Note: I wrote this yesterday when I was feeling a lot more grumpy than I am today. God did such a good job cheering me up, I almost didn’t want to post it … but I’m thinking maybe someone out there may need the reminder … just like I did.
Okay, true confession time. I’ve been feeling more grumpy than grateful. I’ve been in a bit of a funk. The reasons aren’t all that important–oh I could probably try to make them sound important–but I won’t. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is the same–I’ve been in a funk and no matter how many pep talks I give myself , I haven’t been able to consistently get myself back to a place of joy and gratitude.
So here we are, right before Thanksgiving–the holiday for, um, giving thanks–and I have a dilemma. Due to my lack of right perspective, do I skip mentioning the holiday altogether in the cyber-world? Do I write authentically out of my not-so-strong-at-the-moment heart and just live with what comes out? Or do I try to muster up a lot more “rah-rah” than I feel and write something that doesn’t truly reflect where I am?
It’s not such an easy decision. I’ve always vowed to keep my writing (and my life) real. I want to be transparent … vulnerable. But I want to keep it real to encourage people–not to discourage them! And I can only encourage people through my struggles …
If my struggles ultimately point to hope.
The truth is most of us experience various “funks” from time to time. Most of us have down days. We have seasons of loss, or change, or struggle, or disappointment. Seasons where we have a hard time getting it (or keeping it) together. I share my own struggles in the hopes it will help someone else to not feel so alone … or strange … or isolated … or inadequate …
(Don’t know about you, but that’s the one that always gets me.)
We all need to know we’re not alone. God is with us–of course–but he’s God. We need to know that other, broken, fallible people can relate and have made it through …with their hope and faith intact.
That’s why I share the things I share. And that’s ultimately where I landed with my little dilemma. I just started writing. I’m still just me being me. I’m still sharing what’s on my heart. I’m still not faking it.
But I don’t have to fake it.
I don’t have to fake it because … as I write these words … as I remember why I do what I do … as I remember what I said ‘yes’ to … I’ve landed somewhere unexpected …
I’ve landed in hope.
Sometimes that’s all it takes … just remembering. Remembering his faithfulness. Remembering my own purpose. Remembering hope.
So that’s what I’m most thankful for this Thanksgiving–I’m thankful for hope. I’m thankful for hope that endures–even when my feelings of hope have dwindled. I’m thankful for hope that doesn’t disappoint–even when circumstances do. I’m thankful for hope that anchors me–even when I feel like I’m drifting out to sea. I’m thankful for hope that pursues me–even when I’ve given up the chase.
I’m thankful for the God of hope who fills me with all joy and peace in believing, that I might abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I love that he’s the One who does it. That takes the pressure off me (and you). I don’t have to put on a fake smile and do the “rah-rah.” I don’t have to try to impress God with my endless list of thankfulness. And I don’t have to muster up a fake sense of anticipation and expectation. Most of all, I don’t need to fake hope …
I just need to choose it.
And I do. I choose hope. I choose to believe.
I choose to believe that the God of hope (to whom I am truly thankful beyond words) will fill me once again with his very own joy and peace …
That he’ll fill me again with hope … abounding hope … enduring hope.
No matter how I feel right now. (Although now that I think of it, I’m feeling better already. I hope you are too.)
This Thanksgiving–wherever you are, whatever your circumstances–may you land, once again, in hope!