I usually work really hard to make their birthday and party such a huge deal that I don't have time to stop and deal with my emotions until the night after their party and then I collapse into an emotional meltdown. It is exhausting to say the least and every year I think it will be different, that I will be able to deal differently, to be thankful instead of sorrowful and having my own little pity party. This year feels different. This year I feel as if God has been preparing my heart for weeks. God has been sending scriptures across my path dealing with hope. I thought it odd at first, why do I need words about hope? I'm fine. Aren't I?
The past few days I have had Jeremiah 29:11 rolling around in my head:
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Then yesterday in worship, our new pastor preached about finding hope in despair. When I read the title of his sermon I thought, "This isn't going to pertain to me. I'm not in despar. I'm fine." He read from Hebrews about our hope being an anchor for the soul. He then went on to tell a story about when his son was born and the complications his wife had with eclampsia...a story that was different yet very similar to my own. Odd that he would tell this story this week. God reminded me of the hope we had for our babies that were so tiny and sick and of the hope that I had that I would live through my illness to see my babies grow up.
Our closing hymn, "My Hope is Built," just about did me in. "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand." I was reminded of a story I read of a young seminarian who had been through a lot and was having a faith crisis. He told his mentor that he felt like he was standing on the shore at the beach and the sand was washing out from underneath him. I'll never forget his mentor's response. The mentor said, "When you feel as if the sand underneath you is washing away, stand firm because under that sand there is a solid rock."
I really wish I could remember the title and author of that book. I just happened to pick it up at a book store and read that one excerpt before putting it back on the shelf. At the time I read it, I wasn't ready to receive the message it offered, yet somehow it stayed with me.
All of this to say that I am listening to God's voice and relying on His Holy Spirit to