Life twists and turns and sometimes, when we are lucky, follows a straight path with little deviation. My son, Nicholas, knows about this journey called life. A year ago, he faced some unexpected and difficult news. But he didn’t let things end there.
I watched, listened, and learned as Nicholas maneuvered the challenges and turned toward hope in the process. It is a gift to see how God redeems and restores each messy part of our life with His beautiful grace and wholeness. Join my son as he vulnerably shares his own journey to hope.
“Ten… nine… eight…” the countdown had started. I was a mere 10 seconds away from one of the hardest years of my life being over. The atmosphere was electric as the crowd waited in anticipation of 2019 beginning. God did something incredible in the last week of 2018 to make this evening possible.
“Three… two… one…” fireworks went off and the Christmas lights made a synchronized dance to songs of hope. I felt the hand I was holding give me a squeeze, I looked into her eyes and knew right then and there… 2019 was going to be an incredible year.
To paint this picture for you, I need to back up to the beginning of 2018:
It was a cold, late winter evening as I walked outside. I put my duffel bag and laptop in my trunk and took a deep breath. I was about to say something I never dreamed of saying and I had to do something I never thought I would.
I sat in the drivers seat, started the car and placed a phone call. A familiar voice picked up on the other end, “hi son.”
“Mom, I can’t believe I’m about to say this but [my wife] wants a divorce. Can I have a place to stay tonight?” The tears started rolling down my cheeks as a tsunami of questions tore through my mind: how did it get to this, am I a failure, am I ever going to be loved or used by God again?
Pain-filled moments will change the trajectory of your life. The question is will you cling to hope in Jesus or will you run away from Him?
No Longer Running Away
The marriage I was in was not even remotely healthy. I won’t go into details, but know that I am not someone who believes in divorce nor do I think it’s an option. It is quite possibly one of the worst things you could go through in your life, very much like going through surgery without anesthesia or pain killers.
The odds are great that you have been in a painful moment like this. Maybe it’s not divorce but it’s a phone call late at night that you didn’t ever want to receive. Maybe it’s news from a doctor that crushed you, or maybe it was rejection from someone you love. Whatever it was, you found yourself in the darkest times of your life not knowing if you’d survive to see the sun rise again.
An easy response would be to blame God and believe He isn’t good because He let this thing happen to you. I’ve seen many people take this path but it never leads to hope again. No, I chose hope because I couldn’t possibly live life without it. So how do we get hope? How do we trust it could ever come back?
Romans 5:3-5 says this:
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 ESV
“We rejoice in our sufferings”
It may, at the very least, seem crazy to rejoice in our suffering. But I can tell you, not only was 2018 one of the hardest years of my life, it was also one of the best. I knew that even though the night was darker than I had ever seen before, the day was going to be so good and bright. I never wanted this life to feel wasted or anything less than fully alive. God answered that prayer with a resurrection for me in 2018.Pain-filled moments will change the trajectory of your life but the question is will you cling to hope in Jesus or run away from Him? Click To Tweet
We serve a God who makes all things new. It doesn’t matter how far you’ve run, it doesn’t matter how dark the night is… He can make you new just like He did for me.
I don’t regret anything that I went through in 2018: the divorce, health issues, anxiety, costly water damage at my home… no all of that brought me right where I am. It wasn’t easy to go through but I know more than ever that God provides and I know that God is love.
Hope comes from character, character comes from endurance, and endurance comes from suffering.
So how did God make that New Years Eve possible? The short answer is: He helped me throughout 2018 learn what real love is by leading me through trials. He then brought someone into my life to reflect His love in a way I never thought possible. The even shorter answer: He gave me hope.
May 2019 be full of songs of hope for you. There’s more to come!
I am blessed to share this story of hope and to wrap up this mini series on Romans 5:1-5 with these words from my son.
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