lost and found

"What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?"
- Job 6:11

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."
- Psalm 37:4

I learned from a pretty young age not to put much hope in things. Now I am not saying that I had a terrible childhood or anything, but it just wasn't filled with much in the way of hope. I did not know the Lord until I was 12, which I know played a huge part in how I dealt with loss or disappointment or grief. There were big things that made me lose hope, like my parent's divorce and my grandfather's death. Lost hope. There were little things too. There was this time when I thought I was going to be able to spend the night with a friend for the first time...for some reason or another it didn't work out. Not a big deal in hindsight, but devastating at the time. Lost hope. It seems like all these things just added up, and the more disappointments and let-downs there were, the less and less I hoped.

Fast forward a few years when I meet Jesus. He gives me a new song to sing, and a renewed hope in people, circumstances, and life in general. He becomes my everything. He teaches me how to dream and achieve the things He wants for my life. However, sometimes I feel that 5 year old girl mindset just creeping back in. So here in lies my struggle. Go back and read the two verses above.

Some days I feel like this: I am so sick of hoping and being let down. We are promised the desires of our heart right? I don't know God's reasons (and I may not until I meet Him and then I probably won't care! I will be hugging Jesus!!!) and I try REALLY hard to trust Him and His decisions for my life. I have little patience. I begin thinking things like "maybe I am not reading my bible enough" or "maybe I need to pray more often" etc. Yes, these things are both true. Then I remember that what God gives me is not based on what I do for Him. All my righteous acts are as "filthy rags" to him!!! I didn't earn His love, His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, and the list goes on! It's not like school where you work hard and that hard work pays off in the form of a good grade or even a scholarship. Why can't I get this through my head? Like my pastor says, I am human and I leak. I leak all the good stuff that I get from reading His word, praying and hearing from Him.

Other days I am just thankful that He loves me. I am happy that He wraps his arms around me and comforts me. I am glad He keeps me from harm, hurt, and rejection. I trust His plan for my life. I also know that He is never the cause of my sorrow. He is the source of everything that is good in my life.

My question is, why can't I feel like that more often? Or all the time? Why does my gratefulness fade over time and I revert back to old ways? Why do I lose hope in a God that commands the universe?

The answer? Selfishness.

I am a selfish and ungrateful person by nature. I choose to lose my hope, it doesn't just happen. The worst part is I know when I am doing it and sometimes I don't try to stop it! Man do I just love a Heather pity party.

So where does that leave me? On my knees. Actually on my face on the ground asking for forgiveness and feeling utterly unworthy of it. Slowly God is changing my heart, even though I go kicking and screaming most of the time.

Slowly He is teaching me to hope again. In Him, not in anyone or anything else.

Found hope.

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