“Where then is my hope – who can see any hope for me?”
Sitting on the cold concrete porch, my heart pounded within my chest over my new reality. I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough. Those words resounded within my head so loudly I wondered if everyone around me could hear them. Were they already thinking the same thing?
Meeting Our Lack
When my hope for a perfect life fell apart, I become aware of my lack and keenly aware of my inability to meet that needfulness. Playing over my life for the past 17 years did not help to solve my lack. I could not fix my problems. The game of wondering “what if” would have sent me into a permanent tailspin. But God. The shame and despair from life’s messes can make us try to meet our needs with counterfeit saviors. Admitting our lack is the first step toward healing our brokenness and restoring real hope that is not dependent on having all of our “needs” met.
The revelation that I wasn’t enough to keep my ex-husband from making the choices he made hurt deeply in the darkest days of my life, but this bittersweet truth also showed me Who was enough. Our loving Creator knows our needs before we do and is fully capable of meeting them in His time.
Our loving Creator knows our needs before we do and is fully capable of meeting them in His time.
Our home was shattered. My children and I had an uncertain future in the world’s eyes, but not in God’s. I could not feel my hands or feet from anxiety pulsing through my veins and the relentless battle in court left me numb. But it was in that place of dearth that I met God in a much deeper place.
Our greatest need could not be met without walking through our greatest suffering.
Desperate for God to speak into my life, I devoured Bible studies and God’s Word like I was starving. The Bible reading plan I have used every year since those moments became my hideaway and a place where I would go and meet and weep with God. Like love letters He penned exactly for my need in each moment, His living Word healed me. Each word took on deeper meaning, each passage offered new insight I had not seen before.
In the midst of trying to patch together the hope I thought I had, I had not recognized the idol that hope had become. It was as if I had expected my dreams to all come true because I belonged to God. When they did not, and instead I was left with so much pain and loss, my hope was transformed through God’s Word into a better hope.
I had really wanted security. That’s really what is at the foundation of our hope. I thought security depended upon my plans coming to fruition. In an insecure world, God lovingly showed me that enduring security was in knowing God and trusting Him, no matter what. We are secure because of Who God is. The hope we have in Him is secure because all His plans never fail.
Job 11:18, “You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.”
A Better Hope
Wondering how we got to our new normal can paralyze us if all we focus on is the death around us. Sometimes our plans need to die so we can see God’s plans.
I cried out to God again and again, “Oh God, what hope can you give when our world is falling apart? What future can there be when all I thought I had is gone?” He answered me, “A better hope and future, one that does not end.” The well-known passage in Jeremiah 29:11 became a promise I could hold onto: “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.”
My plans did not matter anymore. I was His. And He was mine.
Processing grief through His lens, He lovingly showed me that my deepest sorrow was not about me, after all. The hope I had for the perfect life was shattered on the floor and though I tried so hard to put the pieces back together into a messy puzzle, God created something of far greater worth and beauty. He changed my hope.
Looking back, what I thought was the death of hope was a doorway to a greater hope than I ever thought possible. Hope was not gone, after all. It was just in the wrong place. God met me in that place and introduced me to hope incarnate: Himself.
“the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”
Denise Pass is an author, speaker and CCM worship leader from Fredericksburg, VA, where she lives with her amazing husband and 5 children, whom she home educated. Denise is passionate about writing devotions and music that foster unshakable hope and healing in the face of seemingly insurmountable circumstances. Her ministry umbrella, Seeing Deep in a Shallow World seeks to be a compass grounded in Scripture and a place where real problems meet real, transparent faith and needed answers in Scripture.
* The Bible verses on this page are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.