I just love the word "hope." It is so optimistic and happy! When I feel "hopeless" I am usually not happy, in the slightest. Unfortunately, hope and I have not been the closest of friends lately. Stress, frustration, loneliness and worry have all been making me feel pretty "hopeless" in the last few weeks.
Today as I was reading through all of the blogs I have missed in the last week or so, I ran across this one. This is my friend Andrea. She is the wife of my friend Paul, who, I grew up with. I just love this girl! She is my living example that there is "hope" for my future! In her blog, she was talking about her divorce (nine years ago) and how she doesn't really talk about it anymore and thinks about it even less these days. The reason for this being that she is now happily re-married (to my friend) and has two adorable children (SERIOUSLY cute kids!)! I can't wait to be in her shoes! The day when I can say "Wow, I haven't talked or thought about my divorce in a long time" is going to be a happy day. It is still on the for front of my mind often times. Sometimes I am really hard on myself and think "OH MY GOSH!!! Will you get OVER IT already?! It's been 3 and a half years and you still act like it only happened a year ago!" Then I see people like Andrea and hope becomes my friend again.
Another good point she made is that "everything happens for a reason." I tell myself this all the time and I know it is true but often I don't REALLY believe it. Those days when I sit alone in my apartment and think "Will my arms ever be full again? Will I ever get to hold someone and have them hold me in that sweet embrasse of people who innocently love each other? I mean REALLY love me and not just pretend?" I KNOW the answer to that question but reminding myself of it can be quite the problem sometimes. But, then, I remember people like Andrea. Everything DOES happen for a reason and God REALLY DOES know what He is doing! So these are the times when I live in the moment and remember that God is growing me every step of the way. I look back on how far I have come so far, keep walking and try to find Joy in the Journey (not to steal my own blog name or anything ;)). I also remind myself of things like the fact I learned this week: it can take two to FIVE YEARS to heal from a devastating event in your life! Crazy huh?!
The funny thing that strikes me even now, as I type this blog, is that God really does know what He is doing. I mean, I have been desperate and in need of a good reminder that everything will be ok. Man, does God deliver or what?! Not only did He give me Andrea's blog, but in church the last few weeks we have been talking about Ephesians 5. Ephesians is my favorite book of the Bible. I love this book for many reasons. The chapter that can really sting though is chapter 5, especially verses 22-33. Those verses were read at mine and Jeremiah's wedding. They meant a lot to me. As was stated in church this morning, "Marriage without these verses is SCARY stuff. It will either end in devastation or divorce, or both." This was made VERY obvious in my life seeing as how I lived through the "both" of that statement. It is still a source of "hope" even though it stings, A LOT. The "hope" comes from knowing that I now KNOW what to look for. Something my daddy has always said to me that was also brought up in church this morning is to "find someone who loves Jesus more then you and you will know that you have found someone worthy of marriage."
Another thing that gives me "hope" is that Jesus has been using me and my story to give hope to others. There is someone that I have had the chance to share my story with who needs hope right now. She has been able to find hope through the story that Jesus has been writing with my life. I never get tired of telling my story. Every time I tell it I am reminded of the hope that my story has so far and the hope that there is for the future.
So...here I sit, living by the hope that I find in stories like like my friend's story (and often, my own). All I need to do is keep reminding myself that there is hope in the story Jesus is writing for my future.
Well friends.....I'm off to find Joy in the Journey.