It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but it feels good to sit down and finally write down what I’ve experienced over the past month. College has been an unexpected whirlwind for sure. Between all the classes, homework, and starting over with new friends when I’ve had a solid group of them since third grade, it’s been insanely hard for me to take time to sit down and write out my thoughts. However, amidst all this chaos and uncertainty, I have come to find that the most critical thing we all need, no matter what season of life we are in, is hope.
Hope is crucial. Without it, we would all be walking through life with these “Negative-Nelly” attitudes, incapable of anticipating a positive and fulfilling future. For believers in Christ, hopelessness cripples our faith. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” The very Word of God alludes to the fact that if we don’t have hope, we don’t have faith. However, essentially ANYONE who lacks hope, also lacks insight on their life having purpose and meaning.
Over the past month, I have developed a deeper understanding of true hope. Attending Liberty University was not my initial plan. In fact, it wasn’t my plan at all. I can’t tell you how many times I said, “I’m not going to Liberty. That’s not the plan.” I knew that Liberty was not the path many people took. It was the road less traveled for sure, and LC did not want to be separated from her friends, and the reputation she had built in high school. (Yes…I just referred to myself in third person.) No part of me wanted to rebuild my identity and establish new friendships. But God works in mysterious ways and we see where I ended up.
I am also not playing soccer, which has been a devastating experience. All I’ve ever wanted to do was play soccer at the Division 1 level, and I believe with all of my heart that I could have played anywhere I wanted to. But, many times doors close, and the bone spur on my hip said, “you’re done playing soccer for right now.” Honest to goodness, I would do anything to be back on the field. So, I mean it when I say that I have truly been buggin’ this past month. I’m in a season in my life where a lot of things don’t make sense in my mind, and I’m tempted to see the future as bleak and empty.
However, there’s this cool aspect of the God whom I like to call Dad. He has revealed to me so many nuggets of hope, it’s unreal! In the middle of my struggles, where my normal response is to dramatically sprawl out into the middle of a floor and throw a tantrum about the things the world says I’m missing out on, I am instead responding by actively committing my life into God’s hands and HOPING for the best.
More often than we should, we allow circumstances to define our identities. I think we can all relate to having thought why we aren’t being blessed for the “good” (emphasis on the quotation marks) we’ve done in life, when those around us seem to be on cloud nine with all of their accomplishments and accolades. Ultimately, our issue then becomes lacking hope in what our future holds. However, living without hope is senseless. It leads to nothing but despair and depression. Two miserable emotions that no one wakes up in the morning wishing they felt.
So, what has God revealed to me that I can share with y’all.
For the past few weeks, I am constantly shown that this sad season of my life is not the definition of who I am. Neither are my circumstances prior to this season, the definition of who I am. Yes, it sucks that we have to experience some degree of biblical suffering. It doesn’t seem fair that while we are in a season of personal dormancy, those around us are flourishing. But for me, I would much rather be in the will of God and struggling, than be outside of the will of God and thriving.
It’s not easy for me to admit, or believe this, but in the end, God has something greater for me, and all of us out there. You and I need to hope and expect something far beyond our own interpretation of greatness.
You may ask, “How do you know that you will experience something great at the end of all of this?”
My question to you would be, “Why wouldn’t I expect that?!” I don’t serve a God who does things without a reason behind them. I don’t serve a God who allows sad seasons to appear in my life just to reward me with more sadness. It’s just not who He is. The God I serve allows me to enter into specific struggles to glorify Him through my weaknesses, and prepare me for the greater victory that comes after I am molded into more of His likeness.
The willingness to sacrifice your pride and control over your future is a narrow, less traveled path. But, the outcome is so much greater!!!! I literally can not stress that enough. I am pumped, excited, stoked, elated, thrilled to experience the victory on the mountaintop that is coming to me soon. This season of my life may feel like trash, and let me tell you, I am so tempted sometimes to give up hope.
I’m not going to though. I prayed a prayer for God to take me deeper than my feet could ever wander…where my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Savior. Folks, He is definitely answering my prayer by calling me out onto some scary waters. I have hope though, and I trust that no matter what God is faithful, and “I will be confident that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)
“Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” Ephesians 3:20
“Be strong and take heart all you hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23