It was the phone call we had been hoping for. Two months of interviews with a church and desperate cries for clarity had been the daily rhythm for our family of seven. Just days before, two lead pastors and their wives flew in to spend the day to get to know us. We were sure that God was connecting the dots for this job to be our new reality.
How is it possible to remain consistently hopeful for such an exhausting period of time?
God was surely ahead of our story, and I was right where He wanted me . . . finding Him consistently present in the unknown.
I have sought Him out in fresh ways and would never wish this season away, but I’m telling you that the stress seemed to dominate our days.
I am learning that the hard times harvest hope.
When we sow seeds of trust, the Spirit gives us everything we need for living victorious — one foot in front of the other.
The dark days of waiting are where we practice being fully at peace with where God is taking us.
I am surely not amazing at this. Are you?
Honestly, I was over all the hoping and trying to keep my family above water. Well, let’s just say that the morning was relaxing and off to a beautiful start. My people were already playing in the pool. And music from the jam box may have awakened all the neighbors earlier than they’d like.
Conversations were all over the map as our teens dreamed out loud about a possible move to Colorado, between cannon balls and sunscreen. It was in that moment that our oldest noticed a missed call from the church we had been waiting for.
“Dad, you just missed a call from Jonathon!”
My husband questioned nervously, “On Memorial Day?”
To which I over-confidently replied as any cheering wife would, “Surely it’s hopeful news . . . who delivers hard news on a holiday anyway?”
I swooped up the crying toddler from the pool and took him in the house to give Daddy some peace for the “epic” news. I loaded up his highchair with all forms of toddler snacks, and peered out the window to see what exactly was playing out in my backyard.
My heart hit the floor as I caught a glimpse of my fully trusting husband, weary with disappointment.
Head down and shoulders worn out from carrying such uncertainty, shared the news without a single spoken word. The only sentence I could get out was, “Oh no. God, why not? Why are You doing this to us?”
God spoke straight into my depleted spirit: Jenny, you told me two months ago if this wasn’t My very best, you would trust that I was up ahead working it out right?
I did say that out loud. He was right on point.
The Spirit comforted me with the truth that God was not doing this to us . . . He was doing this for us.
I believed Him.
Hope doesn’t always look like the answer we’ve been waiting for. God’s economy of hope is built on belief in the unseen.
To say that we suffered two months of loss is a true story. Heavy tears filled up the Asian eyes of our daughter Molly. She did not love seeing Daddy broken. The oldest, Zach, sat in silence with Dad and then left to go run off his disbelief. Peyton Jeff, our third born felt that a guinea pig purchase would cheer us all up (insert all the mom comments about smelly pets and cleaning out cages).
After thirty minutes of feeling heart-sick, our second oldest, Keaton, opened up the computer and began the job search all over again. Thank heavens he had the momentum to start over, because we sure didn’t.
I was filled up with more hope than I thought possible that day.
We’ve all been at this place right?
Maybe today you are standing on the edge of believing in God’s leading while feeling annoyed with the long haul ahead.
You do not stand alone!
Let us be the ones who keep watch for all the ways God chooses to harvest hope in the midst of wild uncertainty and deep heartache.