Days of Hope: Disappointment to Trust
Updated: Jan 8, 2022
I've been nursing an old wound lately, freshly triggered by a recent visit to see my family, who I haven't seen in 16 months due to Covid.
My parents, sister, brother-in-law, and two nieces all live 3000 miles away, and it's always been a secret dream of mine for all of us to live in the same city. I want our kids to grow up together and appreciate the layered dynamics of extended family and generational ties.
I've lived apart from my family since college, so it's been a long time. Long enough, at least in my mind. While complicated, I had hoped to be able to finally move to their city with my husband and daughter this summer. This trip was supposed to put that plan into motion. But it didn't. It actually did the opposite. It solidified the alternative...that we should stay put and continue living miles apart.
The realization of that has been crushing, not just because it pops the balloon that housed my dream, but because it burst the same dream for my parents and especially, my younger sister.
As I've been grappling with the reality that there will be no move, no fresh start, no new beginning, I've been seeking comfort from Him, the Source of all comfort. Since January of this year, I've been starting my days with very short meditations with the Soulspace app and the Bible Recap podcast. I'm a book nerd, so I even follow up on the podcast with the Bible Recap book. Even though I'm a few days behind, this week's Recaps have been especially poignant for me, as I hold various heartaches in my hands. And in light of my little hope experiment, I wondered where the hope was in this situation. But I think I got a bit of an answer today, as I reflected on David's self-talk while he was being persecuted by Saul.
If you grew up in church I'm sure you know the story so I won't repeat it here. But what stood out to me was how David reminded himself of God's faithfulness, love, and provision in his past. He essentially reminded himself that God is present and trustworthy. In his mental and emotional anguish,
He preached Truth to himself.
Of course, this begs the question, how do I preach Truth to myself? How do you? When do we do this? If ever?
If I am honest, and think back to all the times when God "showed up" in my life...there are many, though I wouldn't have characterized them to be God-moments back then. But I'm glad I remember them, and I'm glad I know God a little bit more today than before, because these remembrances have turned out to be exactly what I've been asking for lately...a comfort.
The hope I discovered today lies in the heart of this remembering...in this Truth-telling: there are times when I need to act, and there are times when I need to rest and wait. Regardless, God can be trusted with both.
God can be trusted with the timing of it all.
So I've decided I'm not going to try to strong-arm this. I'm not going to try to think of ways to make this happen. I've learned by now that some things are better in His timing than my own. And I have no reason to distrust Him (though I have plenty of reasons to distrust myself lol). God knows my heart and my intentions and He can see things I can't. My perspective is narrow compared to His, so I will wait for the right timing and pray that my confidence in Him grows in the meantime.
I hope as you look back on your own life, you'll take comfort in recognizing all the small ways and moments where God's timing turned out to be better, and lean into Him all the more.