So as the big 35 began to creep upon me the last few months, I started to evaluate my big statement that "When I turn 35 I am going to get my ears double pierced." Being a busy mom that sometimes doesn't even find time to put earrings in her single pierced holes, I began to wonder about the idea of having to deal with two holes that needed earrings, and not just one. When I was a teenager I envisioned hoops and then studs in the 2nd hole - I thought it looked so cool.
It's funny now that tomorrow if I wanted based on things spoken so long ago, that I could walk into Claire's at anytime I wanted and get my ears double pierced. Now that I am standing at the doorstep, I am okay with maybe not. Who knows - I am open to it still, but it's not something I desperately wanted to do like when I was a teenager.
So then I started thinking, what is something else I could do - equivalent to doing something a bit out of character for me. So I began thinking about a tattoo, and what would I want it to say, how would it represent me? If I could put my life story into one word, what would it say?
I knew right away what I would put.
Because Hope is something God has taught me along the life journey. Hope In Jesus is the main thread that runs deep throughout my life. Hope in Him when I struggled with depression as a young teenager. Hope in Him when I knew Nick and I were someday going to get married, but in the midst of waiting 6 years, Hope stayed with me.
Hope that when we got married, that we would have a family. Hope that when we didn't get pregnant that maybe we would have a family differently than planned. Hope that when we started the adoption process, that it would end with a baby in my arms. Hope that when we started the adoption process again, that we would get another baby in our family. Hope that when we tried Invitro that maybe I would experience pregnancy.
What is odd about the list that I just wrote, is that all those things are great things - but as I walked through them I always relearned again and again that hope is not based on circumstances - it is based on hoping in God who knows better than I do, and even if I didn't get these things that I wanted, that I would be okay, because I always have Him.
Hope is something weaved into my soul. And it is something I have been struggling with not having as much of this last year.
It's easy to lose Hope when you start focusing on the negative circumstances - like the hard to understand tragedies of the world, or ones that hit close to home, hearing the news of a cousin who committed suicide, watching a friend's marriage break a part and not understanding why it didn't get fixed, going day to day in the same routine of caring for my little ones and questioning am I really showing them Christ's love? Or am I messing up their lives when I yell or say hurtful things I really don't mean? And then personal hormone imbalance struggles of feeling so discouraged and depressed where it's hard to keep going...
Again, I am placing my lack of hope on the wrong thing - and so I battle back to find the one true thing I know to get me through days. Placing my Hope in Christ. When I come back to that place I know that's what I can stand on. That this world is NOT eternal, and my life here one day will end...
I watch my little 87 year old Japanese grandma care for my grandpa, after he had a heart attack the day before Easter this year. The hard work she spends each day helping him get what he needs for basic functions from eating to cleaning to getting stuck in a position that he can't get out of... it just shows me that getting old is not going to be easy. It's probably going to be one of the hardest journeys to end my life here on earth. For someone like myself who does not like the idea of being a burden to someone else or having to depend on others, it will be very hard for me someday. Will I have the stamina to keep going to the end?
HOPE. It's what I will need to carry with me for tomorrow, and for as many tomorrows as I am given. HOPE knowing that someday at the end of this life, that I might hear those promised words in Matthew 25:23 "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a little, now I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master." To enter into His joy someday - my heart is thrilled with that thought.
So every time I look at my wrist I will remember His faithfulness He has shown me in times that I hoped through hard circumstances - and I will keep remembering to Hope in Him for the future times to come. When I lift my hands to sing and praise Him with Hope at church, or when I use my hand to pray for someone and have Hope for them in the trials they are going through. We all need that reminder to Hope. But Hope is nothing with out Christ.
So that is the story that I want my tattoo to be able to share as I walk through this life. And my prayer for you is this:
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
May you find His hope in your life too!