Expecting Hope

Think of the last time you were hopeful.  Was it a hope that something was going to happen?  Confidence in knowing you looked like a complete rock star walking into Target? Were you expectant that when you had to give that presentation at work, and you knew you would blow it out of the water?

Now, think about the last time you were insecure. 

Are memories and instances flooding to your mind?  Do the insecurities seem to outrageously number the moments of confidence? 

Take a deep breath.  Sit with these thoughts for just a second.  Maybe 2 or 3….or 60 seconds.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where is your hope in Jesus?  Does your confidence soar and seem so big when things are going awesome in your life?  Does it drop down to the depths of the earth when difficult situations arise? 

For much of my time as a Christian, I think I had this idea and concept:  Jesus loves me, Jesus died for me, and Jesus is there for me.  Thanks Jesus.  And that was the extent of it.  These thoughts and beliefs didn’t have an impact on my life.  They didn’t change me.  I kept living my daily life with the good things along with the bad.  It wasn’t until I encountered Jesus in a real way that my life began to change.  Like.  For real change. 

I remember when my husband and I found out we were going to be parents for the first time.  I knew that I was pregnant.  I felt it within the core of my being.  I was so confident of this that I was already filled with joy and was ridiculously giddy a week before I took the test.  Sure enough, those two blue lines appeared on the pee stick and I rushed out of the bathroom with such joy I could hardly hold it together from bursting.  I called everyone.  Texted everyone.  And, I made it official by posting the picture of me holding the test on Facebook.  The days inched by as we waited to go to the doctor for my first check up.  We were excited and expectant that things would go smoothly.  After our doctor appointment, everything came crashing down.  Despite our best efforts, I miscarried our first baby at 11 weeks.  I remember being heart broken.  Confused.  Angry.  So sad.  And terrified to try again. 

We quickly became pregnant again and throughout my pregnancy, we dealt with a medical issue that put me at risk for another miscarriage, and then found out our baby had a heart and artery defect.  It was a rocky and emotional pregnancy.  Flash forward 9 months, and I was in a delivery room saying hello to my son.  I remember seeing him for the first time, and a piece of my heart that I didn’t even know existed, began to stir inside of me.  And the only thing that I was confident of as a new mother was that I didn’t want him to experience things that I experienced.  And I knew I had to figure out how to break the chains of generational heartache.

It was the birth of my son that moved me to start seeking Jesus in a deeper way.  And it was through this deep exploration that I realized that I didn’t have any clue as to who Jesus is.  The Jesus I had in my mind was the one who could make my life comfortable and easy.  When the reality is that following Him is very difficult and uncomfortable much of the time.  I thought He could clean up my messes and organize things in my life way better than Martha Stewart; when the reality is that He will walk with me, but the consequences of my choices and cleaning up the messes involve me getting my hands dirty.  But, my precious friend, there is so much more to Jesus than this.

As Paul tells us in his letter to the believers in Rome:         

“All around us we observe a pregnant creation.  The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs.  But it’s not only around us; it’s within us.  The Spirit of God is arousing us within.  We’re also feeling the birth pangs.  These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance.  That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminished a pregnant mother.  We are enlarged in the waiting.  We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us.  But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” (Romans 8:22-25 MSG)

Just as with pregnancy and child birth, there is a lot of turmoil.  Preparation.  Pain.  But, there is a joyful expectancy!  We can be completely confident that at the end of this time, there will be a baby and that baby will awaken love and joy like we’ve never known.  Oh Beloved.  Do you see the parallel to our faith? 

These times are hard.  It seems the world is becoming harsher, more evil, and more violent.  It is depressing, overwhelming, and anxiety filled to see everything that is wrong in this world.  And, it makes us question our faith even more so than we already do.  But, we know Jesus.  And He is the only source of hope. There is a joy that is coming.  These pains of life are real.  They are difficult.  But rest assured, my friend, that they are worth it.  These pains will challenge you and bring you to your knees in surrender.  They will cause you to look up to hear Jesus saying to you, “I got you, keep going.”  You may have questions, doubts, and fears regarding your faith.  But there is expectancy that Jesus can and is going to make everything right.  Hold on to this hope in the birthing pains of this life sweet sister.  Absolute, pure, true, unfathomable-by-our-finite minds joy is coming.  Let’s start expecting it with eagerness.

Megan Sinisi is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She describes herself as a 30-something year old lady who is still figuring out who the heck she is and sometimes worries she is just crazy. Megan is a most of the time stay at home mom of 3 precious little “tyrants” whom she loves more than her own breathe and wife to an amazing husband. She absolutely adores a good cup of coffee, chocolate and peanut butter combinations, coloring, being crafty, figuring out homeschooling her children, being silly and laughing with her husband, and chatting with friends about embarrassing moments and deep things at the same time. She has a love and fervor for writing and is walking in faith that God is calling her to use the passion and the gift He has given her. She hopes that her journey encourages, challenges, inspires, comforts, and most importantly, shines the light of Jesus and the reality of His love, grace, and mercy. More writings can be found on Megan's blog at: https://myrenderingheart.wordpress.com/