of the Resurrection.

That radical hope and those unmet expectations are so evident in my life when I sit at home on a Friday night by myself. That radical hope and those unmet expectations are evident when another friend announces a pregnancy or an engagement. That radical hope and those unmet expectations are there as the tears quietly and silently fall from my face in the privacy of my home. Yet the truth is, that in the midst of that radical hope and those unmet expectations, that God still promises to never leave me or forsake me.

"Don't panic, I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you."--Isaiah 41:10 (The Message Translation) Oh how those words grab a hold of me and speak to every fiber of my being. God has a firm hold on you friends! God has a firm hold on me! And yes, somedays I wish that God would loosen that grip. But I also need to be brave and hold on to that grip knowing that God does indeed have a plan for me. We are never alone. Jesus says to each of us, "I will never leave you or forsake you."

"To be brave here is to know that, no matter what your marital status is, male or female, always single or happily married, or every spot in between, you are never alone." (Let's All Be Brave; Annie F. Downs; P. 164)

15 comments:

  1. Amen, my friend! I am so proud of you for being brave! I LOVE love loved Annie's book and as I read this post I thought, Hey - you should contact her and tell her when you are going to be in Nashville... if she's in town, she would totally meet up with you! How fun would THAT be? I can't think of anyone more fun, honestly! Just a thought! (Seriously... you should do it! It can't hurt, right?)

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    1. I LOVE love love Annie's book too! So I totally messaged her on Facebook last night. :P Totally would be fun to meet Annie in person this summer in Nashville.

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  2. Yes. God is enough and he's with us through every sigh or sob or sadness (and all our joys, too). Have you ever read A Light in Mitford by Jan Karon? God loves you, tenderly, joyfully and he promises to shelter you always and be with you forever. Don't give up hope. He has a PLAN!

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    1. I have not read that book before. I looked for it on my Kindle last night and it looks like it is part of a series. I'll totally have to check it out sometime. I am not giving up hope even though some days it does feel like all hope is lost. You are right. God love me tenderly, joyfully, and promises to never leave me or forsake me.

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  3. yes. I think I hear ya. I feel so guilty about wanting "my life back" (the ministry I prepared to do, schooled to do, and still feel called to do), I barely even blog about it and barely even hint about it out side of cyberspace. "Radical" = rooted = in God's promises of resurrection itself!

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    1. Oooh I didn't know that is what radical means. Love it!!!

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    2. cool, isn't it? consider the word "radishes," too. Shortly after I started blogging, I blogged about radishes and will send you what I wrote, though I don't recall to what extent I drew upon the word radical. Hope and a full future to both of us, and to all those many many out there who haven't dared acknowledge their dreams and desires. Hugs!

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  4. And to think I thought it was hard to be single in my twenties. I'm sure it is a different focus and what you are actually going through is hard. I actually found when I stopped worrying about what would happen and was free to just be me I met my husband. I had determined I would never marry anyone (not sure why). I even wrote out a list and told God I wasn't going to marry anyone unless they met my impossible standard. And guess what months after I made my declaration I met my now husband. I tried to fight it, I was so happy being single I didn't want everything to get messed up. I'm glad I finally changed my mind. And after getting to know him I realized he met all of my qualifications for my impossible list.

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    1. I am trying not to worry so much about it. And honestly, I don't worry about it as much as I used too. Just hard when I am in my 30s and easily creeping up to my 40s. I did write a letter to my someday future husband on my blog a few years ago. I might have to dig that letter up again and post on a TBT 5 for 5 on our FB page. Thanks for sharing your story with me, Amanda!

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  5. Please keep writing, telling us your WHOLE story. Because it is important. And we want you to be brave. And we want to be able to be here when you struggle and remind you of the big, beautiful thing God is doing NOW in you and through.

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    1. Colleen, I WILL keep writing. Thank you for reminding me that you want to hear my WHOLE story. That is such an important key piece for me to remember. And you are right...sometimes I do lose sight...but God is indeed doing big, beautiful things through me NOW! :)

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  6. Thank you for bravely sharing your heart. I am thankful for the way that the blogging community encourages bravery and authenticity. Hugs and prayers, friend. :-)

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    1. Jo, thank you! I too am thankful for the way the blogging community encourages bravery and authenticity. Who should we be but the whole of who God created us to be? Yet that is so hard at times. Thanks for the hugs and prayers. Back at ya!

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  7. I love reading your honesty! Its so hard to be single, so hard to be married ...Sometimes its just hard to persevere and stay under God's plan, but I know he has an amazing future already laid out for you. :)

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    1. Melissa, thank you! It really is just hard...hard to be single, hard to be married, etc. The hardest part is not knowing what lies ahead. But I am clinging to the promise and words that God indeed has an amazing future laid out for me!

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