“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Hope, a word of encouragement used so often when talking with friends or family. Hope you have a safe trip. Hope you have a good day. Hope things go well for you.
Hope. What does that really mean? And how does it apply to a life that has pain, grief, and uncertainty?
The dictionary defines hope as a feeling of trust. And Wikipedia had this to say: Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.
A state of mind. That would suggest to me that hope is a choice. Choose hope? A far off concept for me in 2014.
Experiencing the loss of a spouse has taught me valuable lessons about what I can and cannot choose. Hope for me, was not something I could bring myself to…at first. Other obstacles found their way into my head.
Worry. What’s going to happen to the kids and I? Are we going to be ok?
Fear. How can I live alone? Travel alone? Do life without him?
Sadness. Will missing him this deeply, ever go away? Will the tears of sorrow ever stop?
Loneliness. The house is so empty. The long, cold winters, so isolating. Will this emptiness ever disappear?
Hope is hard to find when we’re living with any of these raw emotions.
So how do we move past this, getting to a spot where you can find hope again? Jeremiah 29:11 was my place to start. This verse has a way of speaking to me in many difficult situations. But when it comes to moving forward from grief, I found this verse to be most comforting.
Jesus has a plan. His plan is the right plan. Not my plan, not my way. The exercise of thinking “outside the box” was at a new level. Seeing that His plan was best required that I take a leap of faith into a realm I had no knowledge.
Really God, taking Randy from this earth so soon, long before we had planned. Is that really best? A question I won’t be able to fully answer until I’m in heaven, but nonetheless, a wonder that I will have to set aside until then.
When I started to accept God’s plan for my life and set aside my own questions, worries and wonders is the day I could see a future. I could start to trust. I could find hope! It certainly did not mean I liked the plan of losing my husband at age 52. Or that it would be easy to set it aside, but it meant I needed to trust His ways. Trust that no matter what happened or will happen, He is at my side! Always and forever. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Cornerstone, a popular Christian song sums it up beautifully. “In Christ alone, my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song.” It reminds me of a construction crew as they begin erecting a building. The first stone set is called the cornerstone. It’s the foundation. The base of the building. This one brick will set the direction for the entire project.
That’s it. That’s the point and why we need Jesus. He points us in the direction and is our solid foundation for everything else in our life.
Believing these words, trusting Christ as my cornerstone is what gives me hope. Now and forevermore. Hope has a name and His name is Jesus!