Monday, September 24, 2012

Hope is the thing with feathers

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
do not let my hopes be dashed. (Psalm 119:116 NIV)

What a difference a weekend makes. I had not one but two opportunities for fellowship with some good Christian women in the past few days. My Ministry Wives meeting Saturday morning, while small, was very encouraging. There were women from different seasons of life who came together to talk and support each other as we support our husbands in ministry. It was a beautiful thing. My feelings of loneliness and isolation slowly began to diminish. I began to feel hopeful again. There was a flutter in my soul, which of late had been still and silent.

I was invited by a church member to join a MOPS Bible study yesterday morning. After making several excuses in my head about why I couldn't possibly fit this into my schedule, I said a quick prayer and pointed the minivan in the direction of the church in Princeton. I came in late because Ava had some anxiety about the new place and new people in the nursery. Once I got her settled, I found an open chair and sat down. I hadn't read the book or done the homework, something that would typically set me on edge--the feeling of being unprepared ranks with extreme hunger or social embarrassment for me.

I simply listened as the women discussed their homework. Anyone who knows me knows that this is not normal. I'm a talker. But I was just so interested in what everyone else had to say I didn't even think to share my stories. Perhaps next week. I am hopeful.

These past few months I feel like I've been on a long walk in a strange place. A walk, I'll admit, that I felt I was on by myself. God has given me great responsibilities and blessings, but He never expected me to endure them alone.

My mind is racing with all the possibilities for fellowship, friendship, and service to others with these wonderful women. I am hopeful.

I will tell that voice inside my head that says, "You are all alone" to be quiet. I will be firm and direct. It is not the voice of God. It is God's nature to draw us to Him, not away from Him.

I can do just about anything when I have hope--hope that what I'm doing makes a difference; hope that things will get better; hope that there might be rest or reward at the end of the trial. No day is perfect, but hope makes each day an opportunity instead of a burden.

My favorite quote about hope:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
― Emily Dickinson

What are you hopeful about today?

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